The coaching carousel should continue spinning all summer long and today another position was filled when Liberty Athletic Director Ian McCaw named Derek Schwandt as the new men's head tennis coach. Schwandt served as the assistant coach at Georgia Tech for the last five years and prior to that he spent time at Fresno State and Virginia. The 2005 Richmond graduate replaces Chris Johnson who stepped down on May 5th after 11 seasons. The full release from the school is available here and below are a few quotes:
"I would like to thank Liberty University, Ian McCaw and the hiring committee for the incredible opportunity to lead Flames men's tennis," said Schwandt. "I'm thankful for the love and support of my wife, Rachel, my parents and my coaching mentors. Thank you to all of the student-athletes who competed in several inspiring battles at Virginia, Fresno State and Georgia Tech. It's awesome to reflect on God's faithfulness in preparing me for this mission to train Champions for Christ at Liberty."
"My vision is to build a program that contends at the top national level. I will lead the Flames to an excellent standard each day in the way that we train and fight for the team in matches," continued Schwandt. "I'm looking forward to creating a culture of hard work, grit and enthusiasm at Liberty. It's an awesome experience to coach a team that fights for something bigger than each individual."
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski capped a tremendous collegiate career by becoming Virginia's fourth NCAA singles champion after defeating North Carolina freshman William Blumberg in straight sets. Kwiatkowski broke Blumberg in the opening game of the match but Blumberg managed to break back for 1-1. It stayed on serve until Kwiatkowski broke from 30/40 to go up 5-4 and then the Charlotte native served out the set to take it 6-4. In the second set Kwiatkowski broke for 2-1 but Blumberg broke back on the no-ad point to even it at 2-2. The set would end up going to a tiebreak and Kwiatkowski broke a 5-5 tie by winning the last two point to win the match 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Kwiatkowski joins Ryan Shane (2015) and Somdev Devvarman (2007/2008) as Virginia's other NCAA singles champions.
Photo by Bill Kallenberg (CapturedInAction.com)
NCAA Singles/Doubles Semifinal Recap - Blumberg/Kwiatkowski To Meet Again, Routliffe Chasing HistoryWritten by Bobby Knight
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and North Carolina freshman William Blumberg will meet for the fourth time this season after each advanced to the finals of the NCAA Singles Championship with straight set wins. Kwiatkowski defeated Stanford junior Tom Fawcett 6-3, 6-2 while Blumberg knocked off the SEC Player of the Year in Mississippi State sophomore Nuno Borges 6-2, 7-6(1).
Kwiatkowski will attempt to become Virginia's third NCAA singles champion with Ryan Shane winning in 2015 and Somdev Devvarman winning in 2007 and 2008. North Carolina has never had a male singles champion though Jamie Loeb won the women's title in 2015.
Blumberg won the most recent meeting last Tuesday in the team finals 6-3, 6-2 and he also won 7-5, 6-4 during the ACC Tournament. The first meeting occurred during the National Team Indoors when Blumberg led 4-2 in the third set in a match that went unfinished.
The last time two players met in the final with neither playing at No. 1 singles during the team event was in 2009 when Ole Miss freshman Devin Britton defeated Ohio State senior Steven Moneke - both played at No. 2 for their respective teams.
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won the only men's quarterfinal match that went three sets while North Carolina freshman William Blumberg won his 24th match in a row with a straight set win over UNF's Jack Findel-Hawkins.
Full day 4 results are listed below with the seeded players in bold. Quotes from each of the winners along with brackets are available at this link.
NCAA Singles/Doubles Results - Kwiatkowski Ousts Torpegaard, Blumberg On A Roll, Seeds Scarce On Women's SideWritten by Bobby Knight
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski took out the men's top seed Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard in straight sets which set up an All-ACC quarterfinal against Georgia Tech's Christopher Eubanks. Eubanks won the most lopsided match of the day with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Texas freshman Yuya Ito. North Carolina's William Blumberg is the only freshman left in the draw after he won his 23rd match in a row with a three sets win over Florida's Alfredo Perez. Blumberg will face North Florida's Jack Findel-Hawkins in the quarterfinals after the senior ousted Wake Forest freshman Borna Gojo in three sets.
Oklahoma senior Alex Ghilea pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he dispatched Wake Forest sophomore and No. 3 seed Petros Chrysochos in two close sets. Ghilea will now face Stanford's Tom Fawcett after the Cardinal junior beat Pac-12 rival Florian Lakat 7-5, 7-5.
Photo by Bill Kallenberg (CapturedInAction.com)
Full day 3 results are listed below with the seeded players in bold. Quotes from a few of the men's players are here and the women's quotes are here. Here is the updated men's bracket and women's bracket.
Most of the heavy hitters are still alive in the men's draw with 11 of the 12 remaining seeds advancing to the round of 16. Texas freshman Yuya Ito scored the biggest upset of the day by defeating No. 10 Mike Redlicki (Arkansas) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. North Florida's Jack Findel-Hawkins is the lowest ranked player remaining after he came back from a set down to defeat South Florida's Sasha Gozun 0-6, 6-2, 6-4. There are three freshman left with North Carolina's William Blumberg and Wake Forest's Borna Gojo joining Yuya Ito.
Full day 2 results are listed below with the seeded players in bold. Quotes from a few of the men's players are here and the women's quotes are here. Here is the updated men's bracket and women's bracket.