Sunday, 22 February 2015 12:58

Sunday Preview

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Rain is in the forecast in many parts of the country so matches are being cancelled or being moved indoors.  Here is my preview of the bigger matches on Sunday (Texas A&M/Tulsa already cancelled due to rain).

#23 Vanderbilt (8-2) at #25 Harvard (8-2)- 12pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video - Both teams have beaten Minnesota over the last 2 days with Vandy squeaking out a 4-3 win on Friday while Harvard throttled the Gophers pretty good on Saturday by a 5-2.  Vandy is 7-2 in doubles while Harvard is 8-2 so it should be a pretty exciting start to the the match.  I could see Harvard winning the match despite dropping the doubles point but I don't see Vanderbilt finding 4 points without the doubles point.  Vandy has now played in 6 matches that have finished 4-3 while Harvard has played in 5 that were either 4-2 or 4-3 so both teams are used to the pressure.  I like Vandy in doubles and Austin and Valent in singles but I like Beltrame, Hu, Tao, and Yeung for the Crimson.  Prediction: Harvard 4-3

Projected Lineup
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.40) vs. #91 Denis Nguyen (HV 13.99)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.34) vs. #80 Sebastian Beltrame (HV 13.21)
3. Kris Yee (VU 13.73) vs. Nicky Hu (HV 13.78)
4. Danny Valent (VU 13.74) vs. Alex Steinroeder (HV 13.37)
5. Baker Newman (VU 13.00) vs. Kenny Tao (HV 13.11)
6. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.87) vs. Brian Yeung (HV 13.19)

#8 North Carolina (9-4) at #1 Oklahoma (10-1) - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Video - Both of these teams will look to rebound after suffering tough losses on road with UNC coming off a gut wrenching 4-3 loss to #10 Texas that saw Ronnie Schneider get broke 4 times while serving for the match while Oklahoma suffered its 1st loss of the season when it's bottom 3 let them down. These teams met last Saturday during the NTIs with Oklahoma winning 4-1 (box score below) so North Carolina will need to do something really special to avoid the same fate.  In my opinion the only spots in play for UNC are at 1, 4, and 6 because I have a hard time seeing Ronnie Schneider rebounding from Friday's loss against a guy as good as Axel Alvarez especially since Alvarez rocked Ronnie pretty good last week, Dane Webb has had Brett Clark's number, and Steiro has won a combined 4 games in his last 2 matches.  With Esben Hess-Olesen sidelined North Carolina doesn't really have any other viable options if they sit Steiro so they'll probably ride him out and hope for the best.  I wouldn't be totally shocked if John Roddick decided to make a change at #6 singles because Jose Salazar has now dropped 3 straight so maybe we'll see Florin Bragusi. I like Harris, Alvarez, Webb, and Ghilea for OU and Murray and Kelly for UNC.  Prediction:  Oklahoma 4-3

Projected Lineup:

1. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.54) vs. #26 Andrew Harris (OU 14.69) 
2. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 13.91) vs. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.48)  
3. Brett Clark (UNC 13.75) vs. #31 Dane Webb (OU 14.17) 
4. #104 Jack Murray (UNC 13.83) vs. Spencer Papa (OU 13.91) 
5. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.66) vs. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.11) 
6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.54) vs. Jose Salazar (OU 13.72) 


#2 Oklahoma 4, #7 North Carolina 1 - 2015 NTI Quarterfinals
Doubles competition
1. Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OKLA) def. Brayden Schnur/Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-1
2. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (OKLA) 6-4
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Jose Salazar/Alex Ghilea (OKLA) 6-3
Singles competition
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OKLA) def. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 7-6(5), 6-3
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OKLA) def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 6-1, 6-4
3. #31 Dane Webb (OKLA) vs. Brett Clark (UNC) 6-4, 3-6, 3-0, unfinished
4. Spencer Papa (OKLA) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4, 6-2
5. #63 Alex Ghilea (OKLA) def. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) 7-5, 6-1
6. Jose Salazar (OKLA) vs. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) 0-6, 6-3, 4-5, unfinished
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,5,1)

#12 UCLA (6-4) at #5 Baylor (7-2) - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Blog - This will be a matchup between one team on the rise and the other on the fall.  Baylor had a great weekend in Chicago in beating both Virginia and Duke before seemingly letting Oklahoma off the hook in the semifinals while UCLA continues to struggle to put away the close matches with the Bruins dropping all 4 this year where they've yielded at least 2 points (a pair of 4-3 and 4-2 losses).  Last year Baylor went into LA and stunned UCLA 4-2 so the Bruins will do their best to try and return the favor however I just don't see the horses in the barn to make that happen.  UCLA just hasn't the consistency it's used to with Mkrtchian, Brymer, Sell, and Rapp a combined 13-12 in dual match play while both McDonald and Redlicki have been the bright spots with those guys a combined 14-1.  UCLA is 8-2 in doubles while Baylor is 9-0 so it wouldn't be surprising to see all 3 courts go to a tiebreak which is what happened last year.  Baylor's only weak spot this year has been at #4 where its guys are a combined 2-4 with Galeano 0-3.  UCLA's best chance at the upset is to take the doubles point and to get wins from McDonald, Redlicki, and Sell with each of those matches near toss-ups.  UCLA will keep it close but Baylor pulls through with Tschoutakian, Lupieri, Galeano, and Zsiga winning.Prediction: Baylor 5-2

Projected Lineup:
1. #2 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.84) vs. #10 Julian Lenz (BU 14.77)
2. #44 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.52) vs. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22)
3. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23) vs. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.30)
4. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.83) vs. Diego Galeano (BU 13.78)
5. Karue Sell (14.16) vs. Vince Schneider (BU 13.35)
6. Austin Rapp (12.89) vs. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.84)

#43 Tulsa (8-6) at #13 Texas A&M (3-1) - 1pm est - Live Scoring (Match Rained Out) - Tulsa always plays a tough schedule and things won't get any easier as they head to College Station to take an Aggie team coming off an upset over #1 Oklahoma.  Tulsa is coming off a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma State and they seem to still be trying to find that right mix within the lineup as the newcomers, Jose Gonzalez and Mitchell Pritchard, continue to jump around.  Tulsa was also without its #4 Matthew Kirby (12.88) during the Oklahoma State match so we'll see if he's back in there.  Last year Texas A&M rolled to a 6-1 win at Tulsa with all 6 singles matches finishing in straight sets and this year's match will probably be about the same.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 6-1

Projected Lineup:
1. Or-Ram Harel (Tulsa 13.23) vs. #45 Shane Vinsant (aTm 14.35)
2. Alejandro Espejo (Tulsa 13.80) vs. #43 Jeremy Efferding (aTm 14.09)
3. Jose Gonzalez (Tulsa 13.49) vs. #36 Harrison Adams (aTm 13.97)
4. Carlos Bautista (Tulsa 12.63) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (aTm 13.87)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (Tulsa 12.55) vs. #51 AJ Catanzariti (aTm 13.96)
6. Dylan McCloskey (Tulsa 12.58) vs. Max Lunkin (aTm 12.57)



Follow these matches and others through the links on my Live Scoring Page
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