Wednesday, 22 February 2017 14:35

February 22nd USTA Rankings Release, Southern Utah Notches Its First-Ever Win, Virginia Tech Hosts First-Ever Playfair Dual

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The USTA released its top 25 on Wednesday with both the Virginia men and Florida women unanimous No. 1s. Ohio State and Wake Forest were unanimous No. 2 and No. 3 on the men's side while North Carolina and Cal were No. 4 and No. 5. The women's top three stayed the same while Stanford and Georgia swapped spots at No. 4 and No. 5. 

Texas made the biggest jump on the men's side rising five spots to No. 9 while Northwestern took the biggest plunge falling seven spots to No. 13. There wasn't a whole lot of movement on the women's side with UCLA and Baylor each rising three spots to No. 14 and No. 19 respectively while no one fell more than two spots. TCU was the only team to go from unranked to ranked on the women's side with Northwestern dropping out. 

Screen Shot 2017 02 22 at 9.38.13 PM

USTA Poll Information: there are eight college tennis "experts" on the voting panel, including yours truly, and each of us ranked 25 teams from numbers 1 to 25, with the first-place team receiving 25 points and the last-place team receiving one. When voting we were to consider strength of schedule, Top 25 wins/losses, road wins/losses and personnel adjustments for each program while also basing our vote on performance, not reputation or preseason speculation. For control, the highest and lowest outlying ranking for each team on the ballot was removed. Therefore, the maximum number of points a team can receive is 150. First-place votes were not tallied. 

USTA MEN'S TOP 25     USTA WOMEN'S TOP 25  
Rank School Votes Chg Rank School Votes Chg
1 Virginia 150 0 1 Florida 150 0
2 Ohio State 144 0 2 North Carolina 143 0
3 Wake Forest 138 0 3 Ohio State 138 0
4 North Carolina 130 4 4 Stanford 131 1
5 Cal 124 0 5 Georgia 124 -1
6 Oklahoma 112 4 6 Oklahoma State 120 -1
7 UCLA 109 1 7 California 107 0
8 Florida 106 -4 8 Michigan 105 1
9 Texas 104 5 9 Texas Tech 104 -2
10 USC 101 -3 10 Pepperdine 98 0
11 Oklahoma State 89 0 11 Auburn 90 0
12 Baylor 81 1 12 Georgia Tech 78 0
13 Northwestern 79 -7 13 Vanderbilt 76 0
14 Michigan 65 3 T14 Texas 57 1
15 Georgia 63 -3 T14 UCLA 57 3
16 Kentucky 56 -1 16 Arizona State 53 -2
17 Illinois 43 -1 17 Ole MIss 51 -2
18 Mississippi State 42 1 18 Duke 41 -1
19 Georgia Tech 37 -1 19 Baylor 39 3
20 Vanderbilt 29 1 20 Texas A&M 37 -1
21 Columbia 25 -1 21 USC 32 -2
22 South Carolina 18 3 22 South Carolina 28 -1
T23 Texas A&M 17 -2 23 LSU 18 1
T23 Tulane 17 1 24 TCU 16 NR
25 Stanford 13 -2 25 Miami FL 14 -2
Others Receiving Votes: SMU (2)
Others Receiving Votes: Miss St (3), Northwestern (2), Rice (2), Tennessee (2), Wake Forest (2), Kentucky (1)

  

 

While I was busy focusing on the National Team Indoors last weekend there was another good story that broke on Friday that I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of. 

Southern Utah University started up its men's program in the fall of 2012 and in its first four years it went 0-56 while being outscored 384-8. Over the summer a coaching change was made with Sadhaf Pervez brought in to try and lead the program to new heights. SUU dropped its first three matches this year but in its fourth against Creighton the Thunderbirds got the job done with freshman Conor Tordoff winning the deciding match at No. 1 singles 7-6, 1-6, 7-5. 

Huge congrats to Sadhaf and the entire SUU Thunderbird Team! May there be many more wins in your immediate future. 

 

 

Southern Utah 4, Creighton 3
Feb 17, 2017 at Greeley, Colo.
Singles competition
1. TORDOFF, Conor (SUU) def. Armando Gandini (CU) 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
2. Harrison Lang (CU) def. ALBA, Micah (SUU) 6-0, 6-2
3. FEIGIN, Guy (SUU) def. Brooks Kendall (CU) 6-4, 7-5
4. YEACKER, Ben (SUU) def. Jake Glazer (CU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Daniel Lopez-Rey (CU) def. PALACIO, Sergio (SUU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. RUPA, Cedric (SUU) def. Mac Mease (CU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Harrison Lang/Brooks Kendall (CU) def. PALACIO, Sergio/ALBA, Micah (SUU) 6-4
2. Mac Mease/Alex Koca (CU) def. TORDOFF, Conor/RUPA, Cedric (SUU) 6-2
3. FEIGIN, Guy/YEACKER, Ben (SUU) def. Armando Gandini/Daniel Lopez-Rey (CU) 6-4
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,4,6,3,5,1)

Quotes from SUU's recap
“Today we made history for our men's tennis team at Southern Utah University. Every person on our team contributed to this win today,” head coach Sadhaf Pucher said. “I would like to give credit to my volunteer assistant coach (Colin Brown) for keeping Ben (Yeacker) and Cedric (Rupa) resilient throughout their match. We need to build off of this and finish strong with our next three matches.”

 

On Tuesday afternoon Virginia Tech hosted the College of Charleston in the first-ever PlaySight Playfair Challenge dual-match where players were able to challenge line calls. According to the Virginia Tech recap there were 14 challenges made during the match of which three were correct. Virginia Tech won the match comfortably 7-0 and below are two of those 14 challenges. There will be another Playfair match on Thursday when USC hosts Cal Poly. 

 

 

“I think being a part of a history-making match was a lot of fun for the players and the coaches,” said VT head coach Jim Thompson. “The challenge system forces players to think it through a bit more before they make a call or question one. It was a really great experience and one I hope we can repeat in the future.”

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Couple of other notes and tidbits from the last several days:

  • Miami (FL) hosted Florida State on Tuesday in a match that was broadcasted online at ESPN3/ACC Network and while I think it's great that college tennis is getting more "national" airtime I don't get why the match was scheduled at 10 a.m.....the guys announcing did a nice job and the picture was good but I'm guessing viewership was probably less than 100.
  • The top-ranked Florida women really took care of business over the weekend extending their home winning streak to No. 163 with a 4-2 win over Oklahoma State and a 4-1 win over Stanford - can anyone stop the Gators this year?
  • Stanford defeated Oklahoma State last Friday night in a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship Final - the match was played in Lake Nona as part of the USTA's College MatchDay Series.
  • Ohio State defeated Michigan 5-1 last Friday afternoon in a top 10 women's matchup - the Buckeyes won a tight doubles point and then took four lopsided singles matches. 
  • Columbia won the "unofficial" preseason men's Ivy League Tournament better known as the ECAC Championships after the Lions defeated St. John's, Dartmouth, and Cornell. St. John's was the only non-Ivy League school participating with Brown sitting out. 

 

 

Read 2115 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 21:43

2 comments

  • Comment Link wondering Friday, 24 February 2017 09:54 posted by wondering

    Bobby you note that Northwestern took the biggest plunge in the USTA rankings but missed out mentioning when you talked about the ITA rankings the similar even bigger plunges in that ranking set that UCLA and Georgia took. Are you slightly biased in favor of the Bulldogs Bobby?

  • Comment Link Bobby Knight Friday, 24 February 2017 11:45 posted by Bobby Knight

    If you noticed in my ITA ranking recap, I didn't single out anybody (including Northwestern) because everybody moved a lot.

    Since the USTA poll is more stable, I only singled out the one team that moved up the most and the one team that moved down the most.

    I had Georgia at 18 in my USTA Ballot this week while my peers had them at 15. The two previous weeks I had them 14 and 12 while my peers had them 12 and 10 - if anything I may be too harsh but biased in favor - nope.

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