By Shan Reddy
This past weekend, the Stanford men’s and women’s tennis teams dominated Pac-12 opponents in the final weekend of season competition in three total away games.
The No. 4 women’s team (19-1 overall, 10-0 Pac-12) crushed the No. 14 California Golden Bears (12-5, 8-7) in dual match play on Saturday afternoon across the Bay, finishing off their final game of the season with a score of 6-1. Meanwhile, the No. 12 men’s team (16-5, 5-3) grabbed back-to-back wins; they took down the No. 45 Oregon Ducks in Eugene on Friday with a score of 4-3 and followed it up with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Huskies in Seattle.
The match against Oregon saw the return of Stanford tennis’ top-ranked player in sophomore No. 13 Axel Geller, who missed the previous two matches due to injury. With the score tied at 3-3, the day came down to a match between two of the nation’s top stars in men’s collegiate tennis: Geller and No. 12 Thomas Laurent. Geller started strong with a 6-4 win in the first set, but Laurent surged back with a gutsy 7-5 in tiebreak to win the second set 7-6.
Down 0-3 in the third, Geller launched a stunning comeback with both teams looking on, knocking off the celebrated Oregon senior with a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker to take home a win for the Cardinal. The final score of the marathon match was 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(4).
The men’s team’s final match of the season before the Pac-12 Championships this coming Friday will take place in Ojai, California on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Cardinal will finish off the year with a matchup against the Arizona Wildcats, an unranked squad that has lost its past two matches of the season.
The men’s team hit a slump in March, losing two straight games for the first time since April 2017. Since then, the team has gone 4-1, and has now won three straight matches.
The women’s team has maintained momentum all season, putting up an incredible 25-1 game record over its past five matches this month. The three-time defending conference champion had already locked up the No. 1 seed in the tournament long before this week. The Cardinal returned its entire starting singles and doubles lineups from last year’s championship squad, and added two productive freshmen in Niluka Madurawe and Sara Choy. Surging towards Pac-12s on a 14-game win streak, the women’s team looks poised to make a deep run for the Pac-12 Championship once again this season.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.