No. 13 Stanford Upsets No. 4 Duke in NCAA Round of 16
May 20, 2006
No. 13 seed Stanford rode its home crowd and home court advantage to a 4-0 upset over No. 4 seed Duke in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships today at the Taube Tennis Center. The Cardinal is now 18-3 overall and will next play in the quarter finals Sunday at 4:00 pm vs. the winner of tonight's Baylor-Washington match.
The Cardinal, attempting to win their 18th NCAA Championship, improved their record in NCAA Championship competition to 92-12.
'Anytime you play a team like Duke, with their history, I can't remember the last time we played them, but we've always had great battles, said Cardinal head coach John Whitlinger. 'I knew we were going to get another one today. They've had a great year, ACC Champions. And we've had a very good year as well. We're 18-3 right now, and I've always had a lot of confidence in our team.'
'Our ranking is very low, we never felt that we were a 13th-ranked team,' he said, 'but you have to go out and prove it. And that was a start today. I'm very proud of our team, up and down the line. Winning the doubles point, which in NCAA competition or in any dual match, is a very important thing. We were pretty solid in middle of our singles lineup and that's where we won today. We're looking forward to playing tomorrow,' said Whitlinger, the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
The Cardinal were in control of the match from the beginning. Stanford jumped out quickly in doubles, earned the point after winning at No. 1 and No. 2, then used the middle of its singles lineup to win at No. 3, No. 2 and No. 4 to end the match and send Stanford to the quarter finals for the first time since 2004
Stanford used an enthusiastic crowd to propel itself to victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and earn the doubles point. The Cardinal led at all three doubles positions early against the Blue Devils and never trailed in any match until Duke's No. 3 team won five straight games to move on top 6-5.
But it was at the top two doubles spots where Stanford never relinquished its early lead. KC Corkery and James Pade, ranked 16th in the nation, jumped on top of Duke's Joey Atas and Jonathan Stokke early and never let up as they won 8-1. Atas and Stokke are ranked 17th in the country. At No. 2 doubles, the Cardinal's freshman tandem of Matt Bruch and Blake Muller also jumped out to an early lead and held on to beat Stephen Amritraj and Peter Rodrigues, 8-5.
Leading 1-0 entering singles, Stanford won five of the six first sets to put itself in position to close out the Blue Devils.
Pade, playing No. 3 singles, gave Stanford a 2-0 lead after he Rodrigues, ranked 67th in the nation, 6-4, 6-4. Pade improved his record to 28-7 overall, 19-3 in dual matches and 3-0 in NCAA competition this season.
Bruch, who is ranked 16th in the country, then finished off Stokke, the 46th ranked player in the country, 6-3, 6-4. Like Pade, Bruch has won all three of his post-season matches while improving to 28-8 overall and 10-5 in duals.
The match clincher came moments after Bruch's victory gave Stanford a 3-0 lead. James Wan, at No. 4 singles, beat Duke's Atas, 6-4, 6-3. The Cardinal, ranked 66th nationally, is now 25-7 overall and 18-2 in dual matches.