The Paul Goldstein era began with a bang. The four-time All-American tennis star in his playing days with Stanford opened his coaching career at Stanford with a 6-1 nonconference victory over visiting UC Davis on Tuesday.
His young squad -- three freshmen played singles matches -- made it easy. It was 4-0 before the really dramatic matches concluded.
"It's exciting for me," Goldstein said. "To get a win the first time out was exciting for me and all the coaches Brandon Coupe and volunteer assistant Bijan Hejazi. We felt good about it, though there are things we need to work out as a team."
One thing is clear: all three freshmen displayed a competitive spirit that had Goldstein excited about future success, despite showing some nerves early on.
Freshman Tom Fawcett, who won eight of his 10 matches during the fall season, beat Aggie Alec Adamson, 6-1, 6-3, at the top of the ladder to lead the way.
Fawcett, the ITA Northwest Regional singles champion, was down 3-1 in the second set before sweeping the final five games.
Junior Maciek Romanowicz was first off the court at No. 3 singles, courtesy of a robust 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Seniors John Morrissey and Robert Stineman started the match with a convincing doubles victory as the Cardinal took a 1-0 lead into singles.
After Fawcett made it 3-0, junior Nolan Paige finished a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles a few minutes later.
With the victory in hand, Goldstein watched as the other three singles matches went three sets.
Freshman David Wilczynski fought back from a first set loss in a tie-breaker to handily win the next two sets, 6-1 and 6-1.
"He started tentatively and was nervous," Goldstein said. "He kept his composure."
After Morrissey lost his singles match, freshman David Hsu recovered from a third set deficit to win his match, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, at No. 4 singles.
"To come back after getting down is something to be proud of," said Goldstein, who was the first player in NCAA history to start on four consecutive national championship teams.
Goldstein was the captain of arguably the best college team ever assembled in 1998. He reached the finals of the NCAA singles championship, where he lost to teammate Bob Bryan.
Goldstein helped Stanford record a 28-0 record, which included 25 shutouts and all four in the NCAA tournament. Bryan also teamed with twin brother Michael to win the NCAA doubles title.
The 1998 team won 167 of 170 matches played overall. Stanford was 104-6 in Goldstein's playing days.
The Cardinal travels to Thousand Oaks to play in the Sherwood Cup, which begins Friday and runs through Monday.
Stanford resumes its dual meet schedule at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Florida on Jan, 24, playing South Carolina. The Cardinal will face either the host Gators or Mississippi the following day.