By Yousef Hindy
The No. 20 Stanford men’s tennis team (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) handily defeated both the Sacramento State Hornets 4-0 and the No. 50 UC Davis Aggies 4-0 on Wednesday in a double header at home in Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
The Cardinal overpowered the Hornets, quickly taking the doubles point with two 6-2 victories and sweeping the top three singles matches in straight sets. Sophomore David Wilczynski clinched the match for the Cardinal with a win at the No. 1 spot.
It was the same story with the second match of the day against the Aggies. After No. 3 team Yale Goldberg and Wilcyznski and No. 1 pair Nolan Paige and Maciek Romanowicz took the doubles point with routine 6-1 and 6-4 wins, respectively, the Aggies came out strong in their singles matches, nearly capturing a few first sets at the top positions. The Cardinal regrouped, however, and played more consistently, clinching the match by winning straight sets across the board.
With tough matches coming up this weekend, head coach Paul Goldstein used the doubleheader as an opportunity to give several of his players some match experience rather than showcasing his most competitive squad.
Since it is still early in the season, the Cardinal do not yet have a firm lineup. Goldstein sees this uncertainty as a positive, however, noting that he “has confidence in all of [his players]. I think all [of them] are similar in level. You’ll see the lineup evolve throughout the year.”
Later on this weekend, the Cardinal will be traveling to New York City to play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend.
No. 18 Columbia will be hosting Stanford, No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Minnesota in a four-team playoff to see which team will advance to the National Indoor Championships in February. Stanford will face off first with Virginia Tech on Friday and then play either Columbia or Minnesota depending on the results.
Last Saturday, Virginia Tech opened their season with a strong victory over No. 65 Alabama. Led by senior Joao Monteiro, who stands at No. 14 in the individual rankings, the Hokies will present a formidable challenge to the veteran Cardinal team.
Seniors Romanowicz and Paige, the No. 42 ranked doubles team in the nation, will represent the Cardinal at the No. 1 doubles position. Ninth-ranked sophomore Tom Fawcett will look to continue his success at the No. 1 singles position as well.
The men aren’t the only ones with tournaments this weekend: The women’s team, ranked eighth in the nation, also starts its competitive season in the coming week with a home match against Santa Clara. Although originally scheduled for Friday, rain postponed the match until after the weekend.
The women’s squad, which has a history of being the most successful program in NCAA history and is coming off a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals, will start the season without star player Carol Zhao, who is taking time away from the team to train with the Canadian National Team. Last year she finished runner-up at the NCAA individual championship.
The Cardinal will look to continue their strong doubles play, led by the duo of juniors Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle, who have notched a 12-1 record and a No. 10 national ranking.
In addition, the team will look to five incoming freshmen to provide an extra layer of depth to the bottom of the lineup, with the trio of Caroline Lampl, Melissa Lord, and Kimberly Yee being the projected starting freshmen.
Head coach Lele Forood is confident in her underclassmen. “They’ve all had pretty good success in the juniors. [And they] all have played good tennis leading into college.”
The match will take place at 3 p.m. at Taube.
Contact Yousef Hindy at yhindy ‘at’ stanford.edu.