Texas A&M and Mississippi State remain atop the conference standings with 4-0 records but both will get tested this weekend. Texas A&M visits #25 Tennessee on Friday and then must travel home to host #42 Alabama on Sunday. Alabama should not pose much of a threat to the #6 Aggies, but Tennessee could put up a fight if they are on their game. I would expect that the Aggies will have Patrick Kypson back after he played in the qualifying of the Miami Open this week, an ATP 1000 event, where he upset American Tim Smyczek in the first round but lost his final qualifying match to Cameron Norrie. The match with Norrie who played for TCU last year was ironic as Kypson’s Texas A&M teammates played TCU the later that night falling to the same fate Kypson did.
The 13th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs will get two top 25 matchups at home this week as they face #19 Vanderbilt Friday and #21 Kentucky Sunday. MSU’s top dog Nuno Borges has only lost one collegiate match this year and that was at All-American’s in the fall. He will put his undefeated dual match record on the line in potential matches with Vandy’s Cameron Klinger and Kentucky’s Ryotaro Matsumura. Matsumura has gone 11-1 in the dual match season so far with his last loss prior to that coming at the hands of Borges in the Fall National Championships 6-1, 6-3.
The newest College Tennis Today contributor is Jeff McMillan. Jeff has been a rabid college tennis fan and follower for over a decade now and was the manager of the Clemson men's team in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He has attended the past 3 NCAAs in Waco, Tulsa and Athens as well as many matches at a variety of schools across the country. He will be reporting on the ACC men's season as well as a few reports on the Pac 12 men.
I'd like to introduce our newest College Tennis Today contributor, Chris Halioris, who will be breaking down everything in the SEC. Chris has a nephew that is currently playing in the SEC and he is a big college tennis fan in general. Chris just debuted a new site, College Tennis Ranks, which projects the ITA team rankings for the next week plus it has a ton of great features which help you understand how the rankings are tabulated. I highly recommend bookmarking his site plus I'll be adding it in under my rankings tab to make it easy to find. Now it's time for Chris's recap of the past week:
Two big matches and one big surprise this week for the men. Florida was involved in both of the big matches as they took on TCU at home and Vanderbilt on the road. The Gators came up on the short end against TCU taking a tough 4-3 loss at the Ring but rebounded for an easy 4-0 sweep at home against Kentucky on Friday and then played the marquee matchup Sunday at Vandy which I happened to travel to. Florida looked to be rolling early as they took the doubles point and 4 first sets and looked as though they were about to close the match out after Perez and Perez-Blanco made it 3-1 and Vale was in control. Then all of a sudden Vale double faults on a deuce match point at 5-4 in the second and the momentum began to swing. Billy Rowe took the set, Baker Newman took the second set from Oliver Crawford and Johannes Ingildsen lost his match to make it 3-2 Gators. The next thing you know Vandy is up a break on both remaining courts and Florida looks to be in deep trouble. Billy Rowe capped off a very energetic win over Vale on court 4 and now all eyes were on court 3 where Oliver Crawford managed to break back to get on serve just as Vale lost. From 4-4 Crawford held and then Baker Newman dug out of a 15-40 hole at 4-5 to get to deuce but lost a very tough break point to give the Gators the match 4-3.
Calling all college tennis fans - if you'd like to contribute to College Tennis Today and help grow college tennis then this is the place for you. Since I'm not able to contribute much myself at the moment I'm looking for others that can carry on the torch of providing daily/semi-daily D1 college tennis coverage.
Ideally I'd like to grow the site to where we have people writing about each individual conference but for now I'd really like to have coverage of the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC), the Ivy League, and the American Athletic Conference.
If you think you can provide objective coverage of a particular conference (men, women, or both) then I'd love to give you a forum to showcase your work and passion for college tennis.
I wanted to get this posted back in January but the move to London tied up most of my time and I haven't been able to get around to it until now.
During the dual-match season I'd like to have at least two posts a week. One would preview the big matches coming up (you can make predictions if you'd like), list the conference schedule along with live scoring/video links, and also recap what happened in the rankings (ITA/USTA). If you wanted to include additional items in your post that'd be fine as well. The second post would be a weekly recap of the previous week's results. This post could include box scores, player/coach quotes, video clips from school, standings, etc. The best days to post the recap would be Sunday or Monday and the best days to post the preview would be Thursday or Friday. If you have the time and want to post more frequently then that would be fine with me as well.
The more in-depth coverage that can be provided the better for the college tennis community.
If you are interested send me an email (bobbyk@collegetennistoday) and we'll work out the rest of the details.
Update - Chris Halioris is handling the SEC (men & women) while Jeff McMillian has the ACC men and Bill Carey has the ACC women.
Also in case you haven't noticed I have been keeping my live scoring page updated with links to most of the major matches.
It's going to be strange to have an ITA Men's National Team Indoor Championship without Virginia but that's what we get this year after the Cavaliers were knocked out in the regional rounds. The University of Washington will host the event with half the matches to be played on campus at the Nordstrom Tennis Center while the other half will be played a few miles away at the Seattle Tennis Club.
This year's event is wide open with multiple teams having a legitimate shot at raising the hardware on Monday afternoon. Stanford has the most NTI Championships with 12 but its last came back in 2002 while three of the last four champions have been first-time winners.
The matches at the Nordstrom Tennis Center will have live streaming while the matches at the Seattle Tennis Club will not. The top four seeds will each be playing at Nordstrom on Friday and then on Saturday for the quarterfinals the two highest remaining seeds will play at Nordstrom while the other two will be at the STC. Both semifinal matches and the final will be played at Nordstrom.
There will be live scoring available for all matches at this link.
While the ITA Women's National Team Indoors is taking place in Madison their are a slew of other men's matches taking place elsewhere. Below are some notable matches in the Power 5 along with a few other conferences. The highest profile matches are taking place in Ann Arbor, Champaign, and Columbus. Michigan is hosting Florida, Harvard, and Cal with all three expected to be good matches. Ohio State welcomes in Texas A&M and Florida while Illinois hosts Stanford and Cal. Other matches to keep an eye on are Wake Forest at Oklahoma State, Kentucky at Duke, and Ole Miss at Columbia. I've accumulated a bunch of live scoring links so this should make it easy for you to follow.