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Davidson, Zhao Up To No. 1
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 04/08/2015

STANFORD, Calif. - No. 13 Stanford closes out its home schedule this weekend, hoping to continue a late-season push while improving its national ranking.

Winners of four in a row, the Cardinal (13-4, 6-2 Pac-12) hosts Washington State on Saturday (10 a.m. PT) and No. 16 Pepperdine on Sunday (12 p.m. PT) at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Saturday’s contest also kicks off Cardinalpalooza, a free all-day sports festival that includes six other Cardinal teams in action. Highlighted by the Cardinal & White Spring Football game at 1 p.m., Cardinalpalooza also features tailgating opportunities, food trucks in Pac-12 plaza, merchandise discounts and post-event interaction with competing teams.

Despite sweeping both matches last weekend, Stanford dropped three spots in this week’s poll. The Cardinal opened the season at No. 8 and has checked in as high as No. 7.

The national individual rankings are a different story, with sophomores Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao currently occupying the No. 1 spot in doubles. At 24-5 overall and 12-3 in duals, Davidson and Zhao are the first Cardinal tandem to be ranked No. 1 since Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs enjoyed a two-month stay at the top position in 2012.

Davidson and Zhao claimed their first doubles title of the season at the NCTC Classic in January. The pairing also reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October and earned a runner-up finish at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships in September.

"We know we can play well, but just have to continue to do that on a consistent basis," said Davidson. "We love playing together and the key for us is to just play loose. This was one of our goals, so we can now check that off and try to keep maintaining our position."

"It's nice to be recognized because we work so hard during the season to reach this point," said Zhao. "Taylor and I had great chemistry from the start, because we've had similar roles on the team. We've been able to find the best fit with our play, but the most important part is to continue to have success as a team."

Their success hasn’t been limited to doubles, with Davidson and fellow sophomore Caroline Doyle sharing the team lead in overall victories (25). Zhao, who is ranked No. 4 in the country, is right behind with 24 wins. Davidson enters the week ranked No. 16 while Doyle is No. 24. The sophomore trio has combined for a 74-16 record overall and 44-6 mark in duals.

Stanford’s depth has proven to be a factor throughout the season. Ellen Tsay (100) and Krista Hardebeck (116) also appear in this week’s national singles rankings.

After this weekend, Stanford will travel to Berkeley for the April 18 regular-season finale against California. The Golden Bears prevailed 4-3 in the non-counting Pac-12 match on March 1 at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.



Cardinal AXEcess

Cardinal AXEcess
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