Shocker of the day, week, month, year, decade, century, maybe longer - #1 USC playing without Eric Johnson and Nick Crystal goes down to #51 Tulsa 4-3.

USC came out strong and really blew out Tulsa in doubles winning 6-1 and 6-0 at 2 and 3 despite having new doubles pairing on each court.  Eric Johnson did play in doubles but I guess it was a coaches decision to give him and Nick Crystal the day off in singles and it ultimately proved to be costly.

Still even with those 2 guys out of the singles lineup you figure there is no way that Hanfmann and Quiroz are both going to lose and sure enough they both did in straight sets.

When I was looking at Saturday's matches and deciding which ones to preview I quickly passed this one over because I didn't think there was any way possible that Tulsa could win this match regardless of whether USC sat a couple of guys.  But I guess there is a reason they play the matches because you never know what can happen on a given day.

Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel pulled off the 1st upset of the day when he took out Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-2 at #1 singles to tie the match up at 1 but a short while later Jonny Wang would put USC back ahead 2-1 with a 7-5, 6-0 win at #3 singles over Matthew Kirby.  Tulsa's Alejandro Espejo evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 7-6(0) win over Roberto Quiroz at #2 singles which set the stage for 3 3rd sets on the remaining courts. After dropping the 1st set at both #5 and #6, Tulsa's Mitchell Pritchard and Dylan McCloskey would each take the 2nd set and would both head to a 3rd set tiebreaker. McCloskey would jump out to a 6-3 lead in the tiebreak but USC's Connor Farren would fight off 3 match points to tie it at 6.  Farren would hit each of the next 2 shots just long (he appealed both calls to the chair but neither was overturned much to his dismay) and with that Tulsa had taken a 3-2 lead. The tiebreaker at #5 was just a few points behind but Tulsa's Mitchell Pritchard would grab the early lead and never give it up as he finished off Rob Bellamy 7-5 in the tiebreak to clinch the stunning Tulsa win.

Now it wouldn't be college tennis if there wasn't some kind of uncertainty about something and if you look at each of the school's recaps they both show a different singles lineup from Tulsa at 3, 4, 5, and 6 than what the scoreboard during the match showed.  I watched the live stream on courts 5 and 6 at the end and while the clarity wasn't good enough to make out faces I do remember hearing the Tulsa players yelling out "Come on Mitchell" during the tiebreak at #5 singles so the assumption is that Mitchell Pritchard did play at #5 singles and clinch the match despite the recap saying differently. The score entered into the ITA's system also shows the lineup that matches the scoreboard.  All I want to do is to give credit to where it's due so if it was Carlos Bautista that clinched it at #5 like the recaps say then so be it.

UPDATE:  Both the USC and Tulsa recaps below now show the correct people for Tulsa so it's nice to see Pritchard get his recognition for clinching.  






Tulsa recap
USC recap

#51 Tulsa 4, #1 USC 3

Doubles | Order of finish: 3, 2*
1. Johnson/Quiroz (USC) vs. #33 Bautista/Espejo (TU), 4-2 (unf.)
2. Hanfmann/Wang (USC) def. McCloskey/Kirby (TU), 6-1
3. Smith/Forget (USC) def. Ram-Harel/Matias Gonzalez (TU), 6-0


Singles | Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 6, 5*, 4
1. #71 Or Ram-Harel (TU 13.25) def. #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 15.05) 6-3, 6-2
2. Alejandro Espejo (TU 13.72) def. #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.43) 6-4, 7-6(0)
3. #31 Jonny Wang (USC 14.23) def. Matthew Kirby (TU 12.87) 7-5, 6-0
4. #72 Max De Vroome (USC 14.13) def. Carlos Bautista (TU 12.71) 7-5, 5-7, 6-5(4)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (TU 12.52) def. Rob Bellamy (USC 13.09) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5)
6. Dylan McCloskey (TU 12.56) def. Connor Farren (USC 13.70) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6)
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South Bend, IN:  After Notre Dame won a tight doubles point that was decided by a tiebreak on 1, the teams would split 1st sets with Notre Dame taking the opening set at 1, 5, and 6 (5 & 6 in tiebreaks) with Illinois grabbing the opening set at 2, 3, and 4.  All singles matches except #5 would finish in straight sets with Tim Kopinski and Aleks Vukic winning at #3 and #4 to put Illinois up 2-1.  Notre Dame would answer with straight set wins at #6 and #1 by Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan to put the Irish up 3-2.  Illinois's Hiltzik brothers would then take center stage and rise to the occasion as Jared finished off Josh Hagar in straight sets at #2 singles and then Aron would win 12 straight games at #5 singles to clinch the team win with a 6-7, 6-0, 6-0 win.

Note - Notre Dame's #4 Eric Schnurrenberger sat out due to injury which forced the Irish to shift everyone up a spot from 4 on down.

Illinois recap
Notre Dame recap

#3 Illinois 4, #14 Notre Dame 3

Singles competition
1. #24 Quentin Monaghan (ND 14.28) def. #52 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.59) 6-4, 6-4
2. #19 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.50) def. #102 Josh Hagar (ND 13.75) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
3. #33 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.19) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.12) 6-1, 6-2
4. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.18) def. Billy Pecor (ND 12.99) 7-6 (7-4), 6-0
5. #67 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 13.80) def. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.52) 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-0
6. Alex Lawson (ND 12.80) def. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.09) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #19 Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) def. #14 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) 7-6 (7-4)
2. Jared Hiltzik/Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Alex Lawson/Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-3
3. Billy Pecor/Dougie Barnard (ND) def. Aron Hiltzik/Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) 6-4

Match Notes:
Illinois 12-2; National ranking #3
Notre Dame 6-3; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,4,6,1,2,5)

T-3:05 A-286

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Los Angeles, CA:  UCLA won the doubles point but Stanford kept it close in singles by winning 3 first sets but the one set they really needed was at #3 singles and once UCLA's Martin Redlicki took it 9-7 in the tiebreak things started going UCLA's way. Karue Sell, Mackenzie McDonald, and Martin Redlicki would all win in straights with Redlicki clinching it.  Stanford picked up a straight set win from John Morrissey at #2. After the match was clinched, UCLA's Ryoto Tachi finished off a 3rd set bagel of David Hsu at #6 while Stanford's Nolan Paige won a 10 point supertiebreak that was played in place of a 3rd set at #5.

Notes - UCLA played without its usual #4 singles player Gage Brymer and according to the UCLA recap Dennis Mkrtchian sustained some kind of injury during the first set of his match at #2 singles.

UCLA recap
Stanford recap


#21 UCLA 5, #37 Stanford 2
Feb 28, 2015 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. #5 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) def. Morrissey/Robert Stineman (STAN) 6-4
2. Joseph Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) def. #49 Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3
3. Mkrtchian/Rapp (UCLA) vs. Paige/Wilczynski (STAN) 5-6, unfinished
UCLA Wins Doubles Point

Singles
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87) def. #26 Tom Fawcett (STAN 14.14) 7-5, 6-2
2. John Morrissey (STAN 14.10) def. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50) 6-3, 6-1
3. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23) def. David Wilczynski (STAN 13.86) 7-6(7), 6-3
4. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03) def. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN 13.31) 6-1, 6-3
5. Nolan Paige (STAN 13.32) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91) 6-3, 6-7(6), (10-7)
6. Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.06) def. David Hsu (STAN 13.95) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0

Match Notes
Stanford 6-4; National ranking #37
UCLA 7-5; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (2,4,1,3,5,6)

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North Carolina started the morning off with a routine 4-1 win over Minnesota with the Tar Heels taking all completed sets except for the 1 set that Brayden Schnur dropped at #1 singles before he retired early in the 2nd set.  No word yet on what caused the retirement.  Minnesota also played without it's usual #2 Jack Hamburg (13.04) so everyone else had to slide up a slot which didn't help the Gophers cause.

UNC recap

Compared to what we'll see on Sunday (Virginia at Baylor, Wake Forest at Texas, Vanderbilt at Ole Miss) Saturday should be fairly tame day with just 1 matchup between top 15 schools.  Below are the best ones that I saw on the docket so check them out if you get a chance.

#34 South Carolina (8-6) at #17 Florida (5-3) - 1pm est. - Live Scoring - South Carolina comes into this one on a 3-match losing streak which includes a 4-2 loss on Thursday to Auburn while Florida is coming off a tough 4-1 loss to Georgia. Florida is 4-4 in doubles while South Carolina is 11-3 with both dropping the doubles point the last time out. Here's an interesting stat that you don't see too often for a team at this level - South Carolina is 0-13 at the #1 singles spot this year.  Most likely that streak will stay intact tomorrow because I'd be surprised if Hidalgo didn't beat Koch.  


The 2nd weakest spot for South Carolina is #2 singles where they are just 6-6.  The 2 participants at #2 singles have lost a combined 13 matches in a row with Andrew Adams on an 8-match slide while Maxx Lipman has dropped 5 straight.  I think Lipman is the one that breaks his streak and gets the win. The matchup at #3 will be interesting because you have Thiago Pinheiro (1-8 dual match record) taking on Gordon Watson (4-3).  Most of Pinheiro's losses came at #1 against some stiff competition and 7 of his 9 losses have gone 3 sets so while Watson should win it likely won't be easy.  With South Carolina underdogs at those top 3 spots they'd need to sweep the bottom 3 and get the doubles point and if they couldn't do it at Auburn it isn't going to happen at Florida. Prediction:  Florida 4-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. Kyle Koch (USC 13.91) vs. #46 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.04) 
2. Andrew Adams (USC 13.80) vs. #103 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.72) 
3. Thiago Pinheiro (USC 13.26) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.74) 
4. #101 Andrew Schafer (USC 13.39) vs. #80 Elliott Orkin (UF 13.84) 
5. Harrison O'Keefe (USC 13.27) vs. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.30) 
6. Thomas Mayronne (USC 13.11) vs. Oliver Landert (UF 13.14) 


#37 Stanford (6-3) at #21 UCLA (6-5) - 4pm est. - Live Scoring - It's been a while since UCLA was off to this rough a start as the Bruins limp into this one just above the .500 mark while Stanford comes in after giving #1 USC a decent match the day before though the Cardinal came out on the wrong end of a 6-1 score.  One of the unknowns at this point is whether Gage Brymer will be back in the lineup but I'm going to assume he is after missing the last few. UCLA is 8-3 in doubles while Stanford is 7-2.  UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki are each 7-1 in dual match play and I look for them both to win at their respective positions and I also think Dennis Mkrtchian is playing well enough to get past John Morrissey so I'm predicting a UCLA sweep at the top 3 spots.  I do think Stanford will pull out the doubles point and get at least 1 win if not 2 from the bottom 3 but it won't be enough. Prediction:  UCLA 5-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #26 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.14) vs. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87)
2. John Morrissey (ST 14.10) vs. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50)
3. David Wilczynski (ST 13.86) vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23)
4. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.31) vs. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.83)
5. Nolan Paige (ST 13.32) vs. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03)
6. David Hsu (ST 13.95) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91)


#3 Illinois (11-2) at #14 Notre Dame (6-2) - 4pm est. -  Live Scoring  - This match was originally scheduled for earlier in February but due to poor weather conditions it was pushed back until today.  The home team has won each of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry going all the way back to 2006 but this is probably the best team Illinois has put out since 2007 while Notre Dame is a good team but not as good as the team they had last year.  Notre Dame is 6-2 in doubles while Illinois is 6-5. I like Notre Dame in doubles and I think Quentin Monaghan has a good shot of beating Farris Gosea at 1 but the rest of the Illini lineup is just too stout and I see the Illini winning at 2, 3, 4, 5, an 6 to take it.  Prediction: Illinois 5-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #52 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.59) vs. #24 Quentin Monaghan (ND 14.28)
2. #19 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.50) vs. #102 Josh Hagar (ND 13.75)
3. #33 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.19) vs. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.12)
4. #67 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 13.80) vs. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND 13.45)
5. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.18) vs. Billy Pecor (ND 12.99)
6. Toshiki Matsuya ((LL 13.09) vs. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.52)

A couple of other ones to keep an eye on though I don't expect anything close to an upset:

#7 Georgia (8-2) at #28 Auburn (11-2) - 2pm est. - Auburn has been somewhat of a surprise so far, at least record wise, though their highest ranked win is over #34 South Carolina.  Georgia is undefeated against everyone except USC.  I'm sure they'll stop this one at the clinch so unless Auburn takes the doubles point they're not going to get on the board.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0

#26 Florida State (9-2) at #2 Oklahoma (11-1) - 4:30pm est. - Florida State has lost the only 2 matches that it's played against top 25 opponents while Oklahoma already has 8 wins over top 25 opponents - Prediction: Oklahoma 4-0

Check out my live scoring page for a list of all the matches of the day with scoring/video/blog/twitter links.
Stanford came out strong and took the doubles point over USC but once singles got going so did Stanford's chances of an upset.

USC grabbed 4 1st sets and would finish each of them in straight sets with Eric Johnson putting the first point on the board with his 6-3, 6-1 blowout over David Wilczynski at #3 singles.  Nick Crystal would finish off David Hsu 6-1, 6-3 at #6 singles a few minutes later which then set the stage for USC to close it out on the top 2 courts. After Stanford's Tom Fawcett fought off a match point on the deciding point of his serve, USC's Yannick Hanfmann would hold serve at love to close out the Cardinal freshman at #1 singles by a 6-4, 6-4 score.  With the score now 3-1, Roberto Quiroz would provide the final dagger by finishing off John Morrissey 6-4, 6-4 at #2 singles. The coaches agreed to play out the final 2 courts and USC would take them both with Max De Vroome coming from a set down to win 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 at #5 singles over Nolan Paige and Jonny Wang doing the same at #4 singles and winning 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (6) over Maciek Romanowicz.

All in all not a bad effort from Stanford but as I mentioned in my preview I think they are a year away from taking out a top 10 team.

USC recap
Stanford recap

FYI, the # beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of the current date of the recap. For more details about UTR check out their website.

#1 USC 6, #37 Stanford 1
Feb 27, 2015 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.) 
DOUBLES
(1) Morrissey/Stineman (Stan.) def. #2 Hanfmann/Quiroz (USC) - 6-3
(2) #30 De Vroome/Johnson (USC) vs. #49 Fawcett/Romanowicz (Stan.) - 5-4 susp.
(3) Paige/Wilczynski (Stan.) def. Crystal/Wang (USC) - 7-5
Stanford wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3
SINGLES
(1) #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 15.05) def. #26 Tom Fawcett (Stan 14.14) - 6-4, 6-4
(2) #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.44) def. John Morrissey (Stan 14.10) - 6-4, 6-4*
(3) Eric Johnson (USC 13.97) def. David Wilczynski (Stan 13.86) - 6-3, 6-1
(4) #31 Jonny Wang (USC 14.23) def. Maciek Romanowicz (Stan 13.31) - 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6)
(5) #72 Max de Vroome (USC 14.14) def. Nolan Paige (Stan 13.32) - 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-1
(6) #45 Nick Crystal (USC 13.93) def. David Hsu (Stan 13.95) - 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 6, 1, 2*, 5, 4

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Baton Rouge, LA:  This was a matchup between 1 team on the rise and the other on the fall as LSU took Tennessee to the woodshed and blew the Vols off the court with a 4-0 shutout that would have likely been 6-1 or 7-0 had they played it out.  Tennessee falls to 8-5 as the Vols have yet to beat a ranked opponent and things won't get any easier because next up is a visit to College Station to face Texas A&M.  LSU is now 10-1 and will likely be 11-1 after Kentucky visits on Sunday.  Tennessee has battled some injuries but they just haven't seen a consistent level of play from most of the the lineup (except Libietis) with Hunter Reese the one in the biggest tailspin with him having dropped 7 of his last 9.

LSU recap
Tennessee recap

#31 LSU 4, #56 Tennessee 0

Singles competition
1. #64 Jordan Daigle (LSU 13.29) vs. #15 Mikelis Libietis (UT 14.17) 4-6, 7-5 DNF
2. #98 Chris Simpson (LSU 13.41) def. Hunter Reese (UT 13.52) 6-1, 6-2
3. #125 Tam Trinh (LSU 12.92) def. Jack Schipanski (UT 13.03) 7-5, 6-2
4. Boris Arias (LSU 13.20) vs. Luis Valero (UT 13.29) 7-6, 4-4 DNF
5. #119 Justin Butsch (LSU 13.48) vs. Jess Jones (UT 13.03) 6-3, 5-3 DNF
6. Andrew Korinek (LSU 13.17) def. Bartosz Sawicki (UT 12.51) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #57 Boris Arias/Jordan Daigle (LSU) vs. #3 Hunter Reese/Mikelis Libietis (UT) 4-5 DNF
2. Tam Trinh/Eric Perez (LSU) def. Bartosz Sawicki/Luis Valero (UT) 6-2
3. Chris Simpson/Justin Butsch (LSU) def. Jack Schipanski/Andrew Dromsky (UT)) 6-4

Match Notes:
Tennessee 8-5 (0-1 SEC); National ranking #56
LSU 10-1 (1-0 SEC); National ranking #31

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

__________________________________________________________

College Station, TX:  This one was by far and away the biggest rout of the day in the SEC as Texas A&M just obliterated a reeling Kentucky team 4-0.  Jeremy Efferding dropped just 1 game in his win at #1, AJ Catanzariti dropped only 3 games at #5, and Max Lunkin dropped just 4 games at #6.  Texas A&M won all 9 completed sets and the only one at risk of dropping one was Rinderknech at 4.  We've gotten used to seeing Kentucky in the top 10-15 for years now but this team is not even close to competing at the level with the Wildcats falling to 6-7 with 0 wins over anyone inside the top 200. The ITA doesn't publish the rankings below 75 but if they did I can guarantee you that Kentucky wouldn't be anywhere near the top 100.

Texas A&M recap
Kentucky recap


#9 Texas A&M def. Kentucky, 4-0
George P Mitchell Tennis Center
February, 27, 2015

Singles competition 
1. #66 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU 13.97) def. #83 Beck Pennington (UK 13.53) 6-1, 6-0
2. #65 Shane Vinsant (TAMU 14.28) vs. Jerry Lopez (UK 13.33) 6-4, 5-3 unfinished
3. #39 Harrison Adams (TAMU 13.91) vs. #122 William Bushamuka (UK 13.00) 6-1, 5-5 unfinished
4. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.06) vs. Kevin Lai (UK 13.03) 6-4, 0-3 unfinished
5. #88 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU 13.98) def. Trey Yates (UK 12.88) 6-1, 6-2
*6. Max Lunkin (TAMU 12.78) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK 12.39) 6-4, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #8 Shane Vinsant & Harrison Adams (TAMU) vs. #45 Beck Pennington & Kevin Lai (UK) 4-5, unfinished
2. #22 Jeremy Efferding & Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Jerry Lopez & William Bushamuka (UK) 6-2
3. AJ Catanzariti & Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Nils Ellefsen & Jake Stefanik (UK) 6-3

Order of Finish: Doubles (2,3), Singles (5,1,6)

*Clinched the Match
___________________________________________________________

Other Notables Scores from Friday:
Wichita State upset #40 Denver 6-1 - box score
#41 Mississippi State shutout Alabama 4-0 - Miss St recap
#27 NC State held off #69 VCU 4-3 - NCST recap
#10 Ole Miss just got past #62 Tulane 5-2 - Ole Miss recap
#8 Ohio State beat #39 Penn State 6-1 though many of the courts were very close - Ohio St recap
#16 Vanderbilt blanked #67 Arkansas 4-0 - Vandy recap
#29 Drake beat #57 Iowa 5-2 - Iowa recap

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Check back later for my preview of the feature matches on Saturday.

Friday, 27 February 2015 13:23

Stanford/USC Preview

Written by
The owners of 38 NCAA Division 1 Men's Team National Championships will meet on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles as the #1 USC Trojans host the #37 Stanford Cardinal.

USC's media guide shows they lead the all-time series 109-76 with the 1st match played in 1925 while Stanford's shows USC leads it 63-59 with the 1st match coming in 1967.  I'd have to go with USC's as the more accurate source since I know Stanford was playing tennis long before 1967. Stanford has won 17 NCAA Championships with the last coming in 2000 while USC has won 21 NCAA Championships including 5 of the last 6.

USC has won 8 straight in the series with Stanford's last win over SC coming back in 2011 at the National Indoors. This USC team is full of experience with the top 4 spots in the singles lineup occupied by seniors along with a junior and a sophomore at 5 and 6. Stanford on the other hand is starting 3 freshmen, a senior, and 2 juniors.

Let's breakdown the individual match-ups and see if Stanford has any shot at getting close to 4 points against the #1 Trojans.



Stanford freshman #26 Tom Fawcett has turned some heads so far this year with his stellar play which includes 3 wins over top 60 opponents and he is currently the 3rd highest ranked freshman in the latest rankings behind only Duke's #8 Nicolas Alvarez and Georgia's #17 Wayne Montgomery. USC senior Yannick Hanfmann just seems to keep plugging along with 11 of his 13 wins over ranked opponents with 8 of those 11 over top 50 opponents.  Both of these guys are undefeated in dual match play so somebody has to lose - I'll take experience over youth.

Stanford's David Wilczynski has done something you don't see too often - he has played at every spot in the singles lineup after starting the year at 6 and has since played at 5, 4, 3, 2, and this past Tuesday against Hawaii he played at 1 so that's 6 different positions in 7 matches.  The reason for the upward slide has been strictly performance based as all his dual match wins have been blowouts with the lone loss coming in 3 sets to Cal's Filip Bergevi.  One item to note is that while the wins have been impressive only 1 has been over a ranked opponent (#123 Perez-Blanco). Wilczynski's opponent will be #20 Roberto Quiroz who already has 7 wins over ranked opponents and 5 of those over top 50 opponents.  Quiroz is just too seasoned for the Cardinal freshman and will take this one in 2.

Stanford's John Morrissey spent the last 2 years playing atop the Cardinal singles lineup but has been pushed down to #3 after a slow start to the year in conjunction with the strong play of both Fawcett and Wilczynski.  Wang had another great fall with 4 ranked wins but has dropped 3 of his last 4 though all 3 losses have been against top 80 opponents.  I give Morrissey a decent chance in this one but I think Wang pulls it out in 3.

USC's Eric Johnson had a fairly substandard fall but the light switch flipped on at the start of the dual match season as Johnson has now won 8 of 9 including 6 straight with the last 5 in straight sets against some tough competition.  Stanford's Maciek Romanowicz really came out of the gate slow dropping 5 of 8 then he dropped his 1st 3 dual matches before pulling off an improbable comeback from 2-5 down in the 3rd last Saturday against Cal's J.T. Nishimura.   It wouldn't surprise me if Johnson was moved up to 3 and Wang dropped to 4 but if Johnson plays at 4 he takes this one in straights.

Stanford's David Hsu had a strong fall going 8-2 but since the 1st of the year he's just 2-4.  USC's Max De Vroome has had an awkward start to the spring with just 4 of 8 matches reaching a conclusion with the last one to finish being De Vroome's lone loss to Oklahoma's Alex Ghilea.  If the Hsu from the fall was playing this match I'd take him in 3, but he doesn't seem 100% right now so I'll take the big Dutchman in 2.

USC's Nick Crystal has been on fire this year going undefeated in dual match play along with a stout 11-3 record in the individual portion of the season that included wins over Tom Fawcett, Andre Goransson, Max De Vroome, and his potential Stanford opponent Nolan Paige.   Paige has won 4 straight after dropping his 1st 2 dual matches however those 4 opponents have been unranked.  I'll go with Crystal in 2.

Stanford has an improved team but they're a year away from taking out a team like USC.  Prediction: USC 6-1


#37 Stanford (6-2) at #1 USC (9-1) - 4pm eastern  - USC Streaming & Pac 12 Net Coverage begins at 5:30

Projected Lineups with UTRs (as of 2/26) after the school abbreviation:

Singles:
1. #26 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.14 - 6-0/18-4) vs. #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 15.05 - 7-0/13-2)  
2. David Wilczynski (ST 13.86 - 6-1/15-6) vs. #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.44 - 5-1/13-3) 
3. John Morrissey (ST 14.10 - 5-2/7-5) vs. #31 Jonny Wang (USC 14.23 - 2-3/13-7) 
4. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.31 4-3/6-8) vs. Eric Johnson (USC 13.97 - 8-1/12-7) 
5. David Hsu (ST 13.95 - 2-2/10-6) vs. #72 Max De Vroome (USC 14.14 - 3-1/13-5)
6. Nolan Paige (ST 13.32 - 5-2/16-8) vs. #45 Nick Crystal (USC 13.93 - 7-0/18-3)  

Doubles:
1. Morrissey/Stineman (ST 3-2) vs. #2 Hanfmann/Quiroz (USC 5-2/13-3)   
2. #49 Romanowicz/Fawcett (ST 5-1/9-1) vs. #30 Johnson/De Vroome (USC 6-0)
3. Paige/Wilczynski (ST 2-1) vs. Crystal/Connor Farren (USC 2-2/7-2)

The big match of the day in Gainesville had a close doubles point but once Georgia got the early lead it never looked back and ended up pulling away for a 4-1 win.

The doubles point looked like it was Florida's for the taking after the Gators #2 team of Elliott Orkin and Maxx Lipman cruised to a 6-1 win while its #1 tandem of Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson jumped out to a 4-2 lead.   With Georgia's #3 team of Wayne Montgomery and Paul Oosterbaan also winning 6-1 the pressure would go back on Georgia's #1 team of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland and the undefeated tandem wouldn't go away as they took 3 straight games to go up 5-4 and were serving for the match.  There would then be 3 consecutive service breaks to send the match to a tiebreak. After falling behind 4-2 and 6-4, Georgia's Austin Smith and Ben Wagland would fight off 2 match points and eventually win the last 3 points to take the tiebreak 9-7 in a match that took 57 minutes.

In singles play Georgia would jump out to a break lead on all 6 courts and would end up taking 5 1st sets with Elliott Orkin grabbing the lone 1st set for Florida at #4.  Austin Smith would be 1st off the court with a 6-1, 6-4 win at #2 and then 15 minutes later Paul Oosterbaan would close out his match with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #6 which put Georgia up 3-0.  Elliott Orkin would give Florida its only point with a 7-5, 6-2 win at #4 but a short while later Nathan Pasha would clinch the victory for Georgia with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 win at #3 singles.  The 2 remaining matches were tied in the 3rd set at the time of the clinch.  

Georgia recap
Florida recap

FYI, the # beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of the current date of the recap.  For more details about UTR check out their website.

#7 Georgia 4, #17 Florida 1
Singles competition
1. #17 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.65) vs. #46 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.04) 6-3, 3-6, 1-1 DNF
2. #25 Austin Smith (UGA 14.12) def.. #103 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.72) 6-1, 6-4
3. #16 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.26) def. Gordon Watson (UF 13.74) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 
4. #80 Elliott Orkin (UF 13.84) def. Nick Wood (UGA 13.69) 7-5, 6-2
5. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.26) vs. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.30) 6-3, 6-7(0) DNF
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.57) def. Oliver Landert (UF 13.14) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #10 Wagland/Smith (UGA) def. #47 Hidalgo/Watson (UF) 7-6 (7)
2. Lipman/Orkin (UF) def. Diaz/Pasha (UGA) 6-1
3. Montgomery/Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Richard Brej/Landert (UF) 6-1

Match Notes:
Florida 5-3; National ranking #17
Georgia 8-2; National ranking #7

Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (2, 6, 4, 3)
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Auburn, AL:  In the SEC opener for each school, Auburn was able to grab the doubles point and then pick up 4 1st sets to put South Carolina into a hole that they just couldn't climb out of.   Auburn's Oliver Plaskett provided the clincher at #6 singles with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Thomas Mayronne. The remaining match at #2 was halted with Auburn's Marko Krickovic up 5-3 in the 3rd so more than likely this would have finished 5-2 in Auburn's favor had it been played out.

Auburn recap
South Carolina recap

#28 Auburn 4, #34 South Carolina 2

Singles competition 
1. Lukas Ollert (AU 14.31) def. Kyle Koch (USC 13.91) 6-2, 6-4
2. Marko Krickovic (AU 13.76) vs. Andrew Adams (USC 13.80) 6-2, 3-6, 5-3 DNF
3. Maxime Hinnisdaels (AU 13.89) def. Thiago Pinheiro (USC 13.26) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
4. Andrew Schafer (USC 13.39) def. Dante Saleh (AU 12.93) 7-5, 6-4
5. Harrison O'Keefe (USC 13.27) def. Joseph Van Dooren (AU 12.42) 6-3, 6-4
6. Oliver Plaskett (AU 11.88) def. Thomas Mayronne (USC 13.11) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles competition
1. Marko Krickovic/Oliver Plaskett (AU) def. Kyle Koch/Thiago Pinheiro (USC) 7-5
2. Lukas Ollert/Joseph Van Dooren (AU) def. Harrison O'Keefe/Thomas Mayronne (USC) 6-4
3. Andrew Schafer/Andrew Adams (USC) def. Maxime Hinnisdaels/Dante Saleh (AU) 6-3

Match Notes:
South Carolina 8-6 (0-1 SEC); National ranking #34
Auburn 11-2 (1-0 SEC); National ranking #28
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,5,4,3,6)
Played indoors

Official: Chris Rodger T-3:13

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Ann Arbor, MI:  The Dartmouth Big Green ran its record to 7-4 on the year with a 4-3 win on the road at Michigan.  Michigan was coming off a win over Memphis but couldn't duplicate the results against its Ivy League foe.

Dartmouth recap
Michigan recap

#50 Dartmouth 4, #52 Michigan 3

Singles
1. #82 Dovydas Sakinis (DART 13.61) def. Alex Petrone (U-M 13.59), 6-2, 6-4
2. #112 Michael Zhu (U-M 12.69) def. #108 Chris Kipouras (DART 13.22), 6-4, 6-3
3. Runhao Hua (U-M 13.44) def. Ciro Riccardi (DART 13.11), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 10-4
4. Alex Knight (U-M 12.99) def. Diego Pedraza (DART 12.88), 7-6 (4), 6-2
5. Brendan Tannenbaum (DART 12.89) def. Davis Crocker (U-M 12.15), 6-4, 6-4
6. Max Schmidt (DART 12.68) def. Carter Lin (U-M 13.09), 6-3, 2-6, 6-1

Doubles
1. #18 Dovydas Sakinis/Chris Kipouras (DART) def. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M), 6-4
2. Runhao Hua/Alex Knight (U-M) vs. Brendan Tannenbaum/Max Schmidt (DART), 5-5 (DNF)
3. Sam Todd/Diego Pedraza (DART) def. Davis Crocker/Tyler Gardiner (U-M), 6-2


Order of Completion: Doubles 3-1, Singles 1-2-5-4-6-3

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FRIDAY PREVIEW:

The owners of 38 NCAA Division 1 Men's Team National Championships will meet on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles as the #1 USC Trojans host the #37 Stanford Cardinal.

USC's media guide shows they lead the all-time series 109-76 with the 1st match played in 1925 while Stanford's shows USC leads it 63-59 with the 1st match coming in 1967.  I'd have to go with USC's as the more accurate source since I know Stanford was playing tennis long before 1967. Stanford has won 17 NCAA Championships with the last coming in 2000 while USC has won 21 NCAA Championships including 5 of the last 6.

USC has won 8 straight in the series with Stanford's last win over SC coming back in 2011 at the National Indoors. This USC team is full of experience with the top 4 spots in the singles lineup occupied by seniors along with a junior and a sophomore at 5 and 6. Stanford on the other hand is starting 3 freshmen, a senior, and 2 juniors.

Let's breakdown the individual match-ups and see if Stanford has any shot at getting close to 4 points against the #1 Trojans.

Stanford freshman #26 Tom Fawcett has turned some heads so far this year with his stellar play which includes 3 wins over top 60 opponents and he is currently the 3rd highest ranked freshman in the latest rankings behind only Duke's #8 Nicolas Alvarez and Georgia's #17 Wayne Montgomery. USC senior Yannick Hanfmann just seems to keep plugging along with 11 of his 13 wins over ranked opponents with 8 of those 11 over top 50 opponents.  Both of these guys are undefeated in dual match play so somebody has to lose - I'll take experience over youth.

Stanford's David Wilczynski has done something you don't see too often - he has played at every spot in the singles lineup after starting the year at 6 and has since played at 5, 4, 3, 2, and this past Tuesday against Hawaii he played at 1 so that's 6 different positions in 7 matches.  The reason for the upward slide has been strictly performance based as all his dual match wins have been blowouts with the lone loss coming in 3 sets to Cal's Filip Bergevi.  One item to note is that while the wins have been impressive only 1 has been over a ranked opponent (#123 Perez-Blanco). Wilczynski's opponent will be #20 Roberto Quiroz who already has 7 wins over ranked opponents and 5 of those over top 50 opponents.  Quiroz is just too seasoned for the Cardinal freshman and will take this one in 2.

Stanford's John Morrissey spent the last 2 years playing atop the Cardinal singles lineup but has been pushed down to #3 after a slow start to the year in conjunction with the strong play of both Fawcett and Wilczyns
Thursday, 26 February 2015 01:49

Dawgs vs. Gators

Written by
The oldest tennis rivalry in the Deep South will add another chapter to its history books on Thursday evening when 17th ranked Florida hosts 7th ranked Georgia with 1st serve set to go up at 5:30pm sharp.  Georgia has played Florida more times than any other opponent and the same goes for Florida. One oddity I noticed is that Florida's media guide shows it's played Georgia 100 times while Georgia's only lists 75 matches against Florida.  Below is what each shows is the record against the other: 

Georgia shows an all-time record of 56-19 against Florida,
Florida shows an all-time record of 39-60-1 against Georgia.  

So as you can see there is a rather large variance with the start date of the series being the culprit - Florida shows the series started in 1932 while Georgia shows it started in 1955.  Regardless of who counts what they've played a lot of times and will lock horns again tomorrow so let's dive in and look at the individual matches.  As a side note this will be Georgia's 1st outdoor dual match with all its matches up to this point being played indoors.  


Florida preview
Georgia preview




Georgia went 3-2 in doubles prior to the National Indoors but since Manny Diaz changed his pairings they've gone 4-0 with 3 of those double points coming over top 13 teams (#1 USC, #3 Illinois, #13 Columbia).  Florida has gone 4-3 in doubles but has dropped doubles in 3 of the last 4 matches with the same pairings having played in each match.  Florida needs the doubles point more in my book so the Gators have to hope the large rowdy crowd helps put them over the top.

In singles, Florida's Diego Hidalgo will make his 1st appearance of the year at #1, 2nd all-time, but he's going to have his hands full against Georgia's Wayne Montgomery.   Montgomery knocked off Hidalgo 7-5, 6-1 back in October in the Round of 32 at the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and I think we'll see a similar scoreline tomorrow with Montgomery picking up the W.

Florida's Maxx Lipman will make his 1st appearance of the year at #2 after playing at #1 in each of Florida's 7 matches with the drop due to Lipman starting the year 1-4. Lipman will face Austin Smith who previously beat him 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Southeast Regional back in October though Smith himself has dropped 3 of his last 5. Smith is 3-0 overall against the Lipman's having also beaten Maxx's brother Ryan (Vanderbilt) twice last season and I think Smith will run that streak to 4.

Last year Nathan Pasha and Gordon Watson played each other at #1 singles (Watson won 7-6, 7-6) but this year they'll meet at #3.  Both guys have been playing well lately with each riding a 4-match winning streak so this one is a near toss up.

Nick Wood and Elliott Orkin played each other at #6 singles last year (Wood won 7-6, 6-4) and this year they'll meet at #4.  Wood struggled in his final 2 matches at the National Indoors winning only 8 total games but he was able to get back on track last Sunday with a straight set win against an overmatched Jacob Behal (Furman).  Orkin will play at #4 for the 1st time this year after starting at #2 six times and #3 once.  He was able to stop a 2 match slide with a 3-set win over Florida State's Michael Rinaldi however that match was almost 3 weeks ago.   Wood is the better player in my book but if Orkin can frustrate him into making too may errors, like what Aron Hiltzik and Eric Johnson did, then it could be a long day for the Georgia junior.

Florida freshman Chase Perez-Blanco will get his first taste of this fierce rivalry as he takes on the streaky Georgia junior Ben Wagland.  When Wagland plays with confidence and hits his serve and forehand with authority he's good enough to beat just about anyone on the court as evidenced by him playing at #1 his freshman year but when he plays tentative he can be pushed around by anyone.  In my opinion Ben Wagland's style of play will determine whether he wins or loses this one - if he plays aggressive (goes for the lines) he wins in 2 if he plays tentative (slices it into the middle of the court) and waits for the Perez-Blanco error he loses in 2.

This will be a battle between 2 redshirt freshmen as Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan takes on Florida's Oliver Landert.  So far these guys have played 5 common opponents with each losing to Georgia Tech's Michael Kay and USC's Nick Crystal while both defeated Mercer's Oliver Snaider.  Landert also beat Georgia Tech's Cole Fiegel and UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio while Oosterbaan lost to Fiegel and led Di Giulio before the match was halted due to the clinch.  I'm leaning towards Oosterbaan here because I think his serve will be able to bail him out of the some deciding points.

I'm going to go with Georgia but if Florida finds a way to take 2 of the top 3 I think they probably win the match.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-3


#7 Georgia (7-2) at #17 Florida (5-2) - 5:30pm eastern - Live Scoring

Projected Lineups with UTRs (as of 2/25) after the school abbreviation:

Singles:
1. #17 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.65 - 5-2/23-5) vs. #46 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.04 - 6-0/20-4)  
2. #25 Austin Smith (UGA 14.12 - 5-3/15-7) vs. #103 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.72 - 1-4/12-8) 
3. #16 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.26 - 5-2/17-8) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.74 - 4-2/15-9) 
4. Nick Wood (UGA 13.69 6-3/18-10) vs. #80 Elliott Orkin (UF 13.84 - 3-3/16-5) 
5. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.26 - 3-3/13-11) vs. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.30 - 4-1/15-8)
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.57 - 2-3/10-8) vs. Oliver Landert (UF 13.14 - 4-3/14-8)  

Doubles:
1. #10 Smith/Wagland (UGA 4-0) vs. #47 Watson/Hidalgo (UF 3-3/14-4)   
2. Pasha/Diaz (UGA 1-1) vs. Lipman/Orkin (UF 4-3/10-6)
3. Montgomery/Oosterbaan (UGA 2-1) vs. Landert/Wardell (UF 3-2/7-5)

Dual match record is the 1st record after the school abbreviation/overall record is next)