By Shan Reddy
The Stanford men’s and women’s tennis team will play two matches each this week in dual match play, with both of the men’s matches and one of the women’s matches being played at home at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
On Thursday, the No. 4 Stanford women’s team (6-1) will take on the unranked Santa Clara Broncos (3-5) in their first match since February 23’s rematch victory over Vanderbilt. The team was scheduled to play the Broncos earlier on February 15 as well, but that match was cancelled due to rain. Last weekend’s battle against the No. 9 Texas Longhorns was also rained out, so the Cardinal had a week off to regroup in preparation for this busy upcoming weekend.
The Broncos are coming off of back-to-back losses against Portland and Gonzaga, and have had a weak season that saw them fall scoreless to the unranked Princeton Tigers in late January. Two days later, that same Tigers team visited Stanford, and left without a single match win as the Cardinal put on a 7-0 clinic.
The women’s team then heads to Eugene for a dual match against the unranked Oregon Ducks (6-5). Last season, Stanford embraced duck hunting season, flaying the flailing fowl in a 6-1 rout. This year’s Oregon team is coming off of back-to-back losses against No. 12 Kansas and unranked Idaho.
Needless to say, the Broncos should be easy pickings for the Cardinal, a team primed for a deep run into the playoffs come April.
At 3 p.m. on Friday, the No. 7 Stanford men’s team (9-2) takes on unranked Arizona State (4-5) in dual match play. The Sun Devils visit Stanford fresh off an upset 4-3 win over No. 41 San Diego, and feature a deep doubles lineup boasting three duos ranked in the top sixty nationally: No. 39 Ruehl/Bolla, No. 49 Ponwith/Kellovsky and No. 55 Rakotomalala/Roberts.
Though Stanford’s doubles lineup appears weaker on paper – only Geller/Rotsaert crack the top 100, sitting at No. 70 – the Cardinal boasts a singles slate of four top sixty players: No. 8 Axel Geller, No. 32 Alexandre Rotsaert, No. 35 Sameer Kumar and No. 56 William Genesen.
Stanford will stay on campus for the weekend to face the No. 21 Arizona Wildcats (11-1) at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Taube. The Cardinal will look to snap the Wildcats’ nine-game winning streak, assuming the Cal Golden Bears don’t do it first in their Friday match with Arizona.
Though Arizona has been unbeaten since late January, they have no singles players or doubles teams ranked in the top eighty nationally. With depth and home-field advantage on their side, look for the Stanford men’s tennis team to sweep the teams from the Grand Canyon State at home this weekend.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.