May 19, 2011
STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford is moving on to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006, backed by a strong effort from its "big three" and inspired by an electric atmosphere on Thursday night at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Despite losing the doubles point, No. 8 Stanford (21-5, 5-1 Pac-10) extended its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches with a 4-2 victory over No. 9 Texas A&M in the NCAA round of 16. The 13-match winning streak is the Cardinal's longest since an 18-match stretch back in 2001.
Thursday's victory was the most memorable to date. Faced with an early 1-0 deficit after dropping the doubles point, the Cardinal rebounded by taking four first sets in singles play. Stanford last won a match when losing the doubles point back on Apr. 18 against San Francisco in a 6-1 triumph.
In a battle of evenly-matched teams, the energy from a raucous crowd provided Stanford with enough momentum to rally for the win.
Winners of six straight entering the postseason, Texas A&M wrapped up its season at 29-6.
Ninth-ranked Bradley Klahn provided the clincher with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 position, defeating No. 17 Austin Krajicek after suffering a rare loss in doubles with partner Ryan Thacher.
The Aggies took a 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point. With matches on courts two and three already split, the doubles point came down to a battle of top-five duos at the No. 1 spot. The nation's fourth-ranked tandem of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek came out on top, outlasting the third-ranked team of Klahn and Thacher 9-8 (8). It was only the sixth loss of the year for Klahn and Thacher, and only the second since Feb. 20.
But any momentum Texas A&M generated by winning the doubles point quickly evaporated.
Stanford controlled four of the six first sets, with Alex Clayton's 7-5, 6-3 triumph at No. 3 tying the match at 1-1. Clayton is 9-1 over his last 10 matches.
Texas A&M grabbed a 2-1 lead following Junior Ore's 6-3, 6-4 win on court six, but Stanford answered with Matt Kandath's 7-5, 6-0 victory on court five.
Thacher followed with a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory at the No. 2 spot, before Klahn finished off Krajicek after a lengthy rally on the game's final point.
Stanford plays No. 1 Virginia on Saturday at 4 p.m.
No. 8 Stanford 4, No. 9 Texas A&M 2
Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1)
1) No. 4 Dadamo/Krajicek (TAMU) d. No. 3 Klahn/Thacher (STAN) 9-8 (8)
2) Kandath/Lin (STAN) d. No. 66 Ore/Grigorov (TAMU) 8-6
3) Klegou/Hoover (TAMU) d. Ball/Clayton (STAN) 8-6
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 2, 1)
1) No. 9 Bradley Klahn (STAN) d. No. 17 Austin Krajicek (TAMU) 6-4, 6-3
2) No. 46 Ryan Thacher (STAN) d. No. 31 Jeff Dadamo (TAMU) 7-6 (3), 6-1
3) No. 71 Alex Clayton (STAN) d. Alexey Grigorov (TAMU) 7-5, 6-3
4) No. 119 Denis Lin (STAN) vs. No. 94 Alexis Klegou (TAMU) aban.
5) Matt Kandath (STAN) d. Colin Hoover (TAMU) 7-5, 6-0
6) Junior Ore (TAMU) d. Daniel Ho (STAN) 6-3, 6-4