Some days things go your way and some days they don’t – for TCU, Oklahoma, and Stanford it was the latter while Cal, North Carolina, and Texas walked away with big smiles on its faces.
Cal got punched in the gut when it couldn’t participate in the Kick-Off Weekend due to weather but they made up for it this weekend in spades with wins over #26 Texas and #2 TCU.
Both Cal and TCU played physical matches on Saturday with each getting pushed by its opponents but while Cal bounced back TCU wasn’t able to keep up the Bears.
TCU pulled out the doubles point for the second day in a row with wins at #2 and #3 but Cal got humming in singles and took opening sets at #2, #3, #4, and #6.
TCU’s Cameron Norrie made quick work of #3 Andre Goransson at #1 singles and Eduardo Nava was looking good at #5 but Cal was in total control on the other courts. Florian Lakat played at #1 against Texas and was saved by the bell when he trailed George Goldhoff 5-2 in the third. On Sunday it was his opponent, Alex Rybakov, that was wishing there was a bell because Lakat rolled over him 6-2, 6-2 in just an hour and five minutes.
Filip Bergevi continued his hot streak and took out Jerry Lopez 6-1, 6-4 at #4 and a few minutes later Billy Griffith put Cal ahead 3-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #3 over Guillermo Nunez.
|Cal’s J.T. Nishimura (Photo Courtesy of Cal)|
Cal’s J.T. Nishimura, who has been on the wrong end of a few deciding matches, finally was able to close the door today but it didn’t come easy. Nishimura took the opening set 6-2 but he fell behind Reese Stalder 5-1 in the second. Stalder got broke serving for the set twice and then Nishimura pulled out the second set tiebreak 7-5 and after an up and down opening month Cal had its signature win.
The match at #5 was abandoned but Eduardo Nava had a chance to close out Oskar Wikberg when he led 6-4, 5-3 but Wikberg took two straight to even it at 5-5.
TCU’s David Roditi didn’t mince any words when talking after the match:
Head Coach @RoditiTCUTennis breaks down today’s match against No. 24 Cal#TCUTennis #GoFrogshttps://t.co/3n70ce2Mn5
TCU Men’s Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) February 7, 2016
Post-Match Quotes from TCU’s recap
“Cal deserves all the credit, said head coach David Roditi. They flat out beat us and they were better than we were today. We must learn from it and get better as a team. They came committed and jumped all over us from the start. Our highlight was another good performance in doubles and a very good result for Cameron (Norrie) in singles. Every match lets us know where we are and Cal showed us exactly that. We have just a few days to get ready for a very competitive weekend in Virginia.
Oklahoma is probably hoping it doesn’t have to play too many more ACC schools after losing to one for the second week in a row. Last Sunday Wake Forest came into Norman and won 5-2 and today North Carolina pulled out a tough 4-3 win in Chapel Hill.
Oklahoma welcomed back Andrew Harris to its doubles lineup and he played a big role in helping Oklahoma take the early 1-0 lead. Harris and his doubles partner Alex Ghilea won the deciding court at #1 with Harris holding from 40-15 to seal the 7-5 win.
North Carolina needed to win four singles matches and they put themselves in good position to do so after taking the opening sets at #2, #3, #4, and #5.
Oklahoma’s Andre Biro put OU up 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Blaine Boyden at #6 but North Carolina answered with a 6-2, 6-4 win from Jack Murray at #4 and a 6-4, 6-4 win from Ronnie Schneider at #2.
Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez would put OU up 3-2 with a 7-6, 6-0 win over Brayden Schnur at #1 but North Carolina was up on the two other courts.
North Carolina’s Brett Clark was serving for the match at #3 singles up 7-5, 5-4 but Florin Bragusi broke and then held on the deciding point to go up 6-5. Bragusi would break Clark again, this time on the deciding point, to take the second set 7-5 and off to a third set they went.
At #5 singles, North Carolina’s Robert Kelly took the first set 7-5 but Oklahoma’s Maxime Mora answered by taking the second set 6-4. Kelly sprinted out to a 4-1 lead in the third but Mora held and broke to put the match back on serve at 4-3. Kelly would break right back and then serve it out from 40-30 to take the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 (clip of match point below courtesy of UNC)
While Kelly was putting away Mora at #5, Brett Clark was opening up a big lead himself in the final set at #3. Clark broke Bragusi to start the third set and would break him again later in the set to go up 5-2. Clark would serve it out from 40-15 to clinch North Carolina’s second top 10 win in the last week.
I watched the final sets of each match on the live feed and was impressed that both Kelly and Clark were playing aggressive and not waiting for their opponents to give it away.
Below are some match point and interviews courtesy of UNC.
“It’s a great win for us, to beat a team like Oklahoma after losing the doubles point, UNC coach Sam Paul said. “We had some really outstanding performances in the singles spots that we won. I’m proud of the guys, how hard they fought.
Texas has had a rough go of it so far this season but they were able to get some redemption today with a surprising 4-3 win over #18 Stanford. The Longhorns took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #2 but Stanford rebounded in singles by taking opening sets at #1, #3, #4, and #5. Tom Fawcett, Sameer Kumar, and Maciek Romanowicz would win in straight sets at #1, #4, and #5 to give Stanford a 3-1 lead but Texas would answer with straight set wins from Harrison Scott and Julian Zlobinsky at #2 and #6 to even it at 3-3.
The match would come down to #3 singles which saw Adrian Ortiz and Nolan Paige exchange a pair of lopsided first two sets. Paige gave Ortiz a first set breadstick but Ortiz got out the cream cheese and gave Paige a bagel in the second set. The third set stayed on serve until Paige broke Ortiz to go up 6-5. Paige went up 40-30 but he squandered both match points with a pair of errors including a double fault on the deciding point.
I thought the Texas recap did a great job breaking down the tiebreak so I’ll let you read what they wrote:
Ortiz smacked a forehand into the net for 6-all, though Paige went into the net once more to give Ortiz a 7-6 lead and another match point with Paige serving. Ortiz lofted a well-placed top-spin lob over Paige and in bounds with room to spare to win the tiebreaker, 8-6 and seal the 4-3 Texas win”
6. Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.82) def. #61 Michael Genender (SU 13.65), 7-6 (3), 6-1
Post-Match Quotes from Texas’s recap
Ohio State stayed undefeated and unscored on with its 8th shutout of the year by defeating #19 Virginia Tech 4-0. Ohio State blew Virginia Tech off the court in doubles winning 6-3 at #1 and 6-2 at #2 but Virginia Tech put up some resistance on a few courts in singles. Each team took three opening sets but the difference was Ohio State finished each of its three in straight sets. Ralf Steinbach won 6-1, 6-4 at #5, Mikael Torpeggard won 6-3, 6-2 at #1, and Chris Diaz provided the clincher with a 6-2, 7-6 win at #2 over Andreas Bjerrehus.
Virginia Tech was a point away from winning at #3 and #4 and Mitch Harper and Martin Joyce were tied at 2-2 in the third at #6.
Ohio State is the only team from a power 5 conference that has yet to give up a point this season – fact that I dug up earlier in the week.
Official: Marcus Lee T-2:16 A-261
In a tail of two teams going in opposite directions it was Michigan winning its 5th in a row with a 7-0 thrashing over #25 Duke. Michigan took the doubles point and then took all six opening sets in singles and then closed out four of them in straight sets while Davis Crocker and Carter Lin won in three. Duke has now lost five of its last six and with a rough ACC schedule coming up its entirely possible that Duke may miss the NCAAs this season unless something changes very quickly.
Texas A&M will most likely assume the #2 spot in the rankings after it beat #13 South Florida 4-3 on Sunday. The Aggies took the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3 then picked up straight set wins from Jordi Arconada, AJ Catanzariti, and Jackson Withrow at #3, #4, and #6 with Withrow providing the clincher at #6.
They played the remaining matches out after the clinch with South Florida’s Roberto Cid, Dominic Cotrone, and Peter Bertran each winning however by then the air had been let out of the balloon.
We need to rest them now because we have some beat up guys. thank goodness we have depth with all the matches that we’ve played but we’ve played three really good teams and it’s kind of a precursor to the indoor and what the SEC and NCAA tournament is like where you have to play on back to back days or every other day in tough physical and emotional matches and hopefully our guys will get better as a result.
Wisconsin did something last night that it hadn’t done in almost 6 years – it knocked off a top 25 team with a 4-3 win over #23 Minnesota. The last time the Badgers banked a top 25 win came back in 2010 when it upset #13 Illinois.
Minnesota took the doubles point with wins at #1 and #3 but Wisconsin got the four singles wins it needed with Josef Dodridge providing the clincher at #1. Minnesota was playing without its #2 Felix Corwin (13.90)
“It’s a fantastic win for Joe (Dodridge),” said Westerman. “He beat one of the top players in the Big Ten today in the highest pressure situation. It’s a credit to him working extremely hard and sticking with the game plan.”
Possibly the closest finish off the weekend came in this one in Des Moines. #39 Drake came from behind to beat Western Michigan with the final two courts going to third set tiebreaks in a match that was filled with tiebreak.
Western Michigan won the doubles point by taking both #2 and #3 doubles in tiebreaks but Drake came back with four first sets. Bayo Philips and Tom Hands won in straight sets for Drake while Matej Svjetlicic and Ruben Greiner did the same for WMU.
Ben Lott and Vinny Gillespie won the two deciding matches at #1 and # in third set tiebreak with Lott taking it 10-8 and Gillespie 7-5.
Drake 3-3; National ranking #39
Some other Sunday scores of interest:
#61 Old Dominion upset #34 Dartmouth 4-3 – ODU dropped the doubles point but rallied to win at #1, #2, #3, and #5 singles with Aziz Kijametovic clinching the win 6-3 in the third at #3.
#21 Northwestern def. #60 Cornell 4-1 – Cats took the doubles point and got wins from Kirchheimer, Horoz, and Vandixhorn with VD clinching it at #6.
#36 Notre Dame def. #53 Indiana 5-2
#32 NC State def. #55 South Carolina 4-3
#10 Wake Forest def #40 Tennessee 7-0
#32 Harvard def. #27 Vanderbilt 4-3
#17 Oklahoma State def #64 Arkansas 5-2
#42 Oregon def. ##46 Louisville 6-1
#59 Boise State def. Santa Clara 4-3
#48 UC Santa Barbara def. #43 Pepperdine 4-2