Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gasp! Stanford men drop NCAA opener

   The unthinkable occurred Friday.
   The Stanford men lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 35 appearances, falling to No. 20 LSU 4-2 in Malibu. The No. 40 Cardinal (12-12) played without injured freshman Trey Strobel at No. 6 singles.
   No. 42 Chris Simpson clinched the victory for LSU (16-11) by beating No. 50 John Morrissey 7-5, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
   Stanford has won 17 NCAA men's team titles but none since 2000, when the Cardinal won its fifth championship in six years.
Riki, left, and Ben McLachlan of Cal.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Meanwhile, the No. 18 Cal men defeated No. 33 Florida State 4-1 in Gainesville, Fla. Senior Riki McLachlan of New Zealand returned from a three-month injury layoff for the Bears, leading 6-2, 2-5 at No. 6 singles when the match was halted because Cal had clinched the overall victory.
   Riki's brother and teammate, Ben, defeated Dominic Cotrone 7-5, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Ben, a junior, is ranked No. 38,  and Cotrone is No. 92.
   The Bears (15-9) will play Denver, which beat host and No. 15 Florida 4-3, today at 1 p.m. PDT.
   The Sacramento State men lost to host and No. 4 USC 4-0. No. 16 Ray Sarmiento of the Trojans led No. 117 Marek Marksoo 7-6 (5) at No. 1 singles when the match was stopped.
   In the women's competition, No. 8 Cal and No. 12 Stanford breezed, but No. 40 Saint Mary's lost.
   Host Cal dominated Stony Brook 4-0. Zsofi Susanyi, ranked fifth in singles, returned for the Bears after suffering an undisclosed injury on April 26. The sophomore from Hungary routed Jackie Altansarnai 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
   The Bears (17-5) will face No. 25 Auburn, a 4-2 winner over Saint Mary's, today at noon at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
   Host Stanford blanked Miami of Ohio 4-0 behind Nicole Gibbs, the NCAA defending champion in singles and doubles. The junior from Santa Monica crushed Nimisha Mohan 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.
   The Cardinal (17-4) will meet No. 22 Rice, which edged No. 53 Pepperdine 4-3,today at 1 p.m. at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

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