Stanford Beats Cal In NCAA Quarterfinals

May 18, 2003

ATHENS, Ga. - The Stanford University men's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship with a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over arch-rival California on Sunday night at the University of Georgia. After the match was delayed 3 hours, 40 minutes by rain, the entire dual was moved to Georgia's indoor facility.

The fifth-seeded and fourth-ranked Cardinal is 25-3 on the season, while the fourth-seeded and seventh-ranked Golden Bears fell to 21-5.

'This was just another great battle with Cal,' Stanford head coach Dick Gould said. 'I was happy with how we were able to come out and win the doubles point and get the momentum in the first set in singles.'

The Cardinal, which will be making its 12th semifinal appearance in the last 16 years and first since 2000, will face top-ranked and top-seeded Illinois (29-0) on Monday at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The Fighting Illini defeated Mississippi 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinal entered singles play with a 1-0 lead, and quickly stretched the lead to 3-0 thanks to freshman KC Corkery (Manhattan Beach, CA) and senior David Martin (Tulsa, OK). Corkery won nine of the final 10 games in a convincing 6-2, 6-1 victory over Or Dekel at No. 3. Martin won eight of the final 10 games against John Paul Fruttero en route to a 6-3, 6-2 triumph at No. 1.

The Golden Bears, however, would not go quietly. Balazs Veress took the first set 7-5 form the Cardinal's Sam Warburg (Sacramento, CA) at No. 4, and Conor Niland came back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set at No. 2 against Scott Lipsky (Merrick, NY).

At No. 2, the score was tied 3-3 in the first set before Lipsky won seven straight games to take a 6-3, 4-0 advantage. Niland, who had come back to win from a set down twice against Lipsky this year, won six of the next seven games to take a 6-5 advantage. Lipsky held serve to force a tiebreaker, but Niland raced out to a 6-3 lead and had three set points. Lipsky then ran off five consecutive points to take the tiebreaker 8-6, and clinch Stanford's second win over the Golden Bears in three tries this season.

'I thought Scott did a great job of not collapsing in the tiebreaker,' Gould said. 'He was very solid and very focused. I'm very proud of the way he played tonight.'

'I was done in the tiebreaker,' Lipsky said. 'I was facing three set points. But I was able to come back and hit two service winners to put the pressure on his serve.'

Stanford won the doubles point for the fourth time in as many matches in the NCAA Team Championship thanks to victories at No. 1 at No. 2.

Fourth-ranked Lipsky and Martin turned in a dominating performance at No. 1. Lipsky and Martin dropped the first game, and then proceeded to win the next eight against eighth-ranked Steve Berke and Robert Kowalczyk.

Freshmen Corkery and James Pade (Woodside, CA) then wrapped up the doubles point for the second straight night with an 8-6 triumph over John Paul Fruttero and Mik Ledvonova. Corkery and Pade took a 4-2 lead, but the Golden Bears won four of the next five games to take a 6-5 advantage. The Cardinal freshmen then won the final three games, including a service break that made it 7-6 and set the stage for Corkery to serve out the match.

#4 Stanford 4, #7 California 0

Doubles (Stanford wins point)

No. 1 - #4 Scott Lipsky/David Martin (S) d. #8 Steve Berke/Robert Kowalczyk, 8-1

No. 2 - KC Corkery/James Pade (S) d. John Paul Fruttero/Mik Ledvonova, 8-6

No. 3 - Carter Morris/Sam Warburg (S) v. Conor Niland/Balazs Veress (C), suspended (match tied 6-6)

Order of finish: 1, 2

Singles

No. 1 - #8 David Martin (S) d. John Paul Fruttero, 6-3, 6-2

No. 2 - #77 Scott Lipsky (S) d. #36 Conor Niland, 6-3, 7-6 (6)

No. 3 - #49 KC Corkery (S) d. Or Dekel, 6-2, 6-1

No. 4 - #63 Sam Warburg (S) v. #124 Balazs Veress (C), suspended (California led 7-5, 5-4)

No. 5 - #114 James Pade (S) v. Robert Kowalczyk (C), suspended (match tied 2-2)

No. 6 - Phil Sheng (S) v. Mik Ledvonova (C), suspended (California led 1-0)

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Records - #7 California 21-4, #4 Stanford 24-3.

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