Friday, 28 April 2017 21:53

Texas Tech Refuses to Lose, TCU Tops Oklahoma, Chalk In ACC & Big Ten, UCLA/USC Take 4, Mississippi State Muffles South Carolina

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Texas Tech came into this week knowing that it's only way to earn an NCAA Tournament berth was to win the conference tournament and amazingly they now sit just one match away from accomplishing that goal. On Saturday afternoon, Texas Tech picked up its third top 10 win in the last six days after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat No. 8 Oklahoma State 4-3. Oklahoma State jumped out to the early lead after winning a close doubles point and then Artur Dubinski made it 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 5. Texas Tech came back with three-set wins from Bjorn Thomson, Alex Sendegeya, and Connor Curry to go in front 3-2 before Oklahoma State's Lukas Finzelberg won in straight sets at No. 6. Texas Tech senior Jolan Cailleau would put the Red Raiders over the top with a match clinching 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 24 Julian Cash at No. 1. 


The win will send Texas Tech into the top 30 but because they have a sub .500 record they will not be eligible for a NCAA at-large bid so it'll be or nothing on Saturday against TCU. 



#41 Texas Tech 4, #8 Oklahoma State 3
April 28, 2017 – Headington Family Tennis Center (Norman, Okla.)
Singles results
1 – No. 29 Jolan Cailleau (TTU) defeats No. 24 Julian Cash (OSU): 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-1
2 – No. 79 Bjorn Thomson (TTU) defeats No. 103 Arjun Kadhe (OSU): 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
3 – Alex Sendegeya (TTU) defeats No. 110 Lucas Gerch (OSU): 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-1
4 – Connor Curry (TTU) defeats Tristan Meraut (OSU): 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
5 – Artur Dubinski (OSU) defeats Carlos DiLaura (TTU): 7-6 (4), 6-2
6 – No. 76 Lukas Finzelberg (OSU) defeats Jackson Cobb (TTU): 6-4, 7-6 (6)
Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 2, 6, 1
Doubles Results
1 – No. 6 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU) defeats No. 11 Connor Curry/Bjorn Thomson (TTU):
7-6 (6)
2 – Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU) defeats Jolan Cailleau/Carlos DiLaura (TTU): 6-4
3 – Jackson Cobb/Alex Sendegeya (TTU) vs. Artur Dubinki/Tristan Meraut (OSU): 6-6 (9-9), unfinished
Order of finish: 2, 1
2017 Big 12 Championships – Semifinals
Oklahoma State (21-6); National Ranking: No. 8
Texas Tech (13-14); National Ranking: No. 41

Post-Match Quotes from Texas Tech's recap
"It doesn't matter how they win, our guys are leaving it all out there on the court," Masi said. "I told them at the beginning of the match, 'We don't have anywhere else to go. If we don't win, we don't have the rest of our season.' We have a couple seniors in Jolan and Carlos that know that any day can be their last day. I can't be any more proud of them than I was today. Our guys just didn't give up, and our guys didn't stop fighting. Even when we lost those close matches in doubles and tight first set in singles, we came back and won the matches."

"Connor got off to a racing start, beating the guy 6-0 in the first," Masi said. "Then, he had a little bit of a mental blip in the second but got right back engaged in the third. He play tough and had some easy service holds. Connor was ready to break the entire time and got one at 4-3 when his opponent double faulted. Then, he played a great service game at the end."

"Bjorn has been battling a lot of demons," Masi continued. "This guy has been playing so incredible well. He had three match points, faced some really close calls (ahead 5-3) and didn't get it. Bjorn came over at the changeover and said to me 'I'm still up 5-4'. He went out and broke the guy to win the match. A quick turnaround in terms of his belief and not necessarily thinking about losing those three match points. He just went out and overcame it."

"Jolan has been climbing up the latter left and right with the wins he's racking up," Masi said. "That's what you want is your senior leadership playing at No. 1. He's leading the program, leading the troops and doing an awesome job. He was very patient and very diligent during the last points I watched in the third set. He had his drop shots working, he loves those things. I thought he played a very persistent and consistent match against Julian and didn't let his opponent have anything."

"First and foremost, it's a final," Masi said. "I was told early on in my career 'If you get to a final, anything can happen.' I'm hoping that's the case. I think our guys deserve to be here and have reached a great point. We just need to go out and keep playing the same way – don't change a thing just because we're playing TCU. We didn't change anything today, and we can't change anything tomorrow. We just have to go out there, play hyped, play with that same desperation in a win-or-go-home situation and see where the cards lie. At the end of the day, if we can duplicate our effort and put a little pressure on them, my hope is we will come out on top."

Post-Match Quotes from OSU's recap
"Obviously it was a tough loss today, but you have to give credit to Texas Tech because they're a very good team," head coach Jay Udwadia said. "I thought our competitiveness was really good today, but overall our level of play wasn't where it needed to be. Texas Tech is riding a big wave of confidence right now and they also have great players as well, and that showed today."

"Today really could have gone either way," Udwadia said. "In those tiebreaks and third sets, Texas Tech was just a little bit tougher than we were in those moments. Now, we just have to make sure that we get our level of play where it needs to be heading into the tournament."



TCU won its 13th consecutive match and will be playing for its second straight Big 12 Tournament Championship after defeating No. 15 Oklahoma 4-1. Oklahoma struck first by taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 but TCU came back in singles and took four opening sets. TCU junior Cameron Norrie tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Andrew Harris at No. 1. Norrie was broke serving for the match up 5-3 in the second but he broke back to take it. 

TCU senior Jerry Lopez gave the Horned Frogs its first lead of the day with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Florin Bragusi at No. 4. Lopez was also broke serving for the match up 5-3 in the second but he broke back to win. TCU sophomore Alex Rybakov made it 3-1 after picking up a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 2 and then sophomore Reese Stalder clinched the win by breaking Adrian Oetzbach to win 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 at No. 6. Stalder served for it up 5-1 and 5-3 and had a few match points but it took a break to close it out. 

Highlights and comments from Oklahoma head coach Nick Crowell 

#4 TCU 4, #15 Oklahoma 1
Apr 28, 2017 at Norman, Oklahoma (Headington Family Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #1 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #30 Andrew Harris (OU) 6-4, 6-4
2. #20 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #18 Spencer Papa (OU) 7-5, 6-4
3. #85 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) vs. #40 Alex Ghilea (OU) 5-7, 5-6, unfinished
4. Jerry Lopez (TCU) def. #105 Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Trevor Johnson (TCU) vs. Jochen Bertsch (OU) 4-6, 6-3, 1-1, unfinished
6. Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Adrian Oetzbach (OU) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #15 Andrew Harris/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #33 Jerry Lopez/Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-4
2. #49 Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) vs. #66 Alex Ghilea/Florin Bragusi (OU) 5-6, unfinished
3. Jochen Bertsch/Adrian Oetzbach (OU) def. Trevor Johnson/Cameron Norrie (TCU) 7-5
Match Notes:
Oklahoma 15-10; National ranking #15
TCU 18-4; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,4,2,6)
Big 12 Men's Championships - Semifinals



Quotes from the Match - Head Coach David Roditi
“They obviously played better than us in doubles and they came out better prepared. That was a huge win for them at No. 3 doubles to win. It was back-and-forth at No. 1 and we let up on some leads and they took advantage of it. They deserve all the credit for that doubles point. I was very curious as to how this team would respond after losing the doubles point to such a good team on the road. Here we are and we are playing tomorrow. We responded the way we needed to respond. I am really proud of them. Our win at No. 4 was a critical win. (Florin) Bragusi has beaten us so many times and for Jerry (Lopez) to have lost to him twice last year and beat him today was huge. Cameron (Norrie) took control of his match there after a slow start and then (Alex) Rybakov was so solid. I was so proud of Reese (Stalder). He is a young player and he is doing a lot more than we all thought he would have to do due to the circumstances that we were in. There is no better example than Reese about being resilient and learning from each opportunity. I don’t even think he realizes how mentally tough of a win that was and it was able to give us a win and a chance to get the Big 12 title tomorrow.”

Post-Match Quotes from OU's recap
“We have won the doubles three matches in a row against top ten teams, and we've shown that we have depth,” head coach Nick Crowell said. “I just think we've got to continue to grow and use these two weeks to push forward.”

“I'm really proud of our effort and how we fought,” Crowell said. “Sometimes, they don't go your way, but we're looking forward to building momentum for the NCAA's off these last couple weeks.”



There were no upsets on Friday at the ACC Tournament in Rome, Georgia, with the top four seeds of Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech each winning. Top seed Wake Forest won every completed set in singles in its 4-0 win over NC State, second seed Virginia won seven of nine sets in singles in a 4-0 win over Louisville, third seed North Carolina won eight of ten sets in its 4-1 win over Florida State, and then in the closest match of the day it was Georgia Tech edging Duke 4-3 with Andrew Li clinching with a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 2. 



There were also no upsets at the Big Ten Tournament in West Lafayette with the top four seeds of Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin each pulling through. Ohio State and Michigan shutout Minnesota and Penn State while Illinois defeated Purdue 4-1 and Wisconsin knocked off Northwestern 4-2. 



UCLA and USC will meet for the fourth time this season (UCLA leads series 2-1) in Saturday night's Pac-12 Tournament Finals. The Bruins advanced to the finals with a 4-0 win over Stanford after Evan Zhu, Logan Staggs, and Max Cressy won in straight sets win singles. USC booked its spot in the finals with a 4-1 win over No. 10 California. SC took the doubles point and picked up straight set singles wins from Riley Smith, Jack Jaede, and Nick Crystal while Cal's lone point came from Filip Bergevi. In the five year history of the Pac-12 Tournament, UCLA has won the title three times with USC winning it the other two. 

No. 5 UCLA 4, No. 17 Stanford 0
April 28, 2017 at Ojai, Calif
Doubles results
1) Redlicki/Shu (UCLA) d. No. 57 Fawcett/Yale Goldberg (STAN) 6-2
2) DiGiulio/Rapp (UCLA) d. Genender/Kumar (STAN) 7-5
3) Sutter/Wilczynski (STAN) d. Cressy/Goldberg, UCLA 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
Singles results
1) No. 11 Tom Fawcett (STAN) led Gage Brymer (UCLA) 7-6, 1-1, susp.
2) Martin Redlicki (UCLA) led David Wilczynski (STAN) 7-5, 3-3, susp.
3) Evan Zhu (UCLA) d. Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-1, 6-0
4) Logan Stagg (UCLA) d. No. 112 Michael Genender (STAN) 6-3, 6-4
5) Austin Rapp (UCLA) vs. Brandon Sutter (STAN) 6-7, 6-1, susp.
6) Maxime Cressy (UCLA) d. William Genesen (STAN) 6-0, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 4, 6

#7 USC 4, #10 California 1
April 28, 2017 | Libbey Park (Ojai, Calif.)
Doubles results
(1) #11 Holt/R. Smith (USC) def. #4 Bergevi/Lakat (CAL) - 6-3
(2) #74 Goransson/Griffith (CAL) def. #80 Crystal/Verboven (USC) - 6-2
(3) Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. Hoffman/Nishimura (CAL) - 7-5
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
Singles results
(1) #23 Brandon Holt (USC) vs. #12 Florian Lakat (CAL) - susp.
(2) Nick Crystal (USC) def. #60 Andre Goransson (CAL) - 7-6, 6-2*
(3) Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. #82 Logan Smith (USC) - 6-4, 6-2
(4) Jack Jaede (USC) def. #88 Billy Griffith (CAL) - 6-4, 6-1
(5) Thibault Forget (USC) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) - susp.
(6) Riley Smith (USC) def. Bjorn Hoffman (CAL) - 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 6, 4, 3, 2*



The top three seeds pushed through to the semifinals at the SEC Tournament in Knoxville while the fourth seed, South Carolina, fell to the fifth seed Mississippi State 4-1. In the opening match of the day the No. 3 seed Florida ran through Ole Miss 4-0 in just 1 hour and 35 minutes. The Gators only dropped two games in doubles and then they won all but one completed set in singles.

In the second match of the day, the No. 2 seed Georgia won a close doubles point over Arkansas and then after splitting first sets the Bulldogs managed to close out each of its three first sets in straight sets. Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan played his first singles match since February 12 and was the first off the court with a straight set win at No. 6 - it was also his first singles win of the season. 

In the third quarterfinal of the day, the No. 1 seed Texas A&M took the doubles point over the host Tennessee and then after splitting first sets in singles the Aggies managed to close out each in straight sets. Texas A&M freshman Hady Habib clinched the 4-1 win with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win at No. 6.

In the final quarterfinal of the day it was the No. 5 seed Mississippi State edging the No. 4 seed South Carolina 4-1. Mississippi State won the doubles point when its No. 3 team won a tiebreak 8-6 but South Carolina came back in singles and took four opening sets (and served for No. 6 twice but lost it in a tiebreak). South Carolina's Gabriel Friedrich tied the match at 1-1 with a straight set win at No. 2 and it looked like Harrison O'Keefe might put up another point when he served up 6-4, 4-3 (40/40) at No. 1 however MSU's Nuno Borges broke on the no-ad point for 4-4 and then reeled off another eight games to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Borges's rally and O'Keefe's collapse seemed to bleed over into the other courts because next door at No. 3, MSU's Strahinja Rakic rallied from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 which MSU ahead 3-1. South Carolina's Yancy Dennis served for the match at No. 4 up 6-3, 5-4 but MSU's Niclas Braun broke and ended up taking the set in a tiebreak to force a third.

MSU freshman Giovanni Oradini would get the clinching win at No. 5 but it didn't come easy. Oradini was broke serving for the match up 5-3 in the third and then SC's Alex Fennell held for 5-5. Oradini held or 6-5 and then he broke Fennell at love to clinch it. 



[3] Florida 4, [6] Ole Miss 0
April 28, 2017 at Knoxville, Tenn (Barksdale Stadium)
Singles results
1. #8 Alfredo Perez (UF) def. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 6-3, 6-1
2. #81 Elliott Orkin (UF) vs. Tim Sandkaulen (OM) 6-4, 5-2, unfinished
3. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) vs. Fabian Fallert (OM) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
4. Maxx Lipman (UF) vs. Filip Kraljevic (OM) 6-7 (6-8), 1-0, unfinished
5. Johannes Ingildsen (UF) def. Grey Hamilton (OM) 6-4, 6-2
6. McClain Kessler (UF) def. Robert Mounger (OM) 6-3, 6-0
Doubles results
1. #5 Alfredo Perez/Johannes Ingildsen (UF) vs. #23 Fabian Fallert/Grey Hamilton (OM) 4-1, unfinished
2. Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Filip Kraljevic/Tim Sandkaulen (OM) 6-1
3. Chase Perez-Blanco/Joshua Wardell (UF) def. Ricardo Jorge/Robert Mounger (OM) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,5,1)



[2] Georgia 4, [7] Arkansas 1
April 28, 2017 at Knoxville, Tenn (Barksdale Stadium)
Singles results
1. #49 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) vs. #10 Mike Redlicki (AR) 2-6, *4-5, unfinished
2. #31 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) vs. #34 Jose Salazar (AR) 3-6,* 5-4, unfinished
3. #61 Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Oscar Mesquida (AR) 7-5, 6-0
4. Adam Sanjurjo (AR) def. Jan Zielinski (UGA) 6-2, 6-2
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Johan den Toom (AR) 6-2, 6-3
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Branch Terrell (AR) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles results
1. #2 Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. #3 Mike Redlicki/Jose Salazar (AR) 6-2
2. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Adam Sanjurjo/Johan den Toom (AR) 6-6, unfinished
3. Paul Oosterbaan/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Oscar Mesquida/Juan Marino (AR) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,5,4,3)



[1] Texas A&M 4, [9] Tennessee 1
April 28, 2017 at Knoxville, Tenn (Barksdale Stadium)
Singles results
1. #32 Timo Stodder (UT) vs. #6 Arthur Rinderknech (A&M), 6-3, 6-5* unf.
2. #47 Jordi Arconada (A&M) def. Luis Valero (UT), 6-2, 6-1
3. AJ Catanzariti (A&M) def. Srdjan Jakovljevic (UT), 6-4, 6-3
4. Scott Jones (UT) vs. Valentin Vacherot (A&M), 6-4, *4-5 unf.
5. Hady Habib (A&M) def. Jack Schipanski (UT), 6-3, 7-6 (3)
6. Luca Wiedenmann (UT) def. Aleksandre Bakshi (A&M), 6-4, 6-1
Doubles results
1. #20 Rinderknech/Catanzariti (A&M) def. #52 Valero/Stodder (UT), 6-2
2. Arconada/Habib (A&M) def. Schipanski/Jones (UT), 6-3
3. Jakovljevic/Bhat (UT) vs. Bakshi/Lunkin (A&M), 4-5
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 2); Singles (6, 2, 3, 5)



[5] Mississippi State 4, [4] South Carolina 1
April 28, 2017 at Knoxville, Tenn (Barksdale Stadium)
Singles results
1. #3 Nuno Borges (MSU) def. #67 Harrison O'Keefe (SC) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
2. #52 Gabriel Friedrich (SC) def. Mate Cutura (MSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
3. #111 Strahinja Rakic (MSU) def. Andrew Schafer (SC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Yancy Dennis (SC) vs. Niclas Braun (MSU) 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 1-1, unfinished
5. Giovanni Oradini (MSU) def. Alex Fennell (SC) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
6. Paul Jubb (SC) vs. Trevor Foshey (MSU) 6-7 (8-10), 6-1, 3-2, unfinished
Doubles results
1. #18 Harrison O'Keefe/Yancy Dennis (SC) def. #9 Niclas Braun/Trevor Foshey (MSU) 6-1
2. Mate Cutura/Vaughn Hunter (MSU) def. Alex Fennell/Thomas Mayronne (SC) 6-1
3. Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MSU) def. Gabriel Friedrich/Andrew Schafer (SC) 7-6 (8-6)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,1,3,5)


Full results from all conference tournaments are available on my mens and womens conference tournament central pages.  I'll be in Knoxville the rest of the week at the SEC Tournament so check me out on Twitter for all the latest happenings!

If you want to get the latest ranking updates check out my real-time rankings to see where everyone stands after today's matches - subscription required. 


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