The ITA released its latest team, singles, and doubles rankings today with the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining in the top spots though Florida's gap narrowed a good bit after its loss to Vanderbilt. TCU and UCLA entered the top five on the men's side after TCU beat Baylor and Texas while UCLA defeated USC. Baylor's losses to TCU and Texas Tech knocked them down two spots to No. 6, USC fell one spot to No. 7, and Oklahoma State fell three spots to No. 8 after losing to Oklahoma. Purdue made the biggest jump in the top 50 by coming up 19 spots to No. 35 after the Boilers went on the road and beat both Minnesota and Wisconsin.
There wasn't a ton of movement in the women's top 10 with Stanford making the biggest climb by coming up two spots to No. 6 after defeating California while North Carolina and Georgia Tech fell two spots to No. 5 and No. 8. Georgia Tech came up short against Duke on Sunday while North Carolina's drop was due to a few of its best wins dropping a point here and there. Clemson made the biggest jump in the top 50 by coming up eight spots to No. 39 after the Tigers defeated Boston College and Notre Dame. The women's top 10 would have looked different had Auburn's win over Georgia been keyed in before the Monday cut-off but it wasn't so that result will go in for next week.
These team rankings were comprised of each team's nine best wins and all losses and it'll stay at nine up through the selection of the NCAA field. If you want to get an early look at what next week's rankings look like you can view my real-time rankings which are available to all College Tennis Today subscribers. As a note right now I am showing the first-run of next week's rankings and will do the second run on Sunday after the completion of all matches.
This will be the final week of the regular season with 18 conference tournaments taking place on both the men's and women's side. Of the 18 conferences playing tournaments this week, the only two that don't have both the men and women playing are the SEC and the Patriot League. The SEC women played last week while the men will play this week and the Patriot men played last week while the women will play this week. The only conference that doesn't hold a tournament is the Ivy League.
There have been 24 conference tournaments that have been played so far and in those 24 tournaments the No. 1 seed has won 20 (.833) times. The only teams to win that weren't a top seed were Florida A&M (M-#2), Florida Gulf Coast (M-#4), North Florida (W-#2), South Florida (W-#7) - interesting that they are all from Florida! In 2016, the top seed won 38 of the 62 (.613) tournaments so that number is definitely trending much higher this year. To see a full list of winners so far click the links below for my conference tournament pages.
If you haven't checked out my conference tournament central pages you've been cheating yourself because I've got all the links and info that you need in one place - won't find that anywhere else. Here is the link for my men's page and here is the link for my women's page. Some of the conferences don't play a full round robin and are waiting for the ITA rankings to come out tomorrow because in many cases those are used to determine seeding. I'll continue to update my pages as all the draws become available.
Vandy Beats Top-Ranked Florida in SEC Final, Wolf Comes Through For Ohio State, Rice Repeats In CUSA, Georgia State Wins Sun Belt Thriller, Plus More Conference TournamentsWritten by Bobby Knight
Top seed Vanderbilt knocked off top ranked Florida 4-3 to win the SEC Championship in match that was played indoors at Vanderbilt. Florida played without Josie Kuhlman (#2 singles/#3 doubles) who was sick with a stomach illness but the Gators still rolled through the doubles point to take the early lead. Vandy's Astra Sharma tied the match with a win at No. 1 but Florida's Kourtney Keegan made it 2-1 with a win at No. 5. Vandy's Sydney Campbell pulled out a three set win at No. 2 to even the match at 2-2 but Florida's Anna Danilina put the Gators back in front with a three set win at No. 4. Vandy's Christina Rosca tied the match at 3-3 with a three set win at No. 3 so the final match to go on court in the five-court facility would decide the championship.
Vanderbilt sophomore Fernanda Contreras won the first nine games of the match to go in front of Florida senior Spencer Liang 6-0, 3-0 but Liang came back to take the next five to go up 5-3. Contreras broke Liang from 15/40 with a lob winner to make it 5-4 and then she hit a service winner on the no-ad point to hold for 5-5. Contreras would go on to win the next eight points to close it out 6-0, 7-5 to give Vanderbilt its second SEC Tournament Championship in school history.
Texas Tech Stuns #4 Baylor, Oklahoma Rocks #5 Oklahoma State, TCU Torches #7 Texas, Cal Wins Big Slam, Conference Tournament ActionWritten by Bobby Knight
A year ago Texas Tech won 28 matches and hosted a NCAA Regional but going into tonight's match against No. 4 Baylor the Red Raiders were winless in the Big 12 while having an overall record of just 10-14. Baylor was down a man with Jimmy Bendeck (#4 singles/#2 doubles) a late scratch so BU had to make adjustments to both its doubles and singles lineup. Texas Tech took advantage of the shift and picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. In singles play, Texas Tech would add five first sets and both Jolan Cailleau and Jackson Cobb would win in straight sets to make it 3-0. Baylor fought back to get splits at No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 while Texas Tech got a split at No. 2.
Baylor's Johannes Schretter, Max Tchoutakian, and Will Little would each pull through to tie the match at 3-3. Texas Tech senior Carlos DiLaura led Baylor freshman Constantin Frantzen 4-1 in the third at No. 5 but Frantzen took the next two to pull within 4-3. DiLaura broke back for 5-3 but Frantzen broke and held for 5-5 and two games later it went to a tiebreak. DiLaura went up 4-0 in the tiebreak but Frantzen rallied to tie it at 6-6. Frantzen had match points at 7-6 and 8-7 but DiLaura pulled it out 10-8.
UCLA Upends USC, Ohio State Slams Northwestern, North Carolina Negates Georgia Tech, Conference Tournament UpdatesWritten by Bobby Knight
UCLA and Ohio State both won outright regular season conference titles on Friday night with the Bruins defeating crosstown rival No. 6 USC 4-1 while the Buckeyes beat up No. 21 Northwestern 6-1. UCLA jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the Bruins added four first sets in singles. Evan Zhu and Logan Staggs won in straight sets at No. 3 and No. 4 to make it 3-0 but USC would get on the board with a straight set win from Thibault Forget at No. 5. USC was getting close to a win at No. 6 and had an early break lead in the third at No. 1 but UCLA's Martin Redlicki would squash any hopes of a comeback after he closed out Nick Crystal 7-6, 7-6 at No. 2. UCLA and USC will both gets byes into the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament which begins on Wednesday in Ojai.
It was senior day in Raleigh but unfortunately for the host Wolfpack they only had five healthy players and their opponent happened to be No. 1 Wake Forest. Wake took the doubles point after only dropping three games and then the Deacs won five of six matches in singles with NC State freshman Alexis Galarneau salvaging the day for the Pack with a win over Borna Gojo at No. 2.
The women's SEC Tournament in Nashville had it all on Thursday with three matches coming down to the final court and one that started outside on the back courts and then and finished inside on just five courts after the rain came. Mississippi State won the opener over Tennessee 4-1 and then Auburn's Andie Dikosavljevic came back from *4-1 and *5-4 down in the third set of the deciding match at No. 1 to propel the Tigers past Arkansas 4-3 in a match that took over four hours.
The third match of the day between LSU and Texas A&M started doubles on the back courts due to the Auburn/Arkansas match running long and then once singles started they could only use four courts for the same reason. A little past the midway point of singles, with rain on the horizon, they moved indoors to Vanderbilt's five-court indoor facility. Texas A&M managed to go ahead 3-2 but LSU's Ryann Foster won in straight sets at No. 3 to tie it up and then a short while later Joana Valle Costa clinched the match by breaking Rutuja Bhosale to win 7-6, 1-6, 6-4.