URBANA, Ill.- Nicole Gibbs is halfway home in her quest to repeat as the NCAA Singles champion.
Gibbs defeated Christina Sanchez-Quintanar 6-4, 6-4 on Friday morning in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships and advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals.
It was the second meeting in three days between Gibbs and Sanchez-Quintanar, as the duo squared off in the championship match of the team competition in which No. 12 Stanford knocked off No. 3 Texas A&M 4-3. Gibbs flexed her muscle in that contest as well, winning the final 12 games in a row for a 0-6, 6-2, 6-0 tone-setting victory that ignited Stanford's momentum.
"It was definitely a weird match the last time we played," said Gibbs. "I didn't really have any expectations coming into this match other than it would be gritty out there. She makes a lot of balls and makes you do some weird things to win points. I think both of us are pretty effective at using the short court and drop shots and slices, so there were a lot of really fun points, really long points, too."
The defending NCAA Singles champion, Gibbs is bidding to become Stanford's first repeat champion since Amber Liu in 2003-04.
The last player to capture the NCAA team and singles crowns in the same season was Duke's Mallory Cecil in 2009 at College Station, Texas.
Gibbs next faces Clemson's Yana Koroleva on Saturday at 10 a.m. It's a rematch of the Feb. 23 regular-season matchup in which Gibbs topped Koroleva 6-2, 6-2 in Stanford's 5-2 neutral-site victory in Gainesville, Fla.
Meanwhile, Krista Hardebeck's impressive freshman season came to an end on Friday in a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Georgia's Lauren Herring.
By reaching the round of 16, Hardebeck was awarded All-America status. Hardebeck wraps up her debut campaign with a team-best 36-13 record and was 16-8 in duals, playing all but six of those matches at the No. 3 spot. The ITA Northwest Region Rookie of the Year, Hardebeck also was named an All-Pac-12 Second Team selection and NCAA All-Tournament Team honoree (No. 3 doubles). Hardebeck captured singles title at ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October and famously provided clincher in Stanford's 4-3 upset of No. 1 Florida in the semifinals (May 20), rallying for a three-set win.
No. 13 Nicole Gibbs
First Round: d. No. 47 Yang Pang (Arkansas) 7-5, 6-4
Second Round: d. No. 58 Ronit Yurovsky (Michigan) 6-4, 6-4
Round of 16: d. No. 4 Christina Sanchez-Quintanar (Texas A&M) 6-4, 6-4
Quarterfinals: vs. No. 16 Yana Koroleva (Clemson) - 10 a.m. PT
No. 14 Krista Hardebeck
First Round: d. No. 22 Pleun Burgmans (Auburn) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Second Round: d. No. 76 Cindy Chala (VCU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
Round of 16: lost to No. 6 Lauren Herring (Georgia) 6-0, 6-2
No. 25 Kristie Ahn
First Round: lost to No. 15 Petra Niedermayerova (Kansas State) 6-2, 6-1
No. 8 Kristie Ahn/Nicole Gibbs
First Round: lost to No. 15 Isaura Enrique/Samantha Vickers (Tulsa) 6-2, 6-4
No. 28 Stacey Tan/Ellen Tsay
First Round: lost to No. 11 Lauren Embree/Sofie Oyen (Florida) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4