Overcoming every challenge thus far, the Stanford men's tennis team will continue its march toward an undefeated season with two important Pacific-10 Conference matches this weekend.
The top-ranked Cardinal (16-0) visits No. 4 UCLA (11-4) today and No. 9 Southern Cal (10-4) on Saturday, needing victories over both to improve to 18-0. Stanford defeated UCLA, 5-2, at the National Team Indoor Championships in February, but has yet to face USC this season. The Trojans beat Stanford three times last year, the Cardinal's only losses in a 25-3 season.
Stanford was 16-0 last season before losing its first match.
The Cardinal tuned up for the weekend by polishing off pesky California, 4-3, Tuesday in Berkeley.
Stanford captured the doubles point, then relied on strong performances from freshman Scott Humphries, sophomore Grant Elliott and junior Jim Thomas to clinch the victory before the match moved indoors to Harmon Arena for the No. 1 singles and doubles matches.
Elliott and partner Jeff Salzenstein got things rolling with their 8-6 doubles win, then Thomas and Ricky Becker pulled out a 9-8 nailbiter, saving three match points before winning the tiebreaker that clinched the doubles point.
Thomas continued his steady play with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles, Elliott pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win at No. 5, and Humphries came through at No. 2 singles with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 upset of nationally No. 12-ranked Casey Louie.
Stanford is now 5-0 in Pac-10 Southern Division action, moving forward to perhaps its first conference crown since 1988. Only six matches remain, but four of them are against the Bruins and Trojans.
The Cardinal women also is chasing a conference title, and continues its possible championship run today and Saturday at the Stanford Tennis Stadium.
Stanford, ranked seventh nationally, takes a 3-0 Pac-10 mark (14-2 overall) against No. 25 Southern Cal (1-4 and 6-9) today at 1:30 p.m. The real test comes Saturday against No. 4 UCLA (4-1, 14-2) at 1 p.m.
Track and field
Stanford athletes will continue their quest for Pac-10 and NCAA qualifying marks when they host Oregon, Fresno State and Idaho in scoring meets Saturday at Stanford Stadium. The first event will be the women's (non-scoring) hammer at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's hammer at noon.
The first running event will be at 1 p.m.
The Stanford women will compete against Oregon, Fresno State and Idaho. The men will go against Oregon and Fresno State.
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