The No. 8 ranked women’s tennis team (17-2, 9-0 Pac-12) and the No. 15 ranked men’s tennis team (14-6, 4-2 Pac-12) will both travel to Berkeley, California this weekend for matches against longtime rival Cal. This is the final regular season match for both teams, and the outcome has significance for both programs in the final Pac-12 seedings.
The women’s team is currently undefeated in the Pac-12 division, while No. 16 California (15-3, 8-1 Pac-12) has one loss in the division so far. Stanford is the defending Pac-12 champion, defeating USC last year to win its first conference title since 2012. With a win this weekend, Stanford can claim sole possession of the top position in the Pac-12.
With a strong finish to the season, the Cardinal women can guarantee a top-16 spot in the NCAA rankings, and clinch a home match at Taube in the postseason. Stanford is favored coming into the match with Cal both by national ranking and historical precedent: The Cardinal have won 11 of their last 16 meetings with the Cal Golden Bears.
However, Cal has won eight straight games since dropping their only Pac-12 loss to UCLA. The women’s team will have to snap this hot streak if they want to secure their top spot in the Pac-12. They’ll rely on their powerful starting singles lineup, every member of which is nationally ranked by the NCAA, from No. 23 sophomore Melissa Lord to No. 122 freshman Emily Arbuthnott.
Meanwhile, the men’s team must pull off an upset, squaring off against the No. 11-ranked California men’s team (17-6, 4-1 Pac-12). The Cardinal are coming off of a tough weekend of matches, where they swept No. 37 Washington 4-0 before falling to No. 23 Oregon in a tight 4-3 loss.
The Golden Bears’ one loss within the Pac-12 was handed to them by Stanford earlier this season on the Farm, when sophomore Michael Genender clinched the deciding 4-3 match with a singles victory. Stanford and Cal have been facing off in competitive tennis matches for 50 years, with the Cardinal dominating the all-time matchup 92-22. The men’s team is also looking for one final victory before the regular season’s end to boost their ranking, offering them a better seed in the postseason.
The women’s match begins at noon on Saturday, April 22, followed by the men’s match at 3:30 p.m. Both will be streamed live on the Pac-12 network.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada ‘at’ stanford.edu.