Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stanford men to host No. 2 USC, No. 4 UCLA

Steve Johnson, now playing professionally, led USC to the last
four NCAA men's team titles. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   It used to be a showdown when the Stanford men played intrastate rivals USC and UCLA.
   While the Trojans and Bruins have remained national powers, the Cardinal has gone into a tailspin.
   Sure, Stanford extended its winning streak to four matches Wednesday with a 7-0 whitewashing of visiting Saint Mary's. But all of those matches came at home against unranked opponents.
   Stanford, which spent decades at or near the top of men's college tennis, has plummeted to No. 49 in the national rankings. Meanwhile, USC and UCLA are No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.
   The Cardinal (7-5) will open their Pacific-12 Conference season against the Trojans (17-2) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and the Bruins (14-1) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., both at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Stanford's campus.
   Steve Johnson, now playing professionally and ranked No. 138 in the world, led USC to the last four NCAA men's team titles.
   Saturday's match will be the first televised by the Pac-12 Network, which will join the contest in progress at 4 p.m.
   No. 49 Stanford def. Saint Mary's 7-0 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: No. 54 John Morrissey (S) def. Jesse Kiuru 6-3, 6-3. Records: Stanford 7-5, Saint Mary's 8-8.
   No. 55 Tulane and USF tied 2-2 in a rain-shortened match in San Francisco. No. 1 singles: Dominik Koepfer (T) def. Thai Tu 6-0, 6-0. Records: Tulane 11-5-1, USF 7-4-1.

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