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Men’s tennis stopped short in Chicago

No. 10 Stanford fell to No. 13 Virginia in the first round of the ITA National Championships

The doubles duo of sophomore Timothy Sah (right) and senior captain Sameer Kumar (left) had a strong showing in Chicago. They grabbed wins against Virginia and Tulane and now sit at 13-5 on the season. (LYNDSAY RADNEDGE/isiphotos.com)

The No. 10 Stanford men’s tennis team (7-2) fell to the No. 13 Virginia Cavaliers (9-2) last Friday in the first round of the ITA Division 1 National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The weekend-long tournament was hosted by the University of Illinois and played at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago.

Kicking off the season on a hot streak, the Cardinal won their first four consecutive matches with a combined record of 20 dual match wins to only one loss through January. That streak came to a screeching halt after a pummeling 1-6 defeat at the hands of the undefeated, No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0). The team bounced back with a hard-fought 4-3 win over the No. 5 USC Trojans (6-5) on the heels of the tournament weekend in Chicago.

The Cardinal had a tough draw in the tournament and were scheduled for a first round match against the Cavaliers, a team that has outshined expectations this season. After winning its first four matches of the season, Virginia pulled off a stunning 7-0 upset of then-ranked No. 1 Wake Forest (12-2). The Demon Deacons have since dropped to third in the nation, but the loss to Virginia halted their six-game season-opening winning streak.

Virginia dominated singles play against the Cardinal, taking four out of the five matches. Senior captain Sameer Kumar earned Stanford its only singles win with a victory over No. 68 Gianni Ross (6-2, 6-4).

In doubles, the Cardinal took two out of the three matches as Geller/Rotsaert handily defeated Soderlund/Woodall (6-1), and Kumar/Sah took down Wiersholm/Nakashima (6-4). The third match between Barber/Genesen and Ross/Goetz was stopped with the score at 5-4 after the Cavaliers clinched the win in singles with a final score of 4-2 on the day.

Stanford played No. 19 Tulane (4-6) on Saturday afternoon and blanked the Green Waves in a 4-0 win. Kumar and No. 10 sophomore Axel Geller each grabbed tightly-contested two-set singles wins, and freshman Sangeet Sridhar earned his fourth career win with a takedown of No. 76 Tyler Schick (6-2, 7-6[3]).

The win over Tulane moved Stanford on to play No. 4 Florida (6-2) on Sunday night. Freshman Alexandre Rotsaert was first off the court with a win over No. 67 Sam Riffice (6-4, 6-2), joined shortly after by Geller, who dominated No. 20 Oliver Crawford (6-2, 6-1). After dropping the first set against McClain Kessler, Timothy Sah stormed back (2-6, 7-5, 7-5) in a marathon match to clinch the 4-1 win for the Cardinal.

After a long run on the road, Stanford returns home for an eight-game stretch kicking off this Friday against UC Davis (6-2) at 2 p.m. at Taube Tennis Stadium.

 

Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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