STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford won three consecutive singles matches after falling behind 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006. The Cardinal’s 4-2 victory against Texas A&M in the third round was backed by a strong effort from its big three and inspired by an electric atmosphere on Thursday night at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Despite losing the doubles point, No. 8 Stanford (21-5, 5-1 Pac-10) extended its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches. The 13-match winning streak is the Cardinal’s longest since an 18-match stretch in 2001.
Thursday’s victory was the most memorable to date. Faced with an early 1-0 deficit after dropping the doubles point, the Cardinal rebounded by taking four first sets in singles play. Stanford last won a match when losing the doubles point back on April 18 against San Francisco in a 6-1 triumph.
In a battle of evenly matched teams, the energy from a raucous crowd provided Stanford with enough momentum to rally for the win.
Winners of six in a row entering the postseason, Texas A&M wrapped up its season at 29-6.
Ninth-ranked Bradley Klahn provided the clincher with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 position, defeating No. 17 Austin Krajicek after suffering a rare loss in doubles with partner Ryan Thacher.
The Aggies took a 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point. With matches on courts two and three already split, the doubles point came down to a battle of top-five duos at the No. 1 spot. The nation’s fourth-ranked tandem of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek came out on top, outlasting the third-ranked team of Klahn and Thacher 9-8 (8). It was only the sixth loss of the year for Klahn and Thacher, and only the second since Feb. 20.
But any momentum Texas A&M generated by winning the doubles point quickly evaporated.
Stanford controlled four of the six first sets, with Alex Clayton’s 7-5, 6-3 triumph at No. 3 tying the match at 1-1. Clayton is 9-1 in his last 10 matches.
Texas A&M grabbed a 2-1 lead following Junior Ore’s 6-3, 6-4 win on court six, but Stanford answered with Matt Kandath’s 7-5, 6-0 victory on court five.
Thacher followed with a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory at the No. 2 spot, before Klahn finished off Krajicek after a lengthy rally on the game’s final point.