The No. 49 Stanford men’s tennis team clinched a decisive 7-0 victory at home against unranked Furman on Thursday, ending a four-match losing streak and bringing their season record to 4-5.
“This is a match we should win every time, but it’s also a match we needed to win,” sophomore Robert Stineman said. “We feel really good about getting back on the right track, and hopefully this could be the start of a good run.”
The match marked the Cardinal’s first victory since it faced BYU on Feb. 1. The Cardinal fell to TCU, UCLA, USC and Cal in its last four dual matches but performed well last weekend at the Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament, where two of the Cardinal’s five teams made it to the semi-finals.
According to freshman Nolan Paige, the team’s success at the doubles tournament “absolutely” contributed to their strong performance against Furman yesterday.
“We’re such a young team, and I think we’re just really coming into our own and getting better with every single day and gaining confidence,” Paige said. “We’re really going to be a team to look out for in the future.”
Although doubles matches are typically played first, the singles matches were prioritized due to worries that the match would be rained out. However, the players were able to finish all of the matches uninterrupted.
Sophomore Robert Stineman, who played No. 4 singles, was the first to finish, dropping only one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Furman’s Jacob Behal.
“I thought I was hitting the ball very clean and was able to work on a lot of the stuff I had been practicing these past couple weeks,” Stineman said.
Freshman Maciek Romanowicz was the next to finish, clinching a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Joel Cook at No. 3 singles.
Paige, who played second singles, defeated Furman’s Alex Christ 6-4, 6-4 to put Stanford within one victory of the match.
“I served really well, and I was able to make a lot of balls and keep it going and gut out a good victory,” Paige said. “[Christ] was serving really big.”
Sophomore John Morrissey, Stanford’s No. 1 singles player, beat Furman’s Andrew Mellon 6-2, 6-1 to take the match. Morrissey’s dominating performance was followed by victories at No. 5 and No. 6 singles by junior Daniel Ho and freshman Trey Strobel, respectively.
The Cardinal also swept the doubles matches with wins from senior Denis Lin and Morrissey at No. 1 doubles, Paige and Strobel at No. 2 doubles and junior Jamin Ball and freshman Anthony Tsodikov at No. 3 doubles.
The Furman match was the first of a series of six consecutive home matches, and Paige said the team is looking forward to the upcoming matches at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
“There’s no tennis stadium like ours,” Paige said. “Every time we get to play in our stadium, it’s amazing.”
The Cardinal looks to pick up another win against Boise State at home on Sunday. Boise State, which is 5-7 on the season, is currently unranked and has lost four of its five away matches this season.
“We’re going to try to have the same mindset that we had today, just be very focused and have the right attitude when we step out on the court,” Stineman said. “Hopefully we can do the same thing on Sunday against Boise State. They’re a very good team, and it should be a good one.”
Paige was also optimistic about the team’s future performance and said that although the team is relatively young, they are improving with every match.
“We’re working hard every single day. That’s one thing the coaches say all the time, how hard we work and how dedicated we are,” Paige said. “Good stuff is going to come.”
Contact Olivia Moore at omoore “at” stanford.edu.