The Stanford men’s tennis team found success this weekend at the 124th Annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championships, with two of the Cardinal’s five doubles teams advancing to the semifinals.
The tournament, which was held at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, featured some of the nation’s best collegiate and independent players. Despite the stiff competition, four of Stanford’s doubles teams made it past the first round.
Sophomore John Morrissey and senior Denis Lin, who play No. 1 doubles for the Cardinal, beat two independent teams and pairs from Boston College, UNLV and Cal to secure a spot in the semifinal.
In the quarterfinals, Morrissey and Lin beat the No. 1 seed in their division, Campbell Johnson and Christoffer Konigsfeldt from Cal, 6-1, 6-1. They had previously lost 8-4 to Johnson and Konigsfeldt at Cal on Feb. 24.
Morrissey said that the Feb. 24 match was the first time he and Lin played as a doubles team. According to Morrissey, the experience that he and Lin gained as a team, as well as the lessons they learned from their loss to Konigsfeldt and Johnson at Cal, played a role in their victory.
“We knew what strategies and what plays we wanted to run against them, and what their tendencies were,” Morrissey said. “That little bit of knowledge, plus me and Dennis being more used to playing together, made a big difference this week.”
In the semifinal, Lin and Morrissey fell to UCLA’s No. 1 doubles team in a close three-set match. The UCLA duo went on to win the tournament.
“We have a lot of confidence in the way we’ve been playing over the last few days, and we knew we had the tennis to win or make it close,” Morrissey said. “We lost a tight one against a good UCLA team, but overall I think there are a lot of positives to take out of this weekend.”
Sophomore Robert Stineman and freshman Maciek Romanowicz, who play No. 3 doubles for the Cardinal, defeated three independent teams and a team from UCLA in the first four rounds of competition. Stineman and Romanowicz lost to the No. 3 USC pair of Max De Vroome and Eric Johnson in the semifinals.
“It was a really good bounce back to make a semifinal after the disappointing loss at Cal at the start of the season,” Romanowicz said. “I was not surprised because I know that we are capable of winning big matches, but I feel really good about beating teams from UCLA and USC throughout the tournament, which is really positive for our upcoming matches.”
Freshmen Nolan Paige and Trey Strobel won their first match against the No. 1 seed in their division, Stanford graduates KC Corkery ’06 and Blake Muller ’09. Corkery was a three-time All-American and NCAA doubles semifinalist during his time at Stanford, and Muller was an ITA Regional Doubles champion.
Paige and Strobel then beat a team from UNLV to make it to the round of 32, where they fell 6-3, 6-3 to Leif Berger and Jonathan Chang from Rice.
Juniors Daniel Ho and Jamin Ball, who play No. 2 doubles for the Cardinal, made it to the round of 64 before suffering a 6-3, 7-5 defeat to an independent team.
The fifth Stanford team to play in the tournament was freshman Anthony Tsodikov and assistant coach Brandon Coupe, who lost in the first round to Michael Grant and Johnny Wang of USC. Tsodikov and Coupe made it to the third round of the consolations before falling to Francis Alcantara and Finn Tearney from Pepperdine.
The No. 41 Cardinal is headed back into dual matches this week, with a non-conference match at home against Furman, an unranked team from Greenville, S.C. Four doubles teams from Furman competed in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championship, though none made it past the round of 64.
After suffering four straight losses, the Cardinal is hoping to improve its 3-5 record with a victory against Furman at home on Thursday. Morrissey said that the team will be working on singles this week to “keep things sharp” before the match.
“I expect Furman to come at it all guns blazing, as every college does,” Morrissey said. “I expect our guys to be really pumped and ready to go. I think this weekend a lot of guys got a lot of confidence, so we’re going to be ready to go and hopefully put in a big performance.”
Contact Justine Moore at jmoore94 ‘at’ stanford.edu.