The singles draws have reached the quarterfinal round with only two seeds remaining on the women’s side (top two seeds) while 5 of the top 8 men’s seeds remain though there was a big upset in the Round of 16.
The big upset came when Florida freshman Sam Riffice came back from a set down to knock out on of the favorites No. 2 seed JJ Wolf (Ohio State) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Wolf entered the match with a 35-1 singles record (31 straight set wins) and had only dropped 7 sets all season but Riffice was able to get it going in the last two sets. Riffice on how he fought through after dropping the first set, “I had a lot of chances in the first set, I was up a break early on. I just wasnt serving well. I kind of changed up where I was placing my serves and I tried to serve with more body just because hes got such powerful swings. I tried to not let him extend, so I tried jamming him up. I felt like I was holding my serve a lot more, I knew I was in his service games, I had a lot of close chances and he served his way out. I felt like over time I broke down his serve which happened late in the second and the third sets.”
Riffice on how he pulled out the win, “I think I played an amazing match today. I had a good game plan to disrupt his rhythm since hes such a powerful player. Hes got a really good serve and first strike afterward. I was trying to mix up the rhythm; slice a lot, get the ball over his head and do those types of things to throw him off and disrupt him. I thought I executed my game plan really well today.”
Men’s top seed Nuno Borges (Miss State) had a great day on the court. The Bulldog senior only dropped 1 game in a straight set rout over Tennessee’s Timo Stodder and then later Borges and his doubles partner Strahinja Rakic dropped just 3 games in a win over Cal’s Jacob Brumm and Yuta Kikuchi (Cal). Borges is now 35-2 on the year in singles while he and Rakic are 23-10 on the year in doubles. Borges and Rakic on whats been clicking for the pair, “Sometimes we make the same call in the serve at the same exact time. We feel each other, we play similar, we know what we want. Thats how it is, if you understand each other, it helps.”
According to Mississippi State’s recap, the Bulldogs became the first team since Stanford in 1998 to have 2 players make the singles quarterfinals and 2 teams make the doubles quarterfinals. Joining Borges in the singles quarterfinals was Giovanni Oradini who came back from a set down to edge Columbia’s Jack Lin 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 while Oradini and Niclas Braun advanced to the doubles quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Northwestern’s Simen Bratholm and Nick Brookes.
South Carolina junior and No. 4 seed Paul Jubb became just the second Gamecocks man (Guillaume Legat/2001) to advance to the quarterfinals after a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over North Carolina’s Ben Sigouin. In the second set, Jubb broke Sigouin’s 4-4 service game from 30/40 and then served it out on the deciding point for the win. Jubb on the 30/40 point, “He had me on the run (in that break point), and I just had to stay in there. He was making errors throughout the match, so I knew that anything in the court was better than me feeling pressure to make a big shot. I just wanted to keep it in the court and see where I could gain ground. The slice I hit didn’t feel great, but it hit the line and he wasn’t in position.”
The rest of the men’s results are listed down below.
Four of the remaining eight in the women’s draw come from the same conference, the ACC. Women’s top seed Miami FL’s Estela Perez-Somarriba outlasted VCU’s Paola Delgado 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(3) in 2 hours and 58 minutes. Perez-Somarriba served for the match up 5-3 in the third but Delgado broke, held, and broke again to go up 6-5. Perez-Somarriba broke at love to force a tiebreak and then she jumped out to a 4-1 lead and took it 7-3. “You have to give so much credit to both of those girls, just laying it on the line, physically and mentally,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Both players were physically pushing and testing their limits. The ball tolerance of both of them per point, I would say, was an average of probably 10 shots . . . I’ve seen a lot of really good college tennis matches and that’s got to be top-five.”
The women’s second seed Georgia’s Katarina Jokic also needed three sets to get past Kansas’s Anastasia Rychagova with Jokic opening a 5-1 lead in the final frame before closing it out 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-3. “We had a lot of long points,” Jokic said. “I was trying to be aggressive, but she wasn’t letting me hit winners, because she was really fast, so that was the biggest challenge for me. I was playing really well in the first set, and she was making some errors. In the second set, she started playing better, leading to the tighter play.”
Duke sophomore Kelly Chen fought off three match points in a furious 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 comeback win over No. 6 seed Fernanda Contreras (Vandy). Chen trailed 4-6, 2-5 before winning 11 of the next 13 games.
Illinois sophomore Asuka Kawai became the first Illini women to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals after a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 7 Alexa Graham (UNC). Illinois head coach Evan Clark on Kawai’s performance, “I continue to be impressed with how Asuka handles the moment and the stage she is on. She has handled her mental stability beautifully throughout the tournament. To be down 5-1 in the first set and come back to win shows you how she is currently operating.”
Texas Tech senior Felicity Maltby became the first Red Raider women to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals after a 7-5, 6-0 win over Hawaii’s Petra Melounova. “Today was a great example of how much this young lady has grown. Down 5-1 in the first and to will 12 straight games, shows how much she has matured to not get lost in the moment,” Head Coach Todd Petty said. “She’s the first NCAA quarterfinalist in program history and no one deserves it more. She’s getting stronger as the tournament advances and that’s what you have to do to have a shot.
Check out the USTA National Campus’s website for other post-match quotes along with links to scoring and video. Also make sure you check NCAATennis on Twitter because they have clips of almost all the match points.
Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (Miss State) def. Simen Bratholm/Nick Brookes (Northwestern) 6-4, 6-2
Murkel Dellien/Marius Frosa (Wichita State) def. Payton Holden/Ryan Seggerman (Princeton) 4-6, 6-3, 11-9
Patrick Kaukovalta/Mazen Osama (Alabama) def. William Blumberg/Bo Boyden (UNC) 7-5, 6-2
[5-8] Timo Stodder/Preston Touliatos (Tenn) def. N. Moreno De Alboran/Anders Holm (UCSB) 6-1, 4-6, 10-5
 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (Miss State) def. Jacob Brumm/Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) 6-1, 6-2
Joel Gamerov/August Holmgren (USD) def. [5-8] Juan Carlos Aguilar/Barnaby Smith (TX A&M) 7-6, 3-6, 14-12
 Max Cressy/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Marko Ilic/Hendrik Inno (Belmont) 6-2, 6-3
Murkel Dellien/Marius Frosa (Wichita State) vs. Patrick Kaukovalta/Mazen Osama (Alabama) – 7 pm
 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (Miss State) vs. [5-8] Timo Stodder/Preston Touliatos (Tenn) – NB 8 pm
 Max Cressy/Keegan Smith (UCLA) vs. Joel Gamerov/August Holmgren (USD) – 7 pm
Women’s Round of 16:
 Estela Perez-Somarriba (Miami FL) def. Paola Delgado (VCU) 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(3)
Asuka Kawai (Illinois) def.  Alexa Graham (UNC) 7-5, 6-3
Felicity Maltby (Texas Tech) def. Petra Melounova (Hawaii) 7-5, 6-0
Cameron Morra (UNC) def. Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-7(1), 7-6(6), 6-2
Kelly Chen (Duke) def.  Fernanda Contreras (Vandy) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. Solymar Colling (USD) 6-3, 6-3
Jada Hart (UCLA) def. Katarina Stresnakova (Okla State) 7-5, 6-4
 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. [9-16] Anastasia Rychagova (Kansas) 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-3
 Estela Perez-Somarriba (Miami FL Jr/ESP) vs. Asuka Kawai (Illinois So/JPN) – NB 5 pm
Felicity Maltby (Texas Tech Sr/USA) vs. Cameron Morra (UNC Fr/USA) – NB 5 pm
Kelly Chen (Duke So/USA) vs. Sara Daavettila (UNC Jr/USA) – 4 pm
 Katarina Jokic (UGA Soph/SRB) vs. Jada Hart (UCLA Jr/USA) – 4 pm
Women’s Doubles Round of 16
 Angela Kulikov/Rianna Valdes (USC) def. Graciela Rosas/Sophie Whittle (Gonzaga) 6-1, 6-4
Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner (Tulsa) def. [5-8] Nina Khmelnitckaia/Janet Koch (Kansas) 7-6, 6-7, 10-3
 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) def. Marie Leduc/Fernanda Navarro (Clemson) 7-6, 7-6
[5-8] Makenna Jones/Cameron Morra (UNC) def. Ksenia Kuznetsova/Valeriya Zeleva (UCF) 7-5, 7-6(6)
[5-8] Anna Rogers/Alana Smith (NCST) def. Sofia Blanco/Catherine Gulihur (Okla State) 6-4, 6-0
 Ingrid Gamarra Martins/Mia Horvit (South Carolina) def. Tiffany Mylonas/Hikaru Sato (Wash State) 6-3, 6-3
Kate Fahey/Brienne Minor (Michigan) def. Elysia Bolton/Jada Hart (UCLA) 6-2, 7-6
Lourdes Carle/Katarina Jokic (UGA) def.  Alexa Graham/Jessie Aney (UNC) 6-1, 6-3
Women’s Doubles Quarterfinals
 Angela Kulikov/Rianna Valdes (USC) vs. Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner (Tulsa) – 7 pm
 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) vs. [5-8] Makenna Jones/Cameron Morra (UNC) – NB 8 pm
 Ingrid Gamarra Martins/Mia Horvit (South Carolina) vs. [5-8] Anna Rogers/Alana Smith (NCST) – 7 pm
Lourdes Carle/Katarina Jokic (UGA) vs. Kate Fahey/Brienne Minor (Michigan) – NB 8 pm
**Quotes are from the school’s recaps or the USTA National Campus’s daily recap.