Stanford junior Bradley Klahn clinched an unlikely comeback Thursday night, much to the delight of the hometown fans, to beat Texas A&M, 4-2, in the Round of 16 of the NCAA team tennis championship at Taube Family Tennis Center.
The Cardinal lost the doubles point in a tiebreaker, Klahn and partner Ryan Thacher on the wrong end. Both players made up for it with impressive singles wins. The last time Stanford won a match after losing the doubles was more than a month ago, against USF.
The Cardinal (21-5), which won its 13th straight, its longest streak in 10 years, meets top-ranked and unbeaten Virginia (34-0) in Saturday's quarterfinal match at 4 p.m.
"They are an incredible team; very solid," Cardinal coach John Whitlinger said. "We are going to give it our best shot."
Alex Clayton got the comeback started at No. 3 singles. The senior won his match, 7-5, 6-3, to tie the score. It was his ninth win over the last 10 matches.
"I really liked the way these guys played," Whitlinger said. "They get to come out here again and play on Saturday in front of their home crowd."
Texas A&M regained the lead following Junior Ore's 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles, but Matt Kandath tied the match with a 7-5, 6-0 victory at No. 5 singles. Thacher followed with a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory at the No. 2 spot to give the Cardinal a 3-2 lead.
Denis Lin dropped his first set but forced a third set and was in an intense match at No. 4 singles before Klahn finished the game after a lengthy rally on the game's final point.
Klahn, ranked ninth in the nation, won his match, 6-4, 6-3, over No. 17 Austin Krajicek after suffering the rare loss in doubles. Klahn and Thacher lost just their sixth doubles match, and their second since Feb. 20.
"Give Stanford a lot of credit," Aggies' coach Steve Denton said. "I thought that their top three guys played exceptional tonight. They were just a little better than us in those spots."
Virginia advanced with a 4-0 victory over Illinois.
"It was a good effort on our part and a good start to the tournament after a long day," Cavaliers' coach Brian Boland said. "We did not get on until three hours after our scheduled starting time, but that is just part of the adversity you have to deal with so I am proud of our guys. We started well and kept that momentum."
In other Round of 16 matches: Defending NCAA champ USC advanced with a 4-0 win over Georgia Tech; Georgia eliminated Duke, 4-1; Tennessee bounced Cal, 4-2; 4, Kentucky knocked out Florida, 4-2; Ohio State eliminated Tulsa, 4-0; and Baylor took care of UCLA, 4-2.
Four Stanford players earned Louisville Slugger First Team All-West Region honors it was announced Thursday.
Juniors Ashley Hansen and Sarah Hassman and sophomores Teagan Gerhart and Jenna Rich were all named first-team selections, matching the most in program history.
Stanford has had at least one All-American every season since 1998, when Michele Acosta, Becky Blevins and Marcy Crouch became the first All-Americans in school history. Last season, senior Alissa Haber joined Jessica Mendoza as the only four-time All-Americans in Stanford history.
Hansen earned her third consecutive all-region honor after being selected as a first team member as a freshman in 2009 and a second team member a year ago.
Gerhart was named to the all-region team for the second straight year as she was a second-team pick as a rookie. Hassman and Rich are recognized for the first times in their careers.
Hansen became one of eight players in school history to earn three all-region awards, joining Sarah Beeson, Haber, Lauren Lappin, Mendoza, Catalina Morris, Missy Penna and Dana Sorenson.
Hansen, the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, leads the Pac-10 and the nation in batting average (.506), while also topping the conference in hits (88), doubles (24), slugging percentage (.833) and on-base percentage (.568).
In 174 at-bats, Hansen has only stuck out four times this season, making her the second toughest player in the nation to strike out.
Stanford opens NCAA regional play at home Friday night against Pacific at 6 p.m.
Stanford shot an even par 284 on Thursday to open the NCAA Central Regional in fourth place, seven strokes behind leader Illinois.
Senior Graham Brockington and junior David Chung each shot a two-under round of 69 and are tied for eighth. Seven players are tied for the first round lead at 68. Twenty-four golfers shot par or better at the Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind.
Stanford shot a 305 in the second round Thursday, good for 18th place at the halfway point of the NCAA Championship at The Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
The Bruins continue to hold the top spot on the leaderboard at 584.
Stanford middle blocker Carly Wopat was named to the 12-player roster for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team, which will represent the United States at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship (U-20), July 20-31 in Peru.
The team will train July 10-19 at St. Mary's in Moraga, under the direction of U.S. Women's Junior National Team coach Rob Browning, also the Gaels coach.
Track and field
Stanford will have 19 women competing in 23 individual events and a relay, while the men will have 23 athletes in 28 events and a relay for the NCAA West Region meet in Eugene May 26-28.