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It was an extremely long day of tennis in Columbia, South Carolina, as rain pushed the schedule at the SEC Tournament back significantly and ultimately shifted play indoors. One of the opening matches of the day, which started at 9am ET, would be a barnburner as South Carolina was trying to pull off its third top-20 upset in the last five days.

The Gamecocks started off the morning by taking the doubles point over No. 13 Texas A&M with Gabriel Friedrich and Harrison O’Keefe winning the deciding tiebreak at No. 1 by a 7-1 score.

Texas A&M rebounded in singles by taking four opening sets but South Carolina’s Andrew Schafer was the first one to finish after he defeated Jordi Arconada 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3.

Texas A&M’s Jackson Withrow won the only other match that would finish in straight sets with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Wood Benton at No. 6. Harrison Adams tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Thomas Mayronne at No. 5 but South Carolina’s Alex Fennell would put the Gamecocks back ahead 3-2 with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over AJ Catanzariti at No. 4.

Texas A&M’s Shane Vinsant would tie the match at 3-3 with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Harrison O’Keefe at No. 2. Vinsant led 3-0 in the third set before O’Keefe came back to force a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Vinsant broke a 5-5 tie by getting a mini-break on O’Keefe’s serve and then he won the last point on his own serve to close it out.

The match would be decided in a third set at No. 1 between South Carolina redshirt sophomore Gabriel Friedrich and Texas A&M sophomore Arthur Rinderknech. Friedrich came back from 15-40 down to hold for 4-4 and then he broke Rinderknech on the deciding point to go up 5-4. Rinderknech would calmly break back, from 15-40, to even it a 5-5 when Friedrich couldn’t handle a volley at his feet. Rinderknech then fell behind 15-30 on his serve but he stuck a volley off the top of the net that forced a Friedrich error to make it 30-30. Rinderknech hit a service winner for 40-30 but then he pushed a forehand wide to bring up the deciding point. Rinderknech kicked a nice second serve out wide, in the ad-court, and after a nice forehand down the line he finished the point by tapping a volley into the open court.

Rinderknech went up 0-30 on Friedrich’s 5-6 service game but Friedrich landed a timely net-cord service winner to make it 15-30. Just as Friedrich got ready to hit his next serve a train horn started blaring and then it started raining so Rinderknech put his hand up to stop play. The rain would start and stop for the next few hours and once lightning entered the equation the decision was made to move play indoors.

Play resumed after a two-hour and forty-eight minute delay and Rinderknech would take the first point to go up 15-40 when he hit a volley winner after a lengthy back and forth rally. Rinderknech put a forehand into the net to make it 30-40 but he’d close it out on the next point when a Friedrich forehand sailed long.

#13 (3) Texas A&M 4, #50 (11) South Carolina 3
4/22/2016 at Columbia, S.C. (Carolina Tennis Center)
Singles Competition
1. #18 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #58 Gabriel Friedrich (SC) 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5 
2. #53 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Harrison O’Keefe (SC) 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
3. Andrew Schafer (SC) def. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 6-1, 7-5
4. Alex Fennell (SC) def. AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
5. Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 
6. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. Wood Benton (SC) 7-5, 6-3
Doubles Competition
1. #67 Gabriel Friedrich/Harrison O’Keefe (SC) def. Aleksandre Bakshi/J. Withrow (TAMU) 7-6 (1) 
2. Alex Fennell/Sam Swank (SC) def. Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4
3. Max Lunkin/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Andrew Schafer/Yancy Dennis (SC) 6-4
Match Notes:
(3) Texas A&M 26-8, 8-4 SEC; National ranking #13
(11) South Carolina 14-15, 4-8 SEC; National ranking #50 
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,6,5,4,2,1)
SEC Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Post-Match Quotes from head coach Steve Denton via aTm’s recap
On the match “I think there is room for improvement and the first match in a tournament is normally the tightest so we will hopefully loosen up and play well tomorrow against a very good Florida team. There was a lot of pressure on this match, South Carolina was playing for place in the NCAA Tournament and we wanted to defend our title. I thought our guys competed really well, today was a great college tennis match.”
On the Aggies prevailing through adversity
“Once we came inside it was an equalizer for both guys. It is always tougher being down a game and Gabe (Friedrich) was down 15-30 on his serve when we made the move. So that first point of the game indoors was huge, Arthur was able to come into the net and hit a volley winner. Once Arthur was up 40-15 and Gabe had to win three straight point it was really tough. Arthur played well today, but give a lot of credit to South Carolina today. They played with a lot of guts and we knew they would. They played really well in the doubles and gave us everything we wanted in a first match at the SEC Tournament.”
On Shane Vinsant evening the match at three-all
“I thought Shane played a little more aggressive at the end of his third set, he was up 3-0 in the third and then the match tightened up. Anytime you play a tie-breaker in the third anybody can win, but Shane really came up with a couple big shots in the breaker to give us a chance and then Arthur came through for us again.”

Post-Match Quotes from head coach Josh Goffi via SC’s recap
“That’s all we could ask for. Going into today, it was all about getting ourselves in position to win, which is first of all not backing down to Texas A&M, which we haven’t beaten. The belief has been there. Our team arrived late in the season, and we’ve been working toward that all year. As far as I’m concerned, today came out as an L on paper, but it was an absolute win for us because our team has an identity. They finally believe that they are one of the top teams. They’re a young squad, and we’re going to continue to move forward here.”
“Our team wanted it. Our back was against the wall. That was our season, right there — if we win, we get into NCAAs; if we lose, we don’t get into NCAAs. There’s a lot of people that when their backs are against they wall, they come out and do some great things. Our boys showed up and put themselves into position today. We were two points away from winning the whole match and getting what we wanted. We missed a few opportunities, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Our guys — I couldn’t be more proud of them. I know it’s clich and everybody says that, but it’s been a long season and they’ve done everything we’ve asked and they arrived to a great level and became a great team today.”


In the other early morning match it was Florida shutting out Vanderbilt 4-0. The Gators took the doubles point with 6-1 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then both Diego Hidalgo and McClain Kessler picked up quick straight sets wins at No. 1 and No. 6 singles.

Each of the four remaining matches would go to a third set and Florida’s Gordon Watson would clinch it at No. 5 with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 win over Kris Yee.

Vanderbilt was a point away from winning at both No. 2 and No. 3 while Florida was close to winning at No. 4.

#11 (2) Florida 4, #34 (7) Vanderbilt 0
4/22/2016 at Columbia, S.C. (Carolina Tennis Center)
Singles Competition
1. #11 Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. #34 Daniel Valent (VU) 6-3, 6-0
2. #83 Alfredo Perez (UF) vs. #103 Cameron Klinger (VU) 5-7, 6-2, 1-5, unfinished 
3. #36 Elliott Orkin (UF) vs. Rhys Johnson (VU) 6-4, 3-6, 5-6, unfinished
4. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) vs. Baker Newman (VU) 2-6, 6-1, 5-3, unfinished 
5. Gordon Watson (UF) def. Kris Yee (VU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
6. McClain Kessler (UF) def. Alex Ross (VU) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles Competition
1. #1 Gordon Watson/Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. #14 Rhys Johnson/Cameron Klinger (VU) 6-1
2. #68 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Pen Binet/Tate Allwardt (VU) 6-1
3. Chase Perez-Blanco/Alfredo Perez (UF) vs. Daniel Valent/Baker Newman (VU) 3-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
(7) Vanderbilt 17-13, 6-6 SEC; National ranking #34 
(2) Florida 16-6, 10-2 SEC; National ranking #11 
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,6,5)
SEC Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Post-Match Quotes from head coach Bryan Shelton via Florida’s recap
“We played really well overall today against a good Vanderbilt team. They came in hot after having won a couple big matches on the road recently and they took care of business yesterday to get in this position.
“We came in today though and matched it with leadership by our seniors, Gordon [Watson] and Diego [Hidalgo]. They came out and played really high-quality doubles play to get us started. At Court two, Max and Elliot came out of the gates swinging away and went up 5-0 with confidence.

“Ultimately we gave ourselves the opportunity to compete well today and we took advantage of it. I’m really happy for the seniors and this team in a tournament where you want to keep advancing.”

The final matches of the day at the SEC Tournament didn’t finish until later in the evening and night as Georgia knocked off Ole Miss 4-0 in a match where singles was played first and then in the nightcap it was Mississippi State holding off Kentucky 4-2.

#6 (1) Georgia 4, #29 (9) Ole Miss 0
4/22/2016 at Columbia, S.C. (USC Field House)
Singles Competition
1. #17 Austin Smith (UGA) def. #47 Gustav Hansson (UM) 6-2, 7-5
2. #35 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #51 Stefan Lindmark (UM) 6-4, 6-3 3. #96 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Grey Hamilton (UM) 6-2, 6-1
4. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Fabian Fallert (UM) 7-6 (7-1), 6-4
5. Jan Zielinski (UGA) vs. Zvonimir Babic (UM) 2-6, 1-1, unfinished
6. Nick Wood (UGA) vs. Vinod Gowda (UM) 3-1, unfinished
Doubles Not Played
1. #28 Fabian Fallert/Grey Hamilton (UM) vs. #7 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) no result
2. Zvonimir Babic/Ricardo Jorge (UM) vs. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA) no result
3. Gustav Hansson/Stefan Lindmark (UM) vs. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA) no result
Match Notes:
(9) Ole Miss 15-10, 5-7 SEC; National ranking #29 
(1) Georgia 19-3, 12-0 SEC; National ranking #6 
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (3,2,1,4)
SEC Tournament (Quarterfinals)
#25 (4) Mississippi State 4, #20 (5) Kentucky 2
4/22/2016 at Columbia, S.C. (USC Field House)
Singles Competition
1. #29 William Bushamuka (UK) def. #33 Mate Cutura (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #60 Rishab Agarwal (MSU) def. #39 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) 6-2, 6-4 
3. #98 Nuno Borges (MSU) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-2, 6-1
4. Trey Yates (UK) def. Niclas Braun (MSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-1
5. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) def. Austin Hussey (UK) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. Trevor Foshey (MSU) def. Jake Stefanik (UK) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
Doubles Not Played
1. Enzo Wallart/Nils Ellefsen (UK) vs. #45 Mate Cutura/Vaughn Hunter (MSU) no result
2. William Bushamuka/Trey Yates (UK) vs. Niclas Braun/Trevor Foshey (MSU) no result
3. Gus Benson/Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) vs. Rishab Agarwal/Nuno Borges (MSU) no result
Match Notes:
(5) Kentucky 19-9, 7-5 SEC; National ranking #20
(4) Mississippi State 16-7, 7-5 SEC; National ranking #25 
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (3,1,4,2,5,6)

SEC Tournament (Quarterfinals)

Ohio State clinched at least a share of its 11th consecutive Big Ten regular season title with a 4-0 win over No. 14 Northwestern. The Buckeyes picked up the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then took five opening sets in singles.

Ohio State redshirt senior Ralf Steinbach was the first off the court with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Fedor Baev at No. 4. Herkko Pollanen, who was playing at No. 6 for the first time in his collegiate career, wasn’t too far behind as he cruised past Alp Horoz 6-4, 6-1.

Ohio State sophomore Mikael Torpegaard, who earlier this week became the ITA’s No. 1 ranked singles player, provided the clincher as he broke Konrad Zieba to go up 7-5, 5-4 and then held at love to win it 7-5, 6-4.

The other matches were abandoned with Ohio State leading on two of three courts with the other tied in the third set.

Ohio State ran its Big Ten record to 10-0 with all 10 matches finishing with a 4-0 score. The Buckeyes can clinch the regular season title outright with a win over Illinois on Sunday.

#5 Ohio State 4, #14 Northwestern 0
April 22, 2016 at Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center)
Singles competition 
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #16 Konrad Zieba (NU) 7-5, 6-4
2. #93 Chris Diaz (OSU) vs. #41 Sam Shropshire (NU) 6-2, 5-6, unfinished
3. #37 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) vs. #78 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 2-6, 6-1, 3-2, unfinished
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Fedor Baev (NU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Martin Joyce (OSU) vs. Ben Vandixhorn (NU) 6-2, 3-6, 2-2, unfinished
6. #90 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Alp Horoz (NU) 6-4, 6-1
Doubles competition 
1. #20 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Strong Kirchheimer/Fedor Baev (NU) 6-4
2. #31 Ralf Steinbach/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. #88 Sam Shropshire/Konrad Zieba (NU) 6-2
3. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (OSU) vs. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NU) 2-5, unfinished
Match Notes: 
Northwestern 23-3 (9-1); National ranking #14
Ohio State 26-2 (10-0); National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,6,1) 
Official: Marcus Lee  T-2:11  A-463
Post-Match Quotes from Ohio State’s recap

“You can’t win without great players and we’ve been fortunate enough to recruit great players who are great student-athletes and who want to win tennis matches, said Ohio State Director of Tennis Ty Tucker.  “Associate head coach Justin Kronauge has been here all 11 years and assistant coach David Schilling has been here 17 years so we’ve had great stability and that’s been a huge part of it. A lot of great players and coaches have been a part of this run.

“The guys knew it was a big match tonight so we really didn’t have to talk too much about the Big Ten title, said Tucker. “We’ve played a lot of big matches in the last 10 years here at Ohio State and by not really hyping the match up too much I think helped them stay loose and they came out and played well.
Last weekend Penn State was riding a high after beating Wisconsin but then they crashed back down to earth after a stunning loss to unranked Minnesota. This afternoon Penn State was able to put that loss behind them and upset No. 15 Illinois 4-3.

Penn State took the all-important doubles point by winning at No. 2 and No. 3 but Illinois rebounded by winning four opening sets in singles.

Illinois picked up straight set wins from Jared Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic at No. 1 and No. 2 to go up 2-1 but Penn State tied it at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-2 win by Marc Collado over Alex Jesse at No. 6. Illinois sophomore Aron Hiltzik put the Illini back in front 3-2 with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Matt Barry at No. 3 but Penn State junior Aws Laaribi tied it at 3-3 with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Pengxuan Jiang at No. 5.

It looked like Illinois might pull it out when Julian Childers led Tomas Hanzlik 5-3 in the third but Hanzlik won the final four games to defeat the cramping Childers 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

Penn State improved to 13-0 at home and the win also meant that Penn State hit 20-wins in a season for just the second time in program history. Penn State all but guaranteed itself an at-large in next month’s NCAA Tournament while Illinois’s chances of hosting a regional took a pretty big hit.

#39 Penn State 4, #15 Illinois 3
April 22, 2016 at State College, Pa (Sarni Tennis Center)
Doubles Competition
1. Jared Hiltzik/Pengxuan Jiang (ILL) def. David Kohan/Christian Lutschaunig (PSU), 6-2.
2. Leo Stakhovsky/Matt Barry (PSU) def. #90 Aleks Vukic/Aron Hiltzik (ILL), 6-3.
3. Aws Laaribi/Matt Galush (PSU) def. Julian Childers/Alex Jesse, 6-4.
Singles Competition
1. #13 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Leo Stakhovsky (PSU), 6-2, 6-2.
2. #3 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Constant De La Bassetiere (PSU), 7-5, 6-1.
3. #65 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Matt Barry (PSU) 7-6(2), 6-2.
4. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) def. Julian Childers (ILL), 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
5. Aws Laaribi (PSU) def. Pengxuan Jiang (ILL) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
6. Marc Collado (PSU) def. Alex Jesse (ILL), 6-3, 6-2.
Match Notes
Penn State 20-6 (6-4 B1G); National ranking #39
Illinois 17-8 (8-2 B1G); National ranking #15
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1,3) Singles (1,2,6,3,5,4)
Post-Match Quotes from PSU’s recap
“It is a great way to get a top-16 win and get our 20th win of the season, said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. “We definitely wanted to protect our home court, which we have done a great job of this year. We always talk about championship teams and what it takes to be one; you need to win your doubles and you need to be strong at 4, 5 and 6 to be an elite team. We did that today!
“We stress as a coaching staff to peak at the right times and to prepare for the championship season at the end, said Coach Zinn. “Our backs were against the wall in today’s match and we knew we had to get a win. Every team member contributed on and off the court. That is why we won today. We truly embraced the ONETEAM’ motto.
“This is a huge win for the team, said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. “We knew taking the doubles point was crucial and we did it. In singles, we had some tough positions but Collado, Laaribi and Hanzlik were determined to win. Hanzlik had an outstanding match to clinch the win. This is truly what college tennis is all about.

Post-Match Quotes from Illinois’s recap

“Credit to Penn State. They beat us down the stretch in matches where we felt we had momentum early in the third sets,” head coach Brad Dancer said. “It’s a tough loss for us to swallow, but at the same time our attention turns to Sunday and our meeting in Columbus. Anytime you have a loss like this it brings forth a time to reflect. As coaches, we need to do a better job of getting our guys who are fighting hard better prepared.”

UCLA and Cal were the big winners in the Pac-12 semifinals. UCLA dropped the doubles point to Stanford for the third time this season but once again they were able to rebound in singles and ended up winning fairly comfortably in the end.

Cal advanced to its first-ever Pac-12 Tournament Final with a 4-1 win over No. 8 USC. The Bears took the doubles point when Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat won the deciding match 7-6(6). Cal surprisingly took it to USC in several spots with Billy Griffith, Filip Bergevi, and J.T. Nishimura each winning in straight sets while USC’s Nick Crystal won in straight sets at No. 2.

#2 UCLA 4, #32 Stanford 1
Apr 22, 2016 at Ojai, Calif. (Libbey Park) 
Doubles competition
1. #39 Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) def. #5 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) 6-2
2. Wilczynski/Paige (STAN) def. Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) 7-5
3. Cressy/Rapp (UCLA) vs. Kumar/Goldberg (STAN) 6-5, unfinished
Singles competition
1. #10 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #12 Tom Fawcett (STAN) 6-4, 6-3
2. #42 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) vs. Michael Genender (STAN) 7-5, 4-3, unfinished
3. #55 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #77 David Wilczynski (STAN) 6-2, 6-4
4. #92 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige (STAN) 6-2, 6-2
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0, unfinished
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-3, 6-1
Match Notes
Stanford 14-10; National ranking #32
UCLA 21-2; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,6,1,3)
Pac-12 Championship Semifinals 
Post-Match Quotes from UCLA’s recap
“We’re very pleased to get another solid win over a really good Stanford team, said UCLA head coach Billy Martin.  “I’m disappointed with the doubles outcome, as it’s our third straight time losing the point to them.  They are a good doubles team, but I was hoping we could see some improvement there. 
“Our guys took the doubles defeat well and put it behind them, said Martin.  “This was as good a match as we’ve had all year as far as everybody looking really focused from the start, winning all six first sets in singles.  We really took charge and sent a message to Stanford that dropping doubles didn’t bother us.  I was really happy with our resilience.
“We’re very excited for him, said Martin of Sell’s accomplishment of winning 100 singles matches.  “He’s done an incredible job for us the past four years.  I’d be surprised if there are many guys that have a better dual match record than Karue.  He has really been a rock for us throughout the years.  He’ll be a tough one to lose next year, so I hope we can send him out with a conference tournament title and an NCAA title. 
“We’re very excited to advanceit’s one of our four major goals every year, said Martin.  “We want to go undefeated at home, win Pac-12 regular season, win the conference tournament, and then the NCAA Championships.  Tomorrow we have a chance to attain the third of our four goals.
“We’re going to be up for whoever we play, added Martin of facing either USC or Cal in the title match.  “They’re both really good teamsthere’s no doubt about it.  We know how good USC is, and we played Cal without one of its better players.  If they beat USC today, they’ll be a better team than the one we beat at home this season.  Either way, we’re going to have to play very well tomorrow.

[3] #16 California 4, [2] #8 USC 1
Apr 22, 2016 at Ojai, Calif. (Libbey Park) 
Doubles competition
1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) def. Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC), 7-6 (6)
2. Max de Vroome/Thibault Forget (USC) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL), 6-1
3. J.T. Nishimura/Mads Engsted (CAL) def. Rob Bellamy/Jake DeVine (USC), 6-3
Singles Competition
1. No. 27 Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. No. 23 Max de Vroome (USC), susp. 4-6, 6-4
2. No. 43 Nick Crystal (USC) def. No. 28 Andre Goransson (CAL), 6-4, 7-5
3. No. 82 Billy Griffith (CAL) def. No. 59 Logan Smith (USC), 6-4, 6-2
4. Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. No. 106 Jake DeVine (USC), 6-3, 6-3
5. No. 122 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. No. 117 Thibault Forget (USC), susp. 7-6(4), 1-3
6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Laurens Verbovens (USC), 6-2, 6-4
Match Notes
California 17-5; National ranking #16
USC 15-6; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,2,3)
Pac-12 Championship Semifinals 
Post-Match Quotes from Cal’s recap
“The guys are excited, but not surprised about beating USC today, Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “After losing to them in L.A. a few weeks ago, we knew we had to make some improvements, and today’s match was in part a validation of the work our team has been putting in.
“The doubles point was crucial today, Wright said. “Florian Lakat and Filip Bergevi won a thrilling tiebreaker to give us the lead. USC is a well-coached team, and we knew we were in for a battle today. J.T. Nishimura set the tone with a solid straight-set victory, and after that we never looked back. It’s great to be in the Pac-12 team finals for the first time, and we’re looking forward to a rematch with UCLA tomorrow night.


I am in Memphis this week at the American Athletic Conference Championships and once singles got underway I noticed that only five of the six courts on the one bank were being utilized. Evidently during the downpour on Thursday a crack opened up on court 1 with a good amount of water seeping down into the crack. Due to the amount of water absorbed they couldn’t make any repairs until after the water had evaporated so each of the matches just played five singles courts at once.

All four quarterfinal matches finished with a 4-0 score with the two closest matches taking place between Tulane and Memphis and SMU and Central Florida. Tulane claimed the doubles point with 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 3 and then the Green Wave took all five first sets in singles.

Dominik Koepfer and Sebastian Rey won in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 3 but Memphis would earn splits on the other three courts. While both No. 2 and No. 4 were early in the third set, Tulane’s Ian Van Cott would get a late break and then hold on the deciding point to clinch the Tulane win.

#31 Tulane 4, #42 Memphis 0
Apr 22, 2016 at Memphis,Tenn. (MUS)
Singles Competition
1. #2 Dominik Koepfer (TLN) def. #81 Ryan Peniston (MEM) 6-4, 6-4
2. #104 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) vs. #101 Andrew Watson (MEM) 7-5, 4-6, 1-1, unf
3. Sebastian Rey (TLN) def. Kai Lemke (MEM) 6-4, 6-4
4. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) vs. Chris Patzanovsky (MEM) 7-5, 3-6, 2-1, unf
5. Ian Van Cott (TLN) def. Felix Rauch (MEM) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
6. Tyler Schick (TLN) vs. Shakeel Manji (MEM) 4-1, unf
Doubles Competition
1. #22 Dominik Koepfer/Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. Kai Lemke/Louis Asser (MEM) 6-4
2. Tyler Schick/Constantin Schmitz (TLN) vs. Ryan Peniston/Felix Rauch (MEM) 5-4, unf
3. Sebastian Rey/Ian Van Cott (TLN) def. Andrew Watson/Shakeel Manji (MEM) 6-4
Match Notes:
Memphis 14-9; National ranking #42
Tulane 15-7; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,3,5) T-2:34

Post-Match Quotes from Tulane’s recap
“What a great win from our guys today and what a great Memphis team,” Tulane head coach Mark Booras said. “We stepped up from under the pressure and took it to them. In singles, we got off to a couple of quick starts then Memphis began to punch back, but we absorbed those punches and stepped up our game and punched back.”
Post-Match Quotes from Memphis’s recap
“It’s a fun time of year being in the conference championships and being able to host it was really special,” Head Coach Paul Goebel said. “We had a great crowd today and it was a really good college tennis match. Two teams that have both been ranked in the top 25 in the nation and to play in the first match in our conference tournament really shows how strong the conference has become.” 
“When you make a tough schedule, it can go either way,” Goebel said. “We had a young team, a lot of freshmen and sophomores, but they handled it very well. There were a couple of chances, it was a really fine line in a couple of matches there. We lost the doubles point today, but I think we lost five out of the six on no-ad points. If we can get those points to go our way, maybe the outcome is different. But credit to our opponent for that.”
“We kept fighting the whole match. In these last three matches, we lost first sets and came back and pushed them to a third set, which is really good. We had a couple of guys who have been really injured and haven’t practice the last couple of weeks, but that shows what our Tiger pride is about. I think they’re gaining experience and learning how they are going to have to play the big points. I think our conference keeps getting better and better and we’ve maintained, we’ve proved that we can play with any of the teams in our conference and any teams in the nation, and that’s exciting, but we just have to keep working and adding to each of their games and see where we can be next year.”

No. 27 SMU got off to a strong start in doubles but Central Florida would take three of five opening sets in singles. SMU’s Samm Butler and Ronald Slobodchikov won easily at No. 3 and No. 5 though the fourth point would take a little longer.

SMU’s Nate Lammons overcame a sluggish start to get the clincher with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Inaki Espindola at No. 1.

Central Florida’s Chris Barrus was serving for the match at No. 2 at the time of the clinch though he was behind 15-30.

#27 SMU 4, UCF 0
Apr 22, 2016 at Memphis, Tenn. 
Singles competition
1. #105 Nate Lammons (SMU) def. Inaki Espindola (UCF) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. Chris Barrus (UCF) vs. #61 Hunter Johnson (SMU) 6-4, *6-5 (15-30), unf.
3. Samm Butler (SMU) def. Jose Sangroniz (UCF) 6-1, 6-1
4. Markus Kerner (SMU) vs. Mariano Porter (UCF) 1-6, 6-4, 5-0, unf
5. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) def. Nicolo De Fraia (UCF) 6-3, 6-0
6. Yates Johnson (SMU) vs. Reece Acree (UCF) 5-2, unf
Doubles competition
1. #26 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU) def. Inaki Espindola/Chris Barrus (UCF) 6-2
2. Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) def. Tyler Pate/Reece Acree (UCF) 6-3
3. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) vs. Jack Thiessen/Mariano Porter (UCF) 4-3, unf
Match Notes
UCF 9-13
SMU 20-7; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (3,5,1)
Post-Match Quotes from SMU’s recap
“I’m proud of our guys, beating a tough UCF team today, said Head Coach Carl Neufeld. “I thought we fought incredibly hard and I think that is the most important part if want to continue playing.
Post-Match Quotes from UCF’s recap
“We are proud of the guys’ effort today versus a good team. They jumped on us early in doubles to gain momentum. We responded winning 3 of 5 first sets in singles. (We only used 5 courts due to maintenance issues.) We were gaining momentum. Credit to a top 30 team who responded like champs. They put the clamps on us.”
“Our focus now is to finish the academic semester as best we can. Then we prepare for the summer season which lays the foundation for a successful fall 2016 season.”

The other two matches at the AAC both finished in under two hours with the top-seed South Florida steamrolling East Carolina and the second-seed Tulsa overpowering Temple.

#23 Tulsa 4, Temple 0
Apr 22, 2016 at Memphis, Tenn. 
Singles competition
1. #46 Or Ram-Harel (Tulsa) defeated Santiago Canete (Temple), 6-1, 6-1
2. Majed Kilani (Tulsa) defeated Artem Kapshuk (Temple), 6-3, 6-3
3. Carlos Bautista (Tulsa) vs. Nicolas Paulus (Temple) 6-3, 4-4, unf.
4. Dylan McCloskey (Tulsa) vs. Hicham Belkssir (Temple), 6-3, 6-5, unf.
5. Okkie Kellerman (Tulsa) defeated Florian Mayer (Temple), 6-0, 6-4
6. Daniel Santos (Tulsa) vs. Vineet Naran (Temple), 1-2, unf.
Doubles competition
1. Kirby/O.Kellerman (Tulsa) defeated Belkssir/Naran (Temple), 6-2
2. McCloskey/Bechard (Tulsa) defeated Canete/Kapshuk (Temple), 6-2
3. Kilani/Bautista (Tulsa) vs. Mayer/Paulus (Temple), 3-3
Match Notes 
Tulsa 16-12; National ranking #23
Temple 20-6; 
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,5,2)

#17 South Florida 4, East Carolina 0
Apr 22, 2016 at Memphis, Tenn. (MUS)
Singles competition
1. #4 Roberto Cid (USF) def. Tendai Tapfuma (ECU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Kasey Countee (ECU) 6-3, 6-4
3. #48 Dominic Cotrone (USF) vs. Fredric Lehfeldt (ECU) 6-2, 5-3, unfinished 
4. Peter Bertran (USF) def. James Ling (ECU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Justin Roberts (USF) vs. Vlad Anghel (ECU) 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
6. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) vs. Will Bissett (ECU) unfinished
Doubles competition
1. #34 Sasha Gozun/Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. Tendai Tapfuma/James Ling (ECU) 6-1
2. Dominic Cotrone/Peter Bertran (USF) vs. Fredric Lehfeldt/Vlad Anghel (ECU) 4-2, unfinished 
3. Roberto Cid/Everth Dzib (USF) def. Kasey Countee/Will Bissett (ECU) 6-2
Match Notes:
East Carolina 11-13
South Florida18-8; National ranking #17 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,4,2) 
Post-Match Quotes from USF’s recap
“I was pleased with the way our guys competed today from start to finish, said head coach Matt Hill. “We didn’t know these guys very well and they have some really good young players, so I thought the guys handled the situation really well.
“There will be some adversity thrown our way in this tournament and we are going to have to deal with that and handle that well, said Hill. “We need to expect that, so when the adversity comes, we are not surprised, because it’s how we respond that is going to gives us our best chance.

All four men’s matches at the ACC Tournament got moved indoors at various locations through the Research Triangle. Two of the four matches would be decided in third set breaks.

Wake Forest defeated Notre Dame 4-3 when Romain Bogaerts came back from 5-2 down in the deciding tiebreak to beat Alex Lawson 7-6(5).

Virginia Tech defeated Florida State 4-3 when Amerigo Contini came back from 4-1 down in the third set to defeat Michael Rinaldi 7-6(2).

In the other two quarterfinals matches North Carolina shutout Georgia Tech 4-0 and Virginia beat NC State 4-1.

For full details you can check out the ACC’s recap

#7 Wake Forest 4, #41 Notre Dame 3
Apr 22, 2016 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center) 
Singles competition
1. #14 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #32 Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
2. Josh Hagar (ND) def. #19 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 6-1, 7-5
3. Eddy Covalschi (ND) def. Jon Ho (WF) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
4. #118 Romain Bogaerts (WF) def. Alex Lawson (ND) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) def. Christian Seraphim (WF) 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Grayson Broadus (ND) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. #12 A. Lawson/Q. Monaghan (ND) 5-6, unf
2. #78 Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (WF) def. #44 Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) 6-4
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Grayson Broadus/Nicolas Montoya (ND) 6-3
Match Notes
Notre Dame 15-13; National ranking #41
Wake Forest 27-5; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,2,1,3,5,4)
Match moved to Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. due to rain.
Post-Match Quotes from ND’s recap
“I’m really, really proud of our team and the way we fought, the Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire said. “Wake Forest is obviously one of the very best teams in the country and we just continued to battle, scratch, claw, fight and put ourselves in a position to win was awesome. This is the way we want to compete match in and match out.
“You’re going to win some of these and lose some of these and it’s not about that, it’s about how you go about it, Sachire said. “Those two seniors have been through the wars. The know what to do and they executed under an immense amount of pressure. I wouldn’t second-guess one point, one shot of what they did. They did a great job.
#36 Virginia Tech def. #21 Florida State, 4-3
April 22, 2016 Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, Chapel Hill, N.C. 
Singles competition
1. #22 Joao Monteiro (VT) def. #9 Benjamin Lock (FSU), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
2. #66 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. #69 Marco Nunez (FSU), 7-5, 7-6 (4)
3. #107 Amerigo Contini (VT) def. Michael Rinaldi (FSU), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2)
4. Edoardo Tessaro (VT) def. Aziz Dougaz (FSU), 7-5, 6-1
5. Jose Gracia (FSU) def. Mitch Harper (VT), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
6. Terrance Whitehurst (FSU) def. Aaron Gomez (VT), 6-0, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #16 Lock/Nunez (FSU) vs. #15 Bjerrehus/Monteiro (VT), 5-3, dnf.
2. Dougaz/Rinaldi (FSU) def. Contini/Tessaro (VT), 6-3
3. Gracia/Whitehurst (FSU) def. Jai Corbett/Harper (VT), 6-3
Match Notes
Order of Finish Singles: 6,4,1,2,5,3; Doubles: 2,3

Post-Match Quotes from head coach Dwayne Hultquist via FSU’s recap

“It was a great college match. It was competitive. Virginia Tech is an outstanding team and one of the most underranked teams in the country based on what their ability is. We had a great win over them earlier in the season at their place, and this is a great win for them to beat us. The difference came down to the flipping of the matches (5 of 7 spots changed results from the regular season match). We won the doubles point this time, and they won it last time. They were good at closing matches out in the decisive sets. That’s exactly what we did up there.
I’m extremely proud of Jose. He was down to match point and came back and won. I was very pleased with Terrance, one of his best matches of the year in convincing fashion.
I’m sure Michael feels bad about not winning his match, but that’s only one of four points that occurred. He did a great job of coming back from a first set loss. We lost the match in the first set they won five of six.
On what he said to the team after the match:
“I told them the key was the flipping of the matches and that we didn’t play good enough in the first sets. They did a good job of not giving up and digging in and fighting. Certainly, it’s advantageous for Virginia Tech to play indoors, but we did a good job in a hard-fought indoor match.
On how the team will prepare over the next three weeks for the NCAA Tournament:
“The first thing is we have to get through finals. We’re fortunate to have a couple guys, Ben and Marco, playing in the Tallahassee Challenger next week. We’ll take some days off to regroup and get our bodies healthier and train hard. There’s some things we can correct and improve on, but this is not a bad loss.

Texas Tech kept its hopes of winning a share of the Big 12 with a hard fought 5-2 win over Texas. The Red Raiders took the doubles point with 6-3 wins at No. 1 and No. 3 and then took four opening sets in singles. Felipe Soares and Jolan Cailleau would clinch at the same time to give Tech the win.

No. 9 Texas Tech 5, No. 19 Texas 2 
04/22/16 at Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center) 
Doubles competition
1. #73 Alex Sendegeya/Bjorn Thomson (TTU) vs. George Goldhoff/Michael Riechmann (UT): 6-3 
2. Adrian Ortiz/Julian Zlobinsky (UT) defeats Connor Curry/Felipe Soares (TTU): 6-2 
3. Carlos DiLaura/Hugo Dojas (TTU) defeats John Mee/Harrison Scott (UT): 6-3 
Singles competition
1. #20 Felipe Soares (TTU) defeats #64 George Goldhoff (UT): 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 
2. #110 Hugo Dojas (TTU) defeats Harrison Scott (UT): 6-4, 7-6 (3) 
3. Alex Sendegeya (TTU) defeats Adrian Ortiz (UT): 6-3, 6-4 
4. #119 Jolan Cailleau (TTU) defeats Rodrigo Banzer (UT): 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 
5. Michael Riechmann (UT) defeats Connor Curry (TTU): 7-5, 6-2 
6. Julian Zlobinsky (UT) defeats Bjorn Thomson (TTU): 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 
Match Notes 
Texas Tech (25-4, 3-1 Big 12); National ranking No. 9 
Texas (17-10, 1-4 Big 12); National ranking No. 19 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,3,2,6,1,4) 
Post-Match Quotes from Texas Tech’s recap
“It was awesome to come right out of the gate and win the doubles point, Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. “It was a fun atmosphere, and the electric crowd was a huge help for us. I thought our guys handled some pressure moments well in the middle of the doubles matches. We weren’t playing our best when singles started. However, we found a way to get four first sets, and that carried us forward.
“It was amazing feeling and the first time beating Texas in my career, Soares said. “It was great to be at home and to have my parents here. I love third sets, it can go both ways. I felt that he (Goldhoff) was under all the pressure tonight. The crowd was unbelievable, and they helped me a lot. My serve was huge. I felt I served very well in the spots that I wanted to, and that helped me a lot too.
“Hugo and Felipe are the most veteran guys on the team, Masi said. They had never beat Texas, so that had to be on their mind. Hugo played a great breaker in the second set. I thought it was important that he got us off the court and got us to three points. Jolan and Felipe were doing a good job in their third sets and both went out to big leads early. Again, they were looking to fight back after they lost their second sets. We were able to build ourselves a cushion and were able to bring the victory home.
Post-Match Quotes from Texas’s recap
“It was a tough match,” said 16th-year UT head coach Michael Center.  “Obviously, Texas Tech has an outstanding team, and there’s a reason they’re in the top 10 (nationally). We fought them really, really hard.”
“There were a couple of things in doubles that didn’t go our way, and that was unfortunate, but I thought the guys rebounded in the singles,” Center said.  “We gave ourselves a chance to win.” 
“Tech has two All-Americans at the top who scored on us, but we were outstanding tonight at Nos. 5 and 6 singles,” Center added.  “I give a lot of credit to our guys. They’ve gone through a rugged season. We’ve played a great schedule, and the guys have improved and fought hard. We’ll go back to work and get ready for the postseason starting next week.”

Also don’t forget about my conference central page which has all the results from the various conference tournaments along with the schedule of play for Saturday.