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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stanford Surprises Duke at Men's NCAAs

©Colette Lewis 2006
Palo Alto--

Stanford's surprising 4-0 win over fourth seeded Duke sent the Cardinal fans home happy on Saturday afternoon, while earlier in the day another PAC-10 powerhouse, UCLA upended seventh seed Illinois 4-2.

I didn't see any of the UCLA - Illinois match, and didn't arrive on campus until after Stanford had taken the doubles point, but I did get an opportunity to ask John Whitlinger if being left out of the Team Indoor championship in February had motivated his team during the past couple of months. He admitted that it had, and on Saturday Matt Bruch, James Pade and James Wan at 2, 3, 4 gave the team the points necessary to advance to a meeting on Sunday against Baylor, who defeated Washington 4-1.

I caught a bit of the top seeded Georgia Bulldogs' 4-0 win over Notre Dame, and then crossed the street for the Miami - Virginia battle on the Taube South Courts. With Miami having beaten Virginia 4-3 in Charlottesville last month and then dropping a 4-2 decision to the Cavaliers in the ACC tournament, it was certainly expected to be a close, tough battle, but when Darrin Cohen and Doug Stewart took the no. 3 doubles 8-0, it was the beginning of the end for the ninth seeded Hurricanes.. Cohen won the second point at no. 6 singles and then Rylan Rizza took a tense 22 point tiebreak for the third point at no. 2. At no. 4 Treat Huey, down a set early, took the next two sets for the deciding point, and the Cavaliers had their revenge, 4-0. They face Georgia in the quarterfinals.

Ohio State had no trouble with North Carolina, and the Buckeyes will take on the third seeded Texas Longhorns, who defeated Mississippi 4-1. Pepperdine shut out Florida and will face Pepperdine in the other quarterfinal.

The weather forecast is not promising for Sunday, and with no indoor courts on the Palo Alto campus, the options are few. The schedule calls for the women's semifinals and the men's quarterfinals, so everyone is hoping the weather forecast is pessimistic.

For updates see Stanford's website.


Austin said...

The only way in which the Stanford win over Duke was an upset was based on rankings. I'm not sure exactly how Stanford is ranked that low, but going into the match I figured Stanford would win for sure at 2,3,4 and 5. That's 4pts right there. I don't know how they are ranked so low, especially with only 3 losses and a 4-2 record against teams in the Championships. That's a team that I picked to be in the Final Four, I've been wondering all year how they're ranking has stayed so low, but I think today they will prove themselves by taking out a slightly overrated Baylor team.