Four Cardinal Athletes Earn Pac-10 All-Academic honors

June 4, 2008

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STANFORD, Calif. - Juniors Matt Bruch and Blake Muller and sophomore Richard Wire were all named to the Second Team Pac-10 All-Academic squad, and senior Phil Kao earned honorable mention honors, announced today by the Pac-10.

Bruch, who holds a 3.43 cumulative GPA in Economics, spent most of his time on the courts as the Cardinal's No. 2 singles player. Bruch had an overall record of 10-10, and four of those victories came over opponents that were ranked higher than him. His most notable victory was in a dual match with Baylor on February 13, when he bested then tenth-ranked Denes Lukacs 3-6, 6-4 1-0 (7). In doubles, Bruch also went 10-10 with three different partners. At the No. 1 doubles position, he and Muller pulled off two huge upsets against Arizona State's No. 53 T.J. Bellama and Matt Brooklyn, 8-4, on March 28, and Pepperdine's No. 24 Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann, 8-4, in the second round of the NCAA Championships. Bruch's earned a final ranking of No. 87.

Muller has posted a 3.31 GPA in three years as a Communication major. The junior battled his way through the year filling in a the No. 3 and No. 4 singles spots, posting a 17-15 overall record, and taking 12 of those matches into three sets. He recorded two upsets on the year, taking care of business against Baylor's No. 80 David Galic at the Sherwood Cup, 6-2, 6-3, and Washington's No. 118 Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, 6-2, 7-6 (8). Muller was part of three different pairs that went 18-17 in the 2007-08 season. Along with his accomplishments with doubles partner Bruch, Muller paired with Alex Clayton at No. 1 doubles and defeated Arizona State's Bellama and Brooklyn a second time in March, 8-4.

Wire, an undeclared sophomore with a 3.55 GPA, was solid for Stanford all season, going 24-10 playing mostly at No. 3 singles. He also pitched in at No. 2 and No. 4 singles when needed. Wire took down three higher-ranked opponents over the year, defeating South Alabama's No. 68 Jack Baker at the ITA National Indoor Championship, 6-3, 6-3, Hawai'i's No. 25 Andreas Weber in a dual match, 6-3, 7-5, and Southern California's No. 53 Gary Sacks, also in a dual match, 3-6, 7-6, 1-0 (8). In doubles, he and partner Greg Hirshman occupied the No. 3 slot, amassing a 21-11 record. The reached the finals of the ITA Regional Championships in October, falling to teammate Muller and Ted Kelly in the final, 8-2. Wire's final singles ranking put him at No. 117.

Kao has a 3.04 GPA in Economics and posted a 9-12 singles record and a 2-3 doubles record in his final season on The Farm. Kao had a hot March as he went on a four-match winning streak, taking down opponents from Arizona State, Arizona, and Brown. His victory in that span against Arizona State's T.J. Bellama completed a 7-0 shutout of the No. 15 Sun Devils.

To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point-average, have an sophomore status in academics, and be either a starter or a significant contributor.

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