Monday, 02 March 2015 23:25

Tuesday Preview - TCU/Baylor & Tulsa/UCLA

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Nothing like a little mid-week tennis to get everybody excited and that's what we'll have Tuesday evening with #5 Baylor hosting #15 TCU and #21 UCLA hosting #51 Tulsa.

#15 TCU (8-3) at #5 Baylor (9-2) - 7pm est - Live Scoring & Blog + Video (if played outdoors) - This will be the Big 12 opener for both schools with Baylor fresh off a win over Virginia while TCU swept a pair of matches on Sunday against Wisconsin and Incarnate Word.  TCU started off the year with 5 straight wins including wins over Texas A&M and LSU but then got swept at the National Indoors by Duke, Virginia, and UCLA.  Baylor lost its opener at home to Illinois but since then they've beaten Tulsa, Duke, UCLA, and Virginia twice with just the 1 other loss to Oklahoma at the National Indoors semifinals.  Baylor is a perfect 11-0 in doubles and has only dropped 3 individual courts while TCU is just 4-5 so I can't see anyway that Baylor doesn't win this point.  TCU has used 7 different guys in singles with Trevor Johnson (13.38) also seeing plenty of action at 6 so it's possible he could play at 6 if either Dachs or Lugones can't play.  Diego Galeano has sat out the singles portion for the last 2 matches so it sounds like he isn't 100% so with the way the other guys have been playing I'd be surprised to see him singles in this one.    


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

Projected Singles Lineup
1. #28 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.66) vs. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.69)   
2. #48 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.81) vs. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32) 
3. Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.99) vs. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22) 
4. Will Stein (TCU 13.28) vs. Vince Schneider (BU 13.46) 
5. Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.53) vs. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.82) 
6. Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.49) vs. Felipe Rios (BU 13.62)

#1 singles - Julian Lenz has jumped out to a 7-1 start in dual match play with 6 top 75 wins while Cameron Norrie is 6-3 but just 1-3 against ranked opponents.  Anything other than a Lenz win would be very surprising.  

#2 singles - Tony Lupieri is 5-3 in dual match play including a win over current #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski but since that win he is 0-2 with losses to Mitchell Frank and Dane Webb.  Nick Chappel is 4-2 in dual play and 1-2 against ranked opponents with 3 other matches that didn't finish.  I think Chappell pulls the mild upset and takes this one in 3 if they play the matches out after the clinch.

#3 singles - Max Tchoutakian is 5-4 in dual match play but just 1-3 against ranked opponents while Arnau Dachs is 5-2 in dual match play but has dropped 2 of his last 3.  Dachs sat out a few matches and had a close one against Wisconsin yesterday so he may not be 100%.  I like Tchoutakian in straights against either Dachs or Stein. 

#4 singles -  Will Stein is 4-3 in dual match play but has dropped 2 of his last 3 while Schneider is 6-1 and 3-0 since moving up to #4 with wins over UCLA's Karue Sell and Virginia's Mac Styslinger.  I think Schneider has the hotter hand right now but Stein is more than capable of winning. 

#5 singles - Guillermo Nunez is 7-0 seeing action at 3, 4, 5, and 6 though none of those wins were against a ranked opponent while the up and down Mate Zsiga is 4-2 with 4 other matches that didn't finish (he was up big in 3 of those).  Zsiga either wins his matches in under a hour or they go closer to 2+ hours and go 3 sets and if he hadn't squandered the big lead against Ghilea in the NTI semis he'd be riding a 5 match winning streak.  Right now there is no way I can pick against Mate especially with it being at home so I'll go Zsiga in 2.  

#6 singles - Felipe Rios is 6-1 in dual match play and has won 6 straight since dropping his 1st collegiate dual match against Illinois's Ross Guignon while Facundo Lugones is 4-2 though he's lost his last 2 against tougher competition (UCLA's Karue Sell & LSU's Boris Arias).  If Trevor Johnson gets the call at 6 he'd bring a 5-1 dual match record into the match.  Ultimately I'd like Rios over both those guys.

It's possible Baylor could have a little bit of an emotional letdown after the big win over Virginia but it'd take a really big effort from TCU to pull the upset.  I'd say TCU's best chance would be to get wins from Chappell, Stein, Nunez, and whoever plays at 6.  A few of those guys may win but I don't see all 4 getting it done.  Prediction:  Baylor 5-2 


#51 Tulsa (10-6) at #21 UCLA (7-5) - 5pm est - Live Scoring - Tulsa has brought a Golden Hurricane down on each of its past 2 west coast victims with neither #1 USC or #53 Pepperdine able to overcome the Tulsa firepower.  UCLA, which had lost 3 of 4, finally stopped the bleeding with a nice 4-2 win on Saturday over an improving Stanford team.  UCLA is 9-3 in doubles while Tulsa is 9-6.  Tulsa has played in 5 consecutive matches that have finished with a 4-3 score - winning 3 of the 5.  

One of UCLA's biggest issues has been getting it's 6 most talented guys on the court at the same time. Gage Brymer, who was a rock last year as a freshman going 18-3 playing primarily at #4, has struggled this year and has only played in 5 of UCLA's 12 matches.  Brymer suffered a personal tragedy when his mother passed away in late January and has had trouble finding his form since then and actually pulled himself out of the starting lineup due to his level of play at the National Indoors after dropping his match against North Carolina's Oystein Steiro.  I guess at this point only Gage knows when he'll be ready to return to the court.  Joseph Di Giulio is another Bruin that's had trouble finding his form this year.  Last year Di Giulio went 9-3 playing at #6, with a slew of matches that didn't finish, but so far this year he's just 2-5 appearing in 9 of UCLA's 12 matches.  If UCLA can get those 2 guys back and playing at last year's form they'll be a tough 2 seed in someone's regional come in May.  


Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #71 Or Ram-Harel (TU 13.24) vs. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87)
2. Alejandro Espejo (TU 13.67) vs. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50)
3. 
Juan Gonzalez (TU 13.44)vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23)
4. Matthew Kirby (TU 12.88)  vs. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (TU 12.51) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91)
6. Dylan McCloskey (TU 12.59) vs. 
Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.06)

Other possible singles additions:  Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.82), Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.50), Carlos Bautista (TU 12.71).  

#1 singles - Or Ram-Harel is 8-2 in dual match play with 3 wins over ranked opponents including the stunner on Friday over #6 Yannick Hanfmann while Mackenzie McDonald is 8-1 with 6 wins over ranked opponents. While Ram-Harel caught Hanfmann on the right day he won't catch McDonald and the Bruins sophomore wins this in 2. 

#2 singles - Espejo is 6-4 with his only ranked win coming over Roberto Quiroz while Mkrtchian is just 3-4 with 2 ranked wins and with 4 additional matches not finishing. Mkrtchian took a medical timeout during his match against Stanford due to flu symptoms but he was able to continue though the result wasn't too good.  I'm assuming that Mkrtchian still won't be at 100% and will likely come up short in this one -Espejo in 2.

#3 singles - Gonzalez is 0-6 on the year having played 2 matches each at 1, 2, and 3 while Redlicki is 8-1 with notable wins over Brett Clark and David Wilczynski. Gonzalez didn't play against USC but did play against Pepperdine losing 6-4 in the 3rd.  I like Redlicki in 3.

#4 singles - Kirby is 7-4 with notable wins over Herkko Pollanen and Diego Galeano but has dropped 3 straight while Sell is 7-4 but he's lost 3 of his last 5. 6 of Sell's 7 wins have come in straight sets so I say he makes it 7 of 8.  

#5 singles - Pritchard was the hero of the USC match by winning the clincher and is now 9-5 however he got blown out on Sunday by Pepperdine's Pedro Iamachkine 6-1, 6-1.  Rapp is 3-3 with 4 additional matches that didn't finish.  I'll go with the Tulsa freshman in this one.

#6 singles - McCloskey is 6-4 on the year splitting his last 4 matches while Tachi has seen action in just 3 matches going 2-0 including a come from behind win on Saturday over Stanford's David Hsu.  I'll go with Tachi in 3 in this one.  

The one thing that you can be assured of is that Tulsa won't catch UCLA sleeping but after 2 tough matches in the last few days the question is how much does Tulsa have left in the tank.  The doubles point could be the turning point in this one because if Tulsa can take it I could easily see them picking up 3 points in singles especially if Mkrtchian isn't 100% and neither Brymer or Di Giulio play.  However I do see the Bruins grabbing the doubles point and then picking up wins at 1, 3, and 4.  If they play it out after the clinch I think it'd finish 5-2. Prediction:  UCLA 4-1 







Monday, 02 March 2015 10:24

3/3 ITA Rankings Preview

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Oklahoma will return to the top of the rankings tomorrow and in fact they would have been back at #1 even if USC hadn't lost to Tulsa.  Unlike last weeks rankings which used each teams 4 best wins, the next 3 sets of rankings will use each teams 5 best wins.  OU has 5 Top 20 wins and just the 1 loss to a top 10 Texas A&M.

Duke keeps climbing due to 5 Top 20 wins including road wins at #3 Illinois and #20 Northwestern. As a reminder the rankings reward road wins by giving a 10% points bonus.

Baylor's win over Virginia yesterday bumped them up to #4 just ahead of Georgia.

USC would have been #3 had they beaten Tulsa with the drop due to USC's 5th best win being over #37 Stanford.  The Tulsa loss pushed them down from #3 to #6.



Florida comes up 5 spots, despite the loss to Georgia, mainly due to the other teams around them dropping.  Florida has 4 Top 40 wins and its 3 losses were all top Top 10 teams.

Wake Forest's drop is tied to its opponents rankings dropping.  3 of Wake's best 5 wins took big tumbles in the rankings last week and those are used as the base for this week's rankings.  Clemson (dropped from 35 to 46), South Carolina (dropped from 21 to 34), and Tennessee (dropped from 20 to 56)

Notre Dame drops 10 spots largely due to its road win over Kentucky be reduced from a win over a top 30 opponent to a win over someone outside the top 125.

Tulsa is the biggest riser going from 51 to 27 with the win on the road at #1 USC plus they added a road win over #53 Pepperdine.


3/3 ITA Rankings Projections

RankSchoolPointsPrevious
1Oklahoma80.252
2Duke77.064
3Illinois72.643
4Baylor68.855
5Georgia68.377
6USC61.751
7Texas60.006
8Ohio State58.578
9Ole Miss52.4010
10Texas A&M 46.049
11Virginia*40.2511
12Florida39.9317
13TCU*36.7315
14Vanderbilt35.8016
15Columbia 35.7213
16UCLA34.9221
17South Florida 34.8624
18Harvard34.8422
19North Carolina34.4819
20Northwestern33.6120
21Wake Forest33.1112
22California31.3118
23Drake29.4429
24Notre Dame28.8414
25Princeton27.4923
26Indiana26.2336
27Tulsa26.0751
28Florida State23.2326
29San Diego23.1230
30LSU*22.5031
31Texas Tech*21.5432
32NC State21.5227
33Minnesota19.7533
34Louisville19.6638
35Stanford18.7237
36Auburn18.5228
37Oklahoma State18.4125
38Dartmouth17.8050
39Penn17.1444
40Penn State15.5939

* represents a team that has a win over someone that is ranked between 75-125 however it's tough to be 100% accurate pinpointing where in that range the team falls.  
It seemed like the story of the day wasn't who was playing; it was who wasn't playing as several big names were missing from their respective team's starting lineups.

The big rematch between Baylor and Virginia didn't come close to matching the level of play that we saw the first time around.  Virginia was without 2 of it's starters with neither Thai-Son Kwiatkowski or Alexander Ritschard playing.   Below is a quote from Virginia's recap that talks about the absence of the 2 players:

 "We have two losses this year and both have come at the hands of Baylor," said head coach Brian Boland. "They were the better team today but I am so pleased with our process. What a tremendous group of guys, doing things the right way. We continue to get better as this group of guys really understands and accepts the process. Dustin Taylor, Scott Brown and the rest of the staff are doing a great job with this group. The best is in front of us and we continue to get better with each day. We didn't play two starters today and that was a choice I made.



Kim Gorum, who runs the In-Match Blog for Baylor, commented that Ritschard didn't make the trip to Waco due to being ill and also mentioned that Kwiatkowski practiced with the team the last few days so I'm not sure if he picked up a last minute illness or injury or if it was something else. 

With Kwiatkowski and Ritschard out, both Mac Styslinger and Henrik Wiersholm were chosen to fill in along with Collin Altamirano and JC Aragone having to slide up a spot.   Virginia also shifted its #2 and #3 doubles teams due to the absences and inserted Jonathan Cornish into the doubles lineup which was his first action since playing against Liberty and Morgan State (big step up in competition).  It should also be noted that Baylor's usual #4, Diego Galeano, played doubles but did not play singles and according to the blog he took an injury timeout to have his left knee wrapped during the doubles point.  

Just as Baylor did in the last meeting they jumped on Virginia during the doubles point with Julian Lenz and Diego Galeano winning 6-3 at #2 while Vince Schneider and Felipe Rios won 6-1 at #3. Virginia's #1 team of Ryan Shane Luca Corinteli won by a 6-3 score.  

Baylor kept the momentum going throughout the first sets and managed to take 5 of 6 with only Collin Altamirano grabbing 1 for Virginia at #3.  

Baylor's Mate Zsiga extended the BU lead to 2-0 as he was the first to finish with a 6-0, 6-2 shellacking of JC Aragone at #5.  UVA's Collin Altamirano would get the Hoos on the board with a 6-2, 6-2 win at #3 but shortly thereafter Felipe Rios would make it 3-1 Baylor as Rios closed out Wiersholm 6-1, 6-4.  

Mitchell Frank dropped his opening set at #2 but then rallied to win 12 of the next 14 games to take out Tony Lupieri 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 and with that Virginia had closed to within 3-2.  There wouldn't be a 3rd and 4th point for Virginia because despite fighting hard at #1, Ryan Shane just couldn't get the lead wrestled away from Julian Lenz as Lenz managed to close out the match in straight sets despite Shane breaking him twice in the 2nd set.  After the clinch they played out the remaining match and within 2 or 3 minutes Vince Schneider gave Baylor its 5th point as he took out Styslinger 7-6, 6-4.  

Here some comments from Baylor's recap though it has no mention of the UVA guys missing in action.

TOP QUOTE #1
"We are just trying to get to four points. Some guys are playing great and some guys not so great. We have got some guys that have to get going. It seems like over the course of a year, it kind of flows that way. I am sure that some of the guys that didn't win today are going to be great later and vice versa. We have to take our team win and feel great about it. The guys that played great we have to take and try to improve and those that didn't have to bounce back for Tuesday." - head coach Matt Knoll on the match

TOP QUOTE #2
"Julian is a very experienced guy. He has been in that situation a lot. We know he is going to be a fighter and be resilient. He was able to do that today and hold serve to get us out the door. Ryan plays huge and I am proud of Julian for getting through it." - Knoll on Julian Lenz's win

TOP QUOTE #3

"It's funny because we don't really practice doubles. We feel confident with our partners. Coach has figured out the lineup we need to win and it has worked. We don't do anything special to be honest. We try to make good decisions and it has worked so far." - senior Mate Zsiga on success in doubles

Baylor recap 
Virginia recap

#5 Baylor 5, #11 Virginia 2 - FINAL

Doubles:
1. #55 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (UVA) def. #56 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-3
2. Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU) def. Mitchell Frank/Collin Altamirano (UVA) 6-3
3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Mac Styslinger/Jonathan Cornish (UVA) 6-1
Order of Finish: (3,1,2)

Singles
1. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.69) def. #2 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54) 6-4, 7-5 
2. #59 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.85) def. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.69) def. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22) 6-2, 6-2
4. Vince Schneider (BU 13.46) def. #91 Mac Styslinger (UVA 14.02) 7-6(6), 6-4
5. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.82) def. JC Aragone (UVA 13.88) 6-0, 6-2
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.62) def. Henrik Wiersholm (UVA 13.77) 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: (5,3,6,2,1,4)
________________________________________________________

Austin, TX:  Many people including me thought Wake Forest had a decent chance to pull the upset over Texas but when word spread that Noah Rubin was a no-go that changed the complexity of this match since Wake had to move everyone up a spot.  It was reported by Tennis Atlantic's Jeff McMillan that Rubin had a cast on his left wrist so that would explain him not playing.

Since there was no live scoring available (supposedly no internet?) the only scores updates during the match came from Jeff so if you want to check out his twitter for the flow of the match by all means take a look at it.

Neither team has released it's recap yet so I guess news of the win is traveling by telegraph.

Texas recap

#6 Texas 4, #12 Wake Forest 3 - FINAL
Doubles:
1. Hess-Olesen/Glasspool (TX) def. Seraphim/Mansouri (WF) 6-2
2. Ho/Tabrizi (WF) def. Goldhoff/Berkowicz (TX) 6-4
3. Bogaerts/Kan (WF) def. Naumann/Reichmann (TX) 6-4
Singles:
1. #4 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX 14.94) def. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.29) 6-3, 6-2
2. #41 Lloyd Glasspool (TX 13.82) def. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.10) 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2
3. #70 Jonathan Ho (WF 13.55) def. #51 Adrien Berkowicz (TX 13.75) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(8)
4. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.94) def. George Goldhoff (TX 13.75) 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) 
5. Nick Naumann (TX 13.87) def. Maksim Kan (WF 13.34) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
6. John Mee (TX 13.54) def. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3


_____________________________________________________________

Oxford, MS:  As with the other 2 matches above this one was played indoors at Ole Miss's 3 court facility so while that was fine during doubles it meant that only 3 singles matches could be played at once.  Ole Miss would take the doubles point by winning the deciding match at #3 in a tiebreak and then the Rebels would take each of the first 3 singles matches to go on to close out the 4-0 shutout.  Ole Miss won all 3 tiebreaks in the match and with it they took away any chance Vanderbilt had of gaining momentum.


Comments from Ole Miss's coach:
Sunday, 01 March 2015 15:30

Sunday Update

Written by
A surprise to start the day as Virginia has shaken up its lineup, I'm guessing due to illness, with neither the ITA #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski or UVA's #5 Alexander Ritschard are listed in singles.   The seldom used Jonathan Cornish is playing doubles for the first time this year at #3 along with Mac Styslinger.  Both Styslinger and Henrik Wiersholm are listed in the singles lineup at 4 and 6.  

#5 Baylor 5, #11 Virginia 2 - FINAL

Doubles:
1. #55 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (UVA) def. #56 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-3
2. Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU) def. Mitchell Frank/Collin Altamirano (UVA) 6-3
3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Mac Styslinger/Jonathan Cornish (UVA) 6-1
Order of Finish: (3,1,2)

Singles
1. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.69) def. #2 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54) 6-4, 7-5 
2. #59 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.85) def. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.69) def. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22) 6-2, 6-2
4. Vince Schneider (BU 13.46) def. #91 Mac Styslinger (UVA 14.02) 7-6(6), 6-4
5. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.82) def. JC Aragone (UVA 13.88) 6-0, 6-2
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.62) def. Henrik Wiersholm (UVA 13.77) 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: (5,3,6,2,1,4)

There's also been a shake up in the Wake Forest lineup with Wake #1 Noah Rubin not playing singles - haven't seen a reason yet.  Wake Forest took the doubles point and the teams have each won 3 1st sets.

#6 Texas 4, #12 Wake Forest 3 - FINAL

Singles Lineups:
1. #4 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX 14.94) def. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.29) 6-3, 6-2
2. #41 Lloyd Glasspool (TX 13.82) def. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.10) 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2
3. #70 Jonathan Ho (WF 13.55) def. #51 Adrien Berkowicz (TX 13.75) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6
4. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.94) def. George Goldhoff (TX 13.75) 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 
5. Nick Naumann (TX 13.87) def. Maksim Kan (WF 13.34) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
6. John Mee (TX 13.54) def. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55) 3-6, 6-0, 6-3




#10 Ole Miss 4, #16 Vanderbilt 0 - FINAL

Doubles:
1. Gonzales Austin/Rhys Johnson (VU) def. Gustav Hansson/William Kallberg (OM) 6-3
2. Stefan Lindmark/Zvonimir Babic (OM) def. Pen Binet/Baker Newman (VU) 6-3
3. Nik Scholtz/Grey Hamilton (OM) def. Suresh Eswaran/Danny Valent (VU) 7-6 (4)
Order of Finish: (2,1,3)

Singles Lineups:
1. #60 Nik Scholtz (OM 14.12) def. #9 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.47)  5-7, 6-3, 6-3
2. #63 Stefan Lindmark (OM 14.15) vs. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.42) 6-2, 6-4
3. William Kallberg (OM 13.21) def. Kris Yee (VU 13.59) 7-6(3), 7-6(7)
4. Danny Valent (VU 13.67) vs. Gustav Hansson (OM 13.80) 5-3
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.83) vs. Vinod Gowda (OM 12.76) - never got started
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.87) vs.  Zvonimir Babic (OM 12.79) - never got started
Order of Finish (2,3,1)
Sunday will bring us some big time showdowns as #5 Baylor hosts #11 Virginia in Waco, #6 Texas hosts #12 Wake Forest in Austin, and #10 Ole Miss hosts #16 Vanderbilt in Oxford.  All 3 of these matches will be played indoors due to poor weather.


#11 Virginia (7-1) at #5 Baylor (8-2) - 2pm est - Live Scoring & Video (if outside) & Blog -  It was just 2 weeks ago that Baylor upset Virginia 4-3 in the National Indoors Quarterfinals and with temperatures expected to be in the 40s with a chance of rain this one will likely end up indoors too.  I expect both Brian Boland and Matt Knoll to do some tinkering with their respective lineups to try to avoid some unfavorable rematches.  I'd be surprised if Mitchell Frank was back at #1 to face Julian Lenz with Lenz having rolled in their last 2 encounters.  In my opinion I think Ryan Shane will get the call to step up to #1 with Frank dropping to #2.  Even though Tony Lupieri knocked off Thai Son Kwiatkowski in the last meeting I think Lupieri will probably play at #2 like he did against UCLA last weekend.  I'd also be a little surprised if Matt Knoll stuck with the same bottom 3 that he had in the last meeting since Virginia won at #4 and #6 in routine fashion.


Baylor is a perfect 10-0 in doubles while Virginia is 7-1.  Baylor needs the doubles point more because even though they'll come into this one feeling pretty confident it'd be hard to see them taking 4 singles matches from Virginia let alone 3.  I think Baylor will take the doubles point but after that I see Virginia really digging in during singles with Mitchell Frank, Thai Son Kwiatkowski, Colin Altamirano, JC Aragone, and Ryan Shane all winning to give Virginia a little revenge from the defeat in Chicago.  Prediction: Virginia 5-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #2 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54) vs. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.69)
2. #59 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.85) vs. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32)
3. #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski (UVA 14.84) vs. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22)
4. Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.69) vs. Vince Schneider (BU 13.46)
5. Alexander Ritschard (UVA 13.89) vs. Diego Galeano (BU 13.75)
6. JC Aragone (UVA 13.88) vs. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.82)

#10 Baylor 4, #3 Virginia 3 - NTI Quarterfinals 
Doubles competition
1. #37 Shane/Luca Corinteli (UVA) vs. #40 Zsiga/Lupieri (BU) 6-6 (5-3) DNF
2. Lenz/Galeano (BU) def. #41 Mac Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVA) 7-6 (7-2)
3. Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Mitchell Frank/Altamirano (UVA) 6-3
Singles competition
1. #10 Julian Lenz (BU) def. Mitchell Frank (UVA) 6-2, 6-0
2. #4 Ryan Shane (UVA) def. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU) def. #1 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVA) 6-4, 7-6 (10)
4. Collin Altamirano (UVA) def. Diego Galeano (BU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Mate Zsiga (BU) def. Alexander Ritschard (UVA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. J.C. Aragone (UVA) def. Vince Schneider (BU) 6-3, 6-4
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,4,6,2,3,5)


#12 Wake Forest (8-2) at #6 Texas (10-1) - 1pm est - Live Scoring - This will be the 3rd time these teams have met in the last 56 weeks with Texas winning each of the previous encounters by a 4-3 score.  This is probably one of the best teams that Wake Forest has ever put out while Texas by in large has the same team as last year except for the rotation at #6 singles.  Wake comes in 7-3 in doubles while Texas is 5-6.  I like Texas at 1 and 2 doubles and Wake at 3 so I see Texas getting the point and taking the 1-0 lead.

The matchup that everyone will want to see will be at #1 as Soren Hess-Olesen puts his 13-match winning streak on the line against Wake's highly touted freshman Noah Rubin. Hess-Olesen has dropped 1 set in his last 14 matches, which includes wins over #10 Brayden Schnur and #13 Winston Lin, while Rubin has looked good so far but has lost his only 2 matches against top 15 opponents (#12 Andrew Harris & #15 Mikelis Libietis).  I like Hess-Olesen to make it 14 in a row as I see the Texas senior getting past Rubin in 3 sets.  At #2 singles Lloyd Glasspool will put his 7 match winning streak on the line as he takes on Romain Bogaerts who has won 3 of his last 4.  I think Bogaerts is just a little better and will take this in 2 tight sets.  The matchup at #3 is the biggest mismatch in my opinion and I'd be shocked if the final result was anything other than a straight set win by Berkowicz who has won 10 of his last 11.  The bottom 3 courts should all be tightly contested as well and I'm leaning toward Naumann at 4, Seraphim at 5, and Kan at 6.  Prediction: Texas 4-3

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #53 Noah Rubin (WF 14.74) vs.  #4 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX 14.94)
2. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.29) vs. #41 Lloyd Glasspool (TX 13.82)
3. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.10) vs. #51 Adrien Berkowicz (TX 13.75)
4. #70 Jonathan Ho (WF 13.55)  vs. Nick Naumann (TX 13.87)
5. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55)  vs. George Goldhoff (TX 13.75)
6. Maksim Kan (WF 13.34)  vs. John Mee (TX 13.54)


#16 Vanderbilt (10-2) at #10 Ole Miss (8-2) - 2pm est - Live Scoring & Blog - This will be the SEC opener for Ole Miss while Vanderbilt opened up conference play on Friday with a 4-0 win over Arkansas.  Rain is in the forecast for Sunday so this one will likely be pushed indoors to Ole Miss's 3 court facility.  Doubles has not been one of Ole Miss's strengths as the Rebels have dropped the point against 5 of 6 ranked opponents while Vanderbilt has won the doubles point against 4 of 6 ranked opponents.  I think Vanderbilt takes the doubles point and then with just 3 courts in use I think Vandy puts the pressure on Ole Miss and picks up wins from both Gonzales Austin and Kris Yee to take a 3-1 lead with Stefan Lindmark winning for Ole Miss at 2.  With Vanderbilt only needing 1 of the bottom 3 courts I think they get the clincher from Danny Valent at #4 singles to pull off the mild upset.  Prediction:  Vanderbilt 4-2


Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #9 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.47) vs. #60 Nik Scholtz (OM 14.12)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.42)  vs. #63 Stefan Lindmark (OM 14.15)
3. Kris Yee (VU 13.59)  vs. William Kallberg (OM 13.21)
4. Danny Valent (VU 13.67) vs. Gustav Hansson (OM 13.80)
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.83) vs. Zvonimir Babic (OM 12.79)
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.87) vs. Ricardo Jorge (OM 13.07)




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