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|
|2||Ohio State||144||0||2||North Carolina||144||0|
|3||Wake Forest||137||0||3||Ohio State||138||0|
|10||Oklahoma State||95||1||10||Georgia Tech||96||2|
|20||Georgia Tech||32||-1||20||South Carolina||29||2|
|25||South Carolina||10||-3||T25||Kentucky/Mississippi State||10||NR|
Others Receiving Votes: SMU (6), Stanford (5), Cornell (3), Ole Miss (1) Dropped Out: Stanford (25)
Others Receiving Votes: Arkansas (3), Rice (2), Miami (1), Notre Dame (1) Dropped Out: LSU (23), Miami (25)
Purdue came into Wednesday evenings match against No. 23 Illinois having lost 24 straight to the Illini with its last win in the series coming on March 30, 1993. Illinois dropped the doubles point for the ninth time this season with Purdue winning 6-2 at No. 2 and No. 3 and then the teams split first sets in singles. Purdue senior Benjamin Ugarte and freshman Stephan Koenigsfest won in straight sets at No. 3 and No. 4 to put Purdue in front 3-0 before Illinois mounted a comeback. Illinois junior Aron Hiltzik won in straight sets at No. 2, freshman Aleks Kovacevic won in straight sets at No. 5, and junior Aleks Vukic won in three sets at No. 1.
Moments after Vukic tied the match at 3-3, Purdue freshman Athell Bennett closed out Illinois freshman Noe Khlif at No. 6 by a 6-3, 7-6(4) score to give Purdue its landmark win.
Purdue 4, #23 Illinois 3
Mar 01, 2017 at Basham Courts (West Lafayette, Ind.)
1. #29 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.85) def. Ricky Medinilla (PUR_M 13.57) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
2. #23 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.57) def. #89 Gergely Madarasz (PUR_M 13.98) 6-4, 7-5
3. Benjamin Ugarte (PUR_M 13.76) def. Gui Gomes (ILL 13.62) 6-4, 6-2
4. Stephan Koenigsfest (PUR_M 14.03) def. Julian Childers (ILL 13.43) 6-3, 6-1
5. Aleks Kovacevic (ILL 14.07) def. Dominik Sochurek (PUR_M 12.75) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
6. Athell Bennett (PUR_M 12.90) def. Noe Khlif (ILL 13.41) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
1. Stephan Koenigsfest/Dominik Sochurek (PUR_M) vs. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 3-5, unfinished
2. Ricky Medinilla/Benjamin Ugarte (PUR_M) def. Alex Jesse/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-2
3. Athell Bennett/Gergely Madarasz (PUR_M) def. Zeke Clark/Gui Gomes (ILL) 6-2
Illinois 7-5; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,3,2,5,1,6)
Match played indoors on the Basham Courts at the Schwartz Tennis Center.
There was a top 10 showdown that flew under the radar on Tuesday night with No. 7 Cal holding off No. 9 Michigan 4-3. Cal was playing without an injured Filip Bergevi for the fourth match in a row with Bergevi normally playing at No. 3 singles while forming the ITA No. 2 doubles team with Florian Lakat.
Cal managed to take the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 but Michigan fought back in singles by sweeping the bottom three spots to go in front 3-1. Cal junior Billy Griffith broke Michigan's Alex Knight to go up 4-3 in the third and shortly thereafter he'd serve it out to win it 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Cal senior Florian Lakat tied the match at 3-all with a 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 win at No. 1 so the spotlight shifted to No. 2. Cal senior Andre Goransson had three match points in the second set against Michigan's Myles Schalet but Schalet fought each off to take the set in a tiebreak 10-8. Goransson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set and then he fought off two break points to hold for 4-1. Goransson would break Schalet on the no-ad point to close out the match with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win.
Feb. 28, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. (Hellman Tennis Complex)
1. Andre Goransson/Billy Griffith (Cal) def. No. 22 Jathan Malik/Connor Johnston (Michigan), 6-2
2. No. 28 Alex Knight/Runhao Hua vs. Dominic Barretto/Florian Lakat (Cal) 5-4 Unfinished
3. Bjorn Hoffmann/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Myles Schalet/Kevin Wong (Michigan), 6-3
1. No. 20 Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Jathan Malik (Michigan), 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-2
2. No. 26 Andre Goransson (Cal) def. No. 66 Myles Schalet (Michigan), 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-2
3. No. 80 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Alex Knight (Michigan), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
4. No. 95 Kevin Wong (Michigan) def. Bjorn Hoffmann (Cal), 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
5. Runhao Hua (Michigan) def. J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 6-3, 7-5
6. Carter Lin (Michigan) def. Dominic Barretto (Cal), 6-2, 6-3
"Our team is doing a great job of staying focused, even in the face of great adversity. Even though we went down 3-1, I could tell our guys weren't giving up. I think our guys actually like the drama. That's our first full match under our new lights, and it felt great to have so many fans there cheering us on."
"I tried to stay focused throughout the match," Goransson said. "I was a little bit unlucky on some of the match points in the second set. He played really well on most of them. I have to give credit to him. But I think I was pretty resilient today."
Of celebrating with his teammates, he added, "You don't get to play these three-all matches every day, and when you do, it's really amazing to have all your brothers, basically, on the side (of the court). It's an amazing feeling."
The draws are out for the 128th Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship with Oklahoma State's Arjun Kadhe and Lucas Gerch the co-#1 seeds with USC associate head coach Kris Kwinta and USC volunteer assistant coach Deiton Baughman. The full draws are available here.
The ITA announced the creation of a new award to honor longtime coach and educator Dr. Ann Lebedeff that will be endowed by tennis icon Billie Jean King. Per the ITA's release "The ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award will stand to honor a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence on and off the court, leadership on his or her team, as well as on his or her college campus and in his or her community. The annual recipient of the award will have demonstrated grit (i.e. passion and perseverance towards long-term goals), a commitment to social justice and equality and will have pushed others to be leaders in addition to demonstrating his or her own leadership.".