Despite winning their first face-off against the Bears on March 7 at home, No. 15 Stanford men’s tennis (14-7, 4-3 Pac-12) was unable to earn what would have been its first season sweep against No. 11 Cal (18-6, 5-1) Saturday at Berkeley.
Just like the first time the two teams played, Cal captured the doubles points 2-1 thanks to a 6-4 success on Court 3 and a tiebreaker win at the No. 1 spot. The two doubles victories erased a 6-3 win on Court 2 from sophomores Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender.
This time, the Cardinal could not find the spark that propelled them to the upset earlier this season. Kumar was the first to fall in straight sets on Court 2, 6-4, 6-2, before the Bears took a commanding 3-0 lead thanks to a 7-5, 7-5 win by J.T. Nishimura over senior Brandon Sutter at the No. 5 spot.
The clincher came on Court 1, where No. 14 Florian Lakat edged No. 11 junior Tom Fawcett in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. As the action was interrupted on the rest of the courts, all the remaining Cardinal players were being led except Genender who was battling in his second set after winning the first 7-5.
After the loss, the Cardinal drop to the fifth spot in Pac-12 standings, right behind the Oregon Ducks, who also have a 4-3 conference record but finish ahead of Stanford based on an earlier head-to-head matchup.
The Cardinal will next compete in their first postseason tournament, the Pac-12 championships, in Ojai, California on April 26-29.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.