Leavin' on a Midnight Train to Georgia

Despite the recent upset of women's water polo in the NCAA finals, Stanford still is looking great to nab at least one NCAA title this year. A pair, in fact, could come from the men's and women's tennis teams. Both cruised in their early rounds this past weekend at Taube...

The Stanford Men’s tennis team (top-ranked with a 23-1 record) blanked Oklahoma State 4-0 on Sunday to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 in Athens, GA. The Cardinal will next face 16th-ranked Pepperdine in the round of 16 on May 19th.

Stanford won both matches 4-0 last weekend, beating UOP in the first round and the Cowboys in round 2. The only surprise against OSU was that the Cowboys #2 doubles team (Eru Lyndon and Matt Prentice) upset the 14th ranked Cardinal team of Scott Lipsky and David Martin. However, order was restored as Stanford quickly won at #1 (Alex Kim), #2 (K.J. Hippensteel) and #6 (Ali Ansari) singles to secure the team match 4-0. Kim, the top ranked college singles player, won the clincher, 6-4, 6-2, over OSU’s Matt Prentice.

Coach Dick Gould is now busy getting the team ready for the Waves of Pepperdine. The two teams squared off earlier in the season, with Stanford coming away with a 5-2 victory at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on April 17. However, the 5-2 score was very misleading as the match was tightly contested. Stanford won the doubles point by winning 8-6 at #1 singles (after splitting the other two doubles matches) and then had to win two long 3-set matches to register coach Gould’s record 707th career coaching victory.

Looking at the rest of the draw in Athens, Stanford could face a dangerous Tennessee team in the quarters and, most likely, Texas A&M in the semis. #2 UCLA and #3 Georgia are both on the other side of the draw. 14 of the top 16 seeded teams advanced to the Sweet 16 – only USC and Mississippi State were not seeded to travel to Georgia. The Sweet 16 field includes five Pac-10 teams (Stanford, UCLA, USC, Cal and Washington) and four SEC teams.

On the women’s side, top ranked Stanford won both its matches 4-0 last weekend to advance to the women’s sweet 16 at Georgia State University starting on May 17th. The Cardinal should easily beat Wake Forest in the round of 16 and would then face the winner between ASU and Cal in the quarters. Georgia is the #2 seed in the women’s draw.

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