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RT @StanfordWVB: Final: @PennStateVBALL 3, @StanfordWVB 1 Cardinal ends the season 33-2, tying for the most wins in program history. #gosta: 10 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal within one after block from Bugg and Ajanaku. A hush over the crowd in OKC as it's 20-19 PSU in the fourth, up two sets to one.: 10 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
It's getting late quickly for the Card. PSU up 18-15 in the fourth set. Another Dunning timeout, this one the most important of the year.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
PSU with three straight points to even the fourth set at 13. Timeout Stanford.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Cardinal up 10-7 in the fourth set. Down two sets to one.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Stanford has been down 2-1 three times this season, and it has a 2-1 record in those matches. (W @ Illinois, W @ Colorado, L @ Washington): 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Card closed to within one point on three occasions towards the end of the 3rd, but couldn't pull it out. PSU wins it 25-22, takes 2-1 lead.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @jwallach12: Neither team has been able to get in a rhythm since the beginning of the first set. It's a dogfight out there. Exactly what…: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
RT @dohyoungpark: This just feels like another one of those five-set marathon matches. Par for the course between these two teams.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
Two straight points for the Lions after the timeout, take first lead in the set since 6-5. Dunning calls another timeout.: 11 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport

M. Tennis: Card downs Cal as squad re-incorporates Klahn to lineup

The Stanford men’s tennis team picked up a big win on Saturday at the Taube Family Tennis Center, defeating archrival Cal 6-1. Playing in front of a large crowd filled with many parents for the annual Parents’ Weekend, the No. 9 Cardinal did not disappoint, satisfying the crowd with its decisive victory.


Senior All-American Bradley Klahn's return to the lineup has allowed head coach John Whitlinger to return to his preferred doubles teams, which won the Cardinal the crucial doubles point as part of its 6-1 win over Cal this weekend. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

With the victory, Stanford improved to 9-4 on the season and seems to have recovered from early stumbles against USC, UCLA and, most surprisingly, Fresno State, who all managed to defeat Stanford at the Taube Family Tennis Center. The Cardinal is coming off of two straight impressive weekends of play: last weekend at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, when the squad defeated No. 7 Baylor and No. 6 Kentucky, and then this weekend at home where it beat up on No. 10 Cal.


Not surprisingly, this recent stretch of good play has coincided with the return of senior All-American Bradley Klahn to the lineup. Klahn had been out for the beginning of the season with an unpredictable back ailment, and his return a couple of weeks ago has clearly buoyed the team.


“If we have everybody healthy we’re a pretty good team — and we’ve shown that even when we don’t have everybody healthy we’re still a pretty good team,” head coach John Whitlinger said. “But it obviously helps when you have an NCAA champion back in your lineup, as it really lengthens it out and makes everyone else that much better.”


The health and improvement of the whole team showed on Saturday as the Cardinal led right from the start, when the dynamic doubles duo of Klahn and fellow senior Ryan Thacher disposed of the nation’s No. 4 doubles team of Nick Andrews and Christopher Konigsfeldt, 8-4. Their win was shortly followed with a victory from juniors Dennis Lin and Matt Kandath, who edged Riki McLachlan and Andrew Scholnick to secure the pivotal doubles point for Stanford.


Whitlinger’s recent strategy of pairing up players from the same year in the doubles has proved to be very effective, as the Cardinal has yet to drop a doubles point since Klahn’s return. The return of Klahn has enabled this lineup switch, as now Whitlinger can pair his two seniors on the top court, his two juniors on the second and his two freshmen phenoms, John Morrissey and Robert Stineman, on the third.


Those freshmen were once again instrumental in securing the victory, as they both dispatched of their singles opponents on courts five and six, with Stineman providing the victory-clinching fourth point for Stanford. Whitlinger has been amazed and impressed with the high level of play of his two freshmen all year long.
The Cardinal will now look to build on its burgeoning momentum as the team continues to adapt to the return of Klahn and the new structure of the lineup. Perhaps unfortunately for Whitlinger’s squad, the team now has a 10-day break from match play, as it will compete in the annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championship this weekend in La Jolla before ending this quarter’s play against Yale on March 10 at Taube.