No. 40 Stanford Falls To Fourth-Ranked Baylor In HP Cup

Feb. 13, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 40 Stanford men's tennis team came out firing today at the Taube Family Tennis Center, but fell short to fourth-ranked Baylor, 5-2 in the second annual HP Cup. HP Chief Executive Officer, and former Baylor tennis player, Mark Hurd was on site for the action as the Bears captured the trophy for the second time and the Cardinal suffered their fifth loss of the season.

Stanford did not go down without a fight, however, as they jumped out to an early lead by capturing the doubles point. Stanford's Matt Bruch and Ted Kelly traded games back and forth with Lars Poerschke and Dominik Mueller at No. 2 doubles, eventually falling 8-6 to the Bears, giving Baylor the early advantage. Meanwhile, Greg Hirshman and Richard Wire catapulted out to a 6-0 lead in their match and fought off a comeback by Baylor's David Galic and Jordan Rux to win at No. 3 doubles, 8-6, evening it up. Minutes after Hirshman and Wire's win, Blake Muller and Alex Clayton would clinch the doubles point for Stanford as Clayton smashed the overhead winner that hit a Baylor player for the Cardinal victory, 8-5.

'We came out bouncing, with a lot of energy, and the players fed off one another,' said Stanford head coach John Whitlinger. 'We've been working hard at doubles and our hard work and focus paid off.'

In singles, the Cardinal did not fare as well, but kept the Bears sweating and on their toes with many close matches. Wire, nationally-ranked No. 75, was neck-and-neck with No. 80 Galic the entire match in No. 3 singles. Neither player had more than a game in hand on the other in the first set, until Galic stole the set 7-5. The story was the same in the second set, until Galic broke away with a 5-3 lead and never looked back, capturing the set and the match, 6-3.

Muller won his first set in No. 4 singles, 6-4, but Baylor's Gwen Corches fought back in another close match where the two players were never separated by more than two games, and won the second set, 7-6, forcing the tiebreaker. Muller went up 6-3 in the third set, but Corches would rally to break the draw and capture the match, 10-8.

Aside from the doubles performances, the highlight of the day came from No. 96 Bruch who upset No. 10 Denes Lukacs in No. 2 singles. Although Baylor was already headed for victory, holding a 4-1 edge over the Cardinal, Bruchavenged his 6-3 defeat in the first set, taking the second set, 6-4, and sending the match into the first tiebreaker of the day (Muller completed his match after Bruch). Bruch went on to swipe the match from Lukacs in a tight third set, 10-7.

'That was a great effort by Matt to win that match,' added Whitlinger. 'He fought back after he knew the [overall] match was already lost, and that's the kind of spirit I want on this team. Overall, I thought the team did a great job today of fighting and competing. We've played a tough schedule, and all of our losses have come from top-ten teams, but I think we're better for it, we're getting better. I give all the credit in the world to Baylor today, they came back from an early deficit and battled. [Baylor Head coach] Matt Knoll has done a good job with their program and they played well.

The Cardinal will have nine days off from competition and look forward to meeting Boise State on Friday, February 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Taube Family Tennis Center. The non-conference match up will mark Stanford's sixth home game in a row.

No. 40 Stanford vs. No. 4 Baylor - HP Cup
Taube Family Tennis Center
Stanford, Calif. - 02/13/08
Conditions: Sunny, breezy, low 60's

Final Score: Baylor 5 - Stanford 2
Singles Results: Baylor 5 - Stanford 1
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 3, 2, 4
1) Lars Poerschke (B) d. #2 Alex Clayton (S), 6-3, 6-2
2) #96 Matt Bruch (S) d. #10 Denes Lukacs (B), 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7)
3) #80 David Galic (B) d. #75 Richard Wire (S), 7-5, 6-3
4) Gwen Corches (B) d. Blake Muller (S), 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8)
5) Jordan Rux (B) d. Kevin Kaiser (S), 6-2, 6-3
6) Dominik Mueller (B) d. Gregory Hirshman (S), 6-3, 6-2

Doubles Results: Stanford wins the doubles point
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1) Muller/Clayton (S) d. Galic/Rux (B), 8-5
2) Poerschke/Mueller (B) d. Bruch/Ted Kelly (S), 8-6
3) Hirshman/Wire (S) d. Lukacs/Atilla Bucko (B), 8-6

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