Stanford’s No. 4 men’s and No. 16 women’s tennis teams are set to compete at the Pac-12 championships in Ojai, California this Thursday through Saturday, skipping the Wednesday elimination round. With byes to the quarterfinals, both teams are hoping to bring home conference titles and land the conference’s automatic NCAA bids.
The Pac-12’s No. 1 seeded women (15-3, 9-0 Pac-12), having secured the conference’s regular season title, are aiming for a third consecutive Pac-12 championship crown.
The Cardinal women are on an 11-meet winning streak that propelled the team from 46th to 16th in the nation over the past six weeks. They are also hoping to tally enough Pac-12 wins to earn a top-15 ranking and gain NCAA championship hosting eligibility.
Stanford enters the championships with a line up of nationally ranked young singles stars; No. 16 freshman Michaela Gordon, No. 51 sophomore Emily Arbuthnott and No. 109 sophomore Emma Higuchi, each with 20+ wins this season. In doubles, the Cardinal is just as set to dominate, with Arbuthnott and Gordon (15-3 overall) ranked second in the nation, and Caroline Lampl and junior Kimberly Lee (12-3 overall) ranked 78th.
The Pac-12’s No. 2 seeded men (20-2, 7-1), coming off the team’s best regular season since 2001, will rely on their seniors and nationally ranked singles stars, including No. 8 senior Tom Fawcett, No. 70 freshman Axel Geller and No. 90 junior Sameer Kumar. Fawcett and Geller also comprise the Cardinal’s No. 24 ranked doubles pair, supported in the category by No. 50 Kumar and junior Michael Genender.
On Thursday at 2 p.m., Stanford women will face No. 8 seed Washington, whom the Cardinal defeated 4-2 two weeks ago, or No. 9 seed Colorado. Pending a win, the Cardinal will move on to the semifinals on Friday at 1 p.m. and the finals on Saturday at 12 noon.
On Thursday at 3 p.m., the Cardinal men take on No. 7 seed Washington. Assuming victory, they will face No. 3 seed USC or No. 6 seed AZ State on Friday at 4 p.m. If they advance to the 3 p.m. Saturday finals, it is quite likely that they will compete against the No. 1 Pac-12 seed and the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, UCLA, who swept Stanford 0-4 on March 30th.
All Pac-12 men’s matches will be held at Libbey Park at staggered times. Meanwhile, the women will compete at three different locations with most games sharing start times, making it harder for fans of the women’s team to watch all the matches.
All of championship week will stream on Pac-12 networks.
Contact Sylvie Ashford at sylviash “at” stanford.edu