No. 7 Stanford Travels To USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships
Feb. 15, 2005
COMING UP: The No. 7 ranked Stanford men's tennis team travels to compete in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago this week. Stanford will take on No. 9 ranked Virginia in first round play on Thursday. John Whitlinger's squad brings a 6-0 dual match mark into the event, having won their last five matches at home. Stanford has won 12 titles since the National Team Indoor Championship began in 1973, more than any other collegiate program. The Cardinal last claimed a National Team Indoor Championship in 2002.
LAST WEEK: Stanford continued to roll at Taube Tennis Center last week, winning three dual matches with two of those wins coming against Pac-10 Conference foes. The Cardinal posted sweeps in two of the matches, topping Saint Mary's and Arizona by 7-0 scores. In last Tuesday's match against the Gaels, all six singles players posted victories in straight sets for the Cardinal. Friday's match against Arizona was rained out during singles play, and was concluded on Sunday with senior Sam Warburg posting a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 58 ranked Wildcat Roger Matalonga. Warburg teamed with junior KC Corkery to register three victories in doubles play last week, including an 8-5 win over the No. 18 ranked duo of Matalonga and Colin O'Grady of Arizona on Friday. In Saturday's 5-2 win over Arizona State, Cardinal singles competitors won matches at the top four singles positions to clinch the win. Senior Phil Sheng and sophomore Eric McKean fell in doubles play to Clint Letcher and Mike Beatty of Arizona State, marking the first loss for a Cardinal doubles tandem in dual match play since the season opener against California. Sheng and Corkery both extended their unbeaten dual match singles records to 7-0 with three wins last week, while Warburg's singles record currently stands at 6-0.
STANFORD AT THE ITA TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Cardinal have a long and storied history at the National Team Indoor Championships, winning a record 12 titles ... Stanford has competed for the Team Indoor championship a record 16 times in the 28 years that the Cardinal have participated in the tournament ... This will be Stanford's 30th appearance at the Team Indoor Championships, also a tournament record ... Stanford also owns more wins at the ITA Team Indoor Championships than any other school, posting a 77-21 (.786) mark ... The Cardinal's .786 winning percentage is the highest in Team Indoor history.
STANFORD IN THE RANKINGS: The Stanford University men's tennis team is ranked No. 7 in the nation according to the most recent 2005 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released on February 15. Baylor, the 2004 NCAA team champions, remained in the top spot with 10 first place votes ... Senior Sam Warburg is the team's top-ranked singles performer, receiving a No. 4 ranking in the ITA poll. Junior KC Corkery enters the season with a No. 15 singles ranking ... The doubles tandem of Warburg and Corkery are ranked No. 2 in the doubles category.
CARDINAL NOTES: Senior Sam Warburg, the team's top ranked singles player at No. 4, improved to 8-1 against ranked opposition with his victory over No. 58 ranked Roger Matalonga of Arizona on Sunday ... Junior KC Corkery and senior Phil Sheng have each posted 7-0 singles records in dual match play so far this season ... The Cardinal's three doubles tandems have combined to post an 18-3 record through the first six dual matches of 2005 ... Cardinal singles players are a combined 7-0 (including November's match with Hawaii) at the No.'s 1, 2, and 4 singles positions. Warburg and Corkery have dominated the opposition at the first two spots, while Sheng and sophomore James Wan have each posted 3-0 marks at the No. 4 position ... Junior Jon Wong has established himself as a solid doubles competitor, notching an 11-4 mark with four different doubles partners ... John Whitlinger assumes the head coaching duties this season, following Dick Gould's move to the Director of Tennis position. Whitlinger, a former All-American at Stanford, was coach Gould's assistant for 18 years and served the last five seasons as the associate head coach
ABOUT THE USTA/ITA NATIONAL INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP: The USTA/ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship is the premier indoor collegiate team tournament and is the ITA's longest running event. This year marks the first time that Illinois will host the event in the tournament's 32-year history. With its back-to-back championships, Illinois broke the Pac-10's stranglehold on the National Indoor title. Prior to the 2003 and 2004 Illinois victories, only four different Pac-10 schools had won the tournament since 1987. The tournament began in 1973. It was originally held at the University of Wisconsin, where John McEnroe helped elevate the stature of the tournament, leading Stanford to the 1978 title.
This year's tournament will be held at the award-winning Mid-Town Tennis Club in the heart of downtown Chicago. Mid-Town is the world's largest indoor tennis facility and the first tennis club built from the ground up in any major US city. The USTA named it 'Facility of the Year' in both 2002 and 2003. Illinois, the two-time defending champions, will serve as host of this year's event.
SCOUTING THE FIELD: The field at the 2004 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship consists of the best teams in the country as the top teams in the nation comprise the 16-team group. The top nine teams in the nation (according to the most recent ITA rankings) make up the top nine seeds of the tournament, with No. 10 seeded LSU being ranked No. 11 by the ITA. Baylor, the defending NCAA Champion, is the top seed, while defending National Indoor Champion Illinois is seeded fifth. Rounding out the top-six seeds are UCLA (2), Florida (3), Georgia (4), and Mississippi (6). Also included in the field are the 11-16 seeds, USC (currently ranked 12th by the ITA), Kentucky (13th), Ohio State (15th), Harvard (31st), Oklahoma State (30th), and Boise State (44th). The Cardinal enter the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship as the No. 7 seed and will face the No. 9 seeded Virginia Cavaliers in first round action on Thursday. Only eight teams have won the National Team Indoor Championship in the 30 years that the event has been held. Four of those teams (USC, Illinois, Stanford, UCLA) will compete in this year's tournament.
NEW FACES: The Cardinal welcome three newcomers to the squad as sophomore David Ryan, and freshmen Lee Chang and Phil Kao join the team. Kao claimed two straight singles title at the Northern California sectionals, and joins the squad as one of the top recruits in the nation. Chang is a veteran of the national youth championships, while Ryan is the only left-hander on the team and should contribute in doubles play.
COACHING STAFF: John Whitlinger assumes the head coaching duties this season, following Dick Gould's move to the Director of Tennis position. Whitlinger, a former All-American at Stanford, was coach Gould's assistant for 18 years and served the last five seasons as the associate head coach. David Hodge joins the staff as an assistant coach following two years as the top assistant at Colorado. Hodge played collegiate tennis at Baylor, and competed on the professional tour before beginning his coaching career. Volunteer assistant coach Dave Higaki returns to The Farm for his third season, and serves as director of the renown East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring Program.