NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships: Four from Pac-12 advance to Sunday
Five teams from the Pac-12 played Saturday in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament, with four advancing to Sunday’s second round.
Cal started its tournament on an upset high after downing NC State in its first-round match on Friday, but the Golden Bears’ luck came to an end Saturday with their 4-0 loss to 11th-seeded Texas on the Longhorns’ home court.
Texas took charge from the outset, winning its doubles matches on courts 1 (6-3) and 3 (6-2) to take the first available point. The Longhorns then won four of six first sets in singles play and only needed to claim three courts to sweep the match. Texas’ Colin Markes took down Cal’s Jacob Brumm (6-1, 1-6, 6-1) to end things on court 6.
Cal concludes its season with a 12-10 record but gets to cheer on Billy Griffith in the NCAA singles tourney starting May 23. Griffith will also join fellow senior J.T. Nishimura in the NCAA doubles tournament, set to begin May 24.
That’s the end of the line for the Bears in the NCAA team tournament, but don’t forget that Billy will play in NCAA singles starting May 23 and Billy & JT will play in NCAA doubles starting May 24 in Winston-Salem, NC.
— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 12, 2018
UCLA cruised from there, winning all six first sets and picking off the Vandal opposition on courts 2, 5 and 3.
Here’s the team clincher from court 3, courtesy of Keegan Smith:
Keegan Smith clinched the 4-0 win for UCLA with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph on court three! pic.twitter.com/OkPfFYlVv0
— UCLA Men's Tennis (@uclatennis) May 12, 2018
Up next for UCLA is San Diego, the WCC’s tournament champion, starting at 9 a.m. PT on Sunday.
On the Cardinal’s home court, Stanford completed its 11th shutout of the season Saturday with a 4-0 win over New Mexico State.
Stanford’s Axel Geller and Timothy Sah attacked right out of the gate, posting a 6-0 doubles win on court 3. That left Eric Fomba and Sameer Kumar to clinch the doubles point (6-4) on court 2.
Fomba stifled his singles opponent with a 6-0, 6-0 win on court 4 to bring the team score to 2-0. Two more dominant performances by his Cardinal teammates followed on courts 5 and 3, where David Wilcynski notched a 6-0, 6-3 victory over NMSU’s Mauri Benitez, and Sameer Kumar finished 6-1, 6-1 over Sergi Espias.
Stanford faces Ole Miss in the second round Sunday at 2 p.m. PT. It’s been 21 years since these teams have matched up, but how’s this for a fun fact: Stanford head coach Paul Goldstein was a junior on that 1997 squad that defeated Ole Miss in the NCAA semifinals and went on to win the national championship.
It's a 4-0 victory for Stanford over New Mexico State.
— Stanford Men's Tennis (@StanfordTennis) May 12, 2018
Another Pac-12 team, another sweep: Oregon took down Dartmouth, 4-0, on Saturday, advancing the Ducks to the second round of the tournament for the third time in as many years.
Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry got things going for the Ducks in doubles play, winning 6-3 on court 2. That set up Armando Soermarno and Charles Roberts for the doubles clincher on court 3 and, indeed, they locked it up with a 6-4 victory.
In singles, five of six opening sets went to Oregon. Akihiro Tanaka was the first to win his singles match, going 6-4, 6-1 over Dartmouth’s Dan Martin on court 3. Thomas Laurent, a junior from Montpellier, France, was next in line with a straight-sets sweep over Charlie Broom on court 1 (6-3, 6-3). The final team point came from court 4, where Ty Gentry defeated Max Fliegner (6-4, 6-1).
Oregon takes on No. 9 seed Texas Christian on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT on the Horned Frogs’ home court in Fort Worth, Texas.
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) May 12, 2018
The 10th-seeded USC Trojans wrapped up a long day of winning for the Pac-12, bouncing UC Santa Barbara, 4-1, Saturday evening.
USC secured the doubles point with ease, courtesy of a 6-1 win on court 1 from Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, followed by a 6-3 victory on court 3 by Daniel Cukierman and Tanner Smith.
But the Trojans only won two of the six first sets in the singles competition, and four of the matches ended up going to three sets. Thibault Forget scored first for USC on the singles courts, topping Santa Barbara’s Anders Holm (6-2, 6-3) on court 3.
Victor Krustev kept UCSB in the match with a court 6 win over Jake DeVine, but that would be the Gauchos’ last win of the day. USC's Riley Smith secured court 5 in three sets, leaving courts 1, 2 and 3 to jockey for the final team point. It would be Brandon Holt clinching on court 1 with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win, sending the Trojans to the second round.
USC awaits a 1 p.m. PT date with Harvard on Sunday.
— USC Men's Tennis (@USCMensTennis) May 13, 2018