The No. 43 Stanford men’s tennis team (10-4, 2-0 Pac-12) enjoyed a dominant spring break, winning four matches over a six-day span.
The week started with a 7-0 blanking of Nevada at home last Monday. Starting the day with two 6-2 doubles victories to take the first point, the men went on to take five of the six singles matches in straight sets, with only junior Nolan Paige being pushed to three sets in his 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory.
Two days later, the team traveled Idaho to take on the Boise State Broncos, which were barely able to escape the fate of Nevada by stealing a single point en route to a 6-1 Cardinal victory.
On the doubles courts, freshman Tom Fawcett teamed up with junior Maciek Romanowicz to give Stanford its first win, followed shortly by the pair of seniors John Morrissey and Robert Stineman. Thus taking the doubles point, the Cardinal extended their lead to 6-0 by winning the first five singles matches, all in straight sets.
The sweep was not meant to be, however, as Romanowicz was barely edged in a ten-point tiebreaker, 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (3), to give the Broncos their sole point.
Granted only a day of rest, the men had to come home and begin conference play, facing Utah, their first Pac-12 opponent, on Friday. The story played out almost exactly the same as it did in Boise, with the Cardinal speeding to a 6-0 lead and the Utes salvaging the sweep and their dignity by taking the final point to make it 6-1.
This time, it was the team of Paige and freshman David Wilczynski who took the first doubles match, following closely again by Morrissey and Stineman to take the doubles point. Stanford dominated the next five singles matches in straight sets (four of which were 6-0), until Utah’s Matt Cowley defeated Paige in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
The week came full circle on Saturday, when the Cardinal blanked Arizona at home, 7-0, to breeze to a 2-0 conference record. After quickly taking the doubles point, Stineman (6-2, 6-1), Fawcett (6-2, 6-0) and Paige (6-2, 6-3) sealed the fourth straight victory for Stanford, with Morrissey (6-3, 6-2), Wilczynski (6-4, 6-3) and freshman David Hsu (6-4, 7-5) winning their matches as well to complete the sweep.
The men now get a comparatively long five-day break before they start a stretch of five games in eight days. This sequence will begin with a trip up to Oregon to take on the Ducks this Friday before culminating in home matchups against No. 15 UCLA and No. 6 USC the following Friday and Saturday. These matches will be a formidable test for the Cardinal, who fell to the Bruins 5-2 and the Trojans 6-1 in consecutive days in February.
Contact Paul Steenkiste at pws ‘at’ stanford.edu.