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Men’s tennis topples Tigers in first round of NCAA Tournament

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Despite an early 7 a.m. PT start time, No. 21 Stanford men’s tennis (11-5, 6-1 Pac-12) was apparently wide awake for a matchup against No. 40 LSU (12-13, 4-8 SEC) in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. The Cardinal cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Tigers, claiming the doubles point with ease and never looking back.

Senior Axel Geller and partner junior Tomas Kopczynski secured the doubles point for the Cardinal with a 6-2 defeat of LSU’s Ronald Hohmann and Rafael Wagner after senior Timothy Sah and freshman Tristan Boyer posted the first Stanford victory of the morning as the No. 2 pair. 

Sah and Boyer made quick work of their opponents, Joao Graca and Joey Thomas, by pushing to an early 5-0 lead and maintaining pressure to close out the 6-1 victory. 

Stanford carried its success into singles action, wasting no time in adding to its advantage in the match. No. 78 freshman Arthur Fery earned the first point in singles play for Stanford with a straight-set 6-3, 6-0 victory over No. 103 Wagner on court two. Sophomore Neel Rajesh pushed the Cardinal’s lead in the match to 3-0 on court six after taking down Ben Koch in a 6-2, 6-2 result. 

Junior Alexandre Rotsaert provided the clinching point on court four with a 6-2, 6-0 showing over LSU’s Boris Kozlov. With the match victory, Stanford improves to 7-1 historically against the Tigers.

Though the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cardinal’s Saturday performance demonstrates a continuation of pre-pandemic dominance; this year marks the 13th consecutive year Stanford has made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, excluding last year’s abbreviated season. This year also marks Stanford’s 41st NCAA Tournament berth in program history. 

Saturday’s win sends the Cardinal to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 for the sixth consecutive tournament. Stanford will take on the winner of No. 5 Virginia and Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT.

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Savanna Stewart is a managing editor in the Sports section. She is a junior from Twin Bridges, Montana studying Political Science and Communication and enjoys running and playing basketball. Contact her at sstewart 'at' stanforddaily.com.