One streak lived on and another came to an end on Monday night in Fort Worth as No. 19 TCU won a 4-3 thriller over No. 8 Texas A&M. Texas A&M came into the match riding a 13-match winning streak while TCU entered having won its last five. TCU got off to a quick start in doubles by going up break leads on all three courts however Texas A&M would break back on two of them.
The one court where Texas A&M couldn't get any traction was at No. 1 as TCU's Cameron Norrie and Jerry Lopez went up 2-0 and cruised to a 6-1 win. Next door at No. 2, TCU's Reese Stalder and Hudson Blake jumped out to a 2-0 lead however Texas A&M's Valentin Vacherot and Aleksandre Bakshi would take the next four to go in front 4-2. Stalder and Blake came right back and took the next four themselves by breaking from 30/40, holding serve, breaking on the no-ad point, and then holding from 40/30 with a Blake service winner to take it 6-4. The match at No. 3 went unfinished with TCU's Alex Rybakov serving up 5-4 (30/30).
The next set of ITA rankings will be coming out on Tuesday afternoon and I have the top 35 for you on my rankings tab. The Wake Forest/Virginia match on Friday will not be a 1 vs. 2 matchup but it'll be close. I included the Stanford/Illinois match from today but the TCU/Texas A&M match going on Monday night shouldn't be included since it didn't start until after the 5 p.m. ET cutoff however in the past few weeks some matches have counted that finished later on Monday. The real-time rankings are viewable for College Tennis Today subscribers so if you're want to be ahead of the curve then hope on board and subscribe today!
Down below I have a chart with all of this week's bigger matches listed by conference. I mainly included matches that will impact conference races along with teams that will be fighting for an at-large spot in this year's NCAA field.
Wake Forest Rallies Past Ga Tech; Ohio State Too Good For Michigan; Ole Miss Stuns Mississippi State, South Carolina Stops KentuckyWritten by Bobby Knight
For a while on Sunday it looked like the top ranked team in the land was going down but when the going got tough the tough got going. Wake Forest started off the day by claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 but Georgia Tech came back strong in singles and took five opening sets. Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks tied the match at 1-1 with a fairly routine 6-1, 6-4 win over the ITA second-ranked Petros Chrysochos at No. 1. Eubanks led the match from start to finish by breaking Chrysochos's opening service game in each set. Georgia Tech junior Daniel Yun put the Yellow Jackets ahead with a straight set win over Alan Gadjiev at No. 6. The opening set stayed on serve until Yun broke for 6-5 and then after serving out the set he'd open up a 4-0 lead in the second and close it out 7-5, 6-1
Cal Corrals Illinois, LSU Women Roar Past Texas A&M, Texas A&M Men Win Lucky #13, Georgia Rolls The Tide, Florida Atlantic Upsets ODUWritten by Bobby Knight
The Saturday schedule didn't exactly have a ton of sizzle but there were still some good matches and a few surprises as well. The only men's matchup between top 25 teams took place in Berkeley as No. 11 Cal hosted No. 25 Illinois. Cal picked up a quick 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles and then Andre Goransson and Billy Griffith clinched the point after coming back from a break down to win 6-4. Each team took three first sets in singles and four of the them would finish in straight sets. Cal junior JT Nishimura was dominant in his 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 6 while Illinois picked up a 6-4, 6-4 win from junior Aleks Vukic at No. 1 and a 7-6, 6-1 win from freshman Zeke Clark at No. 5. Cal junior Billy Griffith put the Bears ahead 3-2 by coming back from a set down to defeat Illinois freshman Aleks Kovacevic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3. It looked like Illinois was going to get a split at No. 4 when senior Julian Childers led 5-3 in the second set but Cal senior Filip Bergevi fought off six set points and came back to clinch the match with a 7-5, 7-6 win.
Michigan Escapes Happy Valley, Top Ranked Gators Survive Upset Bid By Arkansas, Alabama Women Upset #13 Kentucky, Texas Tech Men & Women Both WinWritten by Bobby Knight
There weren't any real surprises on Friday on the men's side though there was an upset on the women's side with another huge near miss. Sixteenth-ranked Michigan had the biggest scare on the men's side with Penn State taking them down to the wire on that deciding court. Penn State jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point but Michigan managed to take five opening sets in singles. Penn State's Marc Collado won in straight sets at No. 5 while Michigan picked up straight set wins from Alex Knight, Runhao Hua, and Carter Lin at 3, 4, and 6. Lin's match at No. 6 actually finished after Penn State's Christian Lakoseljac won in three sets at No. 2 so the match would be decided in a third set at No. 1.
After splitting sets, Michigan senior Jathan Malik went up 3-0 in the third but Penn State sophomore Constant De La Bassetiere held and broke for 3-2. Malik broke back and held for 5-2 but De La Bassetiere wouldn't go down quietly as he held for 5-3 and broke for 5-4. Malik would break back to close it out 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.
There have been several dual-matches over the last few days that I wanted to make a mention of before we officially hit the weekend. There haven't been any big upsets although there was a near upset in Berkeley on Wednesday night when No. 11 Cal hosted No. 48 Yale. Cal took the doubles point but Yale came back and took a 3-2 lead after Tyler Lu upset Florian Lakat 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 at No. 1 singles. Cal freshman Connor Heap won just hit second career dual-match by coming back from a break down in the third set to defeat Dennis Wang 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 at No. 6. Heap trailed 4-3 in the third but broke and held for 5-4 and then a few games later he broke from 30/40 to win it 7-5. Cal senior Andre Goransson provided the clincher at No. 2 by cruising through the third set to defeat Ziqi Wang (no relation to Dennis) 6-7, 6-4, 6-1.