Friday, 06 March 2015 12:00

Friday Preview - Sooners/Buckeyes, Hoos/Deacs, Aggies/Dawgs, Gators/Dores

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It should be a fabulous Friday of college tennis and if you happen to be in close proximity to Athens (GA), Columbus (OH), Winston-Salem (NC), or Nashville (TN) I suggest you find a way to make it over to campus and watch some great high-level tennis.

If you can't make it out in person then at least make sure you take advantage of the free live streaming video that Georgia, Wake Forest, and Ohio State will be offering up for the matches.

I think we'll see at least 1 upset in the 4 big matches though I'd be surprised if we saw more than 1.

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of today's (3/5) date and the numbers beside that are the player's dual match record for this season.  For more details about UTR check out their website.


#10 Texas A&M (6-1) at #4 Georgia (9-2) - 2:30pm est - A year ago Texas A&M handed Georgia its only regular season conference loss when the Aggies won 4-1 in College Station but this year they'll be in Athens and most likely playing outdoors. Georgia is 8-3 in doubles but 6-0 since they changed pairings before the National Indoors while Texas A&M is a perfect 7-0 and in fact the Aggies have only dropped 1 individual court. This will be the first time this season that Texas A&M has ventured away from home while it'll likely be the 1st time this year that Georgia has played a whole match outdoors at home.  There won't be any individual rematches from last year and the only pairing that will have met before at the collegiate level are Adams and Pasha at #3 - they split matches back in 2013.  Doubles is too close to call so I'll look at the singles matches. 


Projected Singles Lineups
1. #65 Shane Vinsant (TAMU 14.27 - 2-1) vs. #25 Austin Smith (UGA 14.11 - 6-3)
2. #66 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU 13.97 - 5-1) vs. #17 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.66 - 6-2)
3. #39 Harrison Adams (TAMU 13.85 - 0-5) vs. #16 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.20 - 6-2)
4. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.06 - 5-1) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.23 - 3-3)
5. #88 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU 13.98 - 4-2) vs. Nick Wood (UGA 13.69 - 7-4) 
6. Max Lunkin (TAMU 12.83 - 3-0) vs. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.59 - 3-3)

Others who could play - Eric Diaz (UGA 12.98 - 1-0), Peter Bertran (UGA 13.40 - 1-0), Jordi Arconada (TAMU 13.59 - 0-0), Jordan Szabo (TAMU 13.28 - 1-2) 

#1 singles - Shane Vinsant would likely be 5-1 in dual match play but he's had 3 matches get halted due to the team clinch with Vinsant having big leads in each. Austin Smith ended a 2 match losing streak by winning 2 of 3 last weekend and he was up a set in the 3rd one when the Bulldogs clinched.  If this match were in College Station, with the swirling winds, I'd go with Vinsant but with it being in Athens I think Smith gets it done or is at least leading if it doesn't finish.  

#2 singles - Jeremy Efferding has been on a roll lately with the Aggie senior winning 8 of his last 9.  Last weekend was the first time he played at #1 in a conference dual since his sophomore year but he's back at #2 this week despite beating Kentucky's Beck Pennington 1 & 0 (also was on the verge of splitting sets with UT's Libietis). Wayne Montgomery was just named SEC Freshman of the week for the 3rd time this year after going 1-0 last weekend with another match that didn't finish.  Montgomery has won his last 3 matches that finished with all those coming at #1.  I like the Georgia freshman in straight sets in this one.  

#3 singles - Harrison Adams has definitely hit a rough patch lately with the Aggie junior having dropped 7 straight with all but the last one against a ranked opponent.  In 5 of those 7 losses Adams dropped a set by a 6-1 score so he hasn't been too competitive either.  Nathan Pasha has won 5 straight though he did trail in last match against Auburn before the match was stopped due to the clinch.  I would be surprised at a result of anything other than Pasha in 2.  

#4 singles - Arthur Rinderknech had had a great start to his collegiate career by starting off 8-1 including 6-1 in dual match play.  He hasn't yet beat a ranked opponent but he's knocked off several bigger names so far - Ohio State's Kevin Metka, Oklahoma's Spencer Papa, San Diego's Jordan Angus, and Tennessee's Luis Valero. Ben Wagland has been a little up and down this year alternating wins and losses but he's yet to win 2 straight.  I think Rinderknech is playing a little too well right now to drop this one so I'll take the Aggie freshman in 2  

#5 singles - AJ Catanzariti is riding a 3 match winning streak which includes a win over Oklahoma's Alex Ghilea while Nick Wood has dropped 3 of 5 but he did win in straight sets his last time out against Auburn's Dante Saleh. I think Wood plays better this time around and pushes this one to a 3rd set before it gets halted due to a clinch.

#6 singles - Max Lunkin is undefeated in dual match play including a win over Oklahoma's Jose Salazar although he was trailing in 2 other matches that went unfinished.  Paul Oosterbaan has won 3 of his last 4 and was up a set in last match against Auburn's Joseph Van Dooren before the match was halted.  I think Oosterbaan has the upper hand in this one and wins in 2.  

Texas A&M has the firepower to take out Georgia but I don't see it happening in the Dawgs backyard. Prediction:  Georgia 4-1


#12 Virginia (7-2) at #20 Wake Forest (8-3) - 4pm est - Both teams are coming off losses with Virginia falling to Baylor while Wake went down to Texas.  The biggest question mark in this one is who'll suit up for the match. Virginia had 2 notable absences from its lineup last week in ITA #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski and Alex Ritschard while Wake had it's #1 Noah Rubin out.  If Rubin misses this match as well I don't see Wake scratching up a point anywhere in singles because Virginia is more experienced and stronger in every other spot.  Virginia has won 124 consecutive matches against ACC teams and I look for the streak to go to 125.  Prediction: Virginia 6-1


Projected Singles Lineups
1. #59 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.85 - 5-1) vs. #53 Noah Rubin (WF 14.75 - 6-2)
2. #2 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54 - 7-1) vs. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.29 - 6-3) 
3. #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski (UVA 14.84 - 5-1) vs. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.10 - 3-5) 
4. Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.69 - 5-0) vs. #70 Jonathan Ho (WF 13.55 - 9-2) 
5. Alexander Ritschard (UVA 13.89 - 3-1) vs. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.94 - 4-2)
4. #91 Mac Styslinger (UVA 14.02 - 2-1) vs. Maksim Kan (WF 13.34 - 3-2) 

Others who could play - JC Aragone (UVA 13.88/4-2), Henrik Wiersholm (UVA 13.78/3-1), Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55/6-3) 



#11 Florida (6-3) at #14 Vanderbilt (10-3) - 5pm est - This will be the 3rd time in the last 11 months that these teams have played in Nashville with Vandy winning the regular season meeting indoors 4-3 and Florida winning 4-3 outdoors in the SEC Tournament semifinals.  None of the individual match-ups will be repeats so last year's slate is wiped clean away.  Vandy is 8-3 in doubles while Florida is 5-4 with both teams going 1-1 in doubles last week with each losing the point in a tiebreak.  Vandy made a switch in the singles lineup and has moved Danny Valent up from 4 to 3 while dropping Kris Yee down from 3 to 4.  Florida has also swapped its 3 and 4 by moving Orkin up and Watson down so we'll get the same match-ups at 3 and 4 just in reverse order.  

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #46 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.03 - 7-0) vs. #9 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.46 - 11-1)  
2. #103 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.73 - 2-5) vs. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.42 - 4-5)
3. #80 Elliott Orkin (UF 13.84 - 5-3) vs. Danny Valent (VU 13.67 - 10-1)
4. Gordon Watson (UF 13.73 - 4-4) vs. Kris Yee (VU 13.58 - 3-7) 
5. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.30 - 5-1) vs. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.81 - 7-4)  
6. Oliver Landert (UF 13.13 - 4-4) vs. Baker Newman (VU 12.86 - 1-5) 

Other possible players: Josh Wardell (UF 13.11 - 0-1), Jordan Belga (UF 13.05 - 2-1), Jeff Offerdahl (VU 12.65 - 2-1)

The only court where I'd consider Vandy the clear favorite is at #1 but I think Florida is the favorite at 2, 4, 5, and 6. Orkin/Valent is too close to call at 3 with Valent having won 14 of his last 15 matches, though none were against ranked players, while Orkin has won 8 of his last 11 with the all 3 losses coming to players ranked inside the top 65.  I think the odds are stacked in Florida's favor in this one so I'll take the Gators.  Prediction: Florida 4-2


#1 Oklahoma (12-1) at #8 Ohio State (12-3) - 6pm est -  Everybody knows the story-lines on this one - this year's National Indoors Champ and current #1 taking on last year's National Indoors Champ who was also ranked #1 when they met in Norman. Oklahoma won that one and has to be considered the favorite to put an end to the massive Ohio State 200-match home court winning streak.  The Buckeyes are 13-2 in doubles while Oklahoma is 8-5 and if Ohio State wants to keep the streak alive they must have the doubles point.  Oklahoma has to be considered a rather large favorite at 1, 2, and 3 with the Sooner's top 3 having a combined 28-3 dual match record while Ohio State's top 3 is just 19-11.  Ohio State is the favorite at 4 and 6 with 5 likely to be a tossup.  Ohio State's bottom 3 of Callahan, Steinbach, and Metka are a combined 32-5 while Papa, Ghilea, and Bragusi are a combined 16-4.  The only potential singles rematch from last year will come at #1 with Harris and Diaz facing each other at last year at #3.  Below is the box score from last year's match and below that are Friday's projected singles lineup:


#4 Oklahoma 4, #1 Ohio State 1 - Headington Family Tennis Center | Norman, Okla. 
Singles
1. (3) Axel Alvarez (OU) vs. (9) Peter Kobelt (OSU), 7-6, 6-4 unfinished
2. (2) Guillermo Alcorta (OU) vs. (88) Herkko Pollanen (OSU), 6-2, 4-6, 0-1 unfinished
3. (25) Andrew Harris (OU) def. Chris Diaz (OSU), 6-1, 6-3
4. (24) Dane Webb (OU) def. Kevin Metka (OSU), 6-4, 7-5
5. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Peerakit Siributwong (OU), 6-4, 6-2
6. Austin Siegel (OU) def. (72) Hunter Callahan (OSU), 6-2, 7-5
Doubles
1. (3) Kobelt/Metka (OSU) def. (46) Harris/Webb (OU), 8-7 (2)
2. Alcorta/Alvarez (OU) def. Callahan/ Pollanen (OSU), 8-4
3. (60) Papac/Siributwong (OU) def. Steinbach/Diaz (OSU), 8-7 (3)
Order of Finish
Singles: 3, 5, 6, 4*
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #12 Andrew Harris (OU 14.72 - 8-2) vs. #43 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.80 - 5-4) 
2. #7 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.55 - 11-0) vs. #36 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 13.96 - 7-3)
3. #18 Dane Webb (OU 14.19 - 9-1) vs. #78 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.58 - 7-4)
4. Spencer Papa (OU 13.89 - 5-3) vs. #106 Hunter Callahan (OSU 13.90 - 11-1)
5. #56 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.11 - 8-1) vs. #73 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.91 - 10-3)
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.54 - 3-0) vs. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.81 - 11-1)

Other possible players:  Jose Salazar (OU 13.64 - 6-4), Austin Siegel (OU 13.46 - 1-0)

#1 singles - Andrew Harris has won 3 in a row and 8 of his last 9 with all but 2 of those matches coming against a top 100 player while Chris Diaz has dropped 4 of his last 5. I don't see anyway Harris drops this one.

#2 singles - Axel Alvarez is undefeated in dual match play with 5 wins over ranked opponents while Mikael Torpegaard has won 2 straight but dropped 3 of his last 5. Torpegaard is 2-3 in dual match play against ranked opponents.  This is a match that Alvarez should win but I wouldn't be surprised to see Torpegaard hanging tough and possibly pushing this one to a 3rd set if not pulling off the stunner.  

#3 singles - Dane Webb was rolling up until a few weeks ago when he saw his 9-match winning streak get snapped by North Carolina's Brett Clark and then last time out Webb trailed Florida State's Marco Nunez when the match was stopped due to the team clinch.  Herkko Pollanen has alternated wins and losses in his last 8 matches but he's coming off a loss to Penn State's Matt Barry so a win would keep that streak going.  Dane Webb should win this match but he's going to have to play better than he has in the last 2 weeks to get the W.  

#4 singles - Spencer Papa has dropped his last 2 but had won 5 straight before that while Hunter Callahan has won 10 of his last 11 with all those matches being completed in straight sets.  I like Callahan in 2.  

#5 singles - Alex Ghilea has won 8 of his last 9 while Ralf Steinbach has won his last 2 but has split his last 6. This is another one of those matches where the numbers say Ghilea should win but I wouldn't be surprised to see Steinbach get it together and get a W.  

#6 singles - Florin Bragusi has seen action in just 5 of Oklahoma 13 matches but he's won all 3 that have finished while Kevin Metka has won 11 of his last 12 with all but 1 of the wins in straight sets.  Oklahoma's usual #6, Jose Salazar, was just 6-4 before sitting out the last 2 with an injury so it's unclear at this time if he'll play but regardless of who plays I think Metka is a heavy favorite and I see him winning in straights.  

I think Ohio State comes out fired up and grabs the doubles point then picks up wins from Metka, Callahan, and either Steinbach or Pollanen.  Long live the streak, Buckeyes in an upset.  Prediction: Ohio State 4-2

Can Oklahoma Pull Off the Double and Win the NCAAs?

Yes
  13 (39%)
 
No
  20 (60%)
 

Votes so far: 33



Read 621 times Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2016 07:34

2 comments

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Thursday, 05 March 2015 18:02 posted by Previous Commenter

    Great stuff Bobby - appreciate all you are doing to rev up the excitement and involvement in college tennis. What a preview! Now going forward if you share the same level of detail and knowledge for the conferences out west, you are flippin' superman.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Friday, 06 March 2015 15:10 posted by Previous Commenter

    Oklahoma wins 4-3. Big win.

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