Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:24

Aggie Avalanche Wipes Out Ohio State, Baylor Comeback Bites USC, Cal Closes Out Oracle With Win

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For the second time this week No. 2 Ohio State came up short in the state of Texas after No. 11 Texas A&M rallied to win 4-3.

Ohio State jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. Ohio State's No. 1 team of Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen broke for 2-1 and then they'd break again for 5-2 and would serve it out for 6-2. Ohio State's No. 3 team of JJ Wolf and Hunter Tubert came back from 0/40 down to hold for 3-2 and then they broke from 30/40 for 4-2. After two more holds they'd serve it out from 40/15 to win 6-3. The match at No. 2 went unfinished with Texas A&M serving at 3-4 (30/30) though A&M's Valentin Vacherot and Arthur Rinderknech had led 2-0 before Ohio State's Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce won three straight to go up 3-2. 

Ohio State kept the pedal to the medal in singles and took four opening sets but closing them out in straight sets would prove to be a tall order. Texas A&M freshman Hady Habib ran his dual-match record to 6-1 with a straight set win over Ohio State sophomore Hunter Tubert at No. 6. Tubert, who had only played singles in one dual-match prior to today, was called to action with Kyle Seelig out of the lineup for unknown reasons. Habib jumped out to a double break 3-0 lead in the opening set and he'd take the set 6-4. In the second set, Habib broke for 3-2 for Tubert broke right back for 3-3. The game of the match came when Tubert was serving at 4-4. Tubert went up 40/0 but Habib came back to break for 5-4 and then he served it out at love to win 6-4, 6-4. 

Just minutes later Ohio State would retake the lead at 2-1 after Mikael Torpegaard closed out Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets at No. 1. Torpegaard broke Rinderknech on the no-ad point in the opening game of the match and then he broke again on a no-ad point to go up 5-2. Torpegaard served out the opening set at love to take it 6-2. The second set stayed on serve until Rinderknech got broke on his 3-3 service game after leading 40/15. Torpegaard would hold serve two more times to close it out 6-2, 6-4.

The next match to go final came at No. 3 singles between Ohio State freshman JJ Wolf and Texas A&M junior Jordi Arconada. Wolf came out of the gates on fire and won 9 of the first 10 games to go in front 6-0, 3-1. Wolf led 4-2 in the second but Arconada held from 40/15, broke from 30/40, and then held on the no-ad point to take his first lead at 5-4. Wolf held from 40/15 to even it at 5-5 but Arconada held and then he broke at love to take the second set 7-5. The third set wasn't very close as Arconada won the first five games and then he came back from 15/40 down on his final service game to close it out 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

The match was now even at 2-2 but Ohio State was still in pretty good shape because Hugo Di Feo had a set lead at No. 2, Herkko Pollanen had match points at No. 4, and Martin Joyce had opened up a 4-1 lead in the second set after dropping the first. 

Pollanen started off his match against Texas A&M sophomore Aleksandre Bakshi in a 2-0 hole but a break and a hold evened it at 2-2. It stayed on serve until Pollanen broke from 30/40 to go up 5-4 and then he served out the set from 40/15 to take it 6-4. In the second set. Pollanen broke for 2-1 but a few games later Bakshi would break from 15/40 to even it at 3-3. Pollanen broke back at love for 4-3 and then he held on the no-ad point for 5-3. Pollanen had two match points when Bakshi served at 3-5 (30/40) but Bakshi fought them both off to hold for 4-5. Pollanen had two more match points when he served at 5-4 (40/30) but Bakshi took the next two to break for 5-5. Bakshi held from 40/15 for 6-5 and then he broke from 30/40 to take the set 7-5. 

Meanwhile over at No. 5, Texas A&M freshman Valentin Vacherot had erased that 4-1 second set deficit against Martin Joyce and had tied it up at 5-5. Vacherot had taken the first set in a lopsided tiebreak so if he could close out the second set he'd put A&M's third point on the board. Vacherot would break Joyce's 5-5 service game from 30/40 but Joyce broke back from 15/40 to force another tiebreak. The server won the first four points of the tiebreak but then Vacherot went up a mini-break at 3-2 and then extended it to 5-2. Joyce trimmed it to 5-3 but then Vacherot went up 6-3 with a chance to close it out on his serve. Joyce fought off one match point but he wouldn't fight off a second as Vacherot ran his dual-match record to 13-2 with a 7-6, 7-6 win. 

Texas A&M was now firmly in control of the match because they had the lead plus Aleksandre Bakshi was pulling away from Herkko Pollanen at No. 4. Bakshi won the first three games of the third set to take a single break 3-0 lead and he'd make the break lead hold up and close out Pollanen 6-3 in the third to clinch the match. 

The final score ended up being 4-3 because right at the same time Bakshi was clinching Ohio State's Hugo Di Feo closed out AJ Catanzariti 6-1 in the third at No. 2. Great comeback by Texas A&M to win it's 11th straight match. 



#11 Texas A&M 4, #2 Ohio State 3
Mar 19, 2017 at College Station, TX (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #8 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #3 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (4-7), 6-1
3. #115 Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. JJ Wolf (OSU) 0-6, 7-5, 6-1
4. Aleksandre Bakshi (TAMU) def. #66 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
5. Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. #111 Martin Joyce (OSU) 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-4)
6. Hady Habib (TAMU) def. Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #15 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Aleksandre Bakshi/Hady Habib (TAMU) 6-2
2. Valentin Vacherot/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) vs. #32 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce (OSU) *3-4 (30/30), unf
3. JJ Wolf/Hunter Tubert (OSU) def. AJ Catanzariti/Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 6-3
Match Notes:
Ohio State 16-3; National ranking #2
Texas A&M 12-3; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3); Singles (6, 1, 3, 5, 4, 2)
T-3:06 A-320

Quotes from head coach Steve Denton via A&M's recap

Opening statement…
"Our guys continue to battle after losing four first sets and dropping the doubles point. The match did not look great for us, but our guys just will not go away and keep fighting for every point. I thought the difference was Jordi [Arconada] being down a set and a break, but finding a way to win the second set and turn that match around. [Aleksandre] Bakshi losing the first set, but fighting off match points in the second set and then pulling it out in the third was huge. A lot of guys contributed and picked us up even though we were down. Not getting ahead of ourselves and continuing to compete really hard. We have some confidence going and some momentum, that's what happens when you continue to believe that you are never out of a match."

On the match against Ohio State…
"Nobody should have lost that match today. That was a really high level, well played college tennis match. We have so much respect for Ohio State, they are a great team. For us to be able to beat them even after getting behind was a major moment for our team. We are really proud of their effort today."

On Aleksandre Bakshi clinching the win…
"I thought Bakshi began to play a little more aggressive, he did a great job on the return game to stay in the match. He got a couple breaks and even after getting down he played some really good return games. He did not get discouraged and kept fighting, that can happen in those matches where a point or two can be the difference. We are happy for him that he was able to come through for us at the end of the match."



Sixth-ranked Baylor captured the title at the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Challenge with a come from behind 4-3 win over seventh-ranked USC. USC took the doubles point and four first sets in singles and both Jack Jaede and Riley Smith won in straight sets at No. 4 and No. 6 to give USC a 3-0 lead. Baylor's Johannes Schretter and Will Little won in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 5 and both Juan Benitez and Max Tchoutakian came back from a set down to win in three sets with Tchoutakian clinching at No. 3. 

#6 Baylor def. #7 USC 4-3
March 19, 2017 | Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
Doubles Competition
1. #19 Holt/R. Smith (USC) def. Benitez/Little (BU) 6-4
2. Crystal/Verboven (USC) vs. Schretter/Bendeck (BU) unfinished
3. Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. Tchoutakian/Frantzen (BU) 6-4
Singles competition
1. #15 Juan Benitez (Baylor) def. #16 Brandon Holt (USC) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. #81 Johannes Schretter (Baylor) def. Nick Crystal (USC) 6-4, 6-3
3. #35 Max Tchoutakian (Baylor) def. #45 Logan Smith (USC) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
4. Jack Jaede (USC) def. Jimmy Bendeck (Baylor) 6-3, 6-1
5. Will Little (Baylor) def.Thibault Forget (USC) 6-3, 7-5
6. Riley Smith (USC) def. Constantin Frantzen (Baylor) 7-5, 6-2
Match Notes
USC 17-3; National ranking #7
Baylor 16-3; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,6,2,1,5.3) 

Quotes from BU's recap

“It was a great performance by the guys. I am really proud of Max. It was his first time to clinch in that situation. That is really special for any player. We talk about that a lot. We want every guy walking up to every match hoping they get to be in that position. It is a really special thing as a college tennis player to be last match on with both teams cheering. I am really happy for Max that he got that opportunity as a senior and did a great job.” – head coach Matt Knoll on Max Tchoutakian clinching the match

“It was a match that was really good for us and I would have said that had we lost. I think it was a tough, hard fought match. I am really pleased with how much we are improving. I think we are a way better team than we were even a week ago. This has been a real good week for us in terms of our preparation before we came out here. I feel like we are heading in the right direction and continuing to improve.” – Knoll on his team


In the third place in Indian Wells it was Cal defeating No. 9 Oklahoma 4-1 with JT Nishimura clinching with a 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6.

#13 Cal 4, #9 Oklahoma 1
March 19, 2017, in Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
Doubles competition
1. No. 1 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal) def. No. 58 Spencer Papa/Alex Ghilea (OU), 6-1
2. No. 54 Andre Goransson/Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Florin Bragusi/Jochen Bertsch (OU), 7-5*
3. Mason Bridegan/Adrian Oetzbach (OU) def. Bjorn Hoffmann/J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 6-2
Singles competition
1. No. 14 Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Spencer Papa (OU), 6-2, 7-5
2. Alex Ghilea (OU) def. No. 30 Andre Goransson (Cal), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. No. 109 Filip Bergevi (Cal) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU), Unfinished
4. No. 53 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Jochen Bertsch (OU), 6-3, 6-0
5. Bjorn Hoffmann (Cal) vs. Adrian Oetzbach (OU), Unfinished
6. J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Arnaud Restifo (OU), 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
Match Notes
Cal 11-5; National ranking #13
Oklahoma 12-6; National ranking #9
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4, 1, 2, 6^)


Other Notable Results:

  • #4 North Carolina def. Virginia Tech 4-3 - Tar Heels took the doubles point and Jack Murray put them ahead 4-1 with a straight set win at No. 5
  • #12 Georgia def. #43 Tennessee 4-3 - Bulldogs took the doubles point and freshman Nathan Ponwith won the decider 6-2 in the third at No. 2
  • #28 Florida State def. Miami FL 7-0 - Noles won all but one set in singles
  • #32 South Florida def. #33 SMU 4-2 - Bulls won the doubles point and Sasha Gozun clinched 6-2 in the third at No. 1 in a match that was played at Indian Wells
  • #36 Old Dominion def. Brown 4-2 - Brown took the doubles point and got a quick win at No. 6 from Jacob Walker but ODU's Adam Moundir clinched 7-6(2) in the third at No. 1
  • Purdue def. #45 Tulsa 4-1 - Boilers dropped the doubles point but picked up four straight set wins in singles


Also a shoutout to the Oregon women who defeated No. 32 USC for the first time in school history. Alyssa Tobita won the deciding match at No. 2 singles over No. 38 Jessica Failla 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 to snap a 22-match losing streak to the Trojans. Oregon's recap has plenty of good quotes so make sure you check that out! 



Read 1258 times Last modified on Monday, 20 March 2017 09:08


  • Comment Link Paddy Smites Monday, 20 March 2017 09:43 posted by Paddy Smites

    What's wrong with the SEC?

  • Comment Link Anonymour Monday, 20 March 2017 13:33 posted by Anonymour

    Bobby, I am sure you aren't living in a vacuum of college tennis only and must have seen one or two of the games of March Madness. It seems like EVERY telecast of an NCAA basketball tournament shows both teams shaking hands at the end. That sadly never happens in the NCAA tennis tournament. It's obvious to me that basketball is doing a much better job promoting basketball and is very aware of what they show during the tournament. Given that NCAA basketball has both sides shaking hands at the end WHY IS COLLEGE TENNIS SO SELF INTERESTED???

    Another HUMONGOUS contrast is that basketball needs five guys on the floor and yet somehow all the teams manage to finagle NCAA permission for THIRTEEN versus FOUR full ride scholarships. College tennis has a big deficit to make up inside the offices at the NCAA apparently. It's great that YOU care but when are the coaches going to start caring and when are the players going to start showing some understanding to their opponents after the matches are all done?

  • Comment Link Bobby Knight Tuesday, 21 March 2017 14:04 posted by Bobby Knight

    After each individual match those players are supposed to shake hands but I agree it would be nice to see a team handshake like at the end of each basketball game. I was looking through the ITA handbook and didn't see any mention of it which surprised me a little.

    The scholarship situation all comes back to revenue vs. non-revenue and Title IX. Not sure how that will ever get remedied unless the sport can find a way to start generating revenue.

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