While some conferences are already half way through their schedules others are just beginning. Both the Big 12 and Pac 12 kickoff conference play on Friday while the ACC, SEC, and Big 10 are nearing or have already passed its half way point.  Below are the 4 biggest matches of the day so make sure you keep an eye on these.

#14 North Carolina (14-6) at #8 Virginia (12-3) - 3pm est - North Carolina's biggest problem this year has been fielding a healthy starting 6 and there's a chance that its best 6 players may be on the court on Friday.  UNC's #1 Brayden Schnur has now missed the last 5 matches but the Tar Heels hope that he'll be able to go on Friday. Virginia has battled some injuries as well but they still haven't missed a beat in conference play with its current ACC winning streak at 129.  UNC is 15-5 in doubles while Virginia is 13-2.  These teams met earlier this year in Chicago, in the consolation draw, at the National Indoors with Virginia cruising to a 4-0 win.  This one might be a little closer but Virginia will still win comfortably. I like UVA in doubles and see singles wins from Frank, Shane, Altamirano, Kwiatkowski, and Aragone.  Prediction: Virginia 6-1

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 26th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Projected Lineups:
1. #12 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.48) vs. #29 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.89)
2. #24 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.20) vs. #6 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54)
3. #69 Brett Clark (UNC 13.74) vs. #55 Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.80)
4. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.03) vs. #10 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVA 14.76)
5. Jack Murray (UNC 13.95) vs. Alexander Ritschard (UVA 13.89)
6. #99 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.59) vs. J.C. Aragone (UVA 13.94)

Others who could play: Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.43), #112 Mac Styslinger (UVA 13.93)

#17 Vanderbilt (15-5) at #5 Georgia (15-2) - 5pm est - The last time these two met came in the quarterfinals of last year's SEC Tournament which happened to be in Nashville.  Vandy pulled off the upset of the #1 seeded Bulldogs winning 4-2 but so far this year Georgia has been rolling in conference play.  Georgia is 12-5 in doubles while Vanderbilt is 14-6.  Both teams have really strong #1s with Georgia's Austin Smith and Ben Wagland the new ITA #1 and Vandy's Gonzales Austin and Rhys Johnson ranked #4 though they were #1 just 2 weeks ago.

Georgia will be a pretty heavy favorite at 2, 5, and 6 singles but the other 3 courts should all be close. Gonzales Austin and Daniel Valent have been the Dores stalwarts going 32-3 in dual match play while their opponents Wayne Montgomery and Nathan Pasha are a combined 20-5.  Both teams #4 players have been up and down with Wagland currently up and Yee currently down.  Wagland has won 3 straight after dropping 4 of 5 while Yee has lost 2 straight and 6 of 8.  I like Georgia in doubles and see them picking up wins from Smith, Wood, and Oosterbaan.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0

Projected Lineups:
1. #7 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.47) vs. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.59)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.51) vs. #31 Austin Smith (UGA 14.17)
3. Daniel Valent (VU 13.88) vs. #18 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.36)
4. Kris Yee (VU 13.59) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.25)
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.86) vs. Nick Wood (UGA 13.83)
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.90) vs. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.63)

Others who could play: Jeff Offerdahl (VU 12.60)

#11 Ohio State (15-6) at #19 Northwestern (12-6) - 6pm est - This matchup lost a little steam when Northwestern got upset Wednesday night by Rice which snapped the Wildcats 6 match winning streak. Ohio State has won 96 straight regular season Big 10 matches dating back to 2005 which happened to be the last time that Northwestern beat Ohio State.  The Buckeyes have won 12 straight in the series but this hasn't been the best year for Ohio State and its streaks because so far this year the Buckeyes 200-match home court winning streak and its 294-match top 10 streak have both been snapped.  I think the doubles point will be a key in this one because right now I see the singles courts split.  I like Torpegaard, Steinbach, and Metka at 1, 5, and 6 and Kirchheimer, Zieba, and Staggs at 2, 3, and 4.

Ohio State is a stout 17-4 in doubles though the Buckeyes have dropped the point 2 of the last 3 times out.  Northwestern is 10-8 in doubles but just 4-7 against ranked opponents.  I'll take Ohio State in doubles and therefore the match.  Prediction: Ohio State 4-3

Projected Lineups:
1. #32 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 14.03) vs. #92 Sam Shropshire (NW 13.85)
2. #44 Chris Diaz (OSU 14.01) vs. #124 Strong Kirchheimer (NW 13.75)
3. Hunter Callahan (OSU 13.88) vs. Konrad Zieba (NW 13.70)
4. #116 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.49) vs. Logan Staggs (NW 13.26)
5. #83 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.84) vs. Mihir Kumar (NW 12.93)
6. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.79) vs. Fedor Baev (NW 12.97)

Others who could play: Alp Horoz (NW 12.87)

#10 TCU (14-5) at #1 Oklahoma (17-1) - 6:30pm est - TCU brings a 5-match winning streak into this one while Oklahoma has won 7 straight.  Neither team has been too hot in doubles with Oklahoma 9-9 and TCU 10-7.  Oklahoma's strength has been its top 3 with Alvarez, Harris, and Webb a combined 37-5 in dual match play while TCU's top 3 of Chappell, Norrie, and Nunez is a combined 31-8.  Axel Alvarez has a team best 15-0 record for OU while Guillermo Nunez leads the way for TCU with a 14-0 record.  TCU has the talent to keep this one close but Oklahoma is still stronger top to bottom.  I like OU in doubles and Alvarez, Harris, and Papa in singles.  Prediction: Oklahoma 4-1

Projected Lineups:
1.  #36 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.82) vs. #2 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.59)
2.  #37 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.30)  vs. #13 Andrew Harris (OU 14.74)
3.  #76 Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.72) vs. #23 Dane Webb (OU 14.32)
4.  Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.91) vs. #65 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.15)
5.  Will Stein (TCU 13.30) vs. Spencer Papa (OU 13.81)
6.  Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.64) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.51)

Others who could play: Trevor Johnson (TCU 13.36), Jose Salazar (OU 13.72)

Other Friday storylines:

Can #23 Louisville follow up its big win over #14 North Carolina by winning in Atlanta against an upstart #73 Georgia Tech team?

Can #13 Ole Miss rebound from its loss to #34 Mississippi State by winning in Baton Rouge or does #24 LSU make it 3 conference wins in a row?

Will #3 Illinois show any mercy on #50 Penn State or will the Illini put the hammer down to make sure Penn State can't challenge anything this year?

#22 Oklahoma State has had some decent wins this year but they've yet to beat anybody in the top 25 - do they get over the hump against #7 Texas or do the Horns take it to them?

Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:14

When A Win Isn't A Win

Written by
We are coming up one the 1 year anniversary of one of the odder things that has happened in college tennis in the last several years.

Last year on March 28th, Illinois and Penn State played an exhausting dual match in State College that lasted just under 6 hours (4 indoor courts) and ended with the Illini coming out on top thanks to Julian Childers coming back from a set down to win in 3. After the match each coach praised the other team and talked about how great a match it was - I mean why wouldn't they after spending almost 6 hours together.

So why is all this so strange?  It's strange because 5 days later the Big 10 overturned the decision due to a Penn State protest based off Illinois playing it's highest ranked player, Jared Hiltzik, at #1 singles. Hiltzik had been out of action for 6 weeks recovering from an injury and was soundly beaten by Leonard Stakhovsky in his return to the court.  The Big 10 coaches felt that playing a less than 100% Hiltzik at #1 was a line-up stack giving the Illini a better chance at each of the remaining courts.  The coaches felt that Hiltzik should have played at 2 with Farris Gosea at 1.

UPDATE: After writing this I found out some more details that I wanted to share. The Big 10, like several other conferences, requires the coaches to submit their lineups early in the week for the upcoming matches and after the submission there is a challenge process.  It was during the challenge process, several days before the match, that the other Big 10 coaches voted down the Illinois lineup and made them change it to show Gosea at 1 and Hiltzik at 2.  Despite having its originally submitted lineup struck down, Illinois decided to use it anyway on principal (as stated at the bottom) and that's why the protest was made and followed through on.  Even if Penn State hadn't protested the result it could have been challenged by any other coach in the conference.  I still don't necessarily agree with it but now I fully understand it and can respect the decision made by the Big 10.   The statement at the very bottom from April 2 alluded to the protest but I originally read it to mean the lineup was protested after the fact when in reality it was protested during the challenge process days before the match was played. 

If I really thought that Penn State would have swept 1 and 2 with Gosea at 1 and Hiltzik at 2 then I wouldn't have thought twice about what the Big 10 decided.  However anyone that followed Illinois last year knew that the Illini's #2, Farris Gosea, was tearing it up and would have won regardless of where he was put in the lineup.  Gosea was 12-3 in dual match play coming into the Penn State match while his opponent Russell Bader was 15-2.   Gosea would drop a whole 2 games to Bader and would finish the regular season on a 12-match winning streak.  Now if Gosea had won the match 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 then someone could have come to the conclusion that had he played at #1 the result wouldn't have been the same but it wasn't a close match at all - I mean 6-1, 6-1 - come on.  Despite all of that the Big 10 felt that Penn State's protest was valid and awarded the win to the Nittany Lions.

You hear about teams filing protests all the time but this is one of the few occasions that I can think of where the result of a match was altered.

A couple of other instances mentioned by Colette Lewis and Texas College Tennis were from 2006 when Northwestern had a loss to Wisconsin overturned and in 2010 the Syracuse women had a win overturned into a loss against Eastern Michigan.

It's interesting to re-read the post-match quotes in the proper context - gives you a little bit of a chuckle - "wish you had a second chance" - well coach the Big 10 gave you your second chance.  I wonder if Brad still thinks Coach Zinn is doing a great job or if his opinion changed after the ruling.

These two teams are set to meet again this coming Friday in Champaign and I don't think Illinois is going to hold anything back - anything other than a 7-0 score would be very surprising.

Illinois recap

"Our guys fought hard at Penn State today," continued Dancer. "Coach Zinn is doing a great job with his team and it was a difficult match."

Penn State recap

"This was one of those matches in the Big Ten that you wish you had a second chance at, there were just so many ebbs and flows to this match," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "I really thought we were going to win that last match. Being up a set, I thought the momentum would take us through it. Credit to the Illinois guy, he fought hard, he came back and won a really good match. It's hard to have a freshman in that situation like we did, but that's why he came here to be in big situations."

"I thought today, doubles was going to be a key point and it was," said Zinn. "It was the first doubles match we've lost in a long time. It was our first time playing outside since spring break. It wasn't the greatest tennis outside before the rain came, but I felt that we adjusted pretty well. We started to make a comeback in singles outside and that translated when we came indoors."

"Great effort by our team today, inching back to a possible upset against No. 9 Illinois," said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. "Tied at 3-3, Marc almost came back after splitting the first two sets, but both players started getting tired and Illinois closed it out. We showed again today that we can really compete in the Big Ten this year."

#10 Illinois 4, #23 Penn State 3 
Mar 28, 2014 at University Park, Pa.
Singles competition
1. #50 Leonard Stakhovsky (PSU) def. #9 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
2. #23 Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Russell Bader (PSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Alex Fennell (PSU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5
4. Matt Barry (PSU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL) 6-3, 6-2
5. Roman Trkulja (PSU) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Julian Childers (ILL) def. Marc ColladoCastells (PSU) 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #3 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #28 Russell Bader/Leonard Stakhovsky (PSU) 8-7 (7-3)
2. #54 Michael Reilly/Chris Young (PSU) vs. Jared Hiltzik/Farris Gosea (ILL) 4-5, unfinished
3. Blake Bazarnik/Alex Jesse (ILL) def. David Kohan/ChristianLutschaunig (PSU) 8-3
Match Notes:
Illinois 14-5, 4-0; National ranking #10
Penn State 15-3, 2-2; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)
45 Minute Rain Delay
Match started outdoors at Sarni Tennis Center

T-5:52 A-151

#23 Penn State 4, #10 Illinois 3 (Modified)
Mar 28, 2014 at University Park, Pa. (Indoor Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #50 Leonard Stakhovsky (PSU) def. #9 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
2. #23 Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Russell Bader (PSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Alex Fennell (PSU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5
4. Matt Barry (PSU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL) 6-3, 6-2
5. Roman Trkulja (PSU) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Julian Childers (ILL) def. Marc ColladoCastells (PSU) 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #3 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #28 Russell Bader/Leonard Stakhovsky (PSU) 8-7 (7-3)
2. #54 Michael Reilly/Chris Young (PSU) vs. Jared Hiltzik/Farris Gosea (ILL) 4-5, unfinished
3. Blake Bazarnik/Alex Jesse (ILL) def. David Kohan/ChristianLutschaunig (PSU) 8-3
Match Notes:
Illinois 13-6, 3-1; National ranking #10
Penn State 16-2, 3-2; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)
45 Minute Rain Delay; Match started outdoors at Sarni Tennis Center
Penn State protested Illinois' lineup. The Big Ten overturned the match
The point at No. 2 singles was awarded to Penn State.

T-5:52 A-151

April 2, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference overturned the result of the March 28 men's tennis match between Illinois and Penn State. The action was taken by the conference after a lineup protest filed by Penn State regarding the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions was upheld by the conference protest committee. As a result of the committee's decision, the No. 2 singles point is awarded to Penn State to result in a 4-3 match victory for the Nittany Lions. While the team result was changed, all individual match results will be maintained.

Earlier in the week, Illinois submitted a lineup with Jared Hiltzik, ranked ninth in the nation, in the No. 1 singles position. The submitted lineup was protested by the opposing coaches last weekend. Illinois competed with Hiltzik, who was returning after missing nearly six weeks of action with an injury,  at No. 1 singles and Farris Gosea at No. 2 singles Friday at Penn State. Penn State then filed the lineup protest that was eventually upheld by the conference.

"I disagree with the current Big Ten policy on the setting of lineups," Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. "We knew the ramifications of what could happen when we made the decision on our lineup last Friday. I'm disappointed in the situation, but, out of principle, we felt we needed to make a stand on what we believe is right. We adhered strictly to the guidelines set forth by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, but conference rules supersede ITA rules. We're disappointed with the situation and outcome, but, we'll accept it and move forward. This may allow us to begin the conversation to revise the system in the future."
Wednesday was a rough day to be a top 20 team on the road as both #13 Ole Miss and #19 Northwestern got upset.

In Houston, Rice picked up its 1st win over a top 20 opponent since 2009 when the Owls stunned Northwestern 4-1.  Rice took the doubles and then picked up singles wins from Srikar Alla, Max Andrews and David Warren at 1, 2, and 5.  Northwestern's Logan Staggs won at #4 singles in a losing effort and Konrad Zieba made his season debut at #3 singles for the Cats and led when the match was halted.

Rice recap

"All through the season, we have always stressed the importance of building the energy and putting up a fight no matter the outcome," Ustundag said. "Tonight you saw that happen over and over as they picked each other up. We started fast and never let up."

"This was a total team win," Ustundag said. "I think that perhaps Northwestern was a little flat at the start and we took advantage of that at the start. We played great doubles at one and three to get the point and then went right back out and took four first sets in singles.

"David never let up all night," Ustundag noted. "Getting off the court quickly and making it 2-0 really kept the pressure on them and you could see the impact that second point going up on the scoreboard had on the other matches."

"Srikar was the MVP of the match tonight," Ustundag said. "Right about the time when perhaps some of our early energy was running out, he gave us another boost." 

Northwestern recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 25th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Rice 4, #19 Northwestern 1
3/25/2015 at Houston, Texas (George R. Brown Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Srikar Alla (RICE 13.19) def. #92 Sam Shropshire (NU 13.85) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. Max Andrews (RICE 13.22) def. #102 Strong Kirchheimer (NU 13.74) 6-3, 7-5
3. Konrad Zieba (NU 13.69) vs. Jamie Malik (RICE 12.81) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
4. Logan Staggs (NU 13.25) def. Adam Gustafsson (RICE 13.06) 6-4, 6-4
5. David Warren (RICE 13.16) def. Fedor Baev (NU 12.95) 6-3, 6-4
6. Gustavo Gonzalez (RICE 11.81) vs. Alp Horoz (NU 12.87) 7-6, 3-6, 2-1, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. Max Andrews/David Warren (RICE) def. #69 Sam Shropshire/Alex Pasareanu (NU) 6-4
2. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Jamie Malik/Zach Yablon (RICE) 6-2
3. Gustavo Gonzalez/Adam Gustafsson (RICE) def. Konrad Zieba/Alp Horoz (NU) 6-3
Match Notes
Northwestern 12-6; National ranking #19
Rice 8-11
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,4,1,2)

T-2:40 A-100

It took 3 weeks longer than expected but Ole Miss and Mississippi State finally duked it out in the Battle for the Magnolia State.  The match was originally scheduled for March 5th but was postponed due to poor weather and State's indoor facility only having 2 courts.  

State got the early momentum by taking the doubles point and then each team won 3 1st sets.  Mate Cutura and Rishab Argawal extended the lead to 3-0 with straight sets wins at 3 and 5.  Vinod Gowda would get Ole Miss on the board with a 7-5, 6-4 win at #6 over Julian Cash but Ole Miss wasn't able to break through anywhere else despite having early leads at 2 and 4.  

It looked like Florian Lakat was going to clinch it for State when he opened up a 7-6, 3-0 over Nik Scholtz at #1 singles but the Rebel senior would come back and take the 2nd set in a tiebreak to force a 3rd.  

Then it looked like William Kallberg was going to close the gap to 3-2 when he led Tassilo Schmid 5-2 in the 3rd at #4 but despite having 3 match points on his 5-3 service game he would get broke and end up losing 5 straight games to drop the match 7-5 in the 3rd which gave State the 4-1 upset win over Ole Miss.  

Check out the Mississippi State recap for more in depth details. 

Miss State recap

"It's great for our team, our fans and our program for everyone to see how we compete and the atmosphere we bring out here, MSU coach Matt Roberts said. "It's really a great day for everyone to see what Mississippi State tennis is all about with this young team.

"It means a lot to me to clinch against Ole Miss in my senior season, Schmid said. "Down 5-3 and a break, I just kept thinking Man, this is not over yet.' I kept playing and bringing energy for my teammates still on the court and, next thing you know, I had saved three match points and ended up clinching.

"It was unreal today, between the feeling on the court and the crowd in the stands, Schmid said. "It was something very special in my last season of my college career.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 12:18

What's Coming Up

Written by
All the spring break tournaments are wrapped up and now its time for everybody to get into the meat of their conference schedules.   Below are some of the matches that I'll be keeping an eye on - the ones in bold are the ones I plan on previewing.

3/25 (Wednesday)
#13 Ole Miss at #34 Mississippi State - 4pm est/3pm cst

3/27 (Friday)
#14 North Carolina at #8 Virginia
#11 Ohio State at #19 Northwestern
#10 TCU at #1 Oklahoma
#7 Texas at #22 Oklahoma State
#17 Vanderbilt at #5 Georgia

3/28 (Saturday)
#12 Wake Forest at #38 NC State

3/29 (Sunday)
#4 Duke at #8 Virginia
#14 North Carolina at #16 Virginia Tech
#11 Ohio State at #3 Illinois (I'm going to try to make it to Champaign for this one)
#7 Texas at #1 Oklahoma
#10 TCU at #22 Oklahoma State
#13 Ole Miss at #9 Texas A&M
#27 Tulsa at #18 South Florida

#36 SMU opened up its new outdoor facility tonight but #60 Dartmouth spoiled the party with a 4-1 upset win.  The Big Green was playing the middle match of a 5 game road trip and after losing to both TCU and Oklahoma State it definitely was a welcome win.

Dartmouth came out and won a tight doubles point by winning 7-5 at both 1 and 3 while SMU took #2 doubles 6-4.  In singles, Dartmouth took the opening set on 5 of 6 courts and was able to pick up wins from Brendan Tannenbaum, Dovydas Sakinis, and Ciro Riccardi.  At the time of the clinch Dartmouth's Max Schmidt was a game away up 5-2 in the 3rd.

Turpin Stadium at SMU Tennis Complex

Dartmouth recap
SMU recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 24th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

#60 Dartmouth 4, #36 SMU 1
Mar 24, 2015 at Dallas, Texas
Singles competition
1. #86 Dovydas Sakinis (DART 13.64) def. Markus Kerner (SMU 12.84) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
2. Arturs Kazijevs (SMU 13.54) vs. #91 Chris Kipouras (DART 13.26) 6-7 (5), 6-2, unf
3. Ciro Riccardi (DART 13.14) def. Samm Butler (SMU 13.84) 7-5, 6-4
4. Nate Lammons (SMU 13.31) def. Diego Pedraza (DART 12.78) 6-2, 6-4
5. Max Schmidt (DART 12.60) vs. Arkadijs Slobodkins (SMU 12.72) 6-4, 1-6, 5-2 unf
6. Brendan Tannenbaum (DART 12.87) def. Tony Russell (SMU 11.31) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #21 Dovydas Sakinis/Chris Kipouras (DART) def. Arturs Kazijevs/Markus Kerner (SMU) 7-5
2. Nate Lammons/Arkadijs Slobodkins (SMU) def. Ciro Riccardi/Brendan Tannenbaum (DART) 6-4
3. Sam Todd/Diego Pedraza (DART) def. Samm Butler/Tony Russell (SMU) 7-5
Match Notes:
Dartmouth 9-6; National ranking #60
SMU 15-5; National ranking #36
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,1,3)

T-2:32 A-126

Pepperdine took the doubles point and then won 3 of the 4 matches that went to 3 sets in route to picking up a 5-2 win over Washington.  

Pepperdine recap
Washington recap

#49 Pepperdine 5, #56 Washington 2
Mar 24, 2015 at Malibu, Calif. (Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Guilherme Hadlich (PEP 13.21) def. #89 Mitch Stewart (UW 13.88) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
2. Jake Douglas (UW 13.87) def. Stefan Menichella (PEP 13.39) 6-3, 6-2
3. Gal Hakak (UW 13.51) def. Rakshay Thakkar (PEP 13.13) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
4. Pedro Iamachkine (PEP 12.88) def. Emmett Egger (UW 13.04) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Luca Marquard (PEP 12.06) def. Viktor Farkas (UW 13.18) 6-3, 6-3
6. Lautaro Pane (PEP 12.92) def. Joao Barra (UW 12.69) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. Emmett Egger/Jeff Hawke (UW) def. Guilherme Hadlich/Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 6-3
2. Tom Hill/Pedro Iamachkine (PEP) def. Joao Barra/Viktor Farkas (UW) 6-4
3. Lautaro Pane/Luca Marquard (PEP) def. Gal Hakak/Mitch Stewart (UW) 7-5
Match Notes
Washington 10-5; National ranking #56
Pepperdine 10-7; National ranking #49
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,6,3,4,6,1)

Oklahoma stays at #1 in the ITA Men's rankings for the 4th week in a row and for the 5th time in the last 6 weeks.   The USC women are the new #1 in the Women's rankings for the 1st time since 2003 after defeating both Cal and Stanford last weekend.   

Below I'll breakdown the Top 10 on the men's side looking at the 6 best wins that were used in the rankings this week along with other quality ranked wins that could potentially fit in down the road.  You'll notice some of the quality wins are ranked higher than a top 6 win and that is because I used the new ranking so that you can see what changes will be made next week.  

Oklahoma retained its #1 ranking after beating Columbia and Baylor last weekend at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge in Indian Wells.  
  • 6 Best Wins: #2 Baylor (2x), #6 USC, #8 Virginia, at #11 Ohio State, at #12 Wake Forest
  • Other Quality Wins: #13 Ole Miss, #14 North Carolina (2X), #18 South Florida, #19 Northwestern
  • Losses: #9 Texas A&M
  • What's Coming Up: #10 TCU (3/27), #7 Texas (3/29), #27 Tulsa (4/1)
  • Comments:  Well positioned to stay at #1 for some time with a great resume plus they get a chance to add not 1 but 2 more top 10 wins this weekend.   
Baylor moves up 1 spot from 3 to 2 on the strength of a win last weekend over USC. 
  • 6 Best Wins: #4 Duke, #6 USC, #8 Virginia (2X), at #13 Ole Miss, at #27 Tulsa
  • Other Quality Wins: #10 TCU, #15 UCLA, #29 Drake
  • Losses: #1 Oklahoma (2X), #3 Illinois
  • What's Coming Up:  No ranked opponents for next 2 weeks.
  • Comments:  The TCU and UCLA wins will bump the Tulsa win next win. 

Illinois drops 1 spot from 2 to 3 after losing to TCU a week ago on Monday and then sitting idle the rest of the week.
  • 6 Best Wins: at #2 Baylor, at #7 Texas, at #9 Texas A&M, #11 Ohio State, #14 North Carolina, #19 Northwestern
  • Other Quality Wins: #30 California, at #37 Notre Dame, #39 Indiana
  • Losses: #4 Duke, #5 Georgia, #10 TCU
  • What's Coming Up: #50 Penn State (3/27), #11 Ohio State (3/29)
  • Comments:  Big match on Sunday with Ohio State because a loss would mean their 7th best win for next week would be over #30 Cal.

Duke comes up 2 spots from 6 to 4 off the strength of a win last Sunday over Wake Forest.
  • 6 Best Wins: at #3 Illinois, #10 TCU, #12 Wake Forest (2X), #13 Ole Miss, at #19 Northwestern
  • Other Quality Wins: #38 NC State, #52 Tennessee, #59 Memphis
  • Losses: #2 Baylor, #16 Virginia Tech
  • What's Coming Up: at #63 Clemson (3/27), at #8 Virginia (3/29)
  • Comments:  Really big match on Sunday at Virginia.  A win would keep Duke in the top 5 but a loss would make #38 NC State the 7th best win next week.

Georgia holds firm at #5 this week after beating East Tennessee State and South Carolina last week.
  • 6 Best Wins: #3 Illinois, #9 Texas A&M, #15 UCLA, at #20 Florida, #24 LSU, #26 Columbia
  • Other Quality Wins: at #45 Auburn, at #52 Tennessee
  • Losses: #6 USC (2X)
  • What's Coming Up: #17 Vanderbilt (3/27)
  • Comments:  4 of UGA's 6 best wins dropped in the rankings this week so a win over Vanderbilt on Friday would help offset the points drop.

USC falls 2 spots from 4 to 6 after coming up short against Baylor last Saturday.  
  • 6 Best Wins: #5 Georgia (2X+1 was at UGA), #11 Ohio State, #15 UCLA, #20 Florida, #27 Tulsa
  • Other Quality Wins: #21 San Diego, #26 Columbia, #43 Stanford
  • Losses: #1 Oklahoma, #2 Baylor, #27 Tulsa
  • What's Coming Up: #56 Washington (3/27), #51 Oregon (3/28)
  • Comments:  USC won't face a top 50 opponent until they go to Cal on 4/10 but they'll have both the San Diego and Columbia wins jump into their top 7 best wins next week so they're still fairly well positioned.

Texas rises 1 spot from 8 to 7 coming off the win last week over Ohio State.  
  • 6 Best Wins: #11 Ohio State, #12 Wake Forest, #14 North Carolina, at #27 Tulsa, #31 Minnesota, #32 Florida State
  • Other Quality Wins: #26 Columbia, at #36 SMU, #50 Penn State
  • Losses: #3 Illinois, #11 Ohio State
  • What's Coming Up: at #22 Oklahoma State (3/27), at #1 Oklahoma (3/29)
  • Comments: Texas has a chance to pick up 2 big road wins this weekend with the Oklahoma swing but they'll mostly likely get a split at best.  The Columbia win will move into its best 7 next week.

Virginia comes up 1 spot from 9 to 8 after picking up a road win last week over Notre Dame.
  • 6 Best Wins: #10 TCU, at #12 Wake Forest, #14 North Carolina, #23 Louisville, at #37 NC State, at #38 Notre Dame
  • Other Quality Wins: #63 Clemson
  • Losses: #1 Oklahoma, #2 Baylor (2X)
  • What's Coming Up: #14 North Carolina (3/27), #4 Duke (3/29)
  • Comments:  Huge weekend coming up for Virginia with UNC and Duke coming to town.  Unlike in years past Virginia's resume is a little light this year so beating UNC and Duke would be a big step in the right direction.

Texas A&M drops 2 spots from 7 to 9 despite winning at Alabama and Mississippi State last week.  A&M dropping had more to do with Texas and Virginia improving their resumes last week while Texas A&M's stayed as-is. 
  • 6 Best Wins: #1 Oklahoma, #11 Ohio State, #17 Vanderbilt, #21 San Diego, at #34 Mississippi State, #52 Tennessee
  • Other Quality Wins: at #42 South Carolina, at #62 Alabama
  • Losses: #3 Illinois, #5 Georgia, #10 TCU
  • What's Coming Up:  #53 Arkansas (3/27), #13 Ole Miss (3/29)
  • Comments:  Big match on Sunday against #13 Ole Miss plus the Aggies will get a points boost next week with San Diego coming up 9 spots.  The road win at South Carolina will bump the Tennessee win as the 7th best win.  

Welcome to the Top 10 TCU as the Horned Frogs made the big jump from 18 to 10 off the strength of a win over Illinois last Monday plus they picked up wins over the weekend against Dartmouth and UT Arlington.
  • 6 Best Wins: #3 Illinois, at #9 Texas A&M, #24 LSU, at #27 Tulsa, #44 New Mexico, #60 Dartmouth
  • Other Quality Wins: #66 UC Santa Barbara, #70 UT Arlington
  • Losses: #2 Baylor, #4 Duke, #8 Virginia, #12 Wake Forest, #15 UCLA
  • What's Coming Up: at #1 Oklahoma (3/27), at #22 Oklahoma State (3/29)
  • Comments: TCU needs a win over #22 Oklahoma State this weekend otherwise they'll see a pretty big tumble next week because their 7th best win would be over #66 UC Santa Barbara plus 5 of their 6 best wins dropped this week.

Other Comments: 
  • Portland moves into the rankings for the 1st time this year after picking up a big win last weekend over Pepperdine so congrats to the Pilots.  
  • The Big 12 has a stranglehold on the top 3 in the singles rankings with Soren Hess-Olesen the new #1, Axel Alvarez #2, and Julian Lenz #3.  
  • Georgia's Austin Smith and Ben Wagland take over #1 in the doubles rankings - not bad for a team that had played together just once back in 2012 before being paired up on February 13th. 
  • Nice to see USC's Eric Johnson finally enter the singles rankings at #114 after the strong year he's had. The win over Baylor Max Tchoutakian is what pushed him over the top.  
  • Teams with the most # of singles starters ranked:  USC (6), Illinois (5), Baylor (5), Oklahoma (4), Ohio State (4), Texas A&M (4), Virginia (4)

Men's National Team Rankings 
Administered by the ITA
NCAA Division I Tennis
March 24, 2015
RankAvgSchoolPrevious Week
185.77University of Oklahoma1
277.19Baylor University3
376.49University of Illinois2
472.17Duke University6
570.27University of Georgia5
669.41University of Southern California4
763.31University of Texas8
859.90University of Virginia9
959.35Texas A&M University7
1151.93Ohio State University11
1248.41Wake Forest University12
1345.99University of Mississippi13
1443.42North Carolina10
1642.38Virginia Tech16
1739.36Vanderbilt University17
1838.23University of South Florida21
1937.81Northwestern University14
2037.12University of Florida15
2135.48University of San Diego30
2233.84Oklahoma State University31
2333.65University of Louisville26
2431.33Louisiana State University
Oct 11-22: ITA Regional Championships (campus sites)
Nov 7-11: National Fall Championships (Surprise, AZ)
Feb 8-11: Women's National Team Indoors (Seattle)
Feb 15-18: Men's National Team Indoors (Chicago)