Friday, 03 February 2017 22:04

Virginia Survives Against Vandy, Illinois Wins Thriller Over Duke, Rain Goes Undefeated in California

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The two-time defending NCAA Champion Virginia Cavaliers took the court tonight for the first time this season and while they came out on top against Vanderbilt it didn't exactly go as smooth as some may have expected. Vanderbilt picked up a quick 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles but Virginia countered with a 6-3 win at No. 2 so it all came down to No. 3. Vanderbilt's Billy Rowe and Lachlan McPhee broke Virginia's serve to go up 5-4 and then McPhee served it out to give Vanderbilt the doubles point and early 1-0 lead. 

During singles play Virginia jumped out to early break leads at 1, 4, and 5 while Vanderbilt took the early lead at 2 and 3 (only five indoor courts). All five guys with the early break lead would close out the first set and Virginia's Alex Ritschard would be the first one to the finish line with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Billy Rowe at No. 5. Vanderbilt's Baker Newman put the Commodores back in front with a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 3 but Virginia freshman Carl Soderlund, who was making his collegiate debut, tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 4. Vanderbilt retook the lead when Cameron Klinger earned a late break at 5-4 and then he served it out from 40/15 to win it 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. Virginia's Henrik Wiersholm was closing in on a win at No. 6 but it looked like Vanderbilt's Daniel Valent might force a third set at No. 1 when he led Collin Altamirano 5-3 in the second. Altamirano won three straight to go ahead 6-5 but Valent managed to get a hold to force a tiebreak. Altamirano raced out to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak and close it out 7-5, 7-6(2). Moments later Wiersholm would clinch the match with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Panu Virtanen.  

Post-Match Comments from UVA's and Vandy's recaps:

"It is great to be back in the dual match season," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "Vanderbilt has a great team and the environment was awesome. This was an ideal way to get our spring season started. I am proud of the guys for getting rid of the first match nerves and stepping up after losing the doubles point."

“I thought we did a terrific job,” said Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage. “They’re No. 1 in the country and defending NCAA National Champions and favorites to repeat and we barely lost to them 4-3. Our guys are disappointed, and I like that because it will keep us hungry. 

"I thought in doubles that was our most complete effort. We came out and were ready to play from the get-go. I like where our doubles teams are right now."

"There are probably over a hundred positives and just two or three negatives from this match. We’ve got to execute with more discipline. In some places we’re executing well and not giving our opponents cheap points, but not everywhere. I’m really proud of Baker and Cam, they set the example of how to execute with discipline. I’m proud of the way we handled ourselves against really good players.” 

#1 Virginia 4, Vanderbilt 3
Feb 3, 2017 at Nashville, Tenn. (Currey Tennis Center)
Singles Results
1. Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #97 Daniel Valent (VANDY) 7-5, 7-6 (7-2)
2. Cameron Klinger (VANDY) def. #39 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
3. Baker Newman (VANDY) def. #58 J.C. Aragone (VA) 6-4, 6-0
4. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Lachlan McPhee (VANDY) 6-1, 6-4
5. Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Billy Rowe (VANDY) 6-2, 6-1
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Panu Virtanen (VANDY) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles Results
1. Pen Binet/Cameron Klinger (VANDY) def. Carl Soderlund/Luca Corinteli (VA) 6-2
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Collin Altamirano (VA) def. Panu Virtanen/Baker Newman (VANDY) 6-3
3. Billy Rowe/Lachlan McPhee (VANDY) def. J.C. Aragone/Henrik Wiersholm (VA) 6-4
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,3,4,2,1,6)



Illinois and Duke have played some close ones over the years and tonight was just the latest chapter in the series as Illinois came back from a 3-1 deficit to gut out a 4-3 win. Duke took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 but Illinois fought back in singles by taking four first sets. Duke freshman Nick Stachowiak and senior TJ Pura closed out their matches in straight sets at No. 4 and No. 6 while Illinois junior Aleks Vukic won in straight sets at No. 1. Illinois junior Aron Hiltzik cut the Duke lead to 3-2 with a 6-4, 7-6(3) win at No. 2 and then redshirt senior Julian Childers tied up the match at 3-3 with a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 win over Spencer Furman at No. 5. 

The match would be decided at No. 3 singles between Illinois freshman Gui Gomes and Duke freshman Robert Levine. Gomes had a 6-4, 5-3 lead but Levine held, broke, and held to go in front 6-5. Gomes held to force a tiebreak but Levine managed to take it 8-6 to force a third set. Levine jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third but Gomes ripped off three straight to go in front 3-2. After three consecutive holds, Levine broke on the deciding point to go up 5-4 but Gomes broke back from 30/40 to even it at 5-5. Gomes held from 40/15 to go up 6-5 and then he broke Levine from 15/40 to take it 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5.



Post-Match Quotes from Illinois's recap:

"I am incredibly proud of the guys tonight," said head coach Brad Dancer. "Any of these matches, you really aren't looking at being down, 3-1, you are looking at each match, individually. I think in every one of those, we felt okay where we were. It was great how the guys stayed within themselves and kept themselves composed down the stretch. This is what sports are all about: toughness, grittiness, hanging in there and a lot of resiliency. I am super proud of this team and how well Cos (Marcos) and Ross (Guignon) coached tonight."

"It was cool environment," said Dancer. "You have a great crowd. It is super loud in this building and it was all down in the corner pocket. Everyone was looking at three and five and all of the energy is down there. It's kind of like a bull ring, if you will, and was kind of what the match turned into tonight. It was cool. Julian has waited a long time and has been through a lot, so for him to have that moment and give Gui a chance. What a remarkable job by him to stay calm and what a remarkable job by Cos (Marcos Asse) and Ross (Guignon) to manage those matches and do an outstanding job of coaching those two guys"

#17 Illinois 4, Duke 3
Feb 03, 2017 at Atkins Tennis Center
Singles competition
1. Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Vincent Lin (DU) 6-4, 6-1
2. #85 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Catalin Mateas (DU) 6-4, 7-6 (3)
3. #100 Gui Gomes (ILL) def. Robert Levine (DU) 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5
4. Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. #85 Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
5. Julian Childers (ILL) def. Spencer Furman (DU) 6-4, 0-6, 6-4
6. TJ Pura (DU) def. Zeke Clark (ILL) 6-3, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. Catalin Mateas/Vincent Lin (DU) def. Gui Gomes/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 6-2
2. Nick Stachowiak/Spencer Furman (DU) def. Vuk Budic/Alex Jesse (ILL) 7-5
3. Robert Levine/Ryan Dickerson (DU) vs. Aleks Vukic/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 5-5, unfinished
Match Notes:
Duke 3-2
Illinois 2-1; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,4,6,2,5,3)


There were three matches between top 25 opponents that were supposed to take place in California on Friday but unfortunately the rain washed them all away. Third-ranked Pepperdine was set to host eighth ranked Cal and top-ranked Florida was supposed to play at No. 22 USC but neither of those women's matches were able to get off the ground. The Cal/Stanford men's match was actually postponed a few days ago and reschedule for February 9th. 

Even though the day started off kind of slow it picked up stream as it went into the evening hours. Below are some notable men's and women's with some closer than others.

Notable Men's Matches

  • #3 Ohio State only dropped five games during the doubles point and then won 11 of 16 sets in singles in a 6-1 win over South Florida. Martin Joyce put Ohio State ahead 4-0 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pierre Luquet at No. 5 and then the remaining matches were played out.
  • #9 Northwestern hammered Boise State 4-0 in a match that took just 1 hour and 34 minutes - NU won every completed set in singles and didn't drop more than three games in any given set. 
  • #14 Baylor didn't have any issues in its 6-1 win over Lamar in a match that was played indoors in Houston - BU didn't drop more than four games in any match except at No. 4 when Bjoern Petersen retired after dropping the first set 6-1 with an unknown injury.
  • #24 Georgia Tech defeated Georgia State 4-1 with junior Daniel Yun clinching the match at No. 5 with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 win. Four of the six singles matches went to a third set.
  • Louisville won a 4-3 thriller at home over Purdue as sophomore Brandon Lancaster came back from a 4-2 third set deficit to win the deciding match 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2)
  • Drake went on the road and defeated in-state rival Iowa 4-3 with junior Calum MacGeoch getting the clincher at No. 2 with a 0-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) win over Lefteris Theodorou.
  • Alabama defeated Texas Tech 4-3 with freshman Edson Ortiz getting the clincher at No. 5 with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Texas Tech freshman Pyry Hyrkkonen. 
  • Minnesota improved to 6-0 after winning a 4-3 thriller at home over Dartmouth - freshman Stefan Milicevic clinched the match at No. 3 with a 7-5, 0-6, 7-5 win over David Horneffer when Horneffer double faulted on the deciding point while serving at 5-6 in the third.
  • Santa Clara pulled off the biggest upset of the day after it went to Baton Rouge and beat LSU 4-3 - freshman Vasileios Iliopoulos won the decider 7-6(4) in the third. 
  • BYU came back from 3-2 down to defeat Denver 4-3 - junior John Pearce won the deciding match 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 at No. 5 - it was head coach Brad Pearce's 200th career win at BYU. 
  • Wisconsin overpowered Middle Tennessee State 7-0 - Badgers won 12 of 14 sets in singles. 


Notable Women's Matches

  • #9 Vanderbilt held off a late charge from #23 Northwestern to win 5-2 - redshirt senior Georgina Sellyn clinched at No. 3 with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
  • #2 North Carolina rolled over #12 Texas Tech 4-0 in a neutral site match in Orlando as freshman Sara Daavettila clinched with a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 2 - this was the second USTA College MatchDay event of the year at the USTA National Collegiate Center in Orlando. 
  • #13 Michigan went on the road and roughed up Notre Dame 6-1 as sophomore Kate Fahey clinched the match with a 6-1, 7-6 win at No. 2
  • #14 Auburn went on the road and held on to defeat Illinois 4-1 with freshman Taylor Russo clinching at No. 3 - four of six singles matches went to a third set
  • #19 Ole Miss shutout Arkansas State not once but twice with both matches played in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
  • Missouri went to Provo and won a wild 4-3 match over BYU with freshman Mackenzy Middlebrooks winning the decider 7-5 in the third at No. 6 singles. 
  • Tulsa lost the doubles point and at No. 1 singles but they picked up straight set wins at 2, 3, 4, and 5 to defeat North Texas 4-2 on Friday night in Denton. 
  • Kansas went on the road and defeated NC State 4-3 with freshman Maria Toran Ribes winning the decider 6-4 in the third at No. 5.
  • Rice defeated Princeton 4-0 with the Owls winning seven of nine completed sets in singles.  
  • West Virginia went to Richmond and defeated VCU 4-3 with junior Lyn Yuen Choo clinching the win in straight sets at No. 5.
  • TCU shutout Washington 4-0 in a match where the score doesn't really reflect how close it was - five of six singles matches went three sets (highlight video)


Below is a look at some of the more intriguing matches on Saturday - the easiest way to follow them and the others is to become a College Tennis Today subscriber because as a subscriber you will have access to live scoring and video links for each of these matches (where available) - remember it's only $.33 a day!!! 


#6 UCLA vs. #5 Georgia (Pac-12/SEC Challenge @FLA - 10 a.m. ET)  
#8 USC at #11 Florida (Pac-12/SEC - 1:30 p.m. ET) 
Virginia Tech at #10 Texas (2 p.m. ET) 
North Florida at Georgia State (3 p.m. ET) 
Princeton at Indiana (3 p.m. ET) 
#1 Virginia at #15 Kentucky (5 p.m. ET) 
#7 North Carolina at #17 Illinois (7 p.m. ET) 
#13 Oklahoma at Arkansas (7 p.m. ET)
#6 Georgia at Clemson (2:30 p.m. ET) 
#1 Florida at #3 Pepperdine (3 p.m. ET) 



Read 2168 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 February 2017 07:14
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