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The College MatchDay series wrapped up its Lake Nona schedule on Tuesday evening with a top two showdown between No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Ohio State. Florida’s No. 3 doubles team of Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock went down an early break at 2-1 but they broke back from 30/40 and held for 3-2. They’d break for 4-2 but Ohio State’s Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz would break from 30/40 to put it back on serve at 4-3. It didn’t stay on serve for long because Florida broke back at love and then served it out from 40/30 to win 6-3. 

Florida’s Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan jumped out to a 2-0 lead at No. 1 doubles but Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo and Anna Sanford would hold, break, and hold to go in front 3-2. After three more holds, Florida would break on the no-ad point for 5-4 but Ohio State would break back from 30/40 to even it at 5-5. Florida broke back on the no-ad point for 6-5 and then Keegan served it out from 40/30 to give Florida the 1-0 lead. The match at No. 2 went unfinished with the score tied at 5-5. 

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Florida came out strong in singles and took four opening sets with three of them pretty lopsided. Florida freshman Ingrid Neel raced out to a 5-0 first set lead at No. 2 but Gabriella De Santis would hold and then fight off two set points to break on the no-ad point for 5-2. Neel would break back on the no-ad point to close out the set 6-2. Neel got off to a quick start in the second set and led 5-1 but she got broke from 15/40 to make it 5-2. Neel had four match points on De Santis’s 2-5 service game but De Santis managed to hold for 3-5. Neel fell behind 30/40 on her next service game but De Santis netted a backhand and then Neel closed it out with a forehand winner off the line. De Santis actually called Neel’s forehand wide but the chair overruled.

Florida junior Anna Danilina stretched the lead to 3-0 with a straight set win at No. 3. Danilina came out of the gates quickly and led 4-0 and closed out the set 6-2. Danilina went up a double break in the second set at 4-1 but Ohio State’s Anna Sanford erased one break to pull within 4-3. Danilina held for 5-3 but Sanford would hold and then break from 30/40 to tie it at 5-5. Danilina broke back from 30/40 and then served it out from 40/30 to win 6-2, 7-5. Sanford called the final point out but the chair quickly overruled – ESPN3 replayed the point a few times and Patrick McEnroe made a comment that it was well inside the line.

Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo would put the Buckeyes on the board with a routine 6-3, 6-1 win over Belinda Woolcock at No. 1 but there wouldn’t be much time to celebrate because Florida’s Kourtney Keegan was nearing the finish line at No. 6. Keegan was serving for the match up 6-4, 5-2 (30/0) and she’d promptly take the next two points to clinch the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win. 

The other two matches were abandoned with Ohio State’s Sandy Niehaus serving at 30/15 in the opening game of the third set at No. 4 singles while Florida’s Brooke Austin was serving 0-3 (40/30) in the third set at No. 5.

 

 

#1 Florida 4, #2 Ohio State 1
Mar 14, 2017 at Orlando, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
Singles competition
1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. #19 Belinda Woolcock (UF) 6-3, 6-1
2. #14 Ingrid Neel (UF) def. #41 Gabriella De Santis (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
3. #22 Anna Danilina (UF) def. #61 Anna Sanford (OSU) 6-2, 7-5
4. #12 Josie Kuhlman (UF) vs. #54 Sandy Niehaus (OSU) 6-1, 4-6, 0-0, unfinished
5. #125 Brooke Austin (UF) vs. #53 Miho Kowase (OSU) 3-6, 6-1, 0-3, unfinished
6. #32 Kourtney Keegan (UF) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #15 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (UF) def. #63 Francesca Di Lorenzo/Anna Sanford (OSU) 7-5
2. #14 Anna Danilina/Ingrid Neel (UF) vs. #31 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (OSU) 5-5* (30/0), unfinished
3. #36 Josie Kuhlman/Belinda Woolcock (UF) def. Miho Kowase/Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU) 6-3
Match Notes:
Ohio State 14-2; National ranking #2
Florida 13-0; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,3,1,6)
A-642

Post-Match Quotes from Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist via Florida’s recap
Overall thoughts on the match:
“It was tough to play tonight in swirling, 20-mile-an-hour winds. In singles, I was really pleased with how we moved forward despite the wind. I thought we had a pretty conservative, simple game plan to start and it looked to me like we were the only team that was able to move forward and perhaps that was a big difference, especially in singles today.
 
“Overall, I was really pleased. It was a tough day to play beautiful tennis. I’m glad that we can have days like these when our goal is to be efficient and not beautiful in the way we play and then you become an effective team and that’s what happened today.”
 
On similar windy conditions last weekend at Texas A&M helping to prep for this match:
“I do. Our team is also a little older and we’ve been through it in that we don’t panic. We’re very lucid, we think our way through situations and today you saw them do that. To Ohio State’s credit, they started inching their way back and made it dicey there at the end. I just like the way we’re playing our way forward to finish. We continued to do what got us our leads in the first place to close out matches and that’s really important.”
 
On doubles and winning the big points:
“Our team on court one had laser focus today and that’s something we talked about after the South Carolina match. We played at a really high level. The same for our team on court three. Aside from the second game of that match, they had an almost perfect performance.”
 
On the experience of College MatchDay and the USTA National Campus:
“It was great. The USTA was first class in what they did here. This facility is amazing. It wouldn’t shock me if this became a place that hosts the NCAA Tournament because you have everything here that you need to run a successful, large event. The fact that we got to play with TV cameras around on the court added some nerves to it and we were able to whether that. There were a lot of positives from today.”
 
On playing host to Georgia on Friday:
“We played them at the National Team Indoor Championships earlier this season and it was a nail-bitter. Our matches are always tight like that. There is always extra emotion. I’m glad to be playing this many big matches already this season. We’re going to try and treat Friday’s match like just another match and play at the highest level possible. We’re certainly happy to get back home and play in front of our fans.”
 

Post-Match Quotes from Ohio State’s recap
“This was a great experience for us to be at the National Campus playing the best team,” Melissa Schaub, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have some things to go back and work on. We did not start out well tonight. We fought hard and tried to make a run at the end in some second and third sets, but it was just a little too late. Florida is a very good team and all of the credit goes to them. We will get back to work.”

 

 

The best match of the day on the men’s side took place in Malibu as Pepperdine and No. 9 Oklahoma went toe-to-toe for just under 3 hours and 15 minutes. Pepperdine took the doubles point and then the teams split first sets in singles. Oklahoma senior Alex Ghilea picked up a quick 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 2 and then junior Spencer Papa put the Sooners in front with a 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 1. Pepperdine senior Stefan Menichella tied the match at 2-2 with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 4 but Oklahoma freshman Jochen Bertsch answered with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 5. Pepperdine freshman Dane Esses tied it back up with a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 6 so the match would be decided in the lone third set at No. 3.

Pepperdine junior Pedro Iamachkine led Oklahoma junior Florin Bragusi 6-3, 4-2 but Bragusi took the next four games to force a third set. The third set stayed on serve through the first 11 service games but there wouldn’t be a 12th hold because Bragusi would break Iamachkine to close it out 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

#9 Oklahoma 4, Pepperdine University 3
Mar 14, 2017 at Malibu, Calif. (Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #21 Spencer Papa (OU) def. Hadlich, Guilherme (PEP) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
2. #101 Alex Ghilea (OU) def. Pane, Lautaro (PEP) 6-0, 6-2
3. #77 Florin Bragusi (OU) def. Iamachkine, Pedro (PEP) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
4. Menichella, Stefan (PEP) def. Adrian Oetzbach (OU) 7-5, 6-2
5. Jochen Bertsch (OU) def. Van Slyke, Jack (PEP) 6-4, 6-4
6. Esses, Dane (PEP) def. Arnaud Restifo (OU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
Doubles competition
1. Menichella, Stefan/Van Slyke, Jack (PEP) def. #59 Spencer Papa/Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-3
2. Alex Ghilea/Adrian Oetzbach (OU) def. Hadlich, Guilherme/Sidney, Gabriel (PEP) 6-0
3. Pane, Lautaro/Iamachkine, Pedro (PEP) def. Jochen Bertsch/Mason Bridegan (OU) 6-4
Match Notes
Oklahoma 11-3; National ranking #9
Pepperdine University 4-6, 1-0 WCC
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,1,4,5,6,3)

 

 

USC started off the day with a blowout win over Lehigh but in the nightcap they got pushed to their limits by Texas Tech. Both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles were blowouts with Texas Tech winning 6-0 at No. 1 and USC winning 6-1 at No. 2. USC led 5-3 at No. 3 doubles but Texas Tech would break the Jack Jaede serve on the no-ad point to put it back on serve at 4-5. Texas Tech’s Jackson Cobb held for 5-5 and then he and Alex Sendegeya went up 0/30 on Rob Bellamy’s serve. Bellamy hit back-to-back service winners to get it to 30-all and then a Jaede volley winner made it 40/30. Bellamy earned the hold with his third service winner of the game and now Texas Tech was serving to stay in the match again. Alex Sendegeya went up 40/30 but then Cobb netted Bellamy’s return to make it 40-all. USC would get the break and 7-5 win when Sendegeya couldn’t handle a Jaede forehand and that gave USC the early 1-0 lead. 

USC quickly extended its lead to 3-0 with Thibault Forget and Riley Smith rolling at No. 5 and No. 6 but Texas Tech got back in it with Bjorn Thomson and Connor Curry winning in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 3. Texas Tech senior Jolan Cailleau had just split sets with Brandon Holt at No. 1 and Alex Sendegeya was serving for the second set against Jack Jaede at No. 4 so it looked like the match would be decided by a pair of third sets.

Sendegeya went up 40/30 on his 6-5 service game but he lost a volley dual with Jaede to make it 40-all. On the no-ad point, Jaede would get the break after Sendegeya yanked a forehand wide so off to a tiebreak they went. The only time Sendegeya led in the tiebreak was at 4-3* but Jaede won the next two points to go up 5-4*. Sendegeya evened it at 5-5 but Jaede would hit a forehand winner down the line to go up 6-5 and then he closed it out with a service winner to clinch the match with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win. 

 

 

They played the final match out and in an upset Jolan Cailleau would defeat Brandon Holt 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 to make the final score 4-3. 

#7 Southern Cal 4, Texas Tech 3
03/14/17 at Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif)
Singles competition
1. #63 Jolan Cailleau (TT) def. #16 Brandon Holt (USC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. Bjorn Thomson (TT) def. #45 Logan Smith (USC) 6-2, 6-2
3. Connor Curry (TT) def. Nick Crystal (USC) 6-0, 7-5
4. Jack Jaede (USC) def. Alex Sendegeya (TT) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Thibault Forget (USC) def. Pyry Hyrkkonen (TT) 6-0, 6-1
6. Riley Smith (USC) def. Jackson Cobb (TT) 6-1, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #33 Connor Curry/Bjorn Thomson (TT) def. #19 Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (USC) 6-0
2. Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC) def. Carlos DiLaura/Jolan Cailleau (TT) 6-1
3. Rob Bellamay/Jack Jaede (USC) def. Jackson Cobb/Alex Sendegeya (TT) 7-5
Match Notes:
Texas Tech 6-10
Southern Cal 15-2; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,5,2,3,4,1)
T-2:42 A-116

Post-Match Quotes from Texas Tech’s recap
“I’m proud of some of the individual wins, but we just can’t quite get over the hump,” Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. “We’ve been showing that we can play with these top programs, but we need to be able to come through against one of them to kickstart something. Our players will continue to work hard, and we’re close to getting those types of wins.”

 

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Columbia began its spring break Texas trip with a stop at No. 33 SMU. Columbia won the doubles point with 6-3 wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then the Lions took five opening sets in singles with three of them coming in tiebreaks. SMU senior Yates Johnson tied the match at 1-1 with a straight set win over Timothy Wang at No. 6 (SMU box score and live scoring incorrectly showed Adam Ambrozy) but Columbia freshman Alex Keyser put the Lions back in front with a straight set win at No. 4. 

Columbia sophomore William Matheson made it 3-1 with a close 7-5, 6-4 win over Tony Russell at No. 5. Matheson fought off a set point when he served at 4-5 (40/40) in the first. Fellow sophomore Victor Pham would clinch the Columbia win with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Hunter Johnson at No. 2. Pham saved a set point in the first set when he served at 5-6 (40/40). 

The other matches went unfinished with Columbia up a set on both. Interesting note – Columbia used 10 different players in the match with only two doubles starters also playing singles. 

#24 Columbia 4, #33 SMU 1
Mar 14, 2017 at Dallas, Texas (SMU Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #72 Shawn Hadavi (COLUM) vs. #50 Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) 7-6 (11-9), 2-4, unfinished
2. #91 Victor Pham (COLUM) def. #56 Hunter Johnson (SMU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
3. #83 Jackie Tang (COLUM) vs. Samm Butler (SMU) 7-6 (7-4), 3-4, unfinished
4. Alex Keyser (COLUM) def. Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-2, 6-2
5. William Matheson (COLUM) def. Tony Russell (SMU) 7-5, 6-4
6. Yates Johnson (SMU) def. Timothy Wang (COLUM) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #20 Victor Pham/Richard Pham (COLUM) vs. #18 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU) 5-3,  unfinished
2. Christopher Grant/Michal Rolski (COLUM) def. Markus Kerner/Arkadijs Slobodkins (SMU) 6-3
3. Shawn Hadavi/Adam Ambrozy (COLUM) def. Tony Russell/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) 6-3
Match Notes
Columbia 9-2; National ranking #24
SMU 9-4; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,4,5,2)

Post-Match Quotes from Columbia Associate Head Coach Howard Endelman
“It was a solid, 10-player team effort. We changed our doubles and all three teams brought energy. SMU outplayed us in four first sets and we were fortunate to save set points at #1, #2 and #5 singles and eventually win all those first sets. Those comebacks gave us a big momentum boost. It was fun to play outdoors, which we prefer.”
 

 

This has been a season of firsts for Sadhaf Pucher and her Southern Utah men’s team. SUU entered this season winless with a 0-56 record since starting the program in the fall of 2012. After dropping its first three, SUU picked up its first-ever win on February 17th over Creighton and since then it has added two more wins. SUU still had never won a conference match but that would change on Tuesday afternoon against the defending Big Sky Champions, Idaho.

SUU got some good fortune when Idaho was forced to forfeit No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles since travel complications left the Vandals with only five players. Idaho won easily at No. 1 doubles but SUU picked up a 7-6 (8) win at No. 2 to claim the doubles point.

The forfeit win at No. 6 singles made it 2-0 but Idaho surged ahead 3-2 with wins from Mark Kovacs, Felipe Fonseca, and Estaban Santibanez at 1, 2, and 4. SUU’s Guy Feigin tied the match at 3-3 with a 7-6, 6-4 win at No. 3 which set the stage for a dramatic finish at No. 5. Idaho’s Peter Shin led SUU’s Cedric Rupa 6-2 in the third set tiebreak but Rupa came back to win 10-8 to give SUU it’s fourth win of the season and first-ever conference win. 

Southern Utah 4, Idaho 3
Mar 14, 2017 at Cedar City, UT (Thunderbird Tennis Courts)
Singles competition
1. Kovacs, Mark (UI) def. TORDOFF, Conor (SUU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
2. Fonseca, Felipe (UI) def. ALBA, Micah (SUU) 6-0, 6-0
3. FEIGIN, Guy (SUU) def. Coutinho,Lucas (UI) 7-6, 6-4
4. Santibanez, Estaban (UI) def. PALACIO, Sergio (SUU) 6-4, 6-0
5. RUPA, Cedric (SUU) def. Shin, Peter (UI) 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8)
6. HANSEL, Tristin (SUU) def. No player (UI), by forfeit
Doubles competition
1. Kovacs, Mark/Fonseca, Felipe (UI) def. PALACIO, Sergio/RUPA, Cedric (SUU) 6-1
2. TORDOFF, Conor/FEIGIN, Guy (SUU) def. Coutinho,Lucas/Santibanez, Estaban (UI) 7-6 (10-8)
3. ALBA, Micah/HANSEL, Tristin (SUU) def. No player/No player (UI), by forfeit
Match Notes:
Idaho 7-4
Southern Utah 4-9
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,4,1,3,5)
T-3:25
 

Post-Match Quotes from SUUs’s recap
“We seized every opportunity we had. We won three crucial tiebreakers and took advantage of a very good Idaho team,” head coach Sadhaf Pucher said. “This is by far our best win of program history and the biggest upset in Big Sky history.”

“Cedric Rupa showed why we call him the ‘super senior’ of the team,” Pucher said. “Everyone on this team believes that we are doing something special this year, which makes coaching these guys a blessing.”

“Credit to Coach Keith for keeping Cedric calm and focused throughout his match,” Pucher said of the assistant coach. “We are very lucky to have such a strong staff.”

 

 

Mercer won its 15th straight match on Tuesday with a 5-2 road win at Wofford. Mercer dropped the doubles point by rolled at 2, 3, 4, and 5 singles with Olivier Stuart clinching at No. 3. The 15 straight wins are a program record but the streak will face a serious test in less than two weeks when the Bears face the reigning conference champs East Tennessee State although the match will be at the friendly confines of the Leroy Peddy Tennis Center in Macon. 

Mercer 5, Wofford 2
March 14, 2017 | 2:30 p.m. | Spartanburg, S.C. | Reeves Tennis Center
Singles competition
1. Haris Poric (WOF) def. Nicolas Guillon (MER) 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 (10-5)
2. Sam Philp (MER) def. Lucas Cerbelli (WOF) 6-2, 6-3
3. Olivier Stuart (MER) def. Parks Schoen (WOF) 6-2, 6-4
4. Fernando Guardia (MER) def. Jack Thomas (WOF) 6-2, 6-3
5. Ruben Vanoppen (MER) def. Julian Chousa (WOF) 6-0, 6-3
6. E. Tsiranidis (MER) def. Kyle Barr (WOF) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6)
Doubles competition
1. Sam Philp/Olivier Stuart (MER) def. Haris Poric/Julian Chousa (WOF) 6-4
2. Andrew Graham/Patrick Longest (WOF) def. Nicolas Guillon/Fernando Guardia (MER) 7-6 (7-4)
3. Lucas Cerbelli/Jack Thomas (WOF) def. Ruben Vanoppen/E. Tsiranidis (MER) 6-4
Match Notes:
Mercer 16-2
Wofford 9-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,2,4,3,6,1)
T-2:54 A-88