The No. 49 Stanford men’s tennis team defeated unranked Boise State 4-3 on Sunday, marking its second-straight victory after a dominating 7-0 performance against Furman on March 7.
“They were a tough, great team. They came out with a lot of enthusiasm,” Stanford freshman Nolan Paige said about Boise State. “[But] we just had enough to win.”
The Broncos (6-8, 1-1 Mountain West) clinched a 6-1 victory against San Francisco on Saturday, their third-straight win before losing to the Cardinal (5-5). Stanford now has recovered from a streak of four-straight losses to go into a two-week hiatus level on the season and will return to match play Mar. 25 against Nevada.
The match was extremely close from the beginning, with the first two doubles matches split and the third going to a tiebreak.
Paige and fellow freshman Trey Strobel, Stanford’s No. 3 doubles team, were the first to finish, with an 8-3 win over Boise State’s freshman Toby Mitchell and senior Filipp Pogostkin.
No. 1 doubles was next to finish, with Boise State’s junior pairing of Andrew Bettles and Nathan Sereke edging out a 9-7 victory over Stanford senior Denis Lin and sophomore John Morrissey.
In the third doubles match, freshman Maciek Romanowicz and sophomore Robert Stineman defeated the Broncos’ sophomore Garrett Patton and redshirt senior Scott Sears 9-8. Romanowicz and Stineman were down 4-1 in the tiebreak, but came back to win the doubles point for Stanford.
Strobel was the first singles player to finish, beating Patton 6-1, 6-4 at No. 6 singles. Though Strobel’s win put the Cardinal up 2-0, Boise State got on the scoreboard after freshman Thomas Tenreiro defeated junior Daniel Ho 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles.
Paige, who is currently ranked No. 91 in the nation and played No. 2 singles for the Cardinal, was the next to finish, beating Sereke 6-4, 6-1.
At No. 1 singles, Morrissey lost a close match to Bettles, who is ranked No. 30 in the country. Bettles, who has a 9-4 record in dual matches this season, beat Morrissey 6-4, 7-6.
The Cardinal was still leading 3-2 after Morrissey’s loss and a win at No. 3 singles by Romanowicz, who defeated Scott Sears 6-4, 7-6, clinched the match.
Though Stanford had already won, the battle for the last singles point continued, with a close three-set match between Stineman and Pogostkin at No. 4 singles. Though Stineman started off strong, the two players split sets and Stineman fell in the tiebreak for the third, losing the match 6-4, 2-6, 6-7.
The Cardinal’s recent victories mark a comeback from a losing streak that characterized the middle of the season. Though the team boasted a 3-1 record after its first four matches, with victories against Sacramento State, Texas Tech and BYU, it was defeated by No. 57 TCU, No. 3 USC, No. 2 UCLA and No. 24 UC Berkeley in the next four dual contests.
Looking forward, Stanford has a chance to further improve its record with a series of matches scheduled for spring break. All four of these will be played at home, with the Cardinal facing off against Nevada, Saint Mary’s, USC and UCLA in the last week of March.
Paige expects the first match, against unranked Nevada on Mar. 25, to be close.
“It’ll be a tough test. We’ll see what we can do,” Paige said. “We’re looking to get a strong start and build off this match.”
After the contest against No. 73 Saint Mary’s on Mar. 27, the team will face a tough challenge against USC on Mar. 29 and UCLA on Mar. 30 to open the Pac-12 season.
Though the Cardinal lost 6-1 to USC and 7-0 to UCLA in early February, Paige is optimistic about the team’s chances against the two powerhouses.
“We’ve gotten a lot better,” Paige said. “We’re building towards it and we can’t wait to play those guys.”
Contact Olivia Moore at omoore ‘at’ stanford.edu.