No. 47 Stanford men’s tennis picked up its first win on the road Friday against No. 30 Washington, but the weekend turned sour with the Cardinal’s first-ever loss to No. 44 Oregon on Saturday.
While last year Stanford (8-8, 1-3 Pac-12) swept Washington (15-8, 2-2 Pac-12) 7-0, this year’s team edged out a closer 4-3 victory, breaking the Huskies’ six-match winning streak.
“It was a big win, [Washington] was ranked top 30 in the country so that win will help us a lot,” said freshman Nolan Paige. “A lot of guys showed a lot of heart in winning that match–they didn’t give up, they just kept battling.”
Stanford started strong with an 8-3 victory from freshman Trey Strobel and Paige at No. 3 doubles. Though the Cardinal’s No. 1 doubles team of sophomore John Morrissey and senior Denis Lin lost 8-3, the No. 2 doubles team of freshman Maciek Romanowicz and sophomore Robert Stineman pulled out an 8-6 victory to take the crucial doubles point.
The team’s lead slipped away with the start of the singles matches. No. 88 Paige was the first to finish, falling 7-5, 6-2 to Marton Bots at No. 2 singles. No. 54 Morrissey followed soon after with a 6-4, 6-4 loss at No. 1 singles to No. 21 Kyle McMorrow.
Next to finish was Romanowicz, who fell 7-5, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, putting the Cardinal down 3-1 and one point away from a tough loss.
But then the comeback began.
At No. 6 singles, Strobel pulled off a tough 7-5, 6-3 victory over Nicholas Kamisar, and Stineman evened the score at 3-3 with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win at No. 4 singles.
Junior Daniel Ho was the last to finish, clinching the match for Stanford with a close 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles.
Romanowicz credited the doubles teams as well as the No. 4, 5 and 6 singles players for pulling out the victory.
“The crucial thing was to win the doubles point, so we accomplished that. We were trying really hard and supporting each other to win the doubles point,” Romanowicz said. “Our bottom part of the lineup also played a huge role in the victory.”
The team traveled south for a face-off against Oregon on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-4 to the Ducks–the Cardinal’s first loss to Oregon (15-4, 2-2 Pac-12) in the 27 times the teams have played each other.
Though Oregon has historically been one of the weaker teams in the conference, the Ducks have won seven of its last ten matches to earn a top-50 ranking.
“Their guys just kind of stepped up and played well,” Paige said. “We kept fighting though, and never gave in, but they were just a little bit too good that day.”
Stanford won the doubles point to start the match, with the No. 1 doubles team of Lin and Morrissey decisively defeating Oregon’s Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen 8-3. The Cardinal also clinched an 8-6 win from Romanowicz and Stineman at No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 doubles, juniors Jamin Ball and Ho lost 8-2.
One of Stanford’s only two victories in singles came from Morrissey, who defeated Robin Cambier 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles.
Stineman lost 6-4, 7-6 (5) at No. 3 singles, clinching the match for the Ducks. Ho also lost at No. 4 singles to Oregon’s Alex Rovello 6-1, 7-5, and Romanowicz fell 6-3, 6-3 to Jeff Mullen at No. 2 singles.
The match finished with Strobel’s 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles against the Ducks’ Daniel Sardu, bringing the final score to 4-3 Oregon.
Romanowicz, who described Oregon’s crowd as “very boisterous,” said that although the team lost, the Card was proud of winning the doubles point and “fighting hard” in all of the matches.
The Cardinal will face off against No. 10 Pepperdine (18-4, 5-0 WCC) this Wednesday at home in a non-Pac-12 match.
Stanford lost to Pepperdine 6-1 last year, though the team has an all-time record of 28-8 against the Waves. Pepperdine has several strong singles players, including senior Sebastian Fanselow, who is ranked 10th in the nation, and senior Finn Tearney, who is ranked 77th. Junior Francis Alcantara and redshirt junior Alex Sarkissian are also top-100 singles players at No. 70 and No. 94, respectively.
It’s going to be a great matchup for us and it’s a great opportunity to pull another upset,” Romanowicz said. “We will try our best, we feel very good about the team and we hope we can turn out a great performance.”
Contact Justine Moore at jmoore94 “at” stanford.edu.