Stanford Set For Rematches Against USC and UCLA
April 1, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - After jumping out to a 2-0 start in the Pac-10 season, the Stanford men's tennis team moved up in the ranks to sit at No. 25, their first top-25 ranking of the season. The Cardinal will travel to Los Angeles this weekend to try to avenge previous losses on the season to No. 5 USC and No. 4 UCLA.
Junior Matt Bruch earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for his outstanding performance last week against then No. 75 Brown, No. 15 Arizona State, and No. 55 Arizona, going 6-0 on the weekend. Two of Bruch's singles matches were match-clinching victories, while he teamed up with teammate Blake Muller to take down the Sun Devils' then No. 53 duo of T.J. Bellama and Matt Brooklyn. Despite his stellar outing, Bruch slid to No. 67 in the singles rankings. Freshman Alex Clayton again retained his No. 2 ranking following a solid weekend with only one loss in singles and one loss in doubles. Sophomore Richard Wire also kept his ranked status, being assigned the No. 95 position.
On Friday, Stanford will take on USC at 1:30 p.m. The Trojans got the better of the Cardinal, 5-1, on the second day of the Stanford Challenge back on February 2. The match was marred by rain delays and only singles competition was played. The Trojans feature four ranked players in No. 23 Mathieu Dehaine, No. 38 Harel Srugo, No. 45 Holden Seguso, and No. 114 Haythem Abid. USC also started Pac-10 play with two 6-1 wins over Oregon and Washington in the Pacific Northwest last weekend.
Saturday will bring the Cardinal to the Westwood campus to face UCLA. The Bruins are 15-1 overall, with their only loss coming from top-ranked Virginia. UCLA has four ranked singles players as well. The impressive lineup includes No. 7 Robert Farah, No. 34 Kaes Van't Hof, No. 53 Gary Sacks, and No. 87 Jaak Poldma. The Bruins defeated Stanford, 5-2, in the teams' last meeting at the Taube Family Tennis Center on February 1.
The Cardinal will have their hands full this weekend with teams Head Coach John Whitlinger has labeled 'potential NCAA Champions' but will look to continue their three-game winning streak in the City of Angels.