Over the last few days both the ITA and USTA released their weekly rankings. There wasn’t much movement in the USTA/Tennis Channel Top 25 however in the Oracle ITA Top 50 there were several changes. Last week’s ITA rankings used each team’s four best wins but this week’s rankings used each team’s five best wins so that extra data point accounted for some of the movement. The North Carolina women took over the top spot from undefeated Georgia who just defeated them just two weeks ago in the finals of the National Team Indoors. UNC got a ranking bump by having wins over last week’s #3 Duke, #5 UCLA, #7 Vanderbilt, #13 Oklahoma State, and #23 NC State. Georgia’s five best wins used in this week’s rankings were over #2 UNC, #4 Stanford, #7 Vanderbilt, #23 NC State, and #31 Georgia Tech so that fifth win (#23 vs. #31) was where UNC made up the difference in points.
The USTA Men’s Top 25 didn’t have any movement in the top 9 though last week’s No. 10 UCLA dropped to No. 14 after a loss to USC. The USTA Women’s Top 25 didn’t have any movement in the top 13 and the other sizable movement in the top 25 was UCF entering at No. 24 while Florida, which lost to UCF, fell from No. 18 to No. 25.
I have the side-by-side tables of both the men and women down below so you can see where the biggest differences are at.
On Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh, the new ITA No. 1 North Carolina made the short 25 mile trip down the road and came away with a 5-2 win over NC State (ITA No. 11/USTA No. 14). The Tar Heels took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then added straight set wins at No. 3 and No. 4 to make it 3-0. Sara Daavettila and Makenna Jones each won in three sets at No. 2 and No. 1 to make it 5-0 with NC State picking up wins at No. 5 and No. 6 with both coming in a third set supertiebreak.
Straight from the Pack: Head Coach Simon Earnshaw
“It’s not the outcome we desired. When you look at the match, we struggled in doubles the first five or 10 minutes. Ultimately, we sort of caught up but could never get over the top of the hill. We did a good job of drawing it out. We haven’t quite figured out how to just get going immediately from the first point, being a bit cleaner and more aggressive. When you look at singles, we won four first sets. We had chances. I thought that we really gave a good effort overall. In that regard, I can’t criticize us physically or mentally. We just weren’t able to get quite far enough. We’re getting closer. We were very competitive with the No. 1 team in the nation.
“It’s good to see the seniors stepping up at this point in the season. We’re getting that going, but we’ve got to find a way to get everything going at the same time. I think we have the right direction. We can see the end destination now, and we know it’s going to be a lot more work to get to that point. I’m impatient as a coach and want to get there sooner rather than later, but I’m confident that at some point, that’s going to happen.”
#1/#2 North Carolina 5, #11/#14 NC State
Feb 27, 2019 at Raleigh, NC (J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center)
Doubles (order of finish: 1,2)
1. No. 16 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham (UNC) def. No. 10 Rogers/Smith: 6-3
2. No. 4 Cameron Morra/Makenna Jones (UNC) def. Bianca Moldovan/Liz Norman 6-4
3. Alle Sanford/Sara Daavettila (UNC) vs. Adriana Reami/Claudia Wiktorin 5-4, unfinished
Singles (order of finish: 4,3,2,1,5,6)
1. No. 2 Makenna Jones (UNC) def. No. 25 Anna Rogers: 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4
2. No. 6 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. No. 73 Alana Smith: 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. No. 5 Alexa Graham (UNC) def. No. 88 Adriana Reami: 6-2, 7-6, (8)
4. No. 27 Cameron Morra (UNC) def. Liz Norman: 6-0, 6-4
5. Bianca Moldovan (NCST) def. Jessie Aney: 6-3, 6-7 (4), 1-0 (9)
6. Amanda Rebol (NCST) def. Chloe Ouellet-Pizer: 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (1)
In San Diego on Wednesday, the host Toreros dropped the doubles point against Oklahoma State but came back in singles to get a 4-3 win. USD sophomore August Holmgren won the deciding match at No. 1 with a 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 win over OSU sophomore Matej Vocel. Holmgren jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the final set before Vocel took the next four to go up 4-3. Holmgren came back to win the final three to pull out a thrilling victory. Oklahoma State was able to pick up a win on Thursday over Cal in a match played just up the road in La Jolla – score further down below.
San Diego Men’s Tennis (@USDmtennis) February 28, 2019
“I was extremely proud of August for handling that moment the way he did,” said head coach Ryan Keckley. “It’s never easy to lose a commanding lead in the third set and find a way to come back. He has put a lot of hours on court crafting his trade, and we were all excited for him to see that hard work pay off today.”
“Great team effort today by this group,” said Keckley. “Oklahoma State is a very good team that is exceptionally coached and has done great things on the big stage. We had our back against the wall at pivotal points during this match and managed to continue to scratch and claw. I believe we can attribute that to a few tough 4-3 losses and how we have grown throughout the course of the season as a team.”
#35 San Diego 4, #32 Oklahoma State 3
Feb. 27, 2019 | Hogan Tennis Center | San Diego, Calif.
Doubles (Order of finish: 1,3)
1. Maxim Tybar/Mathieu Scaglia (OSU) def. August Holmgren/Joel Gamerov (SD) 6-1
2. Luke Hammond/Emile Hudd (OSU) vs. Nico Borter/Gui Osorio (SD) 4-3, unfinished
3. Brady Draheim/Matej Vocel (OSU) def. Guus Koevermans/David Norfeldt (SD) 6-2
Singles (Order of Finish: 3,2,5,4,6,1)
1. August Holmgren (USD) def. Matej Vocel (OSU) 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
2. Gui Osorio (USD) def. Mathieu Scaglia (OSU) 6-3, 6-0
3. Joel Gamerov (USD) def. Maxim Tybar (OSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Nico Borter (USD) def. Luke Hammond (OSU) 6-3, 7-6
5. Emile Hudd (OSU) def. David Norfeldt (USD) 6-2, 6-2
6. Brady Draheim (OSU) def. Guus Koevermans (USD) 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
- #2 Wake Forest def. Virginia Tech 6-1 – Deacs won a close dubs point and cruised at 1 & 5 singles while the other four matches went three sets (play started outdoors and moved indoors due to rain)
- #3 Texas def. Incarnate Word 7-0 – Horns only dropped 15 games in singles
- #6/#4 North Carolina def. Duke 4-1 – UNC won dubs and picked up straight set wins at 2, 4, & 6 – Duke was ahead on the two unfinished matches
- #14/#16 Michigan won at Michigan State 6-1 – all matches finished in straight sets with no match closer than 6-3, 6-2
- #19/#15 Tennessee def. Middle Tennessee St 6-1 – all of UT’s wins came in straight sets
- #22 Arizona won at Cal Poly 4-3 – Wildcats won their 8th in a row after sophomore Filip Malbasic won the decider at No. 2 singles 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
- #23/#14 UCLA def. Grand Canyon 4-2 – Bruins dropped the doubles point but rallied in singles with 4 of 6 singles matches going three sets – neither Cressy or Keegan Smith played
- NR/#24 Texas A&M def. #45 Tulsa 5-2 – Aggies won a close doubles point and then added four straight set wins in singles (match played indoors in Waco)
- #32 Oklahoma State def. #47 Cal 4-2 – Cowboys won the neutral site match in La Jolla when sophomore Maxim Tybar clinched with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win at No. 3
- Georgia def. #48 Florida Atlantic 5-2 – Bulldogs took dubs and won four singles matches in straight sets
- #48 Florida Atlantic won at #49 Georgia State 4-3 – Jason Legall won the decider at No.1 over Giles Hussey 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
- Western Michigan def. Valparaiso 4-3 – Broncos junior Jannik Optiz clinched with a 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 1
- #24 Texas Tech def. SMU 7-0 – Aggies won all 12 sets in singles
- #31 Washington State won at #37 Kansas State 4-2 – Cougars took dubs and won in straights at 3 and 5 and 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1.
- Mercer def. UAB 4-3 – Blazers only had four players and won doubles and at No. 2 and No. 3 singles but lost at No. 1 singles 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 – forfeited #3 dubs, #5 & #6 singles
***All quotes are from the respective school’s recaps