Tagged with: , , ,

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Memphis with blue skies paving the way for a pair of action packed semifinals that were played simultaneously with a 9 a.m. central start. All 12 courts were available on Saturday after only having 10 available on Friday due to a crack near the center line on court 1.

The top-seed South Florida faced the No. 4 seed Tulane in one of the semifinals. South Florida had to feel fairly confident coming into the match because they just beat Tulane 5-2 less than two weeks ago in a match that was played at Tulane.

It looked like South Florida was going to run away with the doubles point but the Bulls would have trouble closing it out. USF’s Dominic Cotrone and Peter Bertran cruised to a 6-2 win at No. 2 over Tyler Schick and Constantin Schmitz but Tulane’s Dominik Koepfer and Chi-Shan Jao won 6-3 at No. 1 over Sasha Gozun and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy.

USF’s Roberto Cid and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz led 5-2 at No. 3 and Cid was serving for the match. Tulane’s Sebastian Rey and Ian Van Cott would break and then hold to pull within 5-4. Rey and Van Cott would fight off two match points and break Gonzalez-Muniz on the deciding point to make it 5-5.

USF would break back to go up 6-5 but Cid would get broke to send it a tiebreak. USF led 6-4 in the tiebreak but Tulane came back to take the last four points to win 7-6(6).

South Florida shook off the loss of the doubles point by taking four opening sets in singles and Peter Bertran quickly leveled the match at 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Chi-Shan Jao at No. 4

Tulane’s Constantin Schmitz put the Green Wave back in front 2-1 with a win over Sasha Gozun at No. 2. Schmitz trailed 4-2 in the first set tiebreak but won the final five points to take it 7-4. Schmitz won the second set in less than 20 minutes to close it out 7-6(4), 6-0.

Second later USF would tie it back up when Vadym Kalyuzhnyy won 7-5, 6-2 over Tyler Schick at No. 6. The Bulls would take their first lead of the day when Roberto Cid closed out Dominik Koepfer 6-2, 7-5 in a match where Koepfer really struggled with his consistency.

Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz would clinch the USF win by breaking Ian Van Cott on the deciding point to take it 6-4, 6-3.

#17 South Florida 4, #31 Tulane 2

Apr 22, 2016 at Memphis, Tenn. (MUS)
Singles competition
1. #4 Roberto Cid (USF) def. #2 Dominik Koepfer (TLN) 6-2, 7-5
2. #104 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) def. Sasha Gozun (USF) 7-6(4), 6-0
3. Sebastian Rey (TLN) vs. #48 Dominic Cotrone (USF) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0*
4. Peter Bertran (USF) def. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) 6-2, 6-2
5. Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) def. Ian Van Cott (TLN) 6-4, 6-3
6. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. Tyler Schick (TLN) 7-5, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #22 Dominik Koepfer/Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. #34 Sasha Gozun/Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) 6-3
2. Dominic Cotrone/Peter Bertran (USF) def. Tyler Schick/Constantin Schmitz (TLN) 6-2
3. Sebastian Rey/Ian Van Cott (TLN) def. Roberto Cid/Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) 7-6(6)
Match Notes:
Tulane 15-8; National ranking #31
South Florida19-8; National ranking #17 
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,2,6,1,5) 

The other semifinal matched up the No. 2 seed Tulsa and the No. 3 seed SMU. SMU won the regular season meeting in Dallas 4-0 but Tulsa was at full strength for this match.

Tulsa’s Dylan McCloskey and Dominic Bechard went up an early break on Nate Lammons and Markus Kerner at No. 2 and would break again to go up 5-2. They’d serve it out here to take it 6-2.

SMU’s Hunter and Yates Johnson were in control at No. 1 and jumped out to a 5-2 lead on Matthew Kirby/Okkie Kellerman. Tulsa held for 3-5 and then Hunter Johnson served it out on the no-ad point to win it 6-3.

SMU’s Samm Butler and Ronald Slobodchikov also jumped out to a 5-2 lead over Majed Kilani and Carlos Bautista at No. 3 but they’d double fault one of the breaks back. Tulsa would hold for 4-5 but SMU would finally close it out on their next service game to win 6-4.

Tulsa really kicked it up a few notches in singles as the Golden Hurricane would claim five of six opening sets.

Tulsa’s Juan Matias Gonzalez rolled over Hunter Johnson 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 and then Carlos Bautista would put Tulsa ahead with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Markus Kerner at No. 4.

Dylan McCloskey made it 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Yates Johnson and then it was a race between Majed Kilani and Or Ram-Harel to see who would clinch first.

Kilani was serving for the match at No. 4 leading Samm Butler 7-5, 5-2 but Ram-Harel would close out Nate Lammons at No. 1 in a back and forth 6-0, 1-6, 6-1 win.

I wasn’t able to get a video clip of match point because this match finished within 10 seconds of the finish of the other match but here is a clip of Ram-Harel taking the opening set 6-0.

#23 Tulsa 4, #27 SMU 1

Apr 23, 2016 at Memphis, Tenn. 
Singles competition
1. #46 Or Ram-Harel (Tulsa) def. #105 Nate Lammons (SMU) 6-0, 1-6, 6-1
2. Juan Matias Gonzalez (Tulsa) def. #61 Hunter Johnson (SMU) 6-3, 6-1
3. Majed Kilani (Tulsa) vs. Samm Butler (SMU) 7-5, *5-2 unf. 
4. Carlos Bautista (Tulsa) def. Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-1, 6-4
5. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) vs. Francois Kellerman (Tulsa) 6-1, 3-6, 5-4 unf.
6. Dylan McCloskey (Tulsa) def. Yates Johnson (SMU) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #26 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU) def. Matthew Kirby/Okkie Kellerman (Tulsa) 6-3
2. Dylan McCloskey/Dominic Bechard (Tulsa) def. Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-2
3. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) def. Majed Kilani/Carlos Bautista (Tulsa) 6-4
Match Notes 
Tulsa 17-12; National ranking #23

SMU 20-8; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,4,6,1)