NCAA Tennis at Stanford

Stanford’s Men’s tennis team, the defending NCAA champions, will host first and second round play at Taube Family Tennis Stadium this weekend. By beating UCLA at the end of the regular season, Stanford re-gained the #1 ranking and also earned the top seed in 64-team NCAA tourney. The Cardinal will open NCAA tournament play against the University of Pacific Tigers (Dr. Ted Leland’s alma mater) on Saturday at noon. The Tigers are 14-10 but should pose little challenge for coach Dick Gould’s squad. On Sunday at noon, Stanford should face either Florida (9-16) or Oklahoma State (15-8). Despite its poor record, expect Florida to play Stanford on Sunday. Florida has had some injury problems during the year but were ranked in the top ten earlier this season.

[Additionally, the Stanford Women’s team is seeded #1 and will also host 1st and 2nd round matches on Friday and Saturday. First match is against Boston University on Friday at 2 pm.]

Stanford is sporting a 21-1 record, the only blemish being an early season 4-2 loss to second-seeded UCLA at the National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle. However, the Cardinal has avenged that loss with two 4-3 victories over the Bruins in the last few weeks of the season. It is noteworthy that in each of the three meetings between these powerhouse programs, the losing team was missing key player(s). Stanford’s Scotty Scott did not play when UCLA prevailed in Seattle and UCLA was missing their #1 singles player (Jean-Julien Rojer) in Los Angeles and their #3 singles player (Tobias Clemens) in the last two meetings. Needless to say, a Stanford-UCLA showdown in the finals in Athens, Georgia is looming. [Other top seeds: Georgia #3, Texas A&M #4, TCU #5, Duke #6, SMU #7 and Tennessee #8.]

Once again, the Cardinal is led by top-ranked Alex Kim, the defending NCAA champion and the two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year. Kim, a senior, has recorded an impressive 18-2 record at #1 singles this year. At #2 singles, junior K.J. Hippensteel has built a 17-4 record and is ranked #18 nationally. At #3, sophomore David Martin (12-6, #53 ranking) has won key matches all season long, including the clinching match in the last win over UCLA (in a 3rd set tiebreak). Ryan Haviland (13-4) plays at #4 singles and is ranked #77. Senior and Bay Area native Scotty Scott (Belvedere, CA) has overcome early-season injury problems and boasts a 10-4 record at #5. Finally, at #6, senior Ali Ansari is a solid 17-3 this year.

All three Cardinal doubles teams are ranked in the top 50 in the country. Scott Lipsky (sophomore with a 14-4 singles record) and David Martin are ranked #14, Kim/Hippnesteel are #15 and Ansari/Scott are #41.

It should be some exciting action at the tennis stadium this weekend so let’s head out there and show coach Gould’s team some great support before they head off to claim their annual hardware in Athens, GA! Plenty of good tickets should be available at the door.


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