On the heels of winning two straight matches against top-50 teams, the Stanford men’s tennis team came up short on Tuesday afternoon, falling to TCU on the Cardinal’s home court.
Dropping six of the nine matches that were played on the day, the No. 19 Cardinal (3-2) played catch-up from the start against a deep TCU squad (5-2) that has won four of its last five contests.
Things looked ominous right off the bat when the Horned Frogs took the first two matches in doubles play to take an early 1-0 overall lead. TCU’s top pair, Nick Chappell and Will Stein, shut down the Cardinal’s No. 1 duo of sophomore John Morrissey and senior Matt Kandath. The second doubles match had a similar ending, with TCU’s Max Stevens and JT Sundling taking down Stanford’s junior Jamin Ball and freshman Trey Strobel 8-4.
“We know [TCU] has a very good team,” said Ball, in the break between singles and doubles play. “We knew it was going to be a tough matchup. Their guys were all ready to play and they have a great coach. We knew all the matches were going to be dogfights.”
The one bright spot for the Cardinal in the first portion of the contest was the impressive play of the No. 3 duo of Maciek Romanowicz and Robert Stineman, as the freshman pair earned a hard-fought 8-4 victory over Arnau Dachs and Orlando Superlano.
Morrissey, currently ranked No. 39 in the nation, did his job on court No. 1 with a 7-5, 7-5 win over TCU’s top player Nick Chappell. Coming into the season, Morrissey faced the challenging task of filling the large shoes of Bradley Klahn, one of the best players in school history who earned All-Pac-12 honors all four years and cruised through the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship. But the sophomore star has only just taken advantage of that opportunity and asserted himself as Stanford’s new top player by winning his past three singles matches.
However, Morrissey’s consistent play didn’t spread to the other courts for Stanford. Kandath, Romanowicz, Stineman and freshman Nolan Paige all fell to their opponents. The Cardinal singles players put up a tough fight—two of the four losses were determined by three sets—but ultimately could not close out the Horned Frogs down the stretch.
Reeling off two set victories, TCU’s Superlano’s win over Romanowicz was the contest-winning clincher for the Horned Frogs. Stanford’s only other singles winner was Strobel, who outlasted Rodolfo Buastamente 6-4, 7-5.
Next up for the Cardinal is its first road trip of the 2013 campaign, as it takes on conference rivals No. 3 UCLA and No. 2 USC this weekend.
Contact George Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.