Stanford Downs Sacramento State, Advances To Face Pepperdine In NCAA Second Round

May 8, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - The ninth-ranked Stanford men's tennis team defeated Sacramento State 4-0 today in NCAA First Round action at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, earning its second consecutive trip to the second round of the tournament.

The Hornets jumped in front in doubles, as Marko Starcevic and Holden Ching surprised No. 40 senior Blake Muller and junior Richard Wire for the 8-5 victory at No. 2. Moments later, senior Matt Bruch and sophomore Ted Kelly, playing together for the first time this season, evened the score with an 8-4 win at No. 3.

Stanford's top pair of No. 28 freshmen Ryan Thacher and Bradley Klahn then captured the doubles point by finishing off No. 58 Anton Stryhas and Kiryl Harbatsiuk, 8-5, as Sacramento State was unable to return Thacher's winning serve.

In singles, Ryan Thacher extended the Cardinal lead to 2-0 after quickly dispatching Jason Smith, 6-3, 6-1. Greg Hirshman then got on the board, as the sophomore was needed to play at No. 6 singles after Stanford head coach John Whitlinger made the call to not play No. 21 sophomore Alex Clayton following the doubles matches. The San Diego native rewarded his coach's decision with an impressive victory over Artur Klimenka, 6-4, 6-1 to make it 3-0.

Both Bruch and No. 34 Klahn were on the cusp of earning the clincher, but Klahn got there first, putting away Kiryl Harbatsiuk 6-3 in the second set after battling to a 7-5 victory in the first.

'I was very impressed with Sacramento State,' said Whitlinger. 'They played a very good match. I think we could have been a little more solid, but I was impressed with them. We're happy to have won 4-0 and look forward to tomorrow's match.'

Stanford, now 19-5 on the season, will face No. 17 Pepperdine in tomorrow's second round match at 3 p.m. at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, as the Waves were victorious over No. 40 California 4-1 earlier in the day on The Farm.

Tomorrow's match will be hotly contested, as Pepperdine downed the Cardinal 4-2 in last year's NCAA Second Round match in Malibu, Calif.

'It will be very tough,' added Whitlinger. 'Adam [Steinberg] does a great job with them, and they like playing here. They beat a good Cal team today and not that long ago they won a national championship at this stadium. We beat them 6-1 earlier in the year but that was a while ago and tomorrow is a new day. They are going to bring a lot of energy like they always do and we will have to be ready to play.'

The women's side will also be playing tomorrow at Taube, with the No. 13 Cardinal facing Wichita State at 12 p.m. and No. 25 Louisiana State matching up with No. 50 Long Beach State at 9 a.m. Ticket prices for two-day reserved tickets are as follows: $20 (all-tournament), $15 (adult/general admission) and $10 (student/child/senior general admission). Single-day tickets are priced as follows: $8 (reserved), $6 (adult/general admission) and $4 (student/child/senior general admission). Students must show a valid school ID.

May 8, 2009 - Stanford Calif.
NCAA Men's Tennis Championship - First Round
No. 9 Stanford 4, Sacramento State 0

1) No. 28 Thacher/Klahn (STAN) d. No. 58 Stryhas/Harbatsiuk (SAC) 8-5
2) Starcevic/Ching (SAC) d. No. 40 Wire/Muller (STAN) 8-5
3) Bruch/Kelly (STAN) d. Smith/Klimenka (SAC) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

1) No. 34 Bradley Klahn (STAN) d. Kiryl Harbatsiuk (SAC) 7-5, 6-3*
2) Ryan Thacher (STAN) d. Jason Smith (SAC) 6-3, 6-1
3) Matt Bruch (STAN) led Anton Stryhas (SAC) 6-3, 5-3, aban.
4) Marko Starcevic (SAC) led Richard Wire (STAN) 3-6, 7-6, 2-0, adan.
5) Holden Ching (SAC) led Blake Muller (STAN) 3-6, 6-3, 1-1, aban.
6) Greg Hirshman (STAN) d. Artur Klimenka (SAC) 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 1
* denotes clinching match

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