By Jack Seaton
Doubles prowess was not enough during a tough weekend in Los Angeles for the Cardinal, as No. 36 Stanford (10-8) failed to come away with a win from a tough doubleheader against No. 5 UCLA (16-2) and No. 9 USC (13-4), dropping Friday’s match against UCLA 4-1 and Saturday’s match against USC 6-1.
The team started the weekend against a strong UCLA team and was off to a perfect start by claiming the doubles point with wins from the pairs of Nolan Paige/David Wilczynski and Yale Goldberg/Sameer Kumar, who defeated UCLA’s Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell 6-4 and Gage Brymer/Maxime Cressy 6-3, respectively.
However, the Cardinal could not maintain their momentum, as UCLA rolled through the singles matches, winning four straight to clinch the match. Paige fell at the No. 5 spot to Logan Staggs 6-2, 6-2 before UCLA took the lead through Sell defeating Stanford’s Kumar in a more tightly contested 6-4, 6-4 match at No. 4.
Wilczynski played a hard-fought match on Court 2 against No. 49 Martin Redlicki, but in the end could not come out on top, going down 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). UCLA completed the singles sweep and claimed the match on the No. 6 court when UCLA’s Di Giulio came out on top over No. 110 Maciek Romanowicz 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
It was a similar story against USC the next day, as Stanford came out to grab the doubles point before losing all six singles matches. The pairing of Tom Fawcett and Romanowicz overcame the No. 38 pair of Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboen 6-4, while Goldberg and Kumar took down USC’s combination of Jake DeVine and Thibault Forget 6-3 for the doubles point.
Despite three-set matches on Courts 2, 3 and 5, Stanford could not finish out the matches and claim points from them. DeVine defeated Kumar 6-1, 6-2 on Court 4 to tie up the scoring before No. 25 Max de Vroome upset Fawcett, the No. 6 player in the country, on Court 1, 6-3, 7-5.
Romanowicz fell on Court 6 to USC’s Jack Jaede 6-4, 7-6 before USC claimed the match on Court 5, where Paige fell to Forget 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Although USC had already claimed the day, the matches on Courts 3 and 2 went on to the end, with No. 58 Logan Smith defeating defeating Michael Genender 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 and Wilczynski losing to No. 55 Nick Crystal 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. USC left the day victorious 6-1.
Sophomore Wilczynski, who played some strong matches this weekend, relayed his take on the weeks ahead: “Defeat never feels good, but it’s where people learn the most. We now know the things that we need to improve on and we’re going to work on those things this week in training to be ready for Oregon and Washington next weekend.”
The team is heading into the back-end of an up and down season, and is focused on its goals as tournament play approaches.
“Of course we want to win the rest of our Pac-12 regular season matches,” said Wilczynski. “But the way in which we can do that is by concentrating on the process rather than the outcome while we compete.”
Stanford is back at home next weekend for matches against Oregon and Washington. The latter will be the last home conference match of the season, and will also be Senior Day. The Cardinal play the Ducks on Friday at 3:30 pm, and the Huskies on Saturday at 1 pm.
Contact Jack Seaton at jrseaton ‘at’ stanford.edu.