Sun Devils Upset No. 12 Stanford, 4-3
March 10, 2006
Tempe, Ariz. - The Arizona State men's tennis team bucked history today, as they defeated the No. 12 Stanford Cardinal, 4-3, at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. It marked just the second time in 52 attempts that the Sun Devils triumphed over the Cardinal, as they clinched the match in dramatic fashion, a third-set tiebreaker in the number six singles flight.
The Sun Devils began the match on a high note, earning the doubles point with two match victories. In the number one spot, Jonathan Kinsella and Ryan Waits paired together to defeat Stanford's James Pade and Blake Muller, 9-7. Wes Miller and Nick Hegarty also scored a win for the Devils with a 9-7 win over James Wan and Jon Wong to secure the doubles point. Matt Bruch and Chris Rasmussen of Stanford defeated the Sun Devils' pair of TJ Bellama and Mike Beatty in the number two spot, 6-8.
In singles competition, the Devils and Cardinal traded points until the very end in a hotly contested match. Playing in flight one, junior Kinsella defeated Bruch, who was ranked No. 9 in the country by the ITA, 7-5, 7-6 (2). Stanford struck back in flights two through four as Hegarty fell to Pade in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) and Wan defeated Biro, 6-1, 6-1. In the fourth flight, TJ Bellama fell to Muller, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
However, the Sun Devils won the match at the bottom of the order. After Wes Miller outlasted Phil Kao (6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-1), Ryan Waits clinched the match for ASU, taking Stanford's Chris Rasmussen the distance in a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) victory. After dropping the first set, Waits battled back from a deficit in the second set to even the match in the tiebreaker with a 7-4 victory. Then in the third set with both players barely able to stand due to intense cramps, the two played to a stalemate 6-6 to send the match into the tiebreaker. Emerging victorious with a 7-4 victory in the tiebreaker, Waits was met on the court by his teammates who delivered coach Lou Belken with a Gatorade shower to celebrate one of the biggest victories in the program's history.
The Sun Devils return to action on Saturday as they take on the No. 30 California Golden Bears in a Pac-10 match up at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. The match begins at 1 p.m. MST.