Men's Tennis Falls To Pepperdine, 5-2

April 16, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - Fifth-ranked Pepperdine (19-5) posted a 5-2 non-conference road win over sixth-ranked Stanford (19-3) on Tuesday afternoon at the Taube Tennis Center.

The Cardinal was missing three starters due to injury and was forced to default both the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles matches because it had only five players in uniform.

Despite the absence of three of its top five singles players - senior K.J. Hippensteel (Roanoke, VA), junior Ryan Haviland (Aiken, SC) and freshman Sam Warburg (Sacramento, CA) - the Cardinal nearly knocked off the fifth-ranked Waves.

The Waves jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after taking the doubles point, winning by default at No. 6 singles and prevailing in straight sets at No. 5 singles.Stanford, however, stretched the Nos. 1-4 matches to three sets with all four players playing above their normal spots in the lineup. The squads then split those four matches to help Pepperdine come away with the win.

At No. 2 singles, Stanford's 76th-ranked Scott Lipsky (Merrick, NY) upset 64th-ranked Stefan Suter (Hagendorf, Switzerland) 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 to improve to 29-8 overall and 18-3 in dual competition.

The Cardinal also received an impressive win at No. 4 from sophomore Joe Kao (Fullerton, CA), who was playing above the No. 6 slot for the first time in his career. Kao defeated Pepperdine senior Steve Racioppi (Snelville, GA) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to improve to 7-6 on the year.

Pepperdine's two three-set victories were far from easy. At No. 1, top-ranked collegiate singles player Al Garland (Overjise, Belgium) dropped the first set 6-2 before rallying to beat 46th-ranked David Martin (Tulsa, OK) 6-3, 6-4 in the final two sets. Stanford freshman Phil Sheng (Thousand Oaks, CA), who had never played above the No. 4 slot, fell to the Waves' Johan Berg (Naoka, Sweden) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 at No. 3.

The Cardinal (5-0 Pac-10) returns to action on Friday when it hosts No. 10 USC (18-4, 4-1) at 1:30 p.m. as Cashin Company Realtors Presents 'The Stanford Challenge'. The Waves (2-0 WCC) next compete in the West Coast Conference Championships on Friday-Sunday at Saint Mary's College.

#5 Pepperdine 5, #6 Stanford 2

Doubles (Pepperdine wins point)

No. 1 - #17 Johan Berg/Al Garland (P) d. #1 Scott Lipsky/David Martin, 8-3

No. 2 - #11 Sebastien Graeff/Stefan Suter (P) d. Joe Kao/Phil Sheng, 9-8

No. 3 - Calle Hansen/Brian Wright (P) won by default

Singles

No. 1 - #1 Al Garland (P) d. #46 (tie) David Martin, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

No. 2 - #76 Scott Lipsky (S) d. #64 Stefan Suter, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2

No. 3 - Johan Berg (P) d. Phil Sheng, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6

No. 4 - Joe Kao (S) d. Steve Racioppi, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2

No. 5 - Sebastien Graeff (P) d. Chris Meyer, 6-2, 6-3

No. 6 - Brian Wright (P) won by default

Records - #5 Pepperdine 19-5, #6 Stanford 19-3.

Player and team rankings are courtesy of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and Omni Hotels.

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