NCAA men's team tennis tournament: Three of five Pac-12 schools advance
The NCAA men's team tournament continued on Saturday with five Pac-12 teams in action. Two of the participating squads were hosting while the other three were visiting other parts of the country. Of the five, three will advance to Sunday's second round. Here's how it unfolded:
Top seeded USC took to the home court against the Idaho Vandals Saturday afternoon. It was the first step in their drive to recapture the NCAA title they had previously won four consecutive times from 2009 to 2012. And things started auspiciously. USC sent the Vandals home by claiming all of the points and winning each match in straight sets. The win sets up a Sunday match for the Trojans, at home, against Oklahoma State at 1pm PT. Naturally, warming up will be imperative:
— USC Men's Tennis (@USCMensTennis) May 10, 2014
Also playing as a seeded favorite, the UCLA Bruins hosted the Mustangs of Cal Poly. As the tournament’s fifth seed, the Bruins are fresh off a Pac-12 tournament victory which saw them knock off rival USC. Today’s match, however, saw fewer fireworks as they advanced to Sunday’s second round against San Diego. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that in advancing there weren’t some tough shots to be made:
— Kelly Phillips (@kphilphoto) May 10, 2014
Oregon, making their first tournament appearance in a decade, didn’t make a long stay of it. Playing far from home in Athens, Georgia, the Ducks faced off against North Carolina State. While it was a terrific season for the Ducks, it unfortunately ended in the southeast corner of the country, falling 4-2 to the Wolfpack. Losing, however, wasn’t the end all. There was still some history to be taken away from the tournament appearance:
First ever UO wins in NCAA team competition as Ducks fell 4-2 to NCSt RT @OregonMTennis Daniel Sardu and Jayson Amos win #4 and #5 singles.
— Rob Moseley (@GoDucksMoseley) May 10, 2014
Deep in the heart of Texas, the Stanford Cardinal took to the court against Tulsa. The Conference USA champs gave the Cardinal all they could handle and eventually dismissed the 15 time NCAA champions. All the season long the Cardinal battled:
Plenty of "mix-and-match" for singles and doubles lineups this year. Cardinal has used multiple combinations due to injury, matchups, etc.
— StanfordMTennis (@StanfordTennis) May 10, 2014
but on the biggest stage, the mixing and matching didn’t quite work.
Of course Stanford wasn’t the only Pac-12 team deep in Texas looking to advance in the dance. Cal drew a first round match with Texas Tech and eliminated the Red Raiders, 4-0. They got off to a fast start, which is always a good thing in these big, often nerve-wracking tournaments:
Bears have won 5 of 6 1st sets as Nikhil won 7-5 on 6
— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 10, 2014
In winning, the Golden Bears have earned a shot at the regional host and eighth seeded, Texas A&M Aggies.