Saturday, 21 February 2015 11:04

Saturday Preview

Written by
Friday was an entertaining start to the weekend and I expect that Saturday should more of the same.  Let's take a look at the highlighted matches on Saturday.

The number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of the current date so Notre Dame's Quentin Monaghan has a 14.28 UTR as of today 2/21.  For more details about UTR check out theirwebsite.  


#17 Notre Dame (6-1) at #9 Ohio State (10-3) - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming - Ohio State goes for #200 in a row at home (according to my records) though it won't be easy as Notre Dame usually gives Ohio State a tough match just about every year.  Ohio State has won 10 straight in the series and leads the all-time series 28-27.  A year ago in South Bend, Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see Ohio State win 4 straight singles matches with the final 2 both being 7-6 in the 3rd.  If the projected lineups below hold up there will be just 1 rematch from last year with that being the match at 1 where Diaz knocked off Monaghan 7-6, 6-4.  Ohio State is 11-2 in doubles while Notre Dame is 6-1.  The Irish must take the doubles point to have a realistic chance at stopping the streak but I think Ohio State gets the point and picks up wins from the bottom 3 of Steinbach, Callahan, and Metka to pull it out.  Prediction:  Ohio State 4-1


Projected Lineup:

1. #29 Quentin Mongahan (ND 14.28) vs. #53 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.80)
2. #92 Josh Hagar (ND 13.74) vs. #30 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 13.95)
3. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.13) vs. Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.58)
4. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND 13.45) vs. #68 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.91)
5. Billy Pecor (ND 12.98) vs. #110 Hunter Callahan (OSU 13.90)
6. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.48) vs. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.80)

#32 Oklahoma State (8-2) at #19 Wake Forest (5-2) - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Video - Oklahoma State is coming off a 4-3 win over Tulsa on Thursday while Wake has been idle for almost 2 weeks.  Last year Wake went to Stillwater and won 4-1 against a better Oklahoma State team but both teams have a lot of new faces in the lineup this year so this one could be very interesting.  Wake shouldn't have much trouble up top with both Rubin and Bogaerts expected to roll but the matches at 3-6 could all be tight 3 setters.  Wake is 5-2 in doubles while OK State is 6-4.  I like Gerch, Meraut, and Ferrigno at 3, 4, and 6 for OK State.  That leaves the doubles point and #5 singles as the swing points and I think Wake takes them both. Prediction:  Wake Forest 4-3

Projected Lineup

1. #88 Jakob Sude (OSU 13.54) vs. #55 Noah Rubin (WF 14.79)
2. #87 Arjun Kadhe (OSU 13.57) vs. #14 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.34)
3. Lucas Gerch (OSU 13.82) vs. #57 Jon Ho (WF 13.49)
4. Tristan Meraut (OSU 13.26) vs. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.07)
5. Jurence Mendoza (OSU 13.62) vs. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.40)
6. Nicolai Ferrigno (OSU 13.38) vs. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.92)


#34 Minnesota (7-2) at #25 Harvard (7-2) - 1pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video - Harvard comes in riding a 3 match winning streak after winning the ECAC Championships last weekend which included wins over Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale while Minnesota comes off a hard fought 4-3 loss to Vanderbilt yesterday.  Both of Harvard's losses (Cal & Northwestern) have come on the road and both were close so the Crimson will be happy to get Minnesota at home.  Harvard went into the Twin Cities last year and came away with a 4-3 win so these teams will be fairly familiar with each other.  Both Harvard and Minnesota are 8-1 in doubles. Nguyen and Toledo met earlier this year at the ITA National Indoors with Nguyen winning in straight sets and in the match last year Nguyen won in straights as well.  I like Harvard at 1, 2, 3, and 6 while I like Minnesota at 4, 5, and doubles.  Prediction:  Harvard 4-3

Projected Lineup

1. #25 Leandro Toledo (MN 14.01) vs. #91 Denis Nguyen (HV 13.99)
2. Jack Hamburg (MN 13.15) vs. #80 Sebastian Beltrame (HV 13.21)
3. Ruben Weber (MN 13.14) vs. Nicky Hu (HV 13.78)
4. Matic Spec (MN 13.60) vs. Alex Steinroeder (HV 13.37)
5. Felix Corwin (MN 13.56) vs. Kenny Tao (HV 13.11)
6. Mathieu Froment (MN 13.04) vs. Shaun Chaudhuri (HV 13.26)


#39 Stanford (4-2) at #14 Cal (7-2) - 1pm est - Video & Cal Twitter - Cal is happy to be back in California after a trip to Chicago last weekend gave them their first 2 losses while Stanford will be playing its first competitive match since the Kickoff Weekend.  Cal hasn't exactly excelled in doubles going just 5-4 while Stanford is 5-1 however Stanford has faced just 2 top 50 opponents while Cal has faced 5 top 30 opponents.  Stanford came into the year with a lot of promise with a robust freshman class that brought in Tom Fawcett, David Wilczynski, and David Hsu but while Fawcett and Wilczynski have exceeded expectations many of the returning guys haven't played at the level they did a year ago. If Romanowicz and Paige were playing like they were capable of this would be Stanford's match to lose but I just can't take them seriously until they rise up and win a match like this.  I'll take Bergevi, Nishimura, Bayane, and Engsted  at 2, 4, 5, and 6 for Cal while I like Fawcett and Morrissey at 1 and 3 for Stanford. Prediction: Cal 4-3


Projected Lineup

1. #28 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.12) vs. #42 Andre Goransson (Cal 13.70)
2. David Wilczynski (ST 13.72) vs. #114 Filip Bergevi (Cal 13.66)
3. John Morrissey (ST 14.07) vs. Billy Griffith (Cal 13.68)
4. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.28) vs. JT Nishimura (Cal 13.86)
5. Nolan Paige (ST 13.36) vs. Greg Bayane (Cal 13.48)
6. Robert Stineman (ST 13.12) vs. Mads Engsted (Cal 13.41)

For other live scoring links check out my live scoring page.
What a start to the weekend it was with 2 thrillers taking place 100 miles apart as Texas A&M took out the new #1 Oklahoma 4-3 in College Station while Texas's Lloyd Glasspool refused to lay down as Texas knocked off North Carolina 4-3 in Austin.  

We'll start off in College Station where #1 Oklahoma came to town expecting to waltz all over Texas A&M but the Aggies had other plans as they took the all important doubles point and were then able to pick up 3 1st sets and ultimately pulled off the stunner when freshman Arthur Rinderknech came back from a set down to knock off Oklahoma freshman Spencer Papa 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 at the #4 spot. Oklahoma swept the top 3 spots in the lineup and usually if you do that you've got to feel pretty good about your chances but Texas A&M was able to lock down the bottom 3 plus take the doubles point so there you have it - upset city.  


aTm recap

OU recap


#13 Texas A&M 4, #1 Oklahoma 3
George P Mitchell Tennis Center

Singles competition
1. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU) def. #45 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2
2. #26 Andrew Harris (OU) def. #43 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-4, 6-1
3. #31 Dane Webb (OU) def. #36 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5
*4. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Spencer Papa (OU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-1
5. #51 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
6. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Jose Salazar (OU) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #8 Shane Vinsant/Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. #5 Dane Webb/Axel Alvarez (OU) 6-4
2. Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #13 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-3
3. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Spencer Papa/Florin Bragusi (OU) 7-5

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


________________________________________________________

Over in Austin it was a top 10 battle between Texas and North Carolina and the night started off on the positive side for Texas as the Horns won the doubles point for just the 5th time in 11 tries.  The teams would split the opening sets in singles and while Texas was able to close out both 1 and 5 in straights North Carolina did the same at 3 and 4.  North Carolina's Robert Kelly would tie it at 3 when he completed his comeback at #6 as he defeated Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz 6-1 in the 3rd and with Ronnie Schneider opening up a huge 5-1 lead in the 3rd it looked like Texas was done for.  

Schneider had a rather large lead in the 2nd set as well leading 5-3 but Glasspool managed to erase that and win the final 4 games of the set to force a 3rd so that had to be in the back of each players minds while the 3rd set came to a close.  As if on cue, Glasspool would break Schneider not once but twice to get it back on serve and tie it at 5 only to be broken himself which would give Schneider a 4th opportunity to serve the match out.  Glasspool would promptly break back and send it to a deciding tiebreak.  Glasspool would jump out to a 3-0 lead, then lose 3 straight, then win 3, then lose 3, and with it tied at 6-6 he'd finally finish it off by taking the final 2 points to give Texas the 4-3 win. Great win at home for Texas but a brutal, brutal loss for North Carolina. 

UNC recap - i love how the UNC recap omits the part about Schneider serving for the match 4 times 
Texas recap 

#10 Texas 4, #8 North Carolina 3                                        

Singles competition
1. #16 Soren Hess-Olesen (UT) def. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 6-1, 6-4
2. Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Brett Clark (UNC) def. #65 Adrien Berkowicz (UT) 6-3, 7-5
4. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) def. George Goldhoff (UT) 7-5, 6-3
5. Nick Naumann (UT) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-1, 6-1
6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz (UT) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Soren Hess-Olesen/Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. Brayden Schnur/Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4
2. Adrien Berkowicz/George Goldhoff (UT) def. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) 6-3
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Nick Naumann/Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz (UT) 6-2

Match Notes:
North Carolina 9-3; National ranking #8
Texas 9-1; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,3,4,6,2)

________________________________________________________

Vanderbilt came from behind to beat Minnesota 4-3 - it was Vandy's 6th match this year that has finished with a 4-3 score.  

I love the headline from Vandy's website - see anything spelled incorrectly.






Vanderbilt recap
Minnesota recap

#23 Vanderbilt, 4; #34 Minnesota 3
Singles Competition
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VANDY) def. #25 Leandro Toledo (MINN) 7-6, 5-7, 6-1
2. Rhys Johnson (VANDY) def. Jack Hamburg (MINN) 6-4, 6-3
3. Ruben Weber (MINN) def. Kris Yee (VANDY) 6-3, 6-3
4. Matic Spec (MINN) def. Daniel Valent (VANDY) 6-1, 6-4
5. Felix Corwin (MINN) def. Baker Newman (VANDY) 6-2, 6-0
6. Suresh Eswaran (VANDY) def. Mathieu Froment (MINN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #2 Gonzales Austin/Rhys Johnson (Vandy) def. #52 Jack Hamburg/Mathieu Froment (MINN) 6-2
2. Leandro Toledo/Felix Corwin (MINN) def. Ryan Smith/Baker Newman (Vandy) 6-2
3. Daniel Valent/Suresh Eswaran (Vandy) def. Matic Spec/Eric Frueh (MINN) 7-6

Match Notes
Vanderbilt 8-2 (0-0 SEC); National ranking #23
Minnesota 7-2 (0-0 Big Ten); National ranking #34
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,2,3,6,1)

________________________________________________________

Illinois won its 25th straight over Northwestern but it was a little tougher than expected after Northwestern took the doubles point and then Illinois had to move everyone up a spot in the lineup with its #1 Farris Gosea not playing in singles.

Illinois recap

#6 Illinois 5, #26 Northwestern 2

Singles competition
1. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. #96 Sam Shropshire (NU) 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
2. #37 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #64 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 6-1, 6-3
3. #69 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Logan Staggs (NU) 6-4, 6-3
4. #46 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Mihir Kumar (NU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
5. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) def. Fedor Baev (NU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL) 6-4, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #11 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 8-3
2. Sam Shropshire/Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Farris Gosea/Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 8-5
3. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Blake Bazarnik/Brian Page (ILL) 8-3

Match Notes:
Northwestern 6-5
Illinois 9-2; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,6,3,2,4,1)

________________________________________________________

The biggest upset of the day came in San Diego as a 4-4 San Diego State beat down #21 South Carolina 7-0.

SDSU recap
South Carolina recap

San Diego State 7, #21 South Carolina 0

Singles competition
1. Freddy Gelbrich (SDSU) def. Andrew Adams (USC) 6-1, 6-4
2. Thorsten Bertsch (SDSU) def. #103 Kyle Koch (USC) 7-6 (8-6), 0-6, 10-4
3. Hendrik Jebens (SDSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro (USC) 6-3, 3-6, 10-6
4. Marko Goles-Babic (SDSU) def. #120 Andrew Schafer (USC) 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 11-9
5. Milen Ianakiev (SDSU) def. Harrison O'Keefe (USC) 6-4, 6-0
6. Andranik Khachatryan (SDSU) def. Sam Swank (USC) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Freddy Gelbrich/Hendrik Jebens (SDSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (USC) 6-3
2. Thorsten Bertsch/Jonas Meinzer (SDSU) def. #46 Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O'Keefe (USC) 6-4
3. Marko Goles-Babic/Andranik Khachatryan (SDSU) def. Andrew Schafer/Andrew Adams (USC) 7-5
Match Notes:
South Carolina 8-4; National ranking #21
San Diego State 5-4, 0-1 MW
Friday, 20 February 2015 11:34

Friday Preview

Written by
It's the weekend after the National Indoors and the start of the outdoor season though play in many parts of the country will still be indoors. Below are some of the bigger matches taking place this weekend with my thoughts on who I like in each one.  

#23 Vanderbilt (7-2) vs. #34 Minnesota (7-1) (@Harvard) - 1pm est - Vandy Twitter & Video - Vanderbilt has been involved in more close matches than just about anyone in the country with 5 of the Dores 9 matches finishing with a 4-3 final with Vandy winning 3 of those 5.  This will be the 4th Big 10 school that Vandy has faced in the last month with them all going to a 4-3 result so they better expect the same today.  Minnesota on the other hand hasn't had a match closer than 4-1 so if it comes down to the final court things could get interesting. The 1 & 4 spots have been Vandy's strength with both Gonzales Austin and Danny Valent each a perfect 8-0 in dual match play while Vandy has struggled to find consistency at 2, 3, and 5 with Johnson (2-4), Yee (3-4), and Newman (1-3) a combined 6-11.  Eswaran is 5-3 and has been the final guy left on the court in just about every match he's played due to Vandy's indoor facility having 5 courts.  Minnesota has seen good play out of just about everyone in the lineup with Toledo (6-1), Hamburg (4-3), Weber (4-1), Spec (7-0), Corwin (5-1) a combined 26-6 while the 6 spot is just 3-4 with Froment 0-2.  Minnesota is a perfect 8-0 in doubles while Vanderbilt is 6-2.  While Minnesota is on the way up I think Vandy is a little more battle tested and will scrap out the close courts.  I like Vandy in doubles and Austin, Yee, and Valent in singles.  Prediction:  Vanderbilt 4-3 


Projected Lineup:
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VU) vs. #25 Leandro Toledo (MN)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU) vs. Jack Hamburg (MN)
3. Kris Yee (VU) vs. Ruben Weber (MN)
4. Danny Valent (VU) vs. Matic Spec (MN)
5. Baker Newman (VU) vs. Felix Corwin (MN)
6. Suresh Eswaran (VU) vs. Mathieu Froment (MN)


#1 Oklahoma (10-0) at #13 Texas A&M (2-1) - 7pm est - Live Scoring - The new #1 heads to College Station to take on an Aggie squad that's only played 3 matches so far with the last one coming 2 weeks ago when they knocked of Ohio State.  Oklahoma will try to avoid an emotional letdown from last weekend and while Texas A&M is always a dangerous team at home, I think OU keep playing with a ton of confidence and wins the tough points.  Oklahoma has won 4 in a row in this series and a year ago OU won 5-2 when they played in Norman and I think we'll see a similar type score this year.  I like Harris, Alvarez, Webb, and Ghilea in singles for OU.  Prediction: Oklahoma 4-1

Projected Lineup:
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OU) vs. #45 Shane Vinsant (aTm)
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU) vs. #36 Harrison Adams (aTm)
3. #31 Dane Webb (OU) vs. #43 Jeremy Efferding (aTm)
4. Spencer Papa (OU) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (aTm)
5. Alex Ghilea (OU) vs. #51 AJ Catanzariti (aTm)
6. Jose Salazar (OU) vs. Jordan Szabo (aTm)

#8 North Carolina (9-3) at #10 Texas (9-1) - 7pm estLive Scoring - This one should be as good as last year when North Carolina took it 4-3 at home with Schnur winning the decider 6-3 in the 3rd. Texas's Hess-Olesen, Glasspool, and Berkowicz have gone a combined 27-2 thus far with the bottom of the lineup going 13-10 so for Texas to take this one they're going to need someone to come through down low.  North Carolina's softest spots so far this year have come at 2 and 4 with those spots a combined 15-8 while the rest of the lineup is 28-6.  Both teams have dealt with some early season injuries though both seem to be back up near full strength.  North Carolina swept the top 3 last year but I think at best they'll maybe take 1 of those this year with both Hess-Olesen and Berkowicz playing too well.  I like Naumann down at 4 but I like Murray and Kelly at 5 and 6.  North Carolina is 10-2 in doubles while Texas is just 4-6.  The data says North Carolina should take the doubles point and the match but I like Texas at home. Prediction:  Texas 4-3


Projected Lineup:
1. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) vs. #16 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX)
2. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) vs. Lloyd Glasspool (TX)
3. Brett Clark (UNC) vs. #65 Adrien Berkowicz (TX)
4. Oystein Steiro (UNC) vs. Nick Naumann (TX)
5. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) vs. George Goldhoff (TX)
6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) vs. John Mee (TX) 

#26 Northwestern (6-4) at #6 Illinois (8-2) - 7pm est Live Scoring - It'll be a battle for supremacy in the state of Illinois as Illinois comes off a weekend that saw the Illini knock off a pair of top 15 teams (Ohio State/Cal) while Northwestern has been sitting on the sidelines for almost 2 weeks.  Illinois won last year's meeting 4-1 in Evanston and has won 24 straight in the series with Northwestern's last win over Illinois coming all the way back in 1997.  Look for the streak to go to 25 as Illinois wins fairly easily.  Prediction:  Illinois 6-1

1. #96 Sam Shropshire (NW) vs. #41 Farris Gosea (ILL)
2. #64 Strong Kirchheimer (NW) vs. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL)
3. Logan Staggs (NW) vs. #37 Tim Kopinski (ILL)
4. Mihir Kumar (NW) vs. #69 Aron Hiltzik (ILL)
5. Fedor Baev (NW) vs. #46 Aleks Vukic (ILL)
6. Alp Horoz (NW) vs. Toshiki Matsuya or Ross Guignon (ILL)


Feature Matches on Saturday/Sunday:

Saturday:
#17 Notre Dame at #9 Ohio State - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming
#32 Oklahoma State at #19 Wake Forest - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Video
#34 Minnesota at #25 Harvard - 1pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video 
#39 Stanford at #14 Cal - 1pm est - Video & Cal Twitter

Sunday:
#23 Vanderbilt at #25 Harvard - 12pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video
#8 North Carolina at #1 Oklahoma - 1pm est - Live Scoring
#12 UCLA at #5 Baylor - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Blog
#43 Tulsa at #13 Texas A&M - 1pm est - Live Scoring


Live scoring, video, and Twitter links for other matches are on my Live Scoring Page.

Thursday, 19 February 2015 11:29

Blue Gray Tennis Classic

Written by
For the past 66 years Montgomery, Alabama has hosted college tennis action at its Blue Gray Tennis Classic and this year will be no different with the 2015 edition getting started on Friday and running through Sunday.   The tournament started off as an individual tournament and was changed to the team format in 1984 at the request of Jack Bushman who is known as Montgomery's Mr. Tennis. Until 2010 it was just a men's tournament with the women being added to the fold starting in 2011. For more about the history of this event you can click the link here.





Boise State is back as the 2-time defending champion on the men's side while Alabama is the #1 seed on the women's side and is looking to defend its title from last year.  I'd say the odds of Boise State winning for a 3rd time in a row are slim to none with this year's Broncos squad off to a slow 3-5 start including 0-4 at neutral sites.  I'd say Mississippi State has the easiest path to the finals while the top half of the bracket is fairly wide open with Texas Tech possibly looming as a dark horse.




As you can see there have been a lot of top 10 teams that have participated at the Blue Gray over the years with some recognizable names as MVP.



You can follow along throughout the weekend via the tournament's master scoreboard. The event is held at 2 different sites in Montgomery so at times there is an occasional lag in score updating.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 02:07

My NTI All Tournament Team & Thoughts From The Weekend

Written by
It was pretty easy picking the 2 through 6 spots but picking #1 was a little tougher. None of the matches at #1 singles finished during the semifinals and finals so at most my selection would only have 2 results and that's if his first two matches actually finished.  I went with Hanfmann because he was undefeated even though it appeared he was headed towards a loss against Wayne Montgomery.  

Each player had to play in at least 3 matches to qualify and to make the All Tournament Team each player's team had to at least advance to the quarterfinals (similar to the ITA's rules for its All Tournament Team).  FYI, DNF = Did Not Finish.


College Tennis Today All Tournament Team:

Singles:

MVP:  Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) - he clinched the semifinal win against Baylor by coming back from a set and 5-2 down and clinched the championship against USC by knocking off the guy, Max De Vroome, that finished their season the year prior in the NCAA Championship.  1 of only 2 guys that went 4-0 on the weekend in singles (Eric Johnson was the other).


1. Yannick Hanfmann (USC) - The Trojan senior went 2-0 with 2 DNFs and is now 7-0 in dual match play and 14-2 overall since the fall.
vs. #26 Andrew Harris (OKLA) 4-6, 6-4, 4-4 DNF
vs. #17 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) 4-6, 6-3, 1-4 DNF
def. #53 Chris Diaz (OSU) 7-6(4), 6-1
def. #81 Leo Stakhovsky (PSU) 6-1, 7-6(4)

2. Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma) - The Sooner junior went 3-0 with 3 ranked wins and 1 DNF and only dropped 1 set and is now 9-0 in dual match play and 22-4 overal since the fall. 
def. #24 Roberto Quiroz (USC) 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 
def. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 6-4, 6-4
def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 6-1, 6-4
vs. #78 Stefan Lindmark (Miss) 3-6, 6-4, 5-6 DNF

3. Dane Webb (Oklahoma) - The Sooner senior went 3-0 with 1 DNF and only dropped 1 set and is now 9-0 in dual match play and 17-5 overall since the fall. 
def. #20 Jonny Wang (USC) 6-0, 6-4
def. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-4, 6-0
vs. Brett Clark (UNC) 6-4, 3-6, 3-0 DNF
def. Gustav Hansson (Miss) 6-2, 6-4

4. Eric Johnson (USC) - The Trojan senior went 4-0 without dropping a set and is now 8-1 in dual match play and 12-7 overall since the fall.  
def. Spencer Papa (OKLA) 6-4, 6-1
def. Nick Wood (UGA), 6-1, 6-1
def. #68 Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 7-5, 6-4
def. Roman Trkulja (PSU) 6-1, 6-2

5. Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) - The Sooner sophomore went 4-0 and clinched the team's final 2 matches and is now 7-0 in dual match play and 23-4 over since the fall. 
def. Max De Vroome (USC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
def. Mate Zsiga (BU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
def. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) 7-5, 6-1
def. Zvonimir Babic (Miss) 7-5, 6-3

6. Nick Crystal (USC)  - The Trojan sophomore went 2-0 with 2 DNFs and runs his dual match record to 7-0 and overall record to 18-3.
def. Jose Salazar (OKLA) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
def. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA), 6-2, 6-4
vs. Kevin Metka (OSU) 6-7(5) 3-2 DNF
vs. Thomas Hanzlik (PSU) 6-2, 5-3 DNF


Doubles:

1. Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (Georgia) - This Bulldogs duo had only played together once before this weekend (2/25/13) and yet they managed to beat the #1, #11, and #12 doubles teams in the country.  
def. #1 Hanfmann/Quiroz (USC), 6-4
def. #11 Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (Illinois) 7-6 (4)
def. #12 Max Schnur/Ashok Narayana (Columbia) 6-3

2. Max De Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC) - The Trojan duo went 3-0 with 1 DNF and is now a perfect 6-0 on the year during dual match play.  
def. Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) 6-1
vs. Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (Georgia) 5-5 DNF
def. #36 Hunter Callahan/Chris Diaz (Ohio State) 6-2
def. Alex Fennell/Matt Barry (Penn State) 6-4

3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (Baylor) - This Bear pair is now 9-1 on the year and 5-1 in dual match play.
def. Jose Salazar/Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) 6-1
def. Mitchell Frank/Collin Altamirano (Virginia) 6-3
def. Chris Mengel/Bruno Semenzato (DUKE) 6-2


Poll Results - Who Was the MVP of the NTIs
Dane Webb
  14 (46%)
Alex Ghilea
  12 (40%)
Axel Alvarez
  4 (13%)

Votes so far: 30


Honorable Mention

1. Soren Hess-Olesen (Texas) - The Longhorn senior went 3-0 without dropping a set. 
def. #13 Winston Lin (Columbia) 6-2, 6-1
def. #81 Leo Stakhovsky (PSU) 7-5, 6-2
def. #53 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-4, 6-2

1. Nicholas Alvarez (Duke) - The Blue Devil freshmen went 2-0 with 1 DNF.  Both wins were over top 18 guys.
vs. #59 Nicholas Scholtz (MISS) 6-4, 3-4 DNF
def. #18 Cameron Norrie (TCU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
def. #10 Julian Lenz (BU) 6-4, 6-2

1. Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) - The Bruin sophomore went 2-0 with 1 DNF but was up a break in that one.
def. #18 Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-2, 6-2
def. #59 Nicholas Scholtz (MISS) 7-5, 6-3
vs. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 6-2, 6-7(3), 4-3 DNF

2. Ryan Shane (Virginia) - The Cavalier junior went 3-0 and only dropped 1 set in beating 3 top 67 opponents. 
def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 6-3, 6-4
def. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
def. #48 Nick Chappell (TCU) 7-6(1), 6-3

2. Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) - The Illini junior went 2-0 with 1 DNF.  Both wins were over top 30 players.  
def. #30 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
def. #21 Austin Smith (GA) 6-1, 6-1
vs. #114 Filip Bergevi (CAL) 3-6, 5-4 DNF

3. Nathan Pasha (Georgia) - The Bulldog senior with 2-0 with 1 DNF.  
vs. #20 Jonny Wang (USC), 3-6, 6-2, 3-3 DNF
def. #37 Tim Kopinski (ILL) 7-5, 7-5
def. Max Schnur (CU) 6-4, 6-3

3. Adrien Berkowicz (Texas) - The Longhorn senior went 3-0 only dropping 1 set which was in a tiebreak.
def. Max Schnur (Columbia) 6-2, 6-3
def. Matt Barry (PSU) 6-2, 6-4
def. Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-2

4. Aron Hiltzik (Illinois) - The Illini freshman went 3-0 without dropping a set and clinched against Illinois.
def. #68 Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
def. Nick Wood (GA) 6-2, 6-4
def. JT Nishimura (CAL) 7-5, 6-1

5. Aleks Vukic (Illinois) - The Illini freshman went 2-0 with 1 DNF and had match point in the DNF.  
def. #110 Hunter Callahan (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
vs. Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-6 (6-5) DNF
def. Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-1, 6-4

6. Kevin Metka (Ohio State) - The Buckeye senior went 2-0 with 1 DNF and clinched the Round of 16 match.
def. Brian Page (ILL) 6-3, 6-2
vs. #49 Nick Crystal (USC) 7-6(5) 2-3 DNF
def. John Mee (Texas) 5-7, 6-1, 7-5

6. JC Aragone (Virginia) - The Cavalier sophomore went 2-0 with 1 DNF and that one came at #5 singles.
def. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) 6-1, 6-3
def. Vince Schneider (BU) 6-3, 6-4
vs. #85 Facundo Lugones (TCU) 6-4, 4-6 DNF (#5 singles)




Thoughts From The Days I Attended (Saturday/Sunday)

Positives;
  • Parking was plentiful and free 
  • Very nice facility with 10 times the seating that was available in Houston 
  • The seats with chair back were very comfortable and you could easily follow the 2 immediate matches in front of you which were either #2 and #3 or #4 and #5 depending on which set of seats you were in (grandstand seating was just set up on courts 1-6)
  • The video qualify was pretty good on the 6 courts and having sound is always a major plus.
  • The volunteers that were working in the lobby and between the courts were very friendly and attentive.
  • Ball kids were in place to keep the balls moving 
  • Nice to see such large crowds on both Saturday and Sunday during all the matches - easily 5 times the turnout from 2014 in Houston.  
  • The matches moved along very quickly since there was just 5 minutes of downtime between doubles and singles along with the no-ad, no warmup rules in place.  (Also listed under negatives depending on your point of view)





Negatives:
  • There wasn't enough adequate communication/knowledgeable volunteers in place to relay scores from court-side to the main desk so live scoring could be updated in a timely manner.  As a result of this the live scoring was slow to update on several courts and could be as many as 3 or 4 games behind and on a few occasions the live scoring had the wrong person winning sets only to only get corrected as the match finished up.  
  • With video set up on 6 courts it was surprising that they couldn't use those 6 courts for the finals so that way all 6 singles matches could have been shown.  I get the logistics with moving some of the seating but still one had to wonder.
  • The matches played on courts 9-14 had minimal seating which was more of a space issue that anything but if you wanted to watch those matches you had to secure 1 of about 10 chairs beside #1 singles or #4 singles.  
  • If you wanted to watch #5 and #6 singles on the back 2 courts the only way you could reach those courts was to cut between courts 2 and 3 and you could only do that when both were on a changeover.  I believe this was the main issue on why scores weren't being reported very frequently on those 2 courts. 
  • The matches moved along very quickly since there was just 5 minutes of downtime between doubles and singles along with the no-ad, no warmup rules in place.  It seemed like 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes was kind of the average if I had to ball park it.  


As I was thumbing through the program and looking over each team's profile it was interesting to see the tenure that each coach has - here is the list below sorted by the most senior to the least senior:


Bid Goswami (Columbia) - 32nd year
Manny Diaz (Georgia) - 27th year
Peter Wright (California) - 22nd year
Billy Martin (UCLA) - 22nd year
Sam Paul (North Carolina) - 21st year
Matt Knoll (Baylor) - 19th year
Ty Tucker (Ohio State) - 16th year
Michael Center (Texas) - 15th year
Brian Boland (Virginia) - 14th year
Peter Smith (USC) - 13th year
Brad Dancer (Illinois) - 10th year
Ramsey Smith (Duke) - 7th year
John Roddick (Oklahoma) - 6th year
David Roditi (TCU) - 5th year
Jeff Zinn (Penn State) - 4th year
Toby Hansen (Ole Miss) - 1st year



Tuesday, 17 February 2015 22:03

Oklahoma The New #1 In Both Polls

Written by
It definitely wasn't a surprise to see Oklahoma and USC as 1 and 2 in each of the rankings after this past weekend.  The coaches placement of Baylor at #3, Georgia #4, and Virginia #5 was more in line with my thinking with Baylor coming pretty darn close to beating Oklahoma in the semis.

The ITA has 2 Ivy League schools (Columbia #11/Harvard #25) in the Top 25 for what has to be the first time in quite a while.

UCLA managed to hold firm at #12 despite going 1-2 over the weekend.

The coaches have Mississippi State and Oklahoma State almost 10 spots higher than the ITA.

ITA Write-Up
College Tennis Online Write-Up