Just when you thought it was safe to go outside at night the Minnesota Golden Gophers jumped out from behind the tree and yelled boo and shocked #3 Illinois 4-3.

Minnesota took the doubles point for the 20th time in 24 matches by getting wins at #1 (Jack Hamburg/Mathieu Froment) and #2 (Felix Corwin/Leandro Toledo) with the win at #2 coming in the tiebreak.  Illinois had won the doubles point in the previous 6 matches but is now just 15-10 on the year in doubles.

Despite falling behind, many people including myself thought Illinois would turn it on in singles and still get it done but Minnesota said not tonight.

The biggest singles upset came in the first match to finish as Minnesota's Jack Hamburg snapped #57 Aleks Vukic's 14-match winning streak with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #5 singles.  Vukic hadn't dropped a set since March 15th.  For those that like tracking the UTRs of each player you'll notice that there was a difference of more than 1.00 which means this is definitely an upset.

After falling behind 2-0, Illinois would get back in the match with wins from Farris Gosea, Tim Kopinski, and Aron Hiltzik at 1, 3, and 4 to put the Illini up 3-2.

It looked like Jared Hiltzik was going to close out Matic Spec in straight sets at #2 when he had 3 match points in the 2nd set but Spec would come back to take the set in a tiebreak.  Spec jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 3rd but Hiltzik would take the next 2 to tie it back up.  Spec would then take the next 4 games and close it out 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 to even the match at 3-3.  Matic Spec has now won 11 in a row and 19-2 on the year in dual-match play.

In the deciding match at #6 singles, Minnesota's Mathieu Froment would come back from a set down to take the 2nd set and then go up 4-2 in the 3rd against Blake Bazarnik.  Bazarnik would then hold, break, and hold again to go up 5-4.  Spec held for 5-5, Bazarnik held easily for 6-5, then Bazarnik would go up 15-40 on the Froment serve to give himself 2 match points.  Froment battled back and took the next 4 points to hold and force a tiebreak to decide the match.  Bazarnik served first in the TB and went up 1-0, then Froment took the next 2 points to go up 2-1, then Bazarnik got the next one to tie it at 2-2.  I thought this might be heading for an epic 15-13 tiebreak or something like that but Froment would then take the next 5 points and close it out 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2).
If Minnesota can beat #27 Northwestern on Sunday we'd have a 3-way tie for 1st in the Big 10. As of this moment I'm not sure how the seeds for the Big 10 Tournament would be determined if there was a 3-way tie for 1st.  Since they'd all have the same H2H record I'm guessing that it'd revert to the highest ITA ranking to determine seeds.  Just a guess but if someone at a Big 10 school has knowledge of the tiebreaker procedure let me know and I'll post it.

Minnesota recap
Illinois recap

"Minnesota has very good players and are well coached," head coach Brad Dancer said. "They put on a great event and gave it the feel of a Big Ten Championship match. We had them down in multiple spots ready to close them out. Triple match point and double match point on separate courts to finish the match. Anytime a team fights back from that you have to give them all the credit. Minnesota earned the win. We know we have work to do. It's up to the coaches to prepare the team and be ready for Sunday."

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of April 17th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

#33 Minnesota 4, #3 Illinois 3
Apr. 17, 2015 at Minneapolis, Minn. (Baseline Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #75 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.52) def. #21 Leandro Toledo (MINN 14.18) 6-4, 6-4
2. #94 Matic Spec (MINN 14.09) def. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.58) 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
3. #56 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.24) def. Ruben Weber (MINN 13.40) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. #64 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.09) def. Felix Corwin (MINN 13.46) 6-2, 6-3
5. Jack Hamburg (MINN 13.32) def. #57 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.43) 6-4, 6-4
6. Mathieu Froment (MINN 12.85) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL 12.99) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
Doubles competition
1. #47 Jack Hamburg/Mathieu Froment (MINN) def. #60 Jared Hiltzik/Kopinski (ILL) 8-4
2. Felix Corwin/Leandro Toledo (MINN) def. Aron Hiltzik/Ross Guignon (ILL) 8-7 (7-3)
3. Matic Spec/Eric Frueh (MINN) vs. Farris Gosea/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 7-6, unf
Match Notes
Illinois 21-4 (9-1 Big Ten); National ranking #3
Minnesota 18-6 (9-1 Big Ten); National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,4,1,3,2,6)

The match of the day at the SEC Tournament came in the opener as the #3 seed Mississippi State knocked off the #6 seed Florida 4-3.  State dropped the doubles point but came back in singles and took 5 opening sets and managed to finish 3 of those in straights.  The matches at #3 and #4 would both go to a 3rd set and while Gordon Watson got the win at #3 for Florida it would be Mississippi State's Rishab Agarwal getting the clincher at #4 singles over Chase Perez-Blanco 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.   Perez-Blanco had won 11 of his previous 12 matches going into this one while Agarwal himself has now won 11 straight.

Mississippi State recap

"That was a great performance and a great win for our guys out there today, MSU coach Matt Roberts said. "We struggled in doubles, but these guys, as they have all year, answered the challenge and came back strong. They brought a lot of energy and emotion and overcame a tough Florida team.

"Really proud of Florian, Tassilo, Julian and Rishab. They didn't let the fact that we were down 1-0 put pressure on themselves, Roberts said. "It's mindsets like that which have been key to us all year. They brought it with every point and helped us move on to Saturday.

Florida recap

#20 Mississippi State 4, #17 Florida 3
Singles competition
1. #76 Florian Lakat (MSU) def. #53 Diego Hidalgo (UF) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
2. #116 Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Juan Cruz Estevarena (MSU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-0
3. #120 Gordon Watson (UF) def. #118 Mate Cutura (MSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Rishab Agarwal (MSU) def. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Tassilo Schmid (MSU) def. Maxx Lipman (UF) 6-4, 7-5
6. Julian Cash (MSU) def. Joshua Wardell (UF) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #51 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) def. #7 Florian Lakat/Julian Cash (MSU) 6-3
2. #50 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF) def. Mate Cutura/Tassilo Schmid (MSU) 6-2
3. Juan Cruz Estevarena/Robin Haden (MSU) vs. Wardell/Perez-Blanco (UF) 2-5, unf
Match Notes:
Florida 14-8; National ranking #17
Mississippi State 19-6; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,1,6,5,3,4)
SEC Quarterfinals

#6 Texas A&M 4, #25 LSU 0
Apr 17, 2015 at College Station, TX (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #74 Jordan Daigle (LSU) vs. #61 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-4, 2-4, unf
2. Chris Simpson (LSU) vs. #69 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-2, 4-4, unf
3. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. Boris Arias (LSU) 6-3, 4-4, unf
4. #55 Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. Andrew Korinek (LSU) 6-4, 6-1
5. #93 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Justin Butsch (LSU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Simon Freund (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #11 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. #20 Daigle/Boris Arias (LSU) 6-1
2. Chris Simpson/Justin Butsch (LSU) def. #46 Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-2
3. Arthur Rinderknech/AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Tam Trinh/Simon Freund (LSU) 7-5
Match Notes
LSU 17-8; National ranking #25
Texas A&M 19-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,6)
SEC Quarterfinals

#13 Ole Miss 4, #22 Vanderbilt 1
April 17, 2015 at College Station, TX (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VANDY) def. #19 Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-2, 6-3
2. #87 Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. Rhys Johnson (VANDY) 6-3, 6-1
3. Gustav Hansson (OM) def. #84 Daniel Valent (VANDY) 6-3, 6-4
4. William Kallberg (OM) def. Kris Yee (VANDY) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
5. Ricardo Jorge (OM) vs. Suresh Eswaran (VANDY) 5-7, 6-4, 3-3, unf
6. Vinod Gowda (OM) vs. Baker Newman (VANDY) 7-5, 5-7, 0-0, unf
Doubles competition
1. #39 Nik Scholtz/Zvonimir Babic (OM) vs. #2 Austin/Johnson (VU) 6-6 (5-4)
2. Stefan Lindmark/Gustav Hansson (OM) def. Baker Newman/Pen Binet (VU) 6-3
3. William Kallberg/Ricardo Jorge (OM) def. Jeffrey Offerdahl/Daniel Valent (VU) 7-5
Match Notes
Vanderbilt 19-7; National ranking #22
Ole Miss 17-7; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,1,3,4)
SEC Quarterfinal

#5 Georgia 4, #42 Tennessee 0
April 17, 2015 at College Station, TX (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #15 Mikelis Libietis (UT) vs. #29 Austin Smith (UGA) 7-6(2), 1-2* unf
2. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) vs. Hunter Reese (UT) 6-4, 4-2 unf
3. #26 Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Jack Schipanski (UT) 6-2, 6-2
4. Luis Valero (UT) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA) 7-5, 1-1 unf
5. Nick Wood (UGA) def. Andrew Dromsky (UT) 6-3, 6-3
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-0, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #1 Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (UGA) def. #6 Libietis/Reese (UT) 7-6 (9)
2. Nathan Pasha/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Dromsky/Smelyanski (UT) 6-2
3. Luis Valero/Jack Schipanski (UT) def. Wayne Montgomery/Nick Wood (UGA) 6-3
Match Notes:
Tennessee 14-12; National ranking #42
Georgia 20-3; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,3)
SEC quarterfinal

UTSA 4, Southern Miss 3
Apr 17, 2015 at Norfolk, Va. (Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #82 Tomas Stillman (UTSA) def. Tarun Surat (USM) 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3
2. Wen-Po Tseng (USM) def. Yannick Junger (UTSA) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
3. Chao-Yu Huang (USM) def. Tito Moreiras (UTSA) 6-3, 6-0
4. Brad Marriott (USM) def. Joel Rubio (UTSA) 6-4, 7-6 (7-6)
5. Joao Riquelme (UTSA) def. Alex Doleac (USM) 6-2, 6-3
6. Diogo Casa (UTSA) def. Mikhail Esipov (USM) 6-3, 7-5
Doubles competition
1. #67 Stillman/Moreiras (UTSA) def. Wen-Po Tseng/Chao-Yu Huang (USM) 8-3
2. Yannick Junger/Diogo Casa (UTSA) def. Tarun Surat/Daniel Merker (USM) 8-6
3. Joel Rubio/Jake Rother (UTSA) vs. Brad Marriott/Alex Doleac (USM) 6-6, unf
Match Notes:
Southern Miss 15-9
UTSA 15-8
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,3,6,2,4,1)

Top 25 (through 4/17)

3Texas A&M 66.19
11Wake Forest48.21
12Ohio State47.07
13Ole Miss45.99
15North Carolina*41.52
16Virginia Tech*41.01
17Texas Tech40.13
18Mississippi State39.89
19Columbia* 38.28
21San Diego38.02
22South Florida 35.83
12 conference tournaments are in progress on the men's side with the quarterfinals taking place today in many of them.

If you haven't checked it out yet take a look at my Conference Tournament Central page which has details on all the conference tournaments plus live scoring links (if available).  The tab is at the top of my blog as well.

I also have a page just for the SEC Tournament which shows all the results, schedules, universal tennis ratings of the players, and the results from the regular season meeting.

Some storylines to follow for today:

  • #12 Wake Forest at #37 Notre Dame - Wake's the better team but Notre Dame could give them a good match in a few spots - #1 singles should be great - Noah Rubin vs. Quentin Monaghan.
  • #3 Illinois at #33 Minnesota - Illinois has dominated the Big 10 this year and has yet to be threatened by anyone while Minnesota has quietly put together a nice year. Minnesota may get a point or two but I think Illinois still wins fairly comfortably.  
  • #44 SMU vs. #49 Memphis (AAC Tournament) - Both of these teams are sitting on the bubble so a win would be helpful to the winner while the loser can probably clean out its locker for the season.
  • #13 Ole Miss vs. #22 Vanderbilt (SEC Quarterfinal) - Ole Miss won the regular season meeting 4-0 though a few of the matches never got started due to it being played indoors on 3 courts.  If Vanderbilt doesn't play any better than they did against Auburn this one will likely end with another 4-0 Ole Miss win. 

Top 25 Teams In Action Today (scoring links below):

#3 Illinois at #33 Minnesota
#4 Virginia at #32 Florida State
#5 Georgia vs. #42 Tennessee (SEC Tournament)
#6 Texas A&M vs. #25 LSU (SEC Tournament)
#8 Duke at #30 Louisville
#11 Ohio State at #66 Iowa
#12 Wake Forest at #37 Notre Dame
#13 Ole Miss vs. #22 Vanderbilt (SEC Tournament)
#14 Virginia Tech at Miami
#15 North Carolina at Georgia Tech
#17 Florida vs. #20 Mississippi State (SEC Tournament)
#21 South Florida vs. Temple (AAC Tournament)
#23 Columbia at #35 Princeton

Friday Schedule:

SEC Tournament (College Station, TX)
#2 Texas A&M vs. #7 LSU - 10am est - Live Scoring
#3 Mississippi State vs. #6 Florida - 10am est - Live Scoring
#1 Georgia vs. #8 Tennessee - 12pm est - Live Scoring UT Blog
#4 Ole Miss vs. #5 Vanderbilt - 12pm est - Live Scoring

AAC Tournament (Tulsa, OK) - Streaming Video & Live Scoring
#1 South Florida vs Temple - 10am est 
#4 SMU vs #5 Memphis - 10am est
#3 Tulane vs #6 Central Florida - 4pm est 
#2 Tulsa vs #7 East Carolina - 4pm est 

Atlantic Sun (Jacksonville, FL) Live Scoring
#3 USC Upstate vs. #6 Northern Kentucky - 2:30pm est
#4 Stetson vs. #5 Kennesaw State - 5pm est

Colonial Tournament (Williamsburg, VA)
#1 UNC Wilmington vs. #8 Delaware - 3pm est - Live Scoring
#4 College of Charleston vs. #5 James Madison - 3pm est - Live Scoring
#2 Elon vs #7 Drexel - 6pm est - Live Scoring
#3 William & Mary vs. #6 Hofstra - 6pm est - Live Scoring 

Conference USA (Norfolk, VA)
#2 Old Dominion vs. #7 UAB - 10am est - Live Scoring
#3 UTSA vs. #6 Southern Miss - 10am est - Live Scoring
#4 Charlotte vs. #5 Middle Tennessee State - 2pm est - Live Scoring

Northeast Conference Tournament (West Windsor, NJ) - Northeast Blog
#2 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. #7 St. Francis Brooklyn - 11:30am est
#3 St. Francis U vs. #6 Sacred Heart - 11:30am est
#4 Mount Saint Mary's vs. #5 Wagner - 2pm est 

Sunbelt Tournament (New Orleans, LA) 
#4 Georgia Southern vs. #5 Louisiana Lafayette - 9am est - Live Scoring
#3 South Alabama vs. #6 Appalachian State - 9am est - Live Scoring

Harvard at Yale - 1pm est - Harvard Twitter & Streaming Video
Penn at Cornell - 2pm est - Live Scoring
Columbia at Princeton - 2pm est - Princeton Twitter
Virginia Tech at Miami - 2pm est - Live Scoring
Wake Forest at Notre Dame - 3:30pm est - Live Scoring
Duke at Louisville - 4pm est - Live Scoring
North Carolina at Georgia Tech - 4pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming
Michigan at Indiana - 4pm est - Live Scoring
Pacific at Pepperdine - 4pm est - Live Scoring
Virginia at Florida State - 5pm est - Live Scoring
Penn State at Nebraska - 5pm est - Live Scoring
Michigan State at Purdue - 5pm est - Live Scoring
Northwestern at Wisconsin - 7pm est - Wisconsin Twitter & Streaming
Illinois at Minnesota - 7pm est - Live Scoring
Ohio State at Iowa - 7pm est - Live Scoring
UCLA got off to a good start by going up early breaks on all 3 doubles courts and would cruise to wins at 2 and 3.  Singles would be a different story because USC's Eric Johnson, Roberto Quiroz, Max De Vroome, and Nick Crystal would take the opening set at 2, 3, 5, and 6 and then those 4 would pretty much run away with the 2nd sets to close out a 4-2 win.  UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald picked up the only singles point for the Bruins as he took it to #12 Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3.

This match was supposed to be shown on TV on the Pac 12 network but the USC/UCLA women's match ran 90 minutes long and with the singles portion of this one only lasting 80 minutes that meant it was over before the broadcast ever started.

Normally you'd think a USC/UCLA match would pack them in but when you play it on a Thursday at 2pm local time this is the kind of crowd you get.

UCLA recap
USC recap

#9 USC 4, #19 UCLA 2
April 16, 2015 - Los Angeles Tennis Center
Singles Competition:
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.99) def. #12 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 14.73) 6-3, 6-3 
2. Eric Johnson (USC 14.31) def. #32 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.93) 6-3, 6-2
3. #25 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.43) def. #102 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.31) 6-4, 6-1
4. Karue Sell (UCLA 13.96) vs. #36 Jonny Wang (USC 14.21) 7-6, 2-2, DNF
5. #81 Max De Vroome (USC 14.12) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.88) 6-1, 6-4
6. #90 Nick Crystal (USC 13.98) def. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.35) 6-3, 6-3
Doubles Competition:
1. #9 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) vs. #3 Hanfmann/Quiroz (USC) 5-3 DNF
2. Di Giulio/ Sell (UCLA) def. De Vroome/Johnson (USC) 6-3
3. Mkrtchian/Rapp (UCLA) def. Crystal/Wang (USC) 6-1
Match Notes:
USC 20-4; 6-1 Pac-12; National ranking #9
UCLA 14-8; 5-2 Pac-12; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,5,3,1,6)

The match of the day at the SEC Tournament was between Tennessee and Alabama. Tennessee jumped out to a 3-0 lead by taking the doubles point and picking up wins at 1 and 2 from Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese however Alabama would come back and tie it up with wins from Nikko Madregallejo, Danny Kerznerman, and Andrew Goodwin at 3, 5, and 6.  In the deciding match Alabama's Stuart Kenyon would jump out to a 5-2 lead in the 3rd set against Tennessee's Luis Valero.  Valero would hold from 40-15 for 3-5 then would break Kenyon from 30-40 to put the match back on serve.  Valero would face a match point on the deciding point but he would get the hold with a service winner to even it at 5. Valero would break for 6-5 by winning the deciding point then he would serve it out at love for the win.

Alabama recap
Tennessee recap

"Luis been doing a great job for us all year," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "No one can prepare for that moment. You have to go in and see what you are made of. He just had faith that he was going to give us everything he had in that moment and he did."

"Mikelis and Hunter were phenomenal today," Winterbotham said. "That one-two punch, that commitment, was there for everybody to see. I'm incredibly proud of those guys."

"Alabama deserves a tremendous amount of credit for how they competed all day," Winterbotham said. "That was one of the toughest matches we've been in all year."

#42 (8) Tennessee 4, #61 (9) Alabama 3
April 16, 2015 at College Station, Texas (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #15 Mikelis Libietis (UT 14.40) def. B. O'Shaughnessey (UA 13.42) 6-2, 6-4
2. Hunter Reese (UT 13.34) def. #115 Korey Lovett (UA 13.14) 6-3, 6-2
3. Nikko Madregallejo (UA 13.15) def. Jack Schipanski (UT 13.13) 6-4, 7-5
4. Luis Valero (UT 13.18) def. Stuart Kenyon (UA 12.48) 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5
5. Danny Kerznerman (UA 13.46) def. Igo Smelyanski (UT 13.29) 6-3, 6-1
6. Andrew Goodwin (UA 12.41) def. Jess Jones (UT 13.09) 6-3, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. #6 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. #32 Korey Lovett/B. O'Shaughnessey (UA) 6-3
2. Andrew Dromsky/Igo Smelyanski (UT) vs. Sean Donohue/Stuart Kenyon (UA) 6-5, unf
3. Luis Valero/Jack Schipanski (UT) def. Sam Edwards/Andrew Goodwin (UA) 7-5
Match Notes
Alabama 17-17; National ranking #61
Tennessee 14-11; National ranking #42
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,5,6,3,4)
Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:55

USC/UCLA Preview

Written by
The last several years this has been the biggest match of the season but this year these LA neighbors have taken a back seat to the big time tennis that's been taking place in the state of Texas.  USC and UCLA have an uncharacteristic 11 losses between them and both struggled last week in Northern California against Stanford and Cal.

Usually when these two play at the end of the season the #1 seed in the Pac 12 Tournament is at stake however Stanford has already locked that up so the winner of this takes the #2 seed and the loser falls to #3.

The Pac 12 Network will televise the singles portion starting at 6pm eastern/3pm pacific so tune in to hear the call from Paul Sunderland and Justin Gimlestob.

#9 USC (19-4) at #19 UCLA (14-7) - 5pm est/2pm pst - Live Scoring - Pac 12 Network - In this first meeting back on March 14th, USC took the doubles point and then cleaned up at the bottom 3 and if USC wants to win today they may have to do the same thing again.  USC has struggled in doubles this year going just 14-9 and the Trojans have dropped the point the last 2 times out.  UCLA has played better in doubles going 15-6 and has won the point in 5 of the last 6 matches.

Previous Result

#5 USC 4, #14 UCLA 1
March 14, 2015 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
1. #4 Hanfmann/Quiroz (USC) def. #6 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) - 6-2
2. Di Giulio/ Sell (UCLA) def. #50 de Vroome/Johnson (USC) - 6-3
3. Crystal/Forget (USC) def. Mkrtchian/Rapp (UCLA) - 6-3
USC wins doubles point. -- Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
1. #8 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 14.94) vs. #5 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.93) - 4-6, 6-3, 1-2 susp.
2. #33 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.51) def. #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.39) - 6-4, 6-3
3. Eric Johnson (USC 14.01) vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.19) - 7-6 (3), 4-6, 1-1 susp.
4. #35 Jonny Wang (USC 14.22) def. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.00) - 6-4, 7-6 (4)
5. #51 Nick Crystal (USC 14.00) def. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.81) - 7-5, 6-2
6. #50 Max de Vroome (USC 14.20) def. Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.15) - 6-0, 6-0

Doubles Record:
USC 14-9 overall, 3-3 Pac 12
UCLA 15-6, 5-1 Pac 12

Projected Singles Lineup
1. #12 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 14.73) vs. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.99)
2. #25 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.43) vs. #32 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.93)
3. Eric Johnson (USC 14.31) vs. #102 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.31)
4. #36 Jonny Wang (USC 14.21) vs. Karue Sell (UCLA 13.96)
5. #81 Max De Vroome (USC 14.12) vs. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.35)
6. #90 Nick Crystal (USC 13.98) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.88)

Others who could play: Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.79), Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.07), Connor Farren (USC 13.87)

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of April 16th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Dual-Match Singles Results:
1. Hanfmann 9-5 vs. McDonald 11-1
2. Quiroz 13-4 vs. Mkrtchian 12-4
3. Johnson 17-2 vs. Redlicki 15-2
4. Wang 14-3 vs. Sell 14-5
5. De Vroome 15-2 vs. DiGiulio 6-6
6. Crystal 14-2 vs. Rapp 7-5

#1 singles - Yannick Hanfmann has really struggled lately dropping 5 of his last 7 singles matches and he has also sat out 2 of the last 4 doubles matches so you have to wonder if he's 100% healthy right now.  McDonald has won 4 in a row and has only lost once all year.  Prediction: McDonald (UCLA) in 3

#2 singles - Quiroz had 6-match winning streak snapped on Saturday by Stanford's John Morrissey in what turned out to be the deciding match.  It was a surprising loss considering Quiroz was up a set and 5-2 in the 2nd and also since Quiroz had beat Morrissey in straights a month earlier.  Mkrtchian has won 9 in a row and during that streak he also went 3-0 at #1 singles.  Mkrtchian rolled over Quiroz in the last meeting and if they are paired up again I think we'll see the same result. Prediction: Mkrtchian (UCLA) in 2

#3 singles - Johnson has been solid all season and is currently on a 3-match winning streak.  Johnson played at #1 singles against Oregon, Utah, and Arizona going 2-1 in that stretch.  Redlicki had an 11-match winning streak snapped last Friday by John Morrissey but he rebounded on Saturday and beat a tough Filip Bergevi.  This match is a near toss up and was tied at 1-1 in the 3rd in the last meeting. Prediction: DNF or Johnson (USC) in 3

#4 singles - Wang has won 12 in a row and he clinched the win against UCLA the last time they played.  Sell has won 6 in a row and 8 of 9 with the lone loss coming to Wang.  Prediction: Wang (USC) in 2

#5 singles - De Vroome has won 7 in a row and 12 of his last 13 although I'd be surprised if we see him give his opponent a double-bagel like he did in the previous meeting.  DiGiulio had a 4-match winning streak snapped by Stanford's Nolan Paige though he led Cal's JT Nishimura the next day in a match that was halted due to the clinch.  Prediction: De Vroome (USC) in 2

#6 singles - Crystal had a 4-match winning streak snapped by Stanford's David Hsu and in his 2 matches before that he was pushed to a 3rd set by Cal's Mads Engsted and Arizona's Trevor James. Rapp has split his last 4 matches and lost the last time out to Stanford's David Hsu 7-5, 7-5. Prediction: Crystal (USC) in 2

I think these teams are even at 1, 2, and 3 but USC is just too good at 4, 5, and 6.  I'll take UCLA in doubles and at 1 and 2 singles with USC taking 3-6.  Prediction: USC 4-3 (4-2 if they stop at the clinch)

Thursday, 16 April 2015 02:18

Baylor Eases Past Texas 4-1 + What's Coming Up

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What was expected to be a pretty close match turned into a fairly routine victory for #2 Baylor as they pushed past #10 Texas 4-1.

Baylor started things off by taking the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3 despite having Tony Lupieri and Max Tchoutakian playing together for the first time at #3. Lupieri's normal doubles partner Mate Zsiga did not play doubles but did play singles. Baylor's Diego Galeano was also serving for the match at #1 doubles when the point was clinched.

When the singles lineups were first put it out they showed Nick Naumann at #5 and Clement Homs at #6 but once play actually got underway they were switched. According to BU's blogger, Kim Gorum, since the official lineup submitted to the Big 12 showed Naumann at 5 and Homs at 6 the only way they could be switched is if Baylor agreed to it and apparently Matt Knoll didn't have a problem with the switch so it was allowed.

Once play got started Texas's Lloyd Glasspool would jump out to an early double break lead at #2 singles and would take a quick 6-1 set over Tony Lupieri.

Baylor's Julian Lenz, Mate Zsiga, and Felipe Rios would go up early breaks at 1, 5, and 6 but Texas's Soren Hess-Olesen, Clement Homs, and Nick Naumann would get them back a few games later. Lenz and Zsiga would break again and both ended up serving out the opening set to take it 6-4. Baylor's #4 Diego Galeano would break George Goldhoff to go up 4-3, then after an exchange of holds Galeano would also serve out the set and take it 6-4.  The match at #3 between Max Tchoutakian and Adrien Berkowicz stayed close until Berkowicz was broke serving at 5-6 which gave Tchoutakian the opening set 7-5.  Back at #6, Naumann would come back from 4-2 down to lead 5-4 only to see Rios hold and break for 6-5.  Naumann would break back to send the opening set to a tiebreak but Rios would sprint out to a 5-2 lead in the TB. A Naumann double fault made it 6-3 and then Rios got a ball to hit the tape and fall on the other side to give him the set 7-6(3).

So with Baylor taking 5 opening sets plus having the doubles point in the bag you figured this just wasn't going to be Texas's night and it wasn't.

Lloyd Glasspool would finish off Tony Lupieri at #2 to even the match it at 1 but that would be the end of the good news for the Longhorns.

Julian Lenz broke Soren Hess-Olesen in the 3rd game of the 2nd set and wouldn't look back as he won going away 6-4, 6-2.
Less than 5 minutes later both Diego Galeano and Felipe Rios would win their respective matches within about 30 seconds of each other.  Galeano, like Lenz, broke in the 3rd game of the 2nd set and rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win over George Goldhoff at #4. Rios went down an early break in the 2nd but immediately broke back and would then break again to go up 5-3 and then he served it out to take it 7-6, 6-3 over Nick Naumann.

The 2 other matches were abandoned with Max Tchoutakian up a set and on-serve in the 2nd against Adrien Berkowicz at #3 and Mate Zsiga was up a set but down a break against Clement Homs at #5.

All in all a very impressive road win for Baylor who has now won 9 straight in Austin. Below are some video clips from Baylor's twiter:

Baylor recap

"Our guys have really matured. We know how to have a relaxed intensity. I think a couple of our guys were a little nervous when the match got started, but as a group the dynamic is really coming together." - head coach Matt Knoll on the match


"I remember the first time we came down here and I am still sore from that. This is a big rivalry of ours in the league. They are close by and we see them a lot, so it is special to play this well down here." - Knoll on the win

Texas recap

Head Coach Michael Center
Opening statement: I didn't like the way we started in the doubles. We have just got to play with a little more energy, a little more consistency. We are still making some early mistakes and some points that we can't afford to make. It's quick. Six games, no ad -- the points happen quickly and the games end quickly. We kind of dug ourselves a hole and I thought we would have a shot in all six singles matches and it looked like we were in all six first sets and only got one of them. We really got behind at that point and it was just too much for us to overcome tonight.

On the TCU match: There's no time for us to hang our heads right now. We've got another top-10 match on Saturday against a team that is going to be desperate to beat us. We've got to respond. This match is over. Sleep on it tonight and tomorrow, we've got to go back to work and get ready to play TCU on Saturday. It's going to be a big, big test for us.

On preparing for postseason play: We have just got to keep trying to get better. We have been saying it all year long. We have played well at times, but I still don't feel like we've played our best. We have a lot to play for. We want to try and find our stride and play our best tennis at the end. We will wake up tomorrow and go back to work.

#2 Baylor 4, #10 Texas 1
04/15/15 at Austin, TX (Caswell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #2 Julian Lenz (BU 14.86) def. #5 Soren Hess-Olesen (UT 14.96) 6-4, 6-2
2. #48 Lloyd Glasspool (UT 13.92) def. #30 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.14) 6-1, 6-4
3. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.30) vs. #49 Adrien Berkowicz (UT 13.99) 7-5, 4-3, unf
4. Diego Galeano (BU 13.64) def. George Goldhoff (UT 13.70) 6-4, 6-2
5. #112 Mate Zsiga (BU 13.91) vs.  Clement Homs (UT 13.24) 6-4, 3-5, unf
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.91) def. Nick Naumann (UT 13.77) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #25 Diego Galeano/Julian Lenz (BU) vs. #23 Glasspool/Hess-Olesen (UT) *5-4 unf
2. Felipe Rios/Vince Schneider (BU) def. Adrien Berkowicz/George Goldhoff (UT) 6-3
3. Tony Lupieri/Max Tchoutakian (BU) def. Naumann/Michael Riechmann (UT) 6-4
Match Notes
Baylor 19-4, 3-1; National ranking #2; Regional ranking #1
Texas 18-4, 2-2; National ranking #10; Regional ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,1,4,6)

What's Coming Up:

  • #9 USC at #19 UCLA - both teams are licking their wounds after this past weekend.  Going to be interesting to see if Hanfmann and Quiroz can lead SC to a win or whether they'll continue their recent slide and let UCLA take the #2 seed in the Pac 12 Tourney which would make USC the #3 seed.
  • #25 LSU vs. #45 South Carolina (SEC Tournament) - LSU is all but guaranteed to be a #2 seed in an NCAA regional but South Carolina really needs a win to secure it's spot because right now the Gamecocks are sitting right on the bubble with the NCAA at-large cutoff usually between 42 and 44.
  • #17 Florida vs. #74 Kentucky (SEC Tournament) - These two played just 6 days ago in Lexington and after Kentucky won the doubles point Florida rallied to win 4 in singles matches.  Several of the courts were close so it'll be interesting to see if Kentucky can reverse its fortunes this time around. 
  • #12 Wake Forest at #37 Notre Dame - Wake's the better team but Notre Dame could give them a good match in a few spots - #1 singles should be great - Noah Rubin vs. Quentin Monaghan.
  • #3 Illinois at #33 Minnesota - Illinois has dominated the Big 10 this year and has yet to be threatened by anyone while Minnesota has quietly put together a nice year.  
  • #44 SMU vs. #49 Memphis (AAC Tournament) - Both of these teams are sitting on the bubble so a win would be helpful to the winner while the loser can probably clean out its locker for the season.
  • #13 Ole Miss vs. #22 Vanderbilt (SEC Quarterfinal) - Vanderbilt has to beat Auburn to make this match happen but that's all but a given.  Ole Miss won the regular season meeting 4-0 though since it was played indoors on 3 courts several of the matches never got going and the ones that were played were all pretty tight.
  • #2 Baylor at #16 Texas Tech - Last Sunday Texas Tech stunned #1 Oklahoma, do they have another upset in them or does Baylor roll to another victory and claim a share of the Big 12 regular season title.
  • #10 Texas at #7 TCU - TCU thumped Texas A&M last Saturday, it'll be interesting to see if they play as good or whether Texas regroups after the loss to Baylor.
  • #28 California at #24 Stanford - The Cardinal won the first meeting in Berkeley 4-3 (2/21) when Maciek Romanowicz came back from 5-2 down in the 3rd in the deciding match to win it 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.  Stanford will win the Pac 12 regular season title outright with a win here (already guaranteed a share) and they've already locked up the #1 seed in the Pac 12 Tournament.  Raise your hand if you had Stanford doing that after they got smacked around by South Carolina back in late January.  
  • SEC Tournament Semifinals - if no upsets it'd be #6 Texas A&M vs. #20 Mississippi State and #5 Georgia vs. #12 Ole Miss.
  • SEC Tournament Finals - possible matchup between #5 Georgia and #6 Texas A&M
  • #29 Oklahoma State at #1 Oklahoma - Will the Sooners win Bedlam or will it be Bedlam if Oklahoma State beats them.
  • Several other conference tournament finals

Current Top 10 (includes BU/TX result)

5Texas A&M 64.42

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 10:47

Wednesday Preview: Baylor/Texas

Written by
Another big match tonight in the Big 12 though technically they're all big matches since all 6 teams are ranked inside the top 30.  I think the doubles point will play a big role in deciding the winner because I'm looking for many of the Texas seniors to rise to the occasion tonight on Senior Day.

Baylor is running its blog for the match, even though it's in Austin, so make sure you log on and contribute your comments to Kim Gorum.  The BU blog always gives you some inside information that you wouldn't find elsewhere so make sure follow from start to finish.  Kim told us about the 2 overrules on the 2 match points in the Tchoutakian/Webb match and in the Oklahoma State match he mentioned that there's a good chance that Baylor will be getting new a new streaming video system through Playsight in time for the NCAAs since the current cameras don't have the best clarity and seem to freeze up too frequently.  He said the deal with Playsight isn't a done deal yet but there's been talks between the two.  Let's keep our fingers crossed so we can watch the NCAAs with the same clarity that we've seen at Virginia Tech, the National Indoors, and the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge.

#2 Baylor (18-4) at #10 Texas (18-3) - 6pm est/5pm cst - Live Scoring & Baylor Blog - This will be the final home match for 4 of Texas's starters with Soren Hess-Olesen, Lloyd Glasspool, Adrien Berkowicz, and Clement Homs all set to depart after this year.  Texas definitely leads the overall series (79-20-1 according to UT & 40-19 according to BU) but Baylor has been the dominant team recently winning 4 straight in the series and 16 of the last 19.  This will only be Baylor's 4th road match this year and first road match played outdoors.  Temperature at match time should be right around 80 with close to 50% humidity.  

Projected Doubles Lineup - W-L in ( ):
1. #25 Lenz/Galeano (BU 16-1) vs. #23 Glasspool/Hess-Olesen (TX 10-7)
2. #58 Zsiga/Lupieri (BU 5-5) vs. Berkowicz/Goldhoff (TX 8-4)
3. Rios/Vince Schneider (BU 13-3) vs. Naumann/Riechmann (TX 6-2)

Team Doubles Records:
Baylor: 20-1 overall, 3-0 Big 12
Texas: 11-10 overall, 1-2 Big 12

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. #2 Julian Lenz (BU 14.78) vs. #5 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX 14.95)
2. #30 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.13) vs. #48 Lloyd Glasspool (TX 13.93)
3. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.34) vs. #49 Adrien Berkowicz (TX 13.98)
4. Diego Galeano (BU 13.62) vs. George Goldhoff (TX 13.69)
5. #112 Mate Zsiga (BU 13.89) vs. Nick Naumann (TX 13.77)
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.83) vs. Clement Homs (TX 13.13)

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of April 15th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Dual-Match Singles Records:
1. Lenz 11-3 vs. Hess-Olesen 16-2
2. Lupieri 9-6 vs. Glasspool 10-3
3. Tchoutakian 13-6 vs. Berkowicz 15-3
4. Galeano 8-4 vs. Goldhoff 5-4
5. Zsiga 9-2 vs. Naumann 9-7
6. Rios 14-2 vs. Homs 6-0
Others: Vince Schneider (BU) 10-3, John Mee (TX) 7-4

#1 singles - Lenz had a 4 match winning streak snapped by Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez and it looked like he was headed for a 3rd set against Oklahoma State's Jakob Sude when BU clinched.  Hess-Olesen had his 15-match winning streak snapped 2 weeks ago but has since rebounded with blowout win over TT's #33 Felipe Soares and he also led UTSA's #82 Tomas Stillman in a match that didn't finish.  It's surprising that this will be the 1st meeting between these two but Lenz has played at #2 in each of the last 2 years against UT.  This match alone should be worth the price of admission (yeah I know it's free but you get I'm saying).   Prediction: Hess-Olesen (TX) in 3

#2 singles - Lupieri has split his last 6 matches with each of the losses versus top 25 players though he was up 2-0 in the 3rd against Oklahoma State's #114 Lucas Gerch when the match was halted. Glasspool had a 9-match winning streak stopped 2 weeks ago when he fell 7-6 in the 3rd to Lucas Gerch and then got roughed up by Axel Alvarez 6-1, 6-2.  2 of Lloyd's last 3 matches have gone unfinished though he sandwiched a win over UTSA's Yannick Junger in between.  Glasspool won the only H2H against Lupieri 6-3, 6-2 back in October 2013.  I have a hard time seeing Glasspool dropping his final regular season match at home.  Prediction: Glasspool (TX) in 2

#3 singles - Tchoutakian has won 9 of his last 11 after splitting last weekend with a win over Okie St's Arjun Kadhe which followed up the tough heartbreaker against OU's Dane Webb.  Berkowicz has won 4 in a row and they've all been against quality opposition (Hunter Callahan, Arjun Kadhe, Dane Webb, Alex Sendegeya). Prediction: Berkowicz (TX) in 3

#4 singles - Galeano had a 5-match winning streak (against lighter competition) stopped by OU's Alex Ghilea but Diego rallied on Sunday to beat Okie St's Lukas Finzelberg in straight sets. Goldhoff has won 3 straight (against lighter competition) with 4 unfinished matches sprinkled in between. Both have dealt with some injuries this year but I think Galeano's experience pays off in this one. Prediction: Galeano (BU) in 2

#5 singles - Zsiga hasn't lost in almost 2 months going 7-0 with an additional 5 matches not finishing (was leading in all 5).  Naumann has won 2 straight after dropping the previous 4.  One guy has been steady while the other has been streaky - I'll take stable.  Prediction: Zsiga (BU) in 3

#6 singles - Rios has won 4 straight and 14 of 15 and he avenged the 1 loss in the streak to Oklahoma's Florin Bragusi.  Rios has been one of the most dominant #6's in the country this year winning 22 of 38 sets 6-2 or better.  Homs is 6-0 with quality wins over Kevin Metka and Nicolai Ferrigno.  Prediction: Rios (BU) in 3

There hasn't been a better team at doubles than Baylor and I'd be surprised to see the Bears drop the point against a Texas team that is just above .500.  Of course I said the same thing about the doubles point in the TCU/Texas A&M match.  TCU was 12-10 in doubles and Texas A&M 18-3 and TCU won the doubles point then cruised to a 4-0 win.  If Texas takes the point I think they very well could win going away like 4-1 or 4-2 so this is a big point for both teams. Having said all that I'm still going with Baylor in doubles.

The only singles matches that I see finishing in straight sets are at 2 and 4 with all others going the distance.  I see Texas sweeping the top 3 and Baylor taking the bottom 3.  I wanted to go with Texas in this one due it being at home but the numbers just don't add up for me.  Prediction: Baylor 4-3