By Alexa Corse
No. 29 Stanford men’s tennis (12-8, 4-2 Pac-12) shut out the University of San Francisco (4-17, 1-5 WCC) 4-0 on Monday afternoon, marking a confidence-boosting win as Stanford prepares for No. 1 Cal on Saturday in Berkeley.
The victory over USF marks Stanford’s third consecutive win, following victories over Pac-12 opponents Washington and Utah last weekend. The streak represents an important rebound for the Cardinal, who lost 4-1 to UCLA and 6-1 to USC over April 1-2 in Los Angeles. The Stanford men are seeking to build upon this momentum in the Big Slam against Cal, which will be Stanford’s last regular season dual match, as well as into postseason competition.
“We’ve had several difficult losses this season, but all along the goal [has been] to be playing our best tennis at the end of the year,” head coach Paul Goldstein said. “Overall as a team, I think we’re in our best place right now.”
The USF match may have been Stanford’s last home match of this season, depending on whether the Cardinal notches enough wins in the Pac-12 Championships to be awarded a home match during the first or second round of the subsequent NCAA Championships.
While the current seniors may have another opportunity to represent Stanford in Taube Tennis Stadium, the graduating class made sure they led the charge on Monday. Seniors Anthony Tsodikov and Trey Strobel, who have not regularly played in matches this season, dispatched their USF opponents 6-2 on Court 3, notching Stanford’s first doubles win of the day. Moments later, junior Yale Goldberg paired with freshman Sameer Kumar to clinch the doubles point with a 6-3 win on Court 2.
Senior Maciek Romanowicz clinched the dual match victory for his third time this season, winning 6-3, 6-2 on Court 5.
“I have treated the whole season as my last chance to play tennis competitively,” said Romanowicz, who has been team captain this season. “It’s been an awesome journey. I’m looking forward to postseason and seeing what we can do.”
In February, Cal edged Stanford 4-3 in a four-hour battle. Unlike the match in February, the rematch on Saturday at noon at Cal’s Hellman Tennis Complex will count for Pac-12 conference standings. Stanford will seek to repeat last year’s split, in which each team won while at the opponent’s home site.
Contact Alexa Corse at corsea ‘at’ stanford.edu.