By Shan Reddy
The No. 5 Stanford women’s tennis team grabbed back-to-back home shutout victories this past weekend against the No. 36 Washington State Cougars and No. 15 Washington Huskies. The No. 12 men’s team, however, took its third loss in the last ten days, a streak unprecedented for the team.
The women’s team defeated Washington State 4-0 on Friday, marking the team’s ninth shutout of the season and tenth straight win. Stanford’s top-ranked women’s player in junior No. 22 Emily Arbuthnott was first off the court, taking down Savanna Ly-Nguyen (6-2, 6-0); she was joined shortly by the team’s next-highest ranked player in senior No. 35 Melissa Lord, who defeated Hikaru Sato (6-2, 6-4). Lord teamed up with freshman Niluka Madurawe in doubles en route to a victory over the Cougars’ Bayerlova/Miksovska (6-1).
Sophomore No. 36 Michaela Gordon provided the clincher — her second of the season — with a win over No. 57 Michaela Bayerlova (6-2, 6-2). After losing three consecutive matches through February and early March, Gordon has been on a hot streak as of late, winning seven of her last eight matches.
The team completed a season sweep of its home schedule with a 4-0 shutout of the Huskies on Saturday, the team’s Senior Day. Washington had not yet lost an in-conference match.
Lord kicked it off with a win over Vanessa Wong (6-3, 6-4), her seventh straight win and tenth out of her last eleven matches. Senior No. 59 Caroline Lampl was next, grabbing her 15th straight win with a victory over Katarina Kopcalic (6-4, 6-3). Arbuthnott clinched the match, defeating Natsuho Arakawa (7-5, 6-3) before teaming up with Gordon in doubles to take down Weil/Wong (6-1).
The team’s five-member senior class is a highly decorated one, whose accolades include two NCAA titles (2016, 2018), an 86-12 overall record, and an impressive 47-2 record at home.
The men’s team had a less successful weekend, losing to the unranked Utah Utes in Salt Lake City at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. The Cardinal was missing its top player in sophomore No. 12 Axel Geller, and his absence certainly showed in the final score. After falling behind 0-2, the team surged back to tie it up at 2-2, leaving the doubles duo of freshman Alexandre Rotsaert and sophomore Timothy Sah to decide the match.
The duo played together for the first time last weekend against Cal Poly, defeating Whitehouse/Shenkiryk (6-4). Their efforts this weekend, however, were not enough to take down Utah’s Benkaim/Woolley in the match’s clincher; they fell just short in a tie-breaking thriller (7-6).
The women’s team heads to Salt Lake City to take on the Utes this coming Friday in their third to last match of the regular season. The men’s team will go across the Bay for a matchup against Cal on Saturday.
Despite being the highest-seeded team in the Pac-12 heading into March, the men’s team has fallen to a 2-3 conference record with losses against UCLA, USC and Utah in the last two weeks. With the women’s team surging and three more matches to go this season, time is running out for the the men’s team to keep pace and boost their draw spot in the upcoming Pac-12 Championships kicking off later this month.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.