May 13, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- No. 11 Stanford chalked up a 4-1 victory over No. 39 Santa Clara on Sunday afternoon at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, earning a berth in next weekend's NCAA Championships round of 16.
Locking up a pressure-packed doubles point was crucial for the Cardinal (19-8, 5-2 Pac-12), which needs one more victory to post its fourth consecutive 20-win season.
Having made 34 NCAA Tournament appearances and captured 18 national titles, Stanford figured to have an edge against upstart Santa Clara, making its first postseason appearance in school history.
However, the Broncos (22-6, 7-1 WCC) pulled off a 4-1 upset of Texas in Saturday's opening round, so the Cardinal was ready for a challenge.
Capturing a hard-fought doubles point that took nearly two hours to complete, Stanford grabbed a pivotal 1-0 lead heading into singles. But it was not easy.
An 8-6 win by Santa Clara's top team of John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev over Stanford's Denis Lin and Ryan Thacher gave the Broncos an edge.
The Cardinal would need to win both remaining matches on courts two and three.
Meanwhile, Santa Clara actually held 7-6 leads on both remaining courts before Stanford rallied back for a pair of victories.
Trailing 7-6 and 8-7, Stanford's No. 3 duo of Jamin Ball and Robert Stineman eventually battled back to 8-8 and forced a tiebreaker. After the Bronco pairing of Maxime Armengaud and Nicolas Vinel won four of the tiebreaker's first five points, Ball and Stineman ripped off six consecutive points. An ace from Stineman secured the 7-4 tiebreaker win.
That shifted the pressure back to court two, where Stanford's No. 2 team of Bradley Klahn and John Morrissey trailed 7-6 before winning three straight games. A forehand winner from Klahn capped the comeback to give Stanford a 9-7 victory and clinch the doubles point.
Klahn continued his momentum in singles, collecting his 125th career victory by defeating Kyle Dandan 6-3, 7-5 at the top spot of the lineup for a 2-0 lead.
Daniel Ho followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Osintsev at the No. 5 spot, putting Stanford on the brink of clinching the match at 3-0. Ho has come away with victories in each of the Cardinal's first two postseason matches.
Santa Clara got on the scoreboard minutes later, with Lamble defeating Thacher 7-5, 6-3 over on court two.
Leading 3-1, Morrissey provided the clincher for the second straight day when he outlasted Tom Pham 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 4 position.
Stanford next faces No. 6 Kentucky on Friday, May 18, at 1 p.m. PT in the round of 16 in Athens, Ga.
- - - - - - - - - -
No. 11 Stanford 4, No. 39 Santa Clara 1
1) Lamble/Osintsev (SCU) d. Lin/Thacher (STAN) 8-6
2) Klahn/Morrissey (STAN) d. Dandan/Pham (SCU) 9-7
3) Ball/Stineman (STAN) d. Armengaud/Vinel (SCU) 9-8 (4)
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
1) No. 36 Bradley Klahn (STAN) d. No. 91 Kyle Dandan (SCU) 6-3, 7-5
2) No. 123 John Lamble (SCU) d. No. 29 Ryan Thacher (STAN) 7-5, 6-3
3) Matt Kandath (STAN) vs. Nicolas Vinel (SCU) abandoned
4) John Morrissey (STAN) d. Tom Pham (SCU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
5) Daniel Ho (STAN) d. Ilya Osintsev (SCU) 6-4, 6-3
6) Robert Stineman (STAN) vs. Eugene Muchynski (SCU) abandoned
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 2, 4