Saturday, 04 February 2017 20:34

Virginia Rallies Past Kentucky, UCLA Edges Georgia, Big Day for the Gators, UNC Beats Illinois

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For the second day in a row Virginia faced a serious challenge but once again the bottom part of the lineup was able to come through when it counted and Virginia edged Kentucky 4-3. Virginia looked like it had the doubles point under control after winning 6-1 at No. 1 and leading 5-3 at No. 2 but Kentucky's Will Bushamuka and Nils Ellefsen won four straight games to win the decider 7-5. Virginia would try to rebound in singles but gaining early momentum would be a little tougher than usual since Virginia's strong No. 5 and No. 6 guys wouldn't get a chance to start immediately due to Kentucky indoor facility only having four courts.

Virginia freshman Carl Soderlund didn't waste any time in his match at No. 3 against Kentucky senior Beck Pennington. Soderlund played at No. 4 yesterday and he seemed to appreciate the bump up to No. 3 because he broke Pennington to start the match and about 25 minutes later he had a 6-0 first set in the bank. Pennington held to start the second set but Soderlund would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-1. Pennington held for 2-3 but then Soderlund won the final three games to close it out 6-0, 6-2. 

Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski put the Cavs ahead 2-1 with a straight set win over Ryotaro Matsumura at No. 1. In the first set, Kwiatkowski broke Matsumura's 5-5 service game and then Thai-Son served it out to take it 7-5. Kwiatkowski broke Matsumura to start the second set and then he'd break him again to go up 4-1. After three consecutive breaks Matsumura held for 4-5 but Kwiatkowski would quickly go up 40/0 which gave him four match points. Matsumura won the next three points to bring up the deciding point but when Kwiatkowski came forward Matsumura's attempted passing shot found the net to give Kwiatkowski the 7-5, 6-4 win.

Kentucky senior Nils Ellefsen tied the match at 2-2 with a tight straight set win over Virginia senior JC Aragone at No. 4. Ellefsen went up an early break in the first set but Aragone would break back and hold to go up 5-4. It stayed on serve until the tiebreak and Ellefsen managed to take it 7-5. Ellefsen held and broke to start the second set but Aragone broke back and held to even it at 2-2. After eight more holds it went to another tiebreak and once against Ellefsen pulled it taking it 7-4 to make the final score 7-6(5), 7-6(4).

So with the score tied at 2-2 you had Will Bushamuka and Collin Altamirano early in the third set at No. 2 while Henrik Wiersholm had just reeled off five straight games to take a 6-3 first set at No. 5 against Trey Yates. The match at No 6 between Alexander Ritschard and Gus Benson was just starting so this one potentially had a ways to go. 

Bushamuka would put Kentucky in front 3-2 after breaking Altamirano's 3-4 service game and then serving it out for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win however Wiersholm and Ritschard were leading on their respective courts at No. 5 and No. 6. Wiersholm was up 6-3, 4-2 on Yates but Yates would hold and break for 4-4 after Wiersholm double faulted on the deciding point. However, Yates wouldn't be able to sustain his momentum because Wiersholm broke back from 15/40 and then quickly served it out from 40/15 to take the match 6-3, 6-4.

The last match on court was at No. 6 with Virginia's Alexander Ritschard up a set against Kentucky's Gus Benson. The second set stayed on serve until Ritschard broke Benson's 4-4 service game on the deciding point and then Ritschard would serve it out from 40/15 by hitting a second serve ace to seal the Virginia win.

Post-Match Quotes from Virginia's recap
"We lost another tough doubles point after serving for it, but once again, we kept battling," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "These road tests are exactly what we need right now. Kentucky is a great team and the environment here was awesome."
Post-Match Quote from Kentucky's recap
“It was a tough match today against a very good opponent,” senior captain Nils Ellefsen said. “I think we left everything out there on today and I’m proud of the team’s effort. We came very close to beating the best team in the country, and seeing just how close we are gives us a lot of confidence and belief for the rest of the season.”

#1 Virginia 4, #15 Kentucky 3
February 4, 2017 at Lexington, KY (Boone Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #39 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 15.02) def. #17 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK 14.35) 7-5, 6-4
2. #23 Will Bushamuka (UK 13.50) def. Collin Altamirano (VA 14.41) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
3. Carl Soderlund (VA 14.61) def. Beck Pennington (UK 13.72) 6-0, 6-2
4. Nils Ellefsen (UK 13.23) def. #58 J.C. Aragone (VA 14.56) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4)
5. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.12) def. #110 Trey Yates (UK 13.80) 6-3, 6-4
6. Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.57) def. Gus Benson (UK 12.54) 6-1, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Carl Soderlund/Luca Corinteli (VA) def. Enzo Wallart/Beck Pennington (UK) 6-1
2. Will Bushamuka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Collin Altamirano (VA) 7-5
3. Trey Yates/Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. #40 J.C. Aragone/Henrik Wiersholm (VA) 6-3
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,4,2,5,6)



The Pac-12/SEC Showdown got underway on Saturday morning in Gainesville with the doubles point ultimately playing a huge role in determining the winner between UCLA and Georgia. UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio and Austin Rapp picked a quick 6-2 win at No. 2 but Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan and Walker Duncan countered with a 6-4 win at No. 3 after breaking for 5-4 and holding to win it. In the decider match at No. 1, Georgia's Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb jumped out to the early break lead but UCLA's Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu broke back to even it up. Loeb and Zielinski would fight off a match point while serving at 4-5 (40/40) and after a few more holds the match would go to a tiebreak. The first five points of the tiebreak went to the server but then Redlicki and Zhu got the mini-break to go up 4-2 at the changeover. Zielinski and Loeb won the next point but that'd be the last one they'd win as Redlicki and Zhu would take the next three to close it out 7-6(3). 

UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio and Logan Staggs would get off to quick starts at No. 4 and No. 5 singles while Georgia's Nathan Ponwith and Walker Duncan would do the same at No. 3 and No. 6. 

Staggs jumped out to a 4-1* lead on Jan Zielinski at No. 5 and he'd take the first set 6-2. Staggs would go up 4-1* in the second but Zielinski would hold and break to put it back on serve at 4-3. Staggs would promptly break back for 5-3 and then serve it out for a 6-2, 6-3 win.

Georgia freshman Nathan Ponwith would put the Bulldogs on the board with a straight set win at No. 3 over UCLA freshman Evan Zhu. Ponwith led 4-1 in the first and had a break point for 5-1 but Zhu got the hold, broke, and then came back from 15/40 down to hold for 4-4. Ponwith held for 5-4 and then broke Zhu to take the set 6-4. Ponwith jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set would eventually close it out for a 6-4, 6-3 win.

Georgia sophomore Walker Duncan would tie the match at 2-2 with a straight set win over Austin Rapp at No. 6. Duncan went up an early break in both the first and second sets and held serve each and every time to win it 6-4, 6-4. 

UCLA senior Joseph Di Giulio would put UCLA back in front 3-2 with a straight set win over Paul Oosterbaan at No. 4. Di Giulio rolled through the first set 6-2 but the second set stayed on serve until Di Giulio broke Oosterbaan on the deciding point to win it 6-2, 6-4.

Georgia junior Wayne Montgomery tied it at 3-all with a straight set win over Gage Brymer at No. 1. The first set was a streaking one with Brymer erasing a 3-1 deficit by winning four straight games only to see Montgomery win four straight to close out the set 7-5. Montgomery went up *3-0 in the second but Brymer got one of the breaks back to pull within *3-2. Montgomery would up his lead to 5-2 and after he got broke he'd break back to win it 7-5, 6-3.   

The match would be decided at No. 2 between UCLA junior Martin Redlicki and Georgia sophomore Emil Reinberg. Reinberg went up a break at 4-3 in the first set but Redlicki broke back and held for 5-4. After an exchange of holds, Redlicki would break Reinberg from 30/40 to take the first set 7-5. Reinberg went up a break to start the second set but Redlicki immediately broke back, held, and then broke again to go up 3-1. Reinberg would break back on the deciding point and hold for 3-3 and he had a chance to break again but Redlicki held on the deciding point for 4-3. Reinberg fought off two break points to hold on the deciding point for 4-4 but Redlicki would hold on a deciding point for 5-4. Reinberg held from 40/15 for 5-5 and then he went up 30/40 on Redlicki's serve but once again Redlicki got the hold on the deciding point. Reinberg quickly fell behind 0/30 and Redlicki would break from 15/40 to close it out 7-5, 7-5. 



Post-Match Quotes from Georgia's recap
“Our guys competed well as always, but today we just had way too many missed opportunities,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “We did not play well in doubles and UCLA took advantage of their opportunities all day. That was the difference in the match. Tomorrow, the task gets even tougher with a really good USC team. Our guys have to be ready to go for a big challenge ahead.”

#6 UCLA 4, #5 Georgia 3
Feb. 4, 2017 // Gainesville, Fla (Ring Tennis Complex)
Doubles Results
1. Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #54 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (UGA), 7-6 (3)
2. Joseph Di Giulio/Austin Rapp (UCLA) def. Wayne Montgomery/Nathan Ponwith (UGA), 6-2
3. Paul Oosterbaan/Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Gage Brymer/Maxime Cressy (UCLA), 6-4
Singles Results
1. #22 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. #11 Gage Brymer (UCLA), 7-5, 6-3
2. Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #31 Emil Reinberg (UGA), 7-5, 7-5
3. #124 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) def. Evan Zhu (UCLA), 6-4, 6-3
4. #90 Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA), 6-2, 6-4
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. #56 Jan Zielinski (UGA), 6-2, 6-3
6. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA), 6-4, 6-4
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (5, 3, 6, 4, 1, 2)
2017 SEC/Pac-12 Showdown


The second match of the day between USC and Florida finished with the same 4-3 score but that was only after USC won the final two courts after Florida had already clinched the win. The day started off fairly promising for USC after their No. 3 doubles team of Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede rallied from 5-3 down to clinch the doubles point with a 7-5 win. The momentum from winning the doubles point didn't carry over into singles as Florida took five opening sets including McClain Kessler rallying from 5-3 down to take the first set 7-5. 

Alfredo Perez only dropped three games in a 6-1, 6-2 win over Logan Smith at No. 1 and Elliott Orkin put the Gators ahead 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nick Crystal at No. 2. Florida freshman Johannes Ingilsen made it 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Riley Smith at No. 6 and McClain Kessler would clinch it with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Thibault Forget at No. 4. Forget had actually come back from 5-2 down to get it back on serve at 5-4 but he overcooked a forehand from the service line to get broke on the deciding point to drop it. 



After the clinch - USC's Jack Jaede came back from a break down in the third to defeat Maxx Lipman in a third set tiebreak and Brandon Holt pulled away from Chase Perez-Blanco to win 6-2 in the third at No. 2.

Post-Match Quotes from head coach Bryan Shelton via Florida's recap

"I think the guys were pleased with the overall result, and they expressed that, but they were also very quick to say 'we've got another opportunity tomorrow.' That's what I love about these guys, is that they're hungry. They feel like we can accomplish some great things this year and they understand that we didn't do everything perfectly today. It was a really good win, but we're in a position to close out sets and matches in places that we didn't today. I think these guys are just hungry and want to get back after it again tomorrow."

On how the team was able to come out and win after losing the doubles point...
"I think one of those buzzwords that's out there these days is resiliency. We certainly talk about that a lot; about adversity and how you're going to deal with it when it comes, and trying to prepare each day in practice to come and compete hard against one another so that we feel that adversity on the other side of the net more often. For us to lose a doubles point for the first time – especially when we had match points to win the doubles point – it would've been easy to put our heads down for a minute or two. Instead we came out and won five of the first six sets in singles, and really set the tone and sent the message early that you're not going to roll through us, and we're resilient and we're tough and we're going to continue to compete until the last ball is struck."

#11 Florida 4, #8 USC 3
Feb. 4, 2017 | Gainesville, Fla. (Ring Tennis Complex)
Doubles Results
1. #3 Ingildsen/Perez (FLA) vs. Holt/R. Smith (USC) - *5-4 (40/40)
2. Crystal/Verboven (USC) def. Blanco/Lipman (FLA) - 6-3
3. Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. Kessler/Orkin (FLA) - 7-5
Singles Results
1. #13 Alfredo Perez (FLA) def. #28 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-1, 6-2
2. #20 Brandon Holt (USC) def. Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) - 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
3. #64 Elliott Orkin (FLA) def. #88 Nick Crystal (USC) - 6-3, 6-3
4. #67 McClain Kessler (FLA) def. #114 Thibault Forget (USC) - 7-5, 6-4*
5. Jack Jaede (USC) def. #98 Maxx Lipman (FLA) - 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (6)
6. Johannes Ingildsen (FLA) def. Riley Smith (USC) - 7-5, 6-3
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,3,6,4,2,5)
Attendance 267


Florida's mens team wasn't the only Florida team to have a good win on Saturday because the top-ranked women's team picked up a huge road win at No. 3 Pepperdine. Florida took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then after taking five first sets in singles the Gators managed to get straight set wins from Anna Danillina, Josie Kuhlman, Brooke Austin, and Kourtney Keegan at No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6. 
Pepperdine picked up a straight set win from Ashley Lahey at No. 2 and a three set win from Luisa Stefani at No. 1. 
Post-Match Quotes from head coach Roland Thornqvist via Florida's recap
"We played a really good doubles point. It was high-level tennis throughout. This is really, really and deep Pepperdine team. I thought we were outstanding. We competed really, really well. We had four tiebreaks in the first set and we won three of them. In all the roads this early in the season, I don't think either team played at the top of their game but both teams competed really well and we were able to keep our composure.
"Overall, I think we were able to do the right things under pressure. We had to come in, had to play great defense at the right time and keep our poise. I'm just really proud of how we performed and look forward to coming home for a couple of days and then set sail to the National Indoor Championships. Overall, I really pleased with how we competed and how tough we were in the clutch."

#1 Florida 5, #3 Pepperdine 2
Feb 04, 2017 at Malibu, Calif. (Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #8 Stefani, Luisa (PEP) def. #37 Woolcock, Belinda (FLA) 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. #21 Lahey, Ashley (PEP) def. Neel, Ingrid (FLA) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
3. #30 Danilina, Anna (FLA) def. #22 Sherif Ahmed, Mayar (PEP) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
4. #15 Kuhlman, Josie (FLA) def. Gulbe, Laura (PEP) 6-4, 6-1
5. Austin, Brooke (FLA) def. Runglerdkriangkrai,A (PEP) 7-6 (9-7), 6-3
6. #24 Keegan, Kourtney (FLA) def. Milovanovic, Dzina (PEP) 6-1, 7-6 (7-0)
Doubles competition
1. #3 Maddox, Christine/Sherif Ahmed, Mayar (PEP) vs. #7 Austin, Brooke/Keegan, Kourtney (FLA) 5-5, unf
2. Danilina, Anna/Neel, Ingrid (FLA) def. #8 Stefani, Luisa/Runglerdkriangkrai,A (PEP) 7-5
3. #12 Kuhlman, Josie/Woolcock, Belinda (FLA) def. Milovanovic, Dzina/Lahey, Ashley (PEP) 6-4
Match Notes
Florida 3-0; National ranking #1
Pepperdine University 2-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,2,6,3,1)


For the second night in a row Illinois found itself in a 1-0 hole after dropping the doubles point to North Carolina but the match was far from over after Illinois came back to take four opening sets in singles and it was almost six first sets. Illinois junior Aleks Vukic tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over UNC freshman William Blumberg at No. 1 and freshman Gui Gomes made it 2-1 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over UNC freshman Simon Soendergaard. 

Illinois junior Aron Hiltzik served for the match at No. 2 up 6-3, 5-4 but UNC senior Ronnie Schneider broke and then ended up forcing a third set by taking the second set tiebreak 7-4.

UNC junior Robert Kelly tied the match at 2-2 with a 7-6(5), 6-1 win over Julian Childers at No. 4. Childers led 3-0 in the first set tiebreak but Kelly won seven of the next nine points to close it out before rolling through the second set. 

UNC freshman Joshua Peck defeated Illinois freshman Zeke Clark 7-6(3), 6-3 at No. 6 to put UNC in front 3-2. Clark served for the first set up 6-5 but he wasn't able to close it out and would ultimately fall in two.

UNC senior Jack Murray provided the clincher at No. 4 after hitting a service winner from 40/30 to defeat Illinois senior Julian Childers 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. After a discussion at the net, Ronnie Schneider and Aron Hiltzik decided to play their match out at No. 2 and Schneider would end up taking it in a third set tiebreak 7-2. 

Post-Match Quotes from Illinois head coach Brad Dancer
"It's hard because we talk about team and group things, but it is really an individual sport. For us, we have individuals who are starting to play better in doubles. We just need to get one or two guys to spark that and make a difference. Starting every match down 1-0 is not great, but then we are showing we have great resiliency. We come out in singles and it looks like we are about to roll in the first six sets. We lose two but we take the other four. We had a tremendous amount of momentum on our side and at that point, you have to give a lot of credit to North Carolina. They are on the road. They are playing in front of our crowd and they are able to fight and claw back into matches, where we had them down. We had all of these things that were up and had the chance to put them away, but we didn't do that. When that happens, you have to give a lot of credit to the opponents. North Carolina did a great job tonight.

North Carolina 5, Illinois 2
Feb 04, 2017 at Atkins Tennis Center
Singles competition
1. Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. William Blumberg (NC) 6-4, 6-2
2. #38 Ronnie Schneider (NC) def. #29 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2)
3. #100 Gui Gomes (ILL) def. Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-3, 6-4
4. Robert Kelly (NC) def. Julian Childers (ILL) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
5. Jack Murray (NC) def. #85 Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. #57 Joshua Peck (NC) def. Zeke Clark (ILL) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
Doubles competition
1. Robert Kelly/William Blumberg (NC) def. Gui Gomes/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 6-3
2. #43 Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (NC) def. Alex Jesse/Vuk Budic (ILL) 6-4
3. Aleks Vukic/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) vs. Simon Soendergaard/Blaine Boyden (NC) 5-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,3,4,6,5,2)
T-2:55 A-712


Other Notable Results

  • #9 Northwestern defeated Harvard 4-0 with the Wildcats winning all but one set in singles. 
  • #10 Texas took the doubles point and Harrison Scott, Leo Telles, and John Mee won in straight sets to give Texas a 4-3 win over Virginia Tech - all three Virginia Tech wins came after the clinch with Jai Corbett, Alexandre Ribeiro, and Henrik Korsgaard winning at 1, 2, and 4. 
  • #13 Oklahoma dropped the doubles point to Arkansas but the Sooners rebounded in singles with Andrew Harris, Alex Ghilea, Florin Bragusi, and Adrian Chamdani winning in straight sets while Adrian Oetbach won in three sets. Jose Salazar defeated Spencer Papa 7-6(3) in the third in the final match to make the final 5-2 OU. 
  • #19 Columbia knocked off Buffalo 6-1 with three of the six singles matches going three sets. 
  • San Diego got past city rival San Diego State 4-2 - SDSU took the doubles point and got a straight set win from Milen Ianakiev at No. 1 but San Diego won at 3, 4, 5 and 6 with Josh Page getting the clinch at 3. 
  • Indiana ran its record to 6-0 (best start since going 8-0 in 2003) with a 5-2 win over Princeton
  • Georgia State dropped the doubles point and all six first sets against North Florida but amazingly they turned it around and won at 1, 3, 4, and 5 with Quentin Coulaud clinching 6-3 in the third at No. 4. 
  • Utah blanked Denver 6-0 with David Micevski clinching with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 1
  • Oregon rolled over Cal Poly 7-0 with the Ducks winning all 12 sets in singles. 
  • Vanderbilt head coach Ian Duvenhage won his 150th match at Vandy after the Commodores defeated Western Michigan 5-2
  • VCU came back from 3-1 down to Elon 4-3 - two matches finished 7-6 in the third and VCU's Javier Amantegui clinched in the decider at No. 5 with a 6-7, 7-5, 6-0 win
  • Michigan State won a pair of close matches defeating Ball State 5-2 and IUPUI 4-3 - Alexander Kim put MSU ahead of BSU 4-1 with a 6-1 third set win at No. 4 and Doug Francken clinched the IUPUI match at No. 6 (according to MSU's Twitter though MSU recap doesn't mention him playing singles). 
  • Kennesaw State won a 4-3 thriller of Belmont with senior Simon Pritchard winning the deciding match 6-4 in the third at No 1. 
  • Notre Dame won a pair of 7-0 matches in a doubleheader sweep over Monmouth and William & Mary - Irish won 24 of 25 sets in singles. 
  • Penn State won a pair of 7-0 matches in a Saturday sweep over Cleveland State and Lehigh - the Nits won 23 of 24 sets in singles



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