By Amita Gondi
A 25-match unbeaten streak in collegiate tennis is unheard of, and yet Stanford women’s tennis (5-1) maintained that streak for over a year before a narrow defeat by Georgia last week. A year. Let that sink in. Let’s not forget that they are also the reigning NCAA champions from last season.
The then-No. 5 and now-No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs played spoilsport at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last Monday at the Nordstrom Tennis Club in Seattle, snapping the Cardinal’s dream run with a 4-3 upset win in the semifinals of the ITA Division 1 National Indoor Championships.
After a home game against Santa Clara was canceled due to incessant downpour, the Cardinal will be looking for a quick turnaround with their upcoming home game versus No. 7 Vanderbilt in a marquee non-conference contest tomorrow at noon PST in Taube Tennis Stadium.
The Cardinal’s dominance in women’s collegiate tennis can be confirmed by a simple run-through of the season’s statistics. However, if there is any team that can push the Stanford women to their limits, it’s Vanderbilt. In what will be a rematch of the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Championship, each team will be looking to use this upcoming clash to solidify their position in the nation’s top 10.
It was only nine months ago, in the humid lands of Winston-Salem, NC, that Stanford outshone Vanderbilt 4-3 with senior Melissa Lord clinching it in a three-set thriller. Although the Cardinal has won four of their last six meetings against the Commodores, the emerging rivalry has been nothing short of intense, drawn-out competition.
Stanford will look to depend on its star-studded team featuring a record eight players in the singles Divsion 1 top-100 ranking and four teams in the doubles top-100 ranking. With No. 16 Michaela Gordon (11-6 overall, 3-1 duals) and No. 19 Emily Arbuthnott (18-4 overall, 5-1 duals) leading the way, No. 59 Caroline Lampl (14-6 overall, 5-0 duals) will be a player to watch out for as she hopes to maintain her seven-match winning streak.
Meanwhile, the No. 6 Stanford men’s tennis team (7-2) will return home to begin its home stand of eight dual matches versus UC Davis today at 2 p.m. PST after taking down No. 7 Florida at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week.
The upcoming clash against the Aggies will be just the fourth time the two programs have met. Davis will hope to leverage the strength of its doubles teams, while Stanford will look to consolidate its singles wins with four of their men featured in the singles rankings, including sophomore No. 13 Axel Geller at the forefront. Geller was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for his stellar performance after winning two of his three singles matches and teaming up with freshman No. 39 Alexandre Rotsaert for a pair of doubles wins at the ITA National Indoor Championships.
The Cardinal roster also features senior captain No. 31 Sameer Kumar and junior No. 60 William Genesen. In doubles, Geller/Rotsaert lead the team with 15 wins on the season and have played all but one match at the No. 1 position.
The Cardinal men will face UC Davis at 2 p.m. PST today, while the women face Vanderbilt tomorrow at noon. Live scoring will be available at GoStanford.com.
Contact Amita Gondi at agondi ‘at’ stanford.edu.