Cardinal Tennis Begins Stanford Challenge Against USC and UCLA

April 7, 2005

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COMING UP: The No. 18 ranked Stanford men's tennis team begins a five-match home stand to close out the regular season this weekend, taking on No. 12 USC and No. 7 UCLA at the Taube Tennis Center on Friday and Saturday. The Cardinal have already matched up with both squads this season, falling to the Bruins in February and splitting two early season matches with the Trojans. The two matches will kick-off the Stanford Challenge, a four-match series sponsored by the Cashin Company Realtors.

LAST WEEK: The Cardinal were edged, 4-3, by No. 2 ranked Illinois last week before resuming conference play on the road and posting wins over No. 38 Arizona State and No. 47 Arizona over the weekend. Stanford nearly pulled off an upset of the Fighting Illini on Tuesday, as four of the six singles contests were decided in three sets. Sam Warburg and KC Corkery posted big wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots, as Warburg recorded a straight set win over No. 27 ranked GD Jones and Corkery notched an upset victory over No. 6 Ryler DeHeart. Also posting a win for the Cardinal was Eric McKean, who knocked off Pramod Dabir in three sets at the No. 5 spot. As a doubles tandem, Warburg and Corkery suffered just their second defeat in a dual match this season, falling to Jones and DeHeart by an 8-6 score. Stanford rebounded on Friday, handing No. 38 ranked Arizona State a 6-1 defeat. The Cardinal swept all three doubles matches and took five of six singles contests to record the team's second victory over the Sun Devils this season. James Wan recorded his first victory of the season against a ranked opponent, knocking off No. 96 ranked Christopher Biro at the No. 3 singles position 6-2, 3-6, 1-0. The squad had a tougher test on Saturday, edging past Arizona in Tucson by a 4-3 score. The Wildcats took the doubles point, but the Cardinal stormed back to win singles matches at the top four spots to record the victory. Corkery knocked off his second ranked opponent on the weekend, defeating No. 47 Roger Matalonga 6-4, 6-2.

STANFORD IN THE RANKINGS: The Cardinal dropped to No. 18 in the most recent ITA rankings released on April 5th, despite posting a 2-1 record last week ... Sam Warburg remains the highest ranked Cardinal singles player at No. 2, while KC Corkery leaped from No. 33 to No. 18 in the rankings with some impressive wins last weeks ... The tandem of Warburg and Corkery are the No. 3 ranked duo in the doubles rankings.

CARDINAL NOTES: The Cardinal were edged 4-3 by Illinois last Tuesday, marking the first time that Stanford has suffered a dual match loss at the Taube Tennis Center this season. The Cardinal are 6-1 in home matches ... Coach Whitlinger's squad has been defeated by a 4-3 margin four times this season, with all four losses coming against teams ranked in the top-30 at the time of the match. The Cardinal fell 4-3 to then-No. 30 Oklahoma State and then-No. 12 USC at the National Team Indoors, and were edged by a point at then-No. 4 UCLA in February ... Junior KC Corkery has posted four straight dual match wins in singles play, knocking off No. 6 ranked Ryler DeHeart of Illinois and No. 47 ranked Roger Matalonga of Arizona last week. Corkery is 15-3 in dual match play, and holds a 23-6 overall record this season ... Senior Sam Warburg, the Cardinal's top-ranked singles competitor at No. 2 in the nation, has rebounded from a loss to No. 1 ranked Benedikt Dorsch to post five straight dual match wins. Warburg's streak includes wins over then-No. 22 Sven Swinnen of Oregon and then-No. 27 GD Jones of Illinois ... Senior Phil Sheng broke out of a slump against Arizona on Sunday, defeating Daniel Andrus to snap a 10-match losing skid. Sheng had won seven straight before the streak began at the National Team Indoors in February ... Sophomore James Wan moved back up to the No. 3 singles position and posted a 2-1 record last weekend. Wan is 14-4 in dual matches, and registered his first win over a ranked opponent this season with a three-set victory over No. 96 ranked Christopher Biro of Arizona State on Friday ... The No. 3 ranked doubles tandem of Corkery and Warburg were upset by No. 9 ranked Ryler DeHeart and GD Jones of Illinois last Tuesday, but rebounded to post a win over No. 15 ranked Roger Matalonga and Colin O'Grady of Arizona on Saturday ... Sheng and junior Jon Wong became the 15th different doubles tandem used by Coach Whitlinger this season, as the pairing posted a 1-1 mark at the No. 2 doubles position last weekend.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS: USC enters the week with an 11-9 record and a 3-1 mark in Pac-10 contests ... The Trojans split two conference matches last weekend, sweeping Oregon and falling to Washington in Los Angeles, 4-3 ... USC is ranked No. 13 in the most recent ITA rankings ... The Trojans have faced Stanford twice already this season. USC edged the Cardinal at the National Team Indoor Championship, 4-3, and fell to Stanford by a score of 5-2 in Los Angeles on February 26th ... The Trojan doubles duo of Jamil Al-Agba and Johan Berg is currently ranked No. 30 in the nation ... Al-Agba jumped from No. 28 to No. 10 in the most recent ITA singles rankings ... Drew Hoskins is also ranked in singles play, checking in at No. 62 ... Stanford holds a 54-47 advantage in the all-time series with the Trojans, including the two matches played earlier this season.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA enters the week with a 19-2 overall record and a 4-0 mark in Pac-10 play ... The Bruins are currently ranked No. 6 in the most recent ITA team rankings and are in the midst of a seven-match winning streak following victories over Washington and Oregon last weekend ... UCLA has won the doubles point in 17 of 21 matches this season ... Stanford was one of the few teams to take the doubles point from UCLA this season, but the Bruins rebounded to edge the Cardinal, 4-3, in Los Angeles on February 25th ... UCLA has five different players currently ranked in singles play ... Luben Pampoulov and Benjamin Kohlloeffel are the highest ranked Bruins, checking in at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively ... Kris Kwinta is ranked No. 48, while Philipp Gruendler is ranked No. 66 and Alberto Francis checks in at No. 73 ... Stanford leads the all-time series with UCLA by a slim 53-49 margin.

CORKERY AND WARBURG CAPTURE DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP: The duo of senior Sam Warburg and junior KC Corkery added another championship to go along with their NCAA doubles title from last season. The tandem received a No. 1 seed for the Pacific Coast Doubles Championship at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in early March, and followed through by becoming the first Stanford pairing since 1999 to win the title. Corkery and Warburg received a bye in the first round and won their Round of 64 match against Blake Meister and Eric Oijala of UC San Diego, 6-0, 6-2. The team's next three matches were played using pro-sets because of weather constraints, and the duo rolled through tandems from Texas A&M, San Diego State, and Pepperdine into the semifinals. Warburg and Corkery defeated Cal's Patrick Briaud and Conor Niland in the semifinals and claimed a hard fought victory over Texas A&M's Brett Joelson and Ante Matijevic in the final, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

NEW FACES: The Cardinal welcome three newcomers to the squad as sophomore David Ryan, and freshmen Lee Chang and Phil Kao join the team. Kao claimed two straight singles title at the Northern California sectionals, and joins the squad as one of the top recruits in the nation. Chang is a veteran of the national youth championships, while Ryan is the only left-hander on the team and should contribute in doubles play.

COACHING STAFF: John Whitlinger assumes the head coaching duties this season, following Dick Gould's move to the Director of Tennis position. Whitlinger, a former All-American at Stanford, was coach Gould's assistant for 18 years and served the last five seasons as the associate head coach. David Hodge joins the staff as an assistant coach following two years as the top assistant at Colorado. Hodge played collegiate tennis at Baylor, and competed on the professional tour before beginning his coaching career. Volunteer assistant coach Dave Higaki returns to The Farm for his third season, and serves as director of the renown East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring Program.

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