Stanford and Baylor hooked up in a classic college tennis match that lasted almost six hours and ended in dramatic fashion as the Bears came from behind to beat the Cardinal 4-3. Stanford built a 3-1 lead, but Baylor won at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles to earn the right to play top-ranked Georgia in Monday's NCAA semifinal match (5:00 pm at Taube Tennis Center).
With the match tied at 3-3, Baylor's Matt Brown beat Stanford freshman Blake Muller at No. 5 singles, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 to secure the win for the Bears. Baylor needed victories by Vladimir Portnov and Will Ward, in addition to Brown, to overcome their 3-1 deficit.
Today's match was scheduled for a 3:00 pm start at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center, but rain pushed the match to 6:00 pm at the San Francisco Tennis Center. Earlier this season, Baylor defeated the Cardinal 5-1 on Feb. 27. That match was scheduled to be played at the Taube Tennis Center, but rain forced the match to be played at the San Francisco Tennis Center.
Baylor, the 2005 NCAA runnerup, had reached the NCAA championship match the past two seasons. The Bears beat UCLA for the national title in 2004 and lost to the Bruins in last year's championship match.
After losing the doubles point to Baylor, Stanford tied the match at 1-1 when Matt Bruch beat Matija Zgaga in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. The Cardinal then won at No. 3 with James Pade and No. 1 with KC Corkery, both in thrilling three set matches.
Pade and Corkery each lost their first sets, then came back to win the final two sets for the match point. Pade handed Michal Kokta a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 defeat for a 2-1 Cardinal lead. Then, it was Corkery at No. 1 who scored a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Lars Poerschke, the fourth ranked player in the nation.
The Bears pulled to within one at 3-2 after Vladimir Portnov beat Stanford's Phil Kao at No. 6 in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Baylor tied the score at 3-3 and when Will Ward won a three-set tie-breaker over Stanford's James Wan. Ward won the tie-break 7-3 as the Bear's won registered their second consecutive win, leaving the match to be decided by No. 5 singles.
Baylor jumped out to a 1-0 lead after its No. 1 doubles team of Kokta and Poerschke closed out the doubles competition with an 8-6 victory over Corkery and Pade. The battle of the two ranked doubles team was close throughout, but after the match was tied at 5-5, Kokta and Poerschke had enough to narrowly defeat Corkery and Pade, the 16th ranked doubles team in the country.
Baylor won at No. 3 doubles 9-7 as David Galic and Will Ward beat Stanford's James Wan and Jon Wong. Moments later, the Cardinal tied the doubles competition as its No. 2 team of Bruch and Muller won 9-8 in a tie-breaker over Baylor's Matt Brown and Zgaga.
NCAA Men's Tennis - Quarterfinals
May 21, 2006
San Francisco Tennis Center * San Francisco, CA
Baylor 4, Stanford 3
Doubles (Baylor wins doubles point
1. Michal Kokta and Lars Poerschke-23 (B) d. KC Corkery and James Pade-16 (S), 8-6
2. Matt Bruch and Blake Muller (S) d. Matt Brown and Matija Zgaga (B) , 9-8
3. David Galic and Will Ward (B) d. James Wan and Jon Wong (S), 9-7
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
1. KC Corkery-25 (S) d. Lars Poerschke-4 (B), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
2. Matt Bruch-16 (S) d. Matija Zgaga-65 (B), 6-2, 6-3
3. James Pade (S) d. Michal Kokta-29 (B), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
4. Will Ward (B) d. James Wan-66 (S), 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (3)
5. Matt Brown-124 (B)d. Blake Muller (S), 7-6, 1-6, 6-3
6. Vladimir Portnov (B) d. Phil Kao (S), 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 6, 4, 5
Records: Baylor (25-6), Stanford (18-4)