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Men’s tennis overcomes Cal Poly surge to begin homestand

After a tough road trip to Southern California in which it suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season, No. 43 Stanford men’s tennis (10-4, 2-2 Pac-12) returned home on Tuesday and kicked off the final homestand of its season with a bounce-back 4-2 victory over Cal Poly (7-12).

(DAVID BERNAL/The Stanford Daily)

Sophomore Anthony Tsodikov bounced back from his singles loss against UCLA in his last outing to beat Cal Poly senior Matt Thomson on court five on Tuesday, 6-3, 7-5. (DAVID BERNAL/isiphotos.com)

On a beautiful day at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, the Cardinal took care of the doubles point in short order with an 8-1 victory on court one from their top doubles pair of senior Daniel Ho and junior Robert Stineman and a solid 8-3 win on court three from sophomore Nolan Paige and freshman Yale Goldberg.

Although junior John Morrissey and senior Jamin Ball ran into a more significant challenge as they faced Cal Poly’s second-seeded doubles pairing on court two, the other two Stanford pairs quickly dispatching their competition meant that the final doubles match did not need to proceed to completion and was abandoned with the score tied at 6-6.

The Mustangs put up a more substantial fight in the singles matches, as sophomore Anthony Tsodikov was the only Cardinal player able to emerge with a quick first-set victory with his 6-3 score. Meanwhile, Morrissey, sophomore Trey Strobel and Paige were all forced into tight first-set tiebreaks on courts one, three and four, respectively. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, all three went point-for-point with their opponents but eventually cracked at the tail ends of hard-fought sets as Cal Poly players took all three tiebreaks for a trio of 7-6 first-set wins.

Meanwhile, on court five, Tsodikov finished up a straight-set victory with a 7-5 second-set mark over Cal Poly senior Matt Thomson to conclude the first singles match of the afternoon as Morrissey was just getting underway with his second set. It was a great opportunity to bounce back for Tsodikov, who lost a 6-1, 6-1 decision to UCLA’s Karue Sell over the weekend in his last outing.

Ho was next to finish, dropping a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Mustang freshman Ben Donovan to yield the first Cal Poly point of the afternoon. Stineman then finished up a straight-set 7-5, 6-1 victory on court six over junior Naveen Beasley to put Stanford up 3-1 and require just one more Cardinal point for the victory.

Although Strobel fell behind in an early 5-2 hole in the second set, he battled all the way back to tie it up at 6-6 before falling in another tiebreaker to yield a second team point to Cal Poly, making it 3-2 Stanford with Morrissey and Paige still playing their third sets.

Meanwhile, Morrissey didn’t seem at all fazed by the tough first-set tiebreak and seemed to use it as added motivation as he dominated senior Marco Comuzzo in a 6-0 second set win on court one. He never looked back, going on to claim a 6-4 victory in the third set to take the match and seal the win for the Cardinal with the fourth and deciding team point. With the win, Paige’s match was cut short with the sophomore trailing 4-2 in the third set.

The Cardinal will look to continue its winning ways as they will next welcome a pair of conference opponents over the weekend, with Washington visiting the Farm on Friday before a tougher matchup against No. 39 Oregon on Saturday. The matchups seem to bode well for the Cardinal, which have not lost a match to a team ranked outside the top 10 all season.

Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Do-Hyoung Park

Do-Hyoung Park '16 honestly isn't quite sure what he does for The Stanford Daily anymore, apart from the fact that he still writes a lot about football and gets cranky at the sports editors. He also writes for (or has written for) The Bootleg, Sports Illustrated and MLB.com and has been a four-time Managing Editor at The Daily. After graduating in June with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science, he's begrudgingly staying on for his master's in Chemical Engineering as well. Please feel free to troll him at dhpark 'at' stanford.edu.