Friday, 20 February 2015 11:34

Friday Preview

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It's the weekend after the National Indoors and the start of the outdoor season though play in many parts of the country will still be indoors. Below are some of the bigger matches taking place this weekend with my thoughts on who I like in each one.  

#23 Vanderbilt (7-2) vs. #34 Minnesota (7-1) (@Harvard) - 1pm est - Vandy Twitter & Video - Vanderbilt has been involved in more close matches than just about anyone in the country with 5 of the Dores 9 matches finishing with a 4-3 final with Vandy winning 3 of those 5.  This will be the 4th Big 10 school that Vandy has faced in the last month with them all going to a 4-3 result so they better expect the same today.  Minnesota on the other hand hasn't had a match closer than 4-1 so if it comes down to the final court things could get interesting. The 1 & 4 spots have been Vandy's strength with both Gonzales Austin and Danny Valent each a perfect 8-0 in dual match play while Vandy has struggled to find consistency at 2, 3, and 5 with Johnson (2-4), Yee (3-4), and Newman (1-3) a combined 6-11.  Eswaran is 5-3 and has been the final guy left on the court in just about every match he's played due to Vandy's indoor facility having 5 courts.  Minnesota has seen good play out of just about everyone in the lineup with Toledo (6-1), Hamburg (4-3), Weber (4-1), Spec (7-0), Corwin (5-1) a combined 26-6 while the 6 spot is just 3-4 with Froment 0-2.  Minnesota is a perfect 8-0 in doubles while Vanderbilt is 6-2.  While Minnesota is on the way up I think Vandy is a little more battle tested and will scrap out the close courts.  I like Vandy in doubles and Austin, Yee, and Valent in singles.  Prediction:  Vanderbilt 4-3 


Projected Lineup:
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VU) vs. #25 Leandro Toledo (MN)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU) vs. Jack Hamburg (MN)
3. Kris Yee (VU) vs. Ruben Weber (MN)
4. Danny Valent (VU) vs. Matic Spec (MN)
5. Baker Newman (VU) vs. Felix Corwin (MN)
6. Suresh Eswaran (VU) vs. Mathieu Froment (MN)


#1 Oklahoma (10-0) at #13 Texas A&M (2-1) - 7pm est - Live Scoring - The new #1 heads to College Station to take on an Aggie squad that's only played 3 matches so far with the last one coming 2 weeks ago when they knocked of Ohio State.  Oklahoma will try to avoid an emotional letdown from last weekend and while Texas A&M is always a dangerous team at home, I think OU keep playing with a ton of confidence and wins the tough points.  Oklahoma has won 4 in a row in this series and a year ago OU won 5-2 when they played in Norman and I think we'll see a similar type score this year.  I like Harris, Alvarez, Webb, and Ghilea in singles for OU.  Prediction: Oklahoma 4-1

Projected Lineup:
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OU) vs. #45 Shane Vinsant (aTm)
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU) vs. #36 Harrison Adams (aTm)
3. #31 Dane Webb (OU) vs. #43 Jeremy Efferding (aTm)
4. Spencer Papa (OU) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (aTm)
5. Alex Ghilea (OU) vs. #51 AJ Catanzariti (aTm)
6. Jose Salazar (OU) vs. Jordan Szabo (aTm)

#8 North Carolina (9-3) at #10 Texas (9-1) - 7pm estLive Scoring - This one should be as good as last year when North Carolina took it 4-3 at home with Schnur winning the decider 6-3 in the 3rd. Texas's Hess-Olesen, Glasspool, and Berkowicz have gone a combined 27-2 thus far with the bottom of the lineup going 13-10 so for Texas to take this one they're going to need someone to come through down low.  North Carolina's softest spots so far this year have come at 2 and 4 with those spots a combined 15-8 while the rest of the lineup is 28-6.  Both teams have dealt with some early season injuries though both seem to be back up near full strength.  North Carolina swept the top 3 last year but I think at best they'll maybe take 1 of those this year with both Hess-Olesen and Berkowicz playing too well.  I like Naumann down at 4 but I like Murray and Kelly at 5 and 6.  North Carolina is 10-2 in doubles while Texas is just 4-6.  The data says North Carolina should take the doubles point and the match but I like Texas at home. Prediction:  Texas 4-3


Projected Lineup:
1. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) vs. #16 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX)
2. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) vs. Lloyd Glasspool (TX)
3. Brett Clark (UNC) vs. #65 Adrien Berkowicz (TX)
4. Oystein Steiro (UNC) vs. Nick Naumann (TX)
5. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) vs. George Goldhoff (TX)
6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) vs. John Mee (TX) 

#26 Northwestern (6-4) at #6 Illinois (8-2) - 7pm est Live Scoring - It'll be a battle for supremacy in the state of Illinois as Illinois comes off a weekend that saw the Illini knock off a pair of top 15 teams (Ohio State/Cal) while Northwestern has been sitting on the sidelines for almost 2 weeks.  Illinois won last year's meeting 4-1 in Evanston and has won 24 straight in the series with Northwestern's last win over Illinois coming all the way back in 1997.  Look for the streak to go to 25 as Illinois wins fairly easily.  Prediction:  Illinois 6-1

1. #96 Sam Shropshire (NW) vs. #41 Farris Gosea (ILL)
2. #64 Strong Kirchheimer (NW) vs. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL)
3. Logan Staggs (NW) vs. #37 Tim Kopinski (ILL)
4. Mihir Kumar (NW) vs. #69 Aron Hiltzik (ILL)
5. Fedor Baev (NW) vs. #46 Aleks Vukic (ILL)
6. Alp Horoz (NW) vs. Toshiki Matsuya or Ross Guignon (ILL)


Feature Matches on Saturday/Sunday:

Saturday:
#17 Notre Dame at #9 Ohio State - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming
#32 Oklahoma State at #19 Wake Forest - 12pm est - Live Scoring & Video
#34 Minnesota at #25 Harvard - 1pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video 
#39 Stanford at #14 Cal - 1pm est - Video & Cal Twitter

Sunday:
#23 Vanderbilt at #25 Harvard - 12pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video
#8 North Carolina at #1 Oklahoma - 1pm est - Live Scoring
#12 UCLA at #5 Baylor - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Blog
#43 Tulsa at #13 Texas A&M - 1pm est - Live Scoring


Live scoring, video, and Twitter links for other matches are on my Live Scoring Page.

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