Sports

Stanford men lose to Cal, share Pac-12 tennis title

 

With the Pac-12 title hanging in the balance, Billy Griffith outlasted Nolan Paige, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, at the No. 5 spot, as No. 28 California held on to knock off No. 24 Stanford, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Despite suffering its first loss since Feb. 28, Stanford (16-5, 6-1 Pac-12) clinched a share of the Pac-12 regular-season championship, something it last accomplished in 2010. USC defeated UCLA on Thursday to also enter the postseason as co-champions.

That being said, the Cardinal will be seeded No. 1 in next week's Pac-12 Championships in Ojai, thanks to a 4-3 upset of the Trojans last week.

Trying for a sweep of the season series after defeating California 4-3 in Berkeley on Feb. 21, Stanford also had its 10-match winning streak come to an end. It was the Cardinal's longest stretch since running off 13 straight wins in 2011.

Stanford took an early 1-0 lead, capturing the doubles point for the 11th consecutive match.

California collected its first point at the No. 1 spot, where 35th-ranked Andre Goransson defeated 31st-rankedTom Fawcett 7-5, 6-0.

David Hsu followed with a 7-6 (1), 6-0 victory at the No. 6 position, extending Stanford's lead to 2-1.

Momentum shifted to the Golden Bears, who tacked on two more victories to grab a 3-2 lead. Former Menlo School standout J.T. Nishimura defeated Robert Stineman, 7-5, 7-5, on court four before Oskar Wikberg downed Cardinal freshman David Wilczynski, 6-3, 6-3, on court three.

Cardinal senior John Morrissey rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory at the No. 3 position that knotted the match at 3, and the focus quickly switched to the back courts.

Paige trailed 4-0 and 5-2 in the third set but bounced back to win back-to-back games. However, Griffith eventually regained control and closed out the match 6-4.

Stanford will play its first match at the Pac-12 Championships on Friday, April 24, at 12 p.m.

Women's tennis

No. 11 Stanford dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 4 California on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley in the final match of the regular season for both teams.

Playing short-handed with 20th-ranked Caroline Doyle out of the singles lineup due to injury, the Cardinal (15-5, 7-3 Pac-12) had its six-match winning streak halted while the Golden Bears (19-3, 9-1 Pac-12) earned a second-place finish in conference play.

Stanford, which lost to California for only the fourth time in the last 13 matches, remains in good shape for the postseason after finishing fourth in the Pac-12 while being ranked between No. 7-13 in the country throughout the season. The Cardinal's five losses are its most since a 19-5 finish in 2009.

California, which also defeated Stanford 4-3 at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on March 1 in the non-counting Pac-12 match, locked up the doubles point for a 1-0 lead with wins at Nos. 1 and 2.

The Golden Bears quickly made it 3-0 with a pair of singles wins at the bottom of the lineup. Lynn Chi booked a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Lindsey Kostas, playing her first career match at No. 5, before Cecilia Estlander notched a 6-0, 6-1 win over Paulette Wolak, making her first career dual match appearance overall.

Denise Starr followed with the clincher, a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Taylor Davidson at the No. 2 position.

Stanford's points came from Carol Zhao, who beat Klara Fabikova 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot, and Ellen Tsay, who breezed past Karla Popovic 6-2, 6-4 on court five.

Stanford shifts its focus to individual play, competing at the Pac-12 Championships next weekend in Ojai.

— Stanford Athletics

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