PALO ALTO, Calif. – Defending national champion Stanford defeated 32nd-ranked Georgia Tech, 4-0, Saturday in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships at the Taupe Family Tennis Stadium.
The win moves the second-seeded Cardinal (22-2), seeking its fifth straight NCAA team title, into the round of 16 next weekend in Athens, Ga. The Jackets, who played without their No. 1 singles and doubles player Benjamin Cassaigne, ended its dual-match season at 16-8.
“Stanford knows how to win,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “They are very good frontrunners. Once they get on top of you they just get better and better. They came out strong, had a good crowd behind them and played up to the level that they are capable of playing. Our guys hung in there and fought hard. There were no disappointments.”
Cassaigne, the 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, withdrew from the lineup minutes before the match due to an illness.
“It was unfortunate for Benjamin to have this happen, especially five minutes before the match started,” Thorne said. “I think it shocked us a little bit in the doubles. We were fine in the singles. Everybody was ready to play, but anytime you’re missing your conference’s player of the year, it makes things very difficult.”
The Cardinal won two of the three doubles matches to take the team doubles point, then got wins at the No. 5, 2 and 1 singles positions to gain the four points necessary to clinch the win.
Stanford opened the day by winning at the top two doubles positions to take the doubles point. The Cardinal’s eighth-ranked doubles team of Ryan Wolters and K.J. Hippensteel downed Tech’s tandem of Roberto Suarez and Robert Wright, 8-2, at the No. 2 position, and 10th-ranked Geoff Abrams and Alex Kim topped Tech’s Romain Coirault and Tim Bibby, 8-2, at the No. 1 spot. Coirault filled in for Cassaigne at No. 1 doubles.
The No. 3 doubles match between Stanford’s Scotty Scott and Ali Ansari, and Tech’s Sergio Aguirre and Matt Cozad was suspended after the Cardinal clinched the doubles point.
Stanford won first sets in five of the six singles matches following doubles. Scotty Scott put the Cardinal up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sergio Aguirre at No. 5 singles, before 29th-ranked Geoff Abrams moved the Cardinal to within a point of the match with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Roberto Suarez at No. 2.
Fourth-ranked Ryan Wolters clinched the match for the Cardinal with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Matt Cozad, who moved into the No. 1 singles slot after Cassaigne withdrew. The three remaining singles matches were then suspended. Tech’s Jason Jeong and Tim Bibby had forced third sets at the No. 4 and 6 positions, and Coirault was down a set and trailing in the second.
“Stanford is a very deep team,” Thorne said. “We hung in there in the lower parts of the lineup, and that was encouraging.”
#5 Stanford 4, #32 Georgia Tech 0
Doubles (Stanford wins the point)1. #10 Geoff Abrams/Alex Kim (S)d. Romain Coirault/Tim Bibby (GT) 8-22. #8 Ryan Wolters/K.J. Hippensteel (S) d. Roberto Suarez/Robert Wright (GT) 8-23. Sergio Aguirre/Matt Cozad (GT) vs. Scotty Scott/Ali Ansari (S) DNF
Singles 1. #4 Ryan Wolters (S) d. Matt Cozad (GT), 6-3, 6-4 2. #29 Geoff Abrams (S) d. Roberto Suarez (GT) 6-1, 6-4 3. Romain Coirault (GT) vs. #32 K.J. Hippensteel (S) DNF 4. Jason Jeong (GT) vs. #t56 Alex Kim (S) DNF 5. Scotty Scott (S) d. Sergio Aguirre (GT) 6-3, 6-1 6. Tim Bibby (GT) vs. Ali Ansari (S) DNF