The Stanford men’s and women’s tennis teams are brushing the dust off of the offseason this weekend as they prepare to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Northwest Regional Championships. The men’s team will travel to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, while the women’s team will play host to the tournament and compete in the Taube Family Tennis Center.
This is the second tournament of the season for both teams, as both lineups competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-American Championships from Oct. 2-9. Both teams exited the tournament with mixed results.
The men’s team found success in the doubles bracket, as the team of juniors Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender defeated two top-25 ranked pairs in a row after dropping their first match. They reached the semifinals of the consolation bracket before splitting sets with No. 29 Louisville and dropping a super tiebreaker 10-5.
The men’s team struggled in the singles portion of the tournament, with no players competing in the main draw, and only Sameer Kumar taking a single game in the qualifying bracket. The women’s team saw considerably more success in singles, but had no entries into the doubles brackets.
All-American junior Melissa Lord, ranked No. 7 in the country, lost her first singles match of the main draw tournament to No. 14 Gabby Smith from USC but rallied in the consolation bracket. She took down No. 10 Elena Christofi from UGA and No. 34 Rosie Johanson from UVA to reach the semifinals, where she fell in two sets to No. 35 Anastasia Rychagova from Kansas.
This weekend’s tournaments should provide insight into the Cardinal’s season prospects. Both teams are looking to follow up on strong seasons, and hopefully claim a national championship this spring. The Cardinal have strong returning members, including a top 10 player in both the men and women’s rankings. Lord is No. 7 among all women, and senior Tom Fawcett checks in at No. 8 among the men.
The most exciting thing to watch this weekend will be seeing if the highly touted freshman prospects will play for either team, and how they perform. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s freshmen rankings place freshman Axel Geller at No. 1 in the country for the men, and freshman Michaela Gordon is No. 2 for women.
Both Cardinal tennis teams begin their tournament play on Thursday.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada ‘at’ stanford.edu.