Bruch Beats Wan to Win Pac-10 Championship
April 30, 2006
Freshman Matt Bruch beat teammate James Wan today to win the Pacific-10 Conference Singles championship at Ojai, Calif. Bruch, from Lake Forest, Ill, won five matches in four days to claim the title. He beat Wan 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-0 to become the second consecutive Pac-10 singles champion from Stanford.
Also today, freshman Blake Muller came back to beat UCLA's Jeremy Drean 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-3 to capture the singles title of the Pac-10 Invitational and Wan and Jon Wong won the Invitational doubles title after defeating Washington's Jean-Noel Insausti and Michael Ricks, 9-7.
'As a team, this is one of the best performances I've seen in a long time,' said Cardinal head coach John Whitlinger. 'There is a 'mystical' team champion for this tournament, based on the number of wins, and we had it clinched on Friday. I can't say enough about how well our team played here the past four days. Now, it's down to work to get ready for the NCAA's,' he said.
Bruch, who is ranked 17th in the nation in singles, entered the Pac-10 Championships having lost his last three dual matches. But, during the four-day tournament, Bruch was indeed impressive as he beat two nationally ranked players, including the nation's number four-ranked player in the semifinals. Bruch's victory gives Stanford the past two Pac-10 singles champions, following Sam Warburg's title a year ago.
Wan enjoyed an outstanding tournament as well as his unexpected run to the singles final ended today against his freshman teammate. He won four consecutive matches to reach the finals, including yesterday's straight set win over teammate KC Corkery, the 22nd ranked player in the country. Prior to today's loss, Wan had won his last eight dual matches and 14 of his last 15.
Stanford, which is 15-3 in dual matches and ranked 14th, now turns its attention to the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal will find out its fate on Wednesday, May 4 when the NCAA Tournament field is announced. The NCAA Regionals begin May 13.
Blake Muller (S) d. Jeremy Drean (UCLA), 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-3
James Wan/Jon Wong (S) d. Jean-Noel Insausti/Michael Ricks (Wash) , 9-7