Sunday was a great day for the guys from sunny San Diego as the Toreros went into snowy Durham and beat the host Duke Blue Devils 4-2 to clinch the school’s first ever berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Sunday was also a day of near misses as #28 Oklahoma State, #40 NC State, #44 Memphis and #49 Oregon each put a considerable amount of pressure on the #1 seeds in their respective regionals before coming up just short in the end.
There were also several blowouts as Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ohio State, UCLA, and South Florida each cruised in matches that took 2 hours or less.
The biggest comeback of the day took place in Austin as the #4 seed Texas Tech came back from 3-0 down to defeat the #3 seed Florida 4-3.
The Wake Forest and Columbia regionals got underway today, after weather pushed play back a day, and surprisingly neither of the matches in New York were close as Columbia rolled over Minnesota and Stanford drilled Virginia Tech
It was also interesting to see several of the #4 seeds take care of business in the consolation matches as collectively they went 7-2 with Wichita State’s win over South Carolina probably the biggest surprise.
Back to the action, we start off the day in Durham as San Diego came into the regional finals coming off a 4-0 win over Vanderbilt while Duke got a free pass due to the weather keeping Cal from making the trip. Duke looked like it was going to take the doubles point when Josh Levine and Adrian Chamdani had a 5-3 lead at #2 doubles in the deciding court but San Diego’s Joshua Page and Uros Petronijevic reeled off 4 straight games to win it 7-5.
San Diego rode the momentum from winning the doubles point by taking four first sets in singles but Duke’s Catalin Mateas and Adrian Chamdani were the first to finish as they each rolled to straight set wins at #4 and #5. San Diego’s Uros Petronijevic tied the match at 2-2 when he beat Nicolas Alvarez in straights at #1 and Filip Vittek put San Diego ahead for good when he came back from *4-6 down in the second set tiebreak at #3 to win the tiebreak 10-8 and the match 6-4, 7-6. Less than a minute later Joshua Page would close the door on Duke when he put an overhead away at the net to finish off Josh Levine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,5,1,3,6)
“That was a tough loss, head coach Ramsey Smith said. “I think San Diego is a good team and they played well. I thought they competed extremely well. It was a really good match where we had some chances. Obviously doubles was a chance where we were one point away from winning it.
“We got down early in singles on a couple courts, Smith said. “I felt like we made a nice push midway through the singles and competed really well in that middle stretch. We got ourselves back in the match with the two freshmen getting off the court early. That was huge to change the momentum of the match.
“That’s a tough loss for Vinny [Lin], Smith said. “I thought that’s the best he’s played all year. He competed great and left it all on the court. That was high-level tennis. Vinny just keeps getting better. I’m encouraged by him.
In Austin you had the #3 and #4 seeds meeting in the regional finals after Florida  shutout Texas  and Texas Tech  did the same to Ole Miss . Going in I thought this would be a close match and I figured Texas Tech needed the doubles point but in the end they proved me and Florida wrong.
Florida took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #2 and then in singles each team took three opening sets. Florida’s Alfredo Perez and Chase Perez-Blanco finished their matches in straight sets at #3 and #4 and just like that Florida was up 3-0. Texas Tech’s Hugo Dojas put the Red Raiders on the board with a straight set win at #2 and Bjorn Thomson would make it 2 in a row when he knocked off Maxx Lipman 7-6, 6-4 at #6 singles. Connor Curry, who let a 5-3 first set lead slip away, won 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over McClain Kessler at #6 and the match was now all even at 3-3. Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares had a 6-2, 3-4 lead on Diego Hidalgo but Hidalgo broke and held to take the second set 6-3. With the match on the line Hidalgo would go up 4-2 and have 4 break points to go up 5-2 but Soares came back from 0-40 down to hold for 3-4*. Soares would then break and hold again to go up 5-4 before Hidalgo held for 5-5. Soares quickly held and then he’d break Hidalgo to close out the 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win.
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (3,4,2,6,5,1)
“Hugo had a solid weekend all the way around and was our MVP of the weekend,” Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. “Today’s match was a dog fight. We were competing hard, and they were competing hard. We had to fight extremely hard to find that edge. Felipe played clutch games in the third set and hit excellent backhand passing shots something that he’s not known for. It was his moment, and he wasn’t going to let our team lose. Connor played extremely tough in the third set and learned the lessons from the first two sets of the match. Bjorn was very impressive. He went out there and was fearless to beat a veteran player the way he did.”
“It’s a huge win for us to come back and beat a program like Florida which has a lot of great tradition and history,” Masi said. “The biggest thing that I see from our team is that if one guy can’t do it that day someone else can step up and do it. A match like today and the way we were able to win shows our players how good this team can be. We have great senior leadership and a lot of depth. I’m proud of our guys for battling through adversity and finding a way to win.”
What Coach Shelton Says
“We played some really good doubles today and competed hard across the line in singles. Texas Tech is a very good team with a lot of heart. It was a tough battle but we’ll be better because of it. We can’t wait to take the court again.”
TCU got all it wanted and more from Big 12 rival Oklahoma State as the Cowboys rolled over TCU in doubles and then went toe-to-toe with the Horned Frogs in several spots in the singles lineup. TCU got a much needed boost from Cameron Norrie and Alex Rybakov as both guys won in straight sets while Eduardo Nava gutted a tight 7-6, 6-4 win over Tristan Meraut at #5. Oklahoma State’s Lukas Finzelberg won in straight sets at #6 and then Julian Cash would pull off a big time win over Guillermo Nunez taking it 6-4 in the third. The match came down to a third set at #4 between TCU’s Jerry Lopez and Oklahoma State’s Lucas Gerch. Lopez went up 5-3 in the third and the match actually ended when Gerch was overruled on a line call for a third time causing a point penalty which subsequently ended the match.
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,6,2,5,3,4)
Quotes from TCU Head Coach David Roditi
“What a college match. It was everything we expected and then some. Oklahoma State is a strong, deep and well-coached team. It is not very often that you are taught a big lesson and also win. Today was one of those days. I’m proud of our singles wins. There were great wins today by Cameron (Norrie) and Alex (Rybakov) so quickly and then Eduardo (Nava) provided a huge point for us. We must improve our doubles and our mentality in practice. We are looking forward to taking such a young team to the national indoors.
Quotes from Oklahoma State Head Coach Jay Edwadia
“Unbelievable match that came right down to the very end. We knew it was going to be a battle and everyone fought hard, but it was disappointing to lose after such an amazing effort. It was a good test for us early on in the season to play a top-five team. We will regroup this week and get ready for next weekend’s matches at home.”
ACC rivals and Research Triangle neighbors North Carolina and North Carolina State went at it for just over 2 hours before North Carolina freshman Anu Kodali pulled off a come from behind 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Igor Saveljic at #6 to clinch the first match of his young career. NC State’s Simon Norenius and Nick Horton blew past UNC’s Brayden Schnur and Ronnie Schneider at #1 and #2 and Thomas Weigel was up a set on Jack Murray at #4 but the Pack couldn’t get a hold of another court.
2. Nick Horton (NCST 13.51) def. #13 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.05), 6-3, 6-1
3. #43 Brett Clark (UNC 13.77) def. Ivan Saveljic (NCST 12.15), 6-4, 6-2
4. Thomas Weigel (NCST 13.28) vs. Jack Murray (UNC 13.63) 7-6(4), 5-5 DNF
5. #47 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.82) vs. Shoti Meparidze (NCST 12.45), 6-4, 6-4
6. Anu Kodali (UNC 13.13) def. Igor Saveljic (NCST 12.91), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: Singles (2,5,3,1,6); Doubles (1,3)
Records: North Carolina 4-0, NC State 4-1
Post Match Comments from Anu Kodali & Robert Kelly Via UNC’s recap
Quotes from North Carolina Head Coach Sam Paul
“It’s good to advance, UNC coach Sam Paul said. “NC State played really hard. We’ve got some work to do we’ve just got to keep getting better every single day. Now we get that opportunity at National Team Indoors.
“Anu played really well at the end, Paul said. “I left after he lost the first set and went over to the courts on the other side, so I didn’t really see him, then I came back and obviously he was feeling a lot better. I really liked his body language and the way he finished that out. We had some freshmen step up Bo (Boyden) stepped up in doubles today.
“Robert and Brett had a very good weekend, Paul said. “Those two guys were the outstanding performers on our team, but it’s a team sport. We look forward to playing in the national team indoors. We’ve got to get everyone playing well to do well in that tournament, and we will.
Quotes from NC State Head Coach Jon Choboy
“We have a number of new pieces in the line up from what we had last year. Getting to see the team compete against a high-level UNC team was good. We were only a few points from maybe being able to squeak this one out. The team really competed well.” head coach Jon Choboy
A day after getting pushed by UC Irvine, Baylor got pushed even harder by Oregon and the match ended up coming down to a pair of third set tiebreaks to decide it. Oregon grabbed the doubles point with wins at #1 and #2 and then got a quick win from Ethan Young-Smith at #6 to go up 2-0. Baylor got back in the match with straight set wins from Jimmy Bendeck, Will Little, and Julian Lenz (clips below) but they had a hard time finding the fourth point.
Felipe Rios served for the match twice in the third set at #3, and had 3 match points along the way, but Simon Stevens broke him both times to force a third set tiebreak. Max Tchoutakian let a double-break *4-1 third set lead slip away and had to hold serve to force a third set tiebreak at #2. Tchoutakian went up 3-1 in the tiebreak but Laurent won the next 2 to even it at 3-3. Tchoutakian finally put it all together and took the last 4 to close it out.
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,5,1,4,2)
Quotes from Baylor Head Coach Matt Knoll
“Any positive experience is a great experience. Certainly, Max will gain confidence that he was able to win 7-6 in the third set with the match on the line. That’s special. Not a lot of guys have had a chance to be in that situation. He was able to get through it, so that’s pretty cool.” –head coach Matt Knoll on Max Tchoutakian’s match-clinching moment
“Oregon just hammered us for the first hour. They did a great job. They beat us in doubles, and they were killing us in singles. We did a great job in the middle, and we starting feeling like we were taking control of the match. At the end, they fought back and it was a coin flip. We’re fortunate. Oregon was really good, really competitive.” — Knoll on today’s match
“Watching those guys compete makes you proud to be wear a Baylor uniform. I had so much fun watching those guys get out there and fight for every point. The pride, effort and energy that they showed was really special. I hope the people that are out there watching our program are as excited as I am to watch those guys for the next four years. Boy, they’re going to be unbelievable for us. Real heroes.” — Knoll on freshman Jimmy Bendeck and redshirt freshman Will Little
Georgia won a tight doubles point over Memphis and then overcome a loss by Wayne Montgomery at #2 to pull out a 4-1 win. It looked the match was going to come down to #5 and #6 singles when Andrew Watson led 5-3 in the third at #1 but Austin Smith rallied and won the next four games to clinch the win for the Dawgs.
#6 Georgia 4, #44 Memphis 1
Jan 24, 2016 at Athens, Ga. (Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility)
1. #28 Austin Smith (UGA 14.34) def. #87 Andrew Watson (UM 13.73) 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5
2. Ryan Peniston (UM 13.92) def. #20 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.29) 6-4, 7-6 (10)
3. #40 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.88) def. Kai Lemke (UM 13.33) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,2,3,1)
ITA Kickoff Championship Match
Official: Clark Weaver T-3:18 A-304
Quotes from Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
“It’s certainly always good to overwhelm your opponent, head coach Manuel Diaz said. “But it’s also good to be challenged and to answer that challenge, and I thought our guys did that. We were pushed and challenged in both the doubles point as well as the singles. Losing the first set in three out of four singles hurt. It is something that we take a lot of pride in, but I’m proud of the way we fought back.
“We hung tough and overcame a tough situation, Diaz added. “I was really proud of Austin, he found himself down three or four match points and fought through to give us the win.
Quotes from Memphis Head Coach Paul Goebel
“That was a serious college tennis match,” Head Coach Paul Goebel said. “That was a level up from our Oklahoma State match and I thought we played really well in that one. It’s tough, because we had a lot of positives and we were so close. It was a huge opportunity and you don’t get a chance to go in to number six in the country and have a chance at the win that often.”
“We’ve just got to seal the deal,” Goebel said. “But that was a fun match to play in. I really feel like it’s better to play in that environment against that level of competition. That’s why we schedule the way we do. Their fans were really in to it and they were really complimentary of the great tennis post match. That was fun, really fun, but really tough to take right now too.”
South Florida booked its first ever trip to the National Team Indoors with a 4-0 win over LSU. South Florida took the doubles point and then won all 6 first sets before getting wins from Roberto Cid, Vadym Kalyuzhnyy, and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz with Cid providing the clincher.
“I think South Florida did a good job of coming out really aggressive having a had a long match yesterday, Head Coach Jeff Brown said. “I thought we responded really well after we got down and we will take some good lessons from today and move on.
Quotes from South Florida Head Coach Matt Hill
“We spoke to the guy’s point blank before the doubles started, look, the standard that you brought yesterday was not the standard that we play at, so we need to step it up, head coach Matt Hill said.
“We are one of the best doubles teams in the country, they just did a poor job of showing that yesterday.
“It was unbelievable, Hill said. “This is why you work your tail off to get into the Top 15, so you can host these events, so you can be the No. 1 seed here and have your crowd enjoying and experiencing the level of this team. _________________________________________________________
UCLA won the all-important doubles and then got straight set singles wins from Gage Brymer, Karue Sell, and Joseph DiGiulio at 2, 3, and 6 with Joey D providing the clincher in the Bruins 4-0 win over Georgia Tech. GT led on 2 of the 3 courts that were abandoned at the time of the clinch. Below are clinching videos courtesy of U-C-L-A
3. Maxime Cressy/Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Nathan Rakitt/Andrew Li (GT) 6-4
Georgia Tech 3-0; National ranking #42
UCLA 2-0; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,6)
Comments from Georgia Tech Head Coach Kenny Thorne “I’m proud of our guys for fighting hard but very disappointed in this match. I give UCLA credit for coming out in doubles and playing a little better than us. We also got down early in singles matches but fought back strong. We were in the match but didn’t play our best all the way up and down our lineup. It was a good opportunity missed. We have learned a lot about ourselves these past two weeks and each guy knows what he needs to work on. We can definitely get better than where we are right now, and we aren’t in a bad place. That is good news for this team and should motivate us all to get going.
Both of the matches in New York City finished as 4-0 shutouts but they were both much closer than the score indicated. Virginia Tech looked like it was in control of the doubles point after it got a 6-0 win at #3 and led 5-3 at both #1 and #2 but they just couldn’t close the point out and Stanford came back to take both #1 and #2 in tiebreaks.
Each team won 3 first sets in singles and fortunately for Stanford it was able to close out each of its 3 in straight sets as Sameer Kumar, Nolan Paige, and Tom Fawcett won at 6, 4, and 1 with Fawcett clinching. Virginia Tech’s Andreas Bjerrehus was a game away from a win at #3 at the time of the clinch and VT was up on the other 2 courts as well. Losing that doubles point really ended up sinking the Hokies.
#18 Stanford 4, #14 Virginia Tech 0 Jan 24, 2016 at New York (USTA National Tennis Center)
1. #9 Tom Fawcett (Stanford 14.54) def. #14 Joao Monteiro (VT 14.26) 6-1, 6-4
2. Amerigo Contini (VT 13.49) vs. #57 David Wilczynski (Stanford 13.76) 7-5, 1-1 dnf
3. Andreas Bjerrehus (VT 13.84) vs. #89 Maciek Romanowicz (Stanford 13.27) 6-3, 5-1 dnf
In the other match that was being played simultaneously, Columbia’s #1 doubles team of Shawn Hadavi and Richard Pham came back from the dead to gut out a tiebreak win to give Columbia the doubles point. Minnesota’s #1 team of Matic Spec/Felix Corwin served for the match up 5-3, 40-15 but they couldn’t get the last point and ended up getting broke. In the tiebreak Minnesota double faulted at 6-6 and then Richard Pham hit a well placed serve and Shawn Hadavi cleaned it up at the net to clinch the doubles point for the Lions.
Columbia and Minnesota split first sets and Victor Pham, Mike Vermeer, and Richard Pham each won in straights for Columbia with Victor Pham providing the clincher at #2.
#16 Columbia 4, #22 Minnesota 0
Jan 24, 2016 at New York (USTA National Tennis Center)
Quote from Howard Endelman, Columbia Associate Head Coach:
“Obviously, saving those three match points at #1 doubles was a pivotal moment from a momentum perspective. Winning the doubles point is always important, but I think today it also helped to take some pressure off our young guys in singles playing their first dual match.” _________________________________________________________
FULL SUNDAY RESULTS
2nd Round (Regional Finals)  TCU def.  Oklahoma State 4-3  Texas A&M def.  Boise State 4-0  Oklahoma def.  Troy 4-0  UCLA def.  Georgia Tech 4-0  Ohio State def.  Denver 4-0  North Carolina def.  NC State 4-2  San Diego def.  Duke 4-2  Baylor def.  Oregon 4-2  South Florida def.  LSU 4-0  Texas Tech def.  Florida 4-3  Georgia def.  Memphis 4-1
2nd Round (Consolation)  Drake def.  Indiana 4-2  Wichita State def.  South Carolina 4-2  Harvard def.  San Diego State 4-3  SMU def.  New Mexico 4-0  UC Santa Barbara def.  Louisville 4-3  Ole Miss def.  Texas 4-3  UC Irvine def.  Old Dominion 4-0  Florida State def.  Mississippi State 4-1  Utah State def.  UTSA 4-0  Fresno State def.  San Francisco 4-3
1st Round:  Columbia def.  Minnesota 4-0  Stanford def  Virginia Tech 4-0  Wake Forest def.  Auburn 4-1  Tennessee def.  Cal Poly 4-2
#11 Wake Forest 4, #59 Auburn 1
Jan 24, 2016 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center)
1. Petros Chrysochos (WF 14.08) vs. #96 Maxime Hinnisdaels (AUB 13.67) 2-6, 6-0, 1-3, unf
2. #26 Skander Mansouri (WF 14.14) vs. #100 Marko Krickovic (AUB 13.49) 3-6, 5-6, unf
3. #103 Jon Ho (WF 13.86) def. Dante Saleh (AUB 13.17) 6-3, 6-4