Men’s tennis falls in finals of Pac-12s

April 26, 2015, 11:48 p.m.

The No. 26 Stanford men’s tennis team (17-6, 6-1 Pac-12) fell in the finals of the Pac-12 tournament in a tight match against No. 8 USC (22-4, 6-1 Pac-12) on Saturday night.

The match was about as close as it could get, as would be expected from two squads that ended up sharing the regular-season Pac-12 championship. The Cardinal had the upper hand for the majority of the match, building up a 3-2 lead with a doubles point win and victories from freshmen Tom Fawcett and David Hsu on courts 1 and 5, respectively. This was another impressive display by the two freshmen, especially Hsu, who has gone 9-2 in dual play for the season.

However, it was evidently not enough against the powerful lineup of USC; all six of the Trojans’ singles players are ranked in the Top 100 nationwide. After USC’s Nick Crystal pulled off a victory on court 6, No. 100 Eric Johnson outlasted senior John Morrissey in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win to break the tie and seal the deal for USC.

With the win, USC received the Pac-12’s automatic conference bid for the NCAA Tournament.

It was the third, but possibly not the final, match of the season between the two teams who have both played title-worthy tennis all year. USC took the first of the three with a 6-1 win at home in late February before Stanford struck back with a 4-3 win earlier this month.

Seeded No. 1 in the tournament, Stanford had byes in the first two rounds. Its first match came in the semifinals against No. 25 California. The matchup was somewhat fitting for the Cardinal, as Cal’s 4-3 win against them just a week before was the reason that Stanford had to settle for a share of the lead in the conference as opposed to winning it outright.

Nolan Paige exacted sweet revenge on Cal’s Billy Griffith, prevailing in three sets for the clinching point. (DON FERIA/

However, the result turned out much better the second time around, as Stanford handled the Bears with a 4-1 victory. The clinching point was delivered by none other than junior Nolan Paige. Paige lost his match against Billy Griffith in the 4-3 loss, but in his second match of the week against Griffith, Paige won 2-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 and advanced his team to the finals.

Although Stanford missed out on an automatic tournament bid, the team’s prospects still look strong. After being ranked in the mid-20s for most of the season, Stanford should have no problem securing a strong seed in the 64-team field, and the win over Cal should only help the Cardinal’s case.

Tournament selection day is this Tuesday, April 28, with the first round of the NCAA Tournament commencing on May 8.

Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’

Sandip Srinivas '18 is the Football Editor, a sports desk editor and a beat writer for men's basketball and football at The Stanford Daily. Sandip is a sophomore from Belmont, California that roots for the San Francisco Giants during even years and roots for Steph Curry year-round. He is majoring in Symbolic Systems and can be contacted via email at sandips 'at'

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