Nolan Paige outlasted his opponent in the No. 4 singles spot to clinch Stanford's 4-1 victory over Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA men's tennis tournament Saturday at Northwestern.
The Cardinal (15-10) meets the host Wildcats, ranked No. 14, in Sunday's second round with a berth in the Round of 16 in Tulsa next weekend at stake.
The Cardinal grabbed the doubles point following a pair of hard-fought, 7-5, victories wins at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots.
Sameer Kumar added to the Cardinal's lead, making quick work of Kenneth Sabacinski, 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 5 spot and Tom Fawcett put on a clinic at the No. 1 spot, dispatching Quentin Monaghan, 6-2, 6-1, to put Stanford on the threshold.
Notre Dame took a match at the No. 6 spot, but Paige stepped up to earn a pressure-filled, 7-6 (3), 7-5, victory for his 10th career match-clinching point.
Northwestern advanced with a 4-1 victory over Valparaiso in a later match.
Pac-12 teams went 5-0 in the first round, though Oregon was eliminated by Oklahoma, 4-2, in Saturday's second round action.