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
Typically Mondays only have 1 or 2 matches but there were a handful of decent ones on the slate today with Cal Poly going into Boise and winning, Memphis winning at South Alabama, and UCLA getting a slightly tougher than expected win over UNLV.

UCLA won the battle of the abbreviations with a 6-1 win over UNLV.  UCLA was a little shorthanded with 2 of its top 3 players out of the doubles lineup with Mackenzie McDonald (14.91) and Martin Redlicki both participating in a Futures event in Calabasas this week.  After UCLA dropped the doubles point things were actually looking a little concerning but fortunately Redlicki was able to make it back in time to play in singles because otherwise the Bruins would have had to slide everyone except Mkrtchian up 2 spots in the lineup which could have spelled trouble for UCLA. In all seriousness UCLA probably still would have won no worse than 5-2 even without Redlicki.

For those that don't know - Calabasas is only about 20 miles from Westwood - I didn't know that myself until I looked it up.

UCLA recap
UNLV recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 23rd.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

#19 UCLA 6, UNLV 1
March 23, 2015  (LA Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #33 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.63) def. Ace Matias (UNLV 13.75) 7-6 (6), 6-4
2. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.17) def. Jakob Amilon (UNLV 12.93) 6-2, 6-4
3. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.00) def. Adam Gage-Brown (UNLV 11.66) 6-1, 6-1, 
4. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.78) def. Alexandr Cozbinov (UNLV 12.78) 6-4, 7-5
5. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.83) def. Ruben Alberts (UNLV 11.91) 6-3, 7-6(8)
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.40) def. Ozzy Abraham (UNLV 11.31) 6-0, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. Adam Gage-Brown/Ace Matias (UNLV) def. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA) 6-3
2. Dennis Mkrtchian/Austin Rapp (UCLA) def. Jakob Amilon/Ruben Alberts (UNLV) 6-1
3. Ozzy Abraham/Cozbinov (UNLV) def. Gage Brymer/Ryoto Tachi (UCLA) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,6,2,5,1,4)

What's been a rough year for Boise State got a little rougher on Monday when Cal Poly came in and took the doubles point and followed it up by taking 4 of 6 singles matches.

Cal Poly recap
Boise St recap

#65 Cal Poly 5, Boise State 2 
March 23, 2015 at Boise, Idaho (Boas Indoor Tennis Center)
Doubles competition
1. Lewis Roskilly/Thomas Tenreiro (BSU) def. Ben Donovan/Corey Pang (CP) 6-3
2. Garrett Auproux/Devin Barber (CP) def. Abe Hewko/Garrett Patton (BSU) 7-5
3. Karl Enander/Lucas Lesoeur (CP) def. Brian Foley/Toby Mitchell (BSU) 6-3
Order of finish: 1,3,2
Singles competition
1. Garrett Patton (BSU 13.02) def. Garrett Auproux (CP 12.62) 7-6 (4), 6-2
2. Thomas Tenreiro (BSU 12.87) def. Ben Donovan (CP 13.68) 6-4, 6-3
3. Corey Pang (CP 12.29) def. Toby Mitchell (BSU 12.53) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
4. Lucas Lesoeur (CP 11.84) def. Brian Foley (BSU 12.59) 6-4, 6-4
5. Naveen Beasley (CP 12.37) def. Lewis Roskilly (BSU 12.23) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
6. Axel Damiens (CP 11.75) def. Abe Hewko (BSU 12.05) 7-5, 6-3

Match Notes:
Order of finish: 6,1,2,5,3,4
Cal Poly 10-7
Boise State 6-11

Memphis picked up a nice road win over a ranked opponent as the Tigers beat the Jags 4-1. Memphis came into this match ranked #73 but should jump up at least 15 spots tomorrow based off its win on Saturday over SMU.  South Alabama has now dropped 4 of its last 5 and will likely drop out of the rankings.  Interesting note:  USA's Tim Srkala was originally supposed to attend Memphis this year but at the last minute he switched to South Alabama - he did actually show up on Memphis's roster briefly and was supposed to play in the season opening tournament at Purdue but never did.

S. Alabama recap

"It was a very tough match for us today," said USA head coach Nick Brochu. "It was a little disappointing, but it was a great battle. We had a lot of three-set matches. Memphis is a great team."

"Daniel played great at No. 1," said Brochu. "He beat an amazing, ranked player. That's going to help his ranking."

"It was great to see that even though we were down on some courts and lost the first set, we came back and won the second set," said Brochu. "We had four matches going into three sets today, so that was a great battle. It hurts when you lose in three sets because you were so close."

"Memphis is known for being really good in doubles," said Brochu. "That would have been a great point for us since it was their strength. That was kind of hard for us to swallow."

Memphis recap

"That was a tight one," Head Coach Paul Goebel said. "It's always tough to get a win on the road and that being our third match in four days was a tough finish to that run. But I feel like the guys are starting to play better and better and it'll be nice to have a weekend off now to prepare for the end of season run."

May 3-5: NCAA First/Second Rounds (Campus Sites)
May 10-12: NCAA Super Regionals (Campus Sites)