Stanford Falls In NCAA Semifinals
May 19, 2003
ATHENS, Ga. - The fourth-ranked Stanford University men's tennis team dropped a 4-2 decision to top-ranked Illinois in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship on Monday night at the University of Georgia. The Cardinal concluded its season at 25-4, while Illinois improved to 31-0.
'We had ourselves in a position to win,' Stanford head coach Dick Gould said. 'We didn't play our best match of the year, but I was pleased with how we won the doubles point and battled back in singles.'
Stanford, which was making its 12th national semifinal appearance in the last 16 years, started the match by coming from behind to win the doubles point. It marked just the third time in dual dual matches this season that Illinois has dropped the doubles portion of the dual (Minnesota and Florida are the other teams to accomplish the feat).
After 11th-ranked Michael Calkins and Amer Delic defeated fourth-ranked Scott Lipsky (Merrick, NY) and David Martin (Tulsa, OK) 8-5 at No. 1, Stanford needed to win at both No. 2 and No. 3 to take the point. And the Cardinal did just that.
Freshmen KC Corkery (Manhattan Beach, CA) and James Pade (Woodside, CA) evened the score by pulling off the upset over ninth-ranked Rajeev Ram and Brian Wilson at No. 2. The teams held serve throughout the match to send it to a tiebreaker. With the tiebreaker tied 4-4, the Cardinal scored three of the final four points to pull out the win.
The point then came down to the No. 3 match between the Cardinal's Carter Morris (Washington, D.C.) and Sam Warburg (Sacramento, CA) and the Illini's Chris Martin and Phil Stolt. The match was tied at 7-7, before the Cardinal broke Martin's serve to take the lead. With Morris at the service line, the Cardinal quickly took a 40-0 advantage, but Illinois answered back with three straight points. Morris then served an ace to set up the Cardinal's fourth match point, and then immediately converted to clinch the doubles point.
Illinois jumped out to a fast start in singles, winning the first set in five of the six matches. The Fighting Illini closed out a pair of those matches in straight sets to go up 2-1. Twelfth-ranked Wilson beat the 77th-ranked Lipsky 6-2, 6-2 and third-ranked Delic topped eighth-ranked Martin 6-2, 6-4.
Stanford, however, came back to tie the score at 2-2 when the 63rd-ranked Warburg beat the 20th-ranked Stolt 6-2, 6-2.
And then the rains came. After the teams survived a 42 minute rain daily during doubles, a 45 minute rain delay in the middle of singles competition moved the remainder of the match indoors.
The Illini closed took control indoors, and moved one point away from the team victory when Calkins outlasted the 114th-ranked Pade 6-4, 2-6 6-3.
Illinois then captured the fourth and deciding point when Chris Martin, who is the younger brother of Stanford's David Martin, outlasted Morris 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 6.
'We improved a lot over the course of the year,' Gould said. 'When you get this close it hurts to lose, but looking at it from the other side, we did an outstanding job to get this far.'
Stanford will now compete in the NCAA Individual Championships, which will be held from Wednesday through Monday at the University of Georgia. Martin is the eighth seed in the 64-player singles draw, while Corkery is also entered. Lipsky and Martin are the fourth seeds in the 32-team doubles draw.
#1 Illinois 4, #4 Stanford 2
Doubles (Stanford wins point)
No. 1 - #11 Michael Calkins/Amer Delic (I) d. #4 Scott Lipsky/David Martin, 8-5
No. 2 - KC Corkery/James Pade (S) d. #9 Rajeev Ram/Brian Wilson, 9-8 (5)
No. 3 - Carter Morris/Sam Warburg (S) d. Chris Martin/Phil Stolt, 9-7
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
No. 1 - #3 Amer Delic (I) d. #8 David Martin, 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 - #12 Brian Wilson (I) d. #77 Scott Lipsky, 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 - #22 Rajeev Ram (I) v. #49 KC Corkery (S), suspended (match tied 6-4 I, 5-7 S, 2-2)
No. 4 - #63 Sam Warburg (S) d. #20 Phil Stolt, 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 - Michael Calkins (I) d. #114 James Pade, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
No. 6 - Chris Martin (I) d. Carter Morris, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 5, 6
Records - #4 Stanford 25-3, #1 Illinois 30-0.