The Stanford men's and women's tennis teams have something in common as both will compete in their respective NCAA tournaments beginning next week. The Cardinal women, however, will open at home while the men will have to hit the road for the second straight year.
The Stanford men (14-5) will be making their 35th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cardinal is headed to Waco, Texas, and will square off against Tulsa (15-12) in its opener. Host Baylor (23-5) faces Texas A&M Corpus-Christi (19-9, 6-0 Southland) in the other first-round match.
Meanwhile, it has been another impressive season for the Stanford women. The Cardinal was the nation's last remaining undefeated team at 13-0 before suffering a 4-3 home loss to UCLA on April 4. The loss was Stanford's first in nearly a year, dating to last season, when the Cardinal won its final six matches en route to capturing its 18th national championship (17 NCAA, 1 AIAW).
Stanford, which finished third in the ultra-competitive Pac-12, was ranked No. 1 for the first month of the season but checks in at No. 9 in the latest edition of the ITA rankings (as of April 22). The next edition of the rankings, which will be used throughout the postseason, will be released on Thursday.
Stanford owns a 129-16 record in the postseason since the NCAA Tournament went to its present format in 1982. The most storied program in college tennis, Stanford defeated No. 3 Texas A&M in a 4-3 thriller to capture its 17th NCAA title last year. No. 12 Stanford became the lowest-seeded team to win an NCAA title, also knocking off No. 5 USC, No. 4 Georgia and No. 1 Florida along the way. The championship also extended Stanford's record streak of 37 years in a row with at least one NCAA title and paved the way for a 19th consecutive Directors' Cup.
Taube Family Tennis Stadium will play host to NCAA first- and second-round competition on May 9-10.
In the first round, Tulsa (17-5) faces Long Beach State (20-2) at 11 a.m., and Stanford takes on Quinnipiac at 2 p.m. On May 10, the first-round winners will meet at 1 p.m.
The final 16 teams square off at the NCAA Tennis Championships, hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens beginning May 15. The national championship matches are set for May 20.
The Stanford men, meanwhile, begin their NCAA journey away from home for the second consecutive season, dropping a 4-2 first-round decision to LSU last year in Malibu.
Stanford currently stands at No. 27 in the latest edition of the ITA rankings. The Cardinal finished third in the highly competitive Pac-12 and earned an at-large bid thanks to a strong finishing kick in the regular season -- climbing 25 spots in the poll during the month of April. The Cardinal posted four victories over top-40 opponents, including No. 16 California and No. 22 Boise State, while four of its five losses were against teams ranked in the top 10.
Stanford owns a 103-19 record in the postseason since the NCAA Tournament went to its present format in 1977, participating in all but three tournaments. During that time, Stanford has won 15 NCAA team titles, with the most recent crown coming back in 2000 after defeating VCU 4-0.
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