Saturday, 13 May 2017 23:37

Sweet 16 Is Set - Illinois Rally Stuns Oklahoma State, Texas Triumphs Over Tulane, Pac-12/Big 12 Send 4

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For the most part Friday was a pretty dull day but Saturday delivered us some gems including two big comeback wins. I'll start with the upset of the day which came in Stillwater when Illinois rallied from 3-0 down to stun No. 11 seed Oklahoma State 4-3. The Cowboys took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 and then each team took three opening sets in singles. Oklahoma State seniors Lucas Gerch and Lukas Finzelberg made quick work of their opponents at No. 3 and No. 6 to make it 3-0 but Illinois started winning all the close sets and got back in the match. 

Aron Hiltzik put the Illini on the board with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 2 which elicited a big fist pump from head coach Brad Dancer and then both Aleks Kovacevic and Zeke Clark would win their matches within seconds of each other to tie it up at 3-3. Clark came back from a 4-0 first set deficit to take the set 6-4 and then he won the second set in a tiebreak by a 10-8 score. Kovacevic had a chance to close his match out in straight sets but after failing to do so he won the third set 6-0. 

Illinois junior Aleks Vukic, who missed yesterday's match against Drake, would get the clincher with a 7-6, 7-6 win over Julian Cash at No. 1. Illinois is headed back to the Sweet 16 for the first time in two years and in doing so that means that an unseeded team has advanced to the Sweet 16 every year since the NCAA field was expanded to 64 teams in 1999.  

 

 

 

#25 Illinois 4, #10 Oklahoma State 3
May 13, 2017 at Stillwater, Oklahoma (Greenwood Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #3 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. #26 Julian Cash (OSU) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4)
2. #41 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. #105 Arjun Kadhe (OSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
3. Lucas Gerch (OSU) def. Gui Gomes (ILL) 6-3, 6-0
4. Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) def. Artur Dubinski (OSU) 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-0
5. Zeke Clark (ILL) def. Tristan Meraut (OSU) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8)
6. #76 Lukas Finzelberg (OSU) def. Vuk Budic (ILL) 6-1, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #7 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU) def. Alex Jesse/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-3
2. Gui Gomes/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU) 7-5
3. Artur Dubinski/Tristan Meraut (OSU) def. Zeke Clark/Vuk Budic (ILL) 6-4
Match Notes:
Illinois 18-11 (8-3 Big Ten); National ranking #25
Oklahoma State 22-7 (3-2 Big 12); National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,6,2,1,5,4)
NCAA Men's Tournament - Second Round
T-2:40 A-350

Post-Match Quotes from Illinois's recap
Head Coach Brad Dancer's Thoughts - "I am proud of the win but way more proud of how we chose to execute. Kova [Aleks Kovacevic] had multiple match points in second set and doesn't blink coming out for the third. Zeke [Clark] gets passed by a backhand slice on match point and 30 minutes later he's coming in again on his next match point. Aron [Hiltzik] slaying his doubts and then starting to come after the ball like only Aron can. Vuki [Aleks Vukic] playing just as a warrior-he pulled that one out purely on guts. It was a great gritty effort from the squad. As always, the whole team wants to thank all the fans that traveled to Stillwater to make it feel like a home match here. The support we have around the country is incredible."

Post-Match Quotes from OSU's recap
"It was a seesaw match for us," head coach Jay Udwadia said. "It came down to a couple of really close sets on some different courts. We went down in a couple of those sets, but I thought Illinois really came to play in both singles and doubles. I credit them because they came in and competed very well and deserved to win today.

"Our team had a great season this year. It's just unfortunate to not be able to make it to the main site of the NCAA Tournament with the level of talent we have and the way our seniors have helped shape this program into one of the premier programs in the country."

"I had an awesome time playing here at OSU these past four years," Gerch said. "We had a lot of ups and downs, but traveling with the guys and going out and competing with my teammates and coaches every day was an awesome experience and I'll always remember my time here in Stillwater."

"I feel bad for our guys right now," Udwadia said. "They need to keep their heads up though because we had a tremendous season. I'm definitely proud of their effort all year and I'm tremendously proud of our seniors for everything they've done for this program. I'm looking forward to our guys returning next season and getting the process going again.

 

 

While Illinois had the biggest upset of the day I'd say without a doubt the match of the day took place in Austin between Texas and Tulane. Tulane jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after winning at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and then each team took three first sets in singles. Texas freshman Yuya Ito played for the first time in almost a month and yet he was the first one off the court with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 3. 

Tulane junior Constantin Schmitz put the Green Wave back in front with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 1 and then it looked like senior Chi-Shan Jao would make it 3-1 when he had three match points while serving up 6-3, 5-3 (40/15) against Texas sophomore Rodrigo Banzer at No. 6. However Banzer would come back to break and would eventually force a tiebreak. Before the tiebreak got started two more courts would finish up as Tulane freshman Luis Erlenbusch won 0-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) win at No. 4 while Texas sophomore Harrison Scott won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 at No. 2.

Tulane needed just one more point to clinch its first spot in the Sweet 16 since 2003 and it had two viable options to do so. In addition to Jao, Tulane sophomore Tyler Schick had a 5-3 lead in the third set against Texas freshman Leo Telles. Telles would quickly erase the deficit to go ahead 6-5 before Schick held to force a tiebreak. Back at 6, Jao had two more match points up 6-4 in the tiebreak but Banzer took the next four to take the tiebreak and send that match to a third set.

Texas was still in some trouble but it started to see the light after Telles managed to close out Schick 7-4 in the third set tiebreak to even the match at 3-3.  

Banzer went up a quick break in the third set but Jao managed to come back and tie it at 4-4. Banzer would break right back and then serve it out to give Texas an unbelievable 4-3 win. 

 

 

#10 Texas 4, #29 Tulane 3
May 13, 2017 at Austin, Texas (Caswell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #18 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) def. #25 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) 6-4, 6-3
2. #36 Harrison Scott (UT) def. Ewan Moore (TLN) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
3. #55 Yuya Ito (UT) def. #117 Sebastian Rey (TLN) 6-4, 6-2
4. Luis Erlenbusch (TLN) def. George Goldhoff (UT) 0-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Leo Telles (UT) def. Tyler Schick (TLN) 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Rodrigo Banzer (UT) def. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #70 Sebastian Rey/Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. #76 George Goldhoff/Leo Telles (UT) 6-4
2. Tyler Schick/Ewan Moore (TLN) def. Christian Sigsgaard/Julian Zlobinsky (UT) 6-3
3. Yuya Ito/Harrison Scott (UT) def. Constantin Schmitz/Luis Erlenbusch (TLN) 6-4
Match Notes:
Tulane 19-6; National ranking #29
Texas 21-8; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,1,4,2,5,6)
NCAA Championships Second Round (Round of 32)
T-3:31

Post-Match Quotes from Texas's recap

Texas Head Coach Michael Center

On today's match: I just kept telling myself, "Keep positive and keep helping these guys out as best you can." We were done. They had us. We saved five match points here at No. 6. They had us all over the place. They played an unbelievable match. They've got a great team, and we were really fortunate tonight. I think that shows how much fight these guys have to stay in there and give themselves a chance.

On the resiliency of the team: At this point, you just want to win and keep breathing. We're still alive. We're going to go out tonight and enjoy this as a team but starting tomorrow we can do better. We have to go on a mission to Athens. I still believe in this team a lot. We can beat anyone, but we've got to clean some things up.

On the momentum of the program: This team is good. This team belongs in Athens. This team deserves to be in Athens. I'm looking at it where we are right now. We've got a good, young team. If we have the right attitude and play well, we can compete with anyone.

On Rodrigo Banzer: No. 6 is really [Tulane's] best spot. I think that guy's lost maybe once or twice this whole year. He's a senior, and he's a really good player. I knew that was going to be a really challenging match coming into it. We saved five match points in that match. When [Banzer] got that second set, I looked into his eye and saw what was going on and thought, "I like this guy in this situation." He clinched against Ohio State and Florida. He's been in that spot a lot. I was really confident he could come through and he did.

Texas sophomore Leo Telles

On his emotions after today's win: It's definitely an unbelievable day. It's hard to put into words. The team effort, the fight, everything was just great today.

On if he knew the pressure was on coming down the stretch: I kind of did, but that's what I like about college. I knew that it came down to me and Banzer. I was down 5-3 in the third set. We were all tired today, but I knew he was tough today. I'm extremely happy with effort I put in today and the effort Banzer put in and the entire team.

On the resiliency of the team: You have to give a lot of credit to the other team. They put in so much work and made it extremely tough for us. I'm just very happy we came back. This is probably going to give us some momentum going into Athens, and we're definitely excited to play Baylor.

Texas sophomore Rodrigo Banzer on what happened in the win: It was hard to explain because I was losing in the first or second set 5-4 or 5-3, I was serving and asked coach; "how are the other guys doing?" And he said; "we need all the matches." So basically, I started putting in more and more effort and putting more balls on the court and then I broke his serve. I won the tiebreaker, I don't know how. Then the third set he was more tired than me.

On moving on to the sweet sixteen: That's amazing. Last year we did the same thing but I couldn't be there in Tulsa, so for right now I'm pretty excited to go there and try to do our best in Athens.

On what it's like for the whole team to be watching his final match: I told them that was the best feeling in college tennis, it was like playing a Davis Cup match. I told them that when I'm playing the last match, that's when my best tennis is coming and I'm pretty good in those moments.

On experience winning the clinching point: I think that those experience before helped me a lot because when you're in those moments I feel pretty relaxed and pretty concentrated. That's an event for me so I feel like the experience gave me some advantage.

On the positivity of moving forward to Athens: I think that right now, that's something that we were expecting; to be in Athens. I think that we belong there. In our practices we're trying to do our best, try to fight a lot and try to do our best everyday to improve.

Post-Match Quotes from Tulane's recap
"I'm gutted for these seniors and gutted for the whole team," Tulane head coach Mark Booras said. "It was a real battle. Hats off to Texas for sticking with us. Had six match points to win it and didn't get it done. I told my guys this is what we work for all year and now it's our starting point for next year. We've been wondering how tough of a team we can be and if we can be an Elite Eight and Final Four kind of team. You don't need to play your best tennis, you just need to play your best competitive match and they did that."

 

 

 

Top-ranked Wake Forest is headed back to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row, fifth all-time, after holding off Kentucky 4-2. Wake cruised through the doubles point winning 6-2 at both No. 1 and No. 3 but Kentucky came back in singles and was able to split first sets. Wake freshman Borna Gojo got off the court extremely quick after winning 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 but Kentucky would tie it up after William Bushamuka and Enzo Wallart won in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 6. Christian Seraphim made it 3-2 Wake with a 6-3, 7-6 win at No. 4 and Skander Mansouri clinched the match with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 3.  

Wake Forest recap

 

 

#1 Wake Forest 4, #32 Kentucky 2
May 13, 2017 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #17 Will Bushamuka (UK) def. #5 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 6-4, 6-4
2. #45 Borna Gojo (WF) def. #66 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) 6-2, 6-0
3. #13 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Beck Pennington (UK) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. #84 Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. #106 Trey Yates (UK) 6-4, 6-5, unfinished
6. Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #4 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. #33 Enzo Wallart/Beck Pennington (UK) 6-2
2. Borna Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) vs. Will Bushamuka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) 3-5, unfinished
3. Petros Chrysochos/Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Trey Yates/Gus Benson (UK) 6-2
Match Notes
Kentucky 15-13; National ranking #32
Wake Forest 29-2; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,6,1,4,3) 

Post-Match Quotes from UK's recap
“Today was a tough college match and the boys competed hard,” head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “We had some opportunities on all courts except No. 2. Wake Forest played well in some clutch moments, credit to them. Only top five teams can do that at the level we were playing. We as a program hav to do a better job through the season not to get shipped to the top-four teams in the country for the second round. This was the level of an elite eight match. I’m proud of the coaches, the staff and the players.”

 

 

 

Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 14th consecutive year after they defeating Ivy League Co-Champion Columbia 4-0 in 1 hour and 44 minutes. Virginia was in control of the doubles point from the get-go and singles wasn't much different as the Hoos took five opening sets. Collin Altamirano, JC Aragone, and Henrik Wiersholm each won in straight sets with Altamirano clinching at No. 4. 

Virginia recap

 

 

#2 Virginia 4, #23 Columbia 0
May 13, 2017 at Charlottesville, Va. (Snyder Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #91 Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. #101 Shawn Hadavi (COL) 6-2, 1-6, unfinished
2. #14 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) vs. #57 Victor Pham (COL) 7-5, 4-1, unfinished
3. Jackie Tang (COL) vs. Carl Soderlund (VA) 6-3, 4-3, unfinished
4. #40 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. Alex Keyser (COL) 6-3, 6-1
5. #109 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Adam Ambrozy (COL) 6-2, 6-3
6. #102 Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Timothy Wang (COL) 6-1, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #17 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #65 Victor Pham/Richard Pham (COL) 6-1
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Shawn Hadavi/Jackie Tang (COL) 6-3
3. J.C. Aragone/Collin Altamirano (VA) vs. Christopher Grant/Michal Rolski (COL) 5-4, unfinished
Match Notes
Columbia 18-5; National ranking #23
Virginia 30-1; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,5,4)
NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Second Round
Charlottesville Regional
T-1:44 A-592

Post-Match Quotes from UVA's recap

"I told the guys to make sure to stay in the present and to have a lot of respect for Columbia," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "They are an unbelievable team and a team that definitely could have been in the Sweet 16. They are really strong from top to bottom, so I am really proud of the guys for playing so well. We are excited to get to Athens. It is never easy to get there. I am very proud of the focus that we showed today and very happy that we have advanced."

  

 

Ohio State will be making its 12th straight trip to the Sweet 16 after a 4-0 win over Louisville. The Buckeyes didn't have any issues in doubles but Louisville put up a fight in singles. The one court that wasn't close was at No. 5 where Ohio State senior Herkko Pollanen rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 win to make it 2-0. Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard and Kyle Seelig both pulled out their opening sets in tiebreaks while Martin Joyce took his opening set 7-5. 

Hugo Di Feo pulled away from Nicolas Rouanet (Friday's hero) to win 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 and then Joyce closed it out with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 4. 

Ohio State recap

#3 Ohio State 4, #42 Louisville 0
May 13, 2017 at Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center)
Singles
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) vs. #111 C. Morin-Kougoucheff (LOU-MT) 7-6 (7-4), 5-2, unfinished
2. Parker Wynn (LOU-MT) vs. #46 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
3. #9 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Nicolas Rouanet (LOU-MT) 6-3, 6-2
4. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. George Hedley (LOU-MT) 7-5, 6-2
5. Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Brandon Lancaster (LOU-MT) 6-0, 6-2
6. Kyle Seelig (OSU) vs. Clement Filho (LOU-MT) 7-6 (8-6), 2-1, unfinished
Doubles
1. #16 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) vs. #23 Sean Donohue/Parker Wynn (LOU-MT) 4-2, unfinished
2. #30 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Nicolas Rouanet/Ciro Lampasas (LOU-MT) 6-2
3. JJ Wolf/Hunter Tubert (OSU) def. C. Morin-Kougoucheff/George Hedley (LOU-MT) 6-2
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,3,4)
Official: Jeri Banks
T-1:58 A-301

 

 

 

USC advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 11th year in a row with a 4-0 win over Wisconsin in 1 hour and 54 minutes. USC took the doubles point and after taking five first sets would get straight set wins from Logan Smith, Jack Jaede, and Thibault Forget. 

#4 USC 4, #30 Wisconsin 0
Saturday, May 13, 2017 - Marks Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.
Singles
1. #19 Brandon Holt (USC) vs. Lamar Remy (UW) 6-2, 6-5, unfinished
2. Josef Dodridge (UW) vs. Nick Crystal (USC) 7-5, 3-3, unfinished 
3. #88 Logan Smith (USC) def. Chema Carranza (UW) 6-2, 6-4
4. Jack Jaede (USC) def. Osgar O’Hoisin (UW) 6-0, 6-3
5. Thibault Forget (USC) def. Chase Colton (UW) 6-3, 6-4
6. Riley Smith (USC) vs. Daniel Soyfer (UW) 6-2, 6-6, unfinished
Doubles
1. #14 Holt/R. Smith (USC) vs. Carranza/Dodridge (UW) 3-4, unfinished
2. Crystal/Verboven (USC) def. Colton/Remy (UW) 6-3
3. Bellamy/Jaede (USC) def. O’Hoisin/Zordani (UW) 6-2
Match Notes
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,3,5)

Post-Match Quotes from USC's recap

“Congratulations to Wisconsin on a great season,” said USC head coach Peter Smith. “There was a great energy from us today. We sensed the occasion and brought the right type of energy to the court. We are looking forward to the next step and the opportunity of playing the Bulldogs on their home courts.” 

Post-Match Quotes from Wisconsin's recap

“I told the guys they should feel a little bit down,” head coach Danny Westerman said after the match. “I felt like we didn’t give them our best punch today. We started coming back, we started fighting, but it just got away from us a little.

“I want them to remember this moment, so this summer and this fall they remember to get to that next level. We learned from last season and took some big steps forward and now we need to do the same moving into next year.”

“USC is one of the premier programs, so now our guys have seen it and I think they’re going to remember that USC is really good but not this many sets better,” Westerman added. “You have to be in it to know. Fortunately, we’ve got seven of our top eight guys coming back, including each of our top six singles players. Our future is bright, but the mountain gets steeper.”

“I think ultimately we’ll be able to look back and say that we pretty much maximized our progress this season. This summer and this fall, we have another 6-8 months until next January and a lot of hard work to develop. I feel like the culture is there, the competitiveness is there, the fight is there and the work ethic is there. Now we can really get specific with their development because all the hard things to get started are now in them. That’s what I’m really excited about.”

 

 

UCLA punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 4-0 win over Ole Miss in just under 1 hour and 40 minutes. The Bruins took the doubles point and then swept the top three spots in singles with Martin Redlicki clinching at No. 1. Not a bad weekend for the Bruins after finding out that it'd be playing without its top singles player Gage Brymer who had season ending surgery earlier in the week. 

#5 UCLA 4, #27 Ole Miss 0
May 13, 2017 at Los Angeles, CA (Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts)
Doubles
1. #3 Redlicki/Zhu (UCLA) vs. #19 Fallert/Hamilton (OM) 5-5, unfinished
2. Di Giulio/Rapp (UCLA) def. Zvonimir Babic/Jorge (OM) 6-3
3. Cressy/Ben Goldberg (UCLA) def. Kraljevic/Sandkaulen (OM) 6-3
Singles
1. #60 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #23 Gustav Hansson (OM) 6-3, 6-2
2. Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 6-2, 6-1
3. Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Tim Sandkaulen (OM) 6-2, 6-1
4. Fabian Fallert (OM) vs. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 6-4, 0-3, unfinished
5. Filip Kraljevic (OM) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) vs. Grey Hamilton (OM) 7-5, 1-1, unfinished
Match Notes
Ole Miss 17-10; National ranking #27
UCLA 21-5; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,3,1)

Thoughts from head coach Toby Hansson via Ole Miss's recap
“UCLA really took it to us today. They took control of the match early in doubles and never gave us a chance to get back in the match in singles. Hats off to them, they deserved this win.”

 

 

TCU will make its third straight appearance in the Sweet 16 after a 4-1 win over Florida State. TCU junior Cameron Norrie played his last match in Fort Worth (turning pro after the NCAAs) and cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win and sophomore Alex Rybakov would clinch the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 2. FSU's lone point came from Lucas Poullain at No. 3. 

#6 TCU 4, #33 Florida State 1
May 13, 2017 at Fort Worth, Texas (Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #1 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #38 Aziz Dougaz (FS) 6-1, 6-0
2. #20 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #79 Guy Iradukunda (FS) 6-2, 7-5
3. #94 Lucas Poullain (FS) def. #83 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. #114 Jerry Lopez (TCU) vs. Jose Gracia (FS) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
5. Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Alex Knaff (FS) 6-3, 6-4
6. Trevor Johnson (TCU) vs. Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) 6-3, 5-5, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. #25 Jerry Lopez/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. #58 Aziz Dougaz/Guy Iradukunda (FS) 6-2
2. #57 Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) vs. #49 Jose Gracia/Lucas Poullain (FS) 5-2, unfinished
3. Cameron Norrie/Trevor Johnson (TCU) def. Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) 6-2
Match Notes:
Florida State 18-12; National ranking #33
TCU 21-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,5,2)
T-1:52 A-468

Post-Match Quotes from Head Coach David Roditi via TCU's recap
“I am ecstatic to be going to the Sweet 16. That is the goal of every tennis program is to make it to the ‘Omaha’ of college tennis in Athens. It will be a great experience. Whoever we play is going to be tough. This is where we were last year and we fell short. We all know it and we are coming to Athens with a competitive mindset and hopefully give ourselves the best preparation to compete on Thursday. I thought today we played some really good doubles and then we got on top of them in almost every first set in singles. I thought that was key because it put them down on the road and it is hard to come back when you get down like that. Cameron Norrie did a great job of getting off the court and then we kind of lost a little bit of our focus there. It took us awhile to get our third and fourth points but we bounced back. As a coach, you know not everything is going to go perfectly and it didn’t. We handled it and we regained our focus and we were able to get the wins. It was great to see Reese (Stalder) get two wins in singles and doubles. It was a great day for him. It was a very special day and on behalf of TCU tennis, we want to wish Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.”

Post-Match Quotes from FSU's recap

Redshirt junior Jose Gracia - “We've shown where we are at (this season). We beat Florida for the first time in a few years and we had a good run. Sadly, it had to end today. It was great to play with Jake (Albo) and Jack (Haffey) and the freshmen. We're going to end up building off of this. Lucas stepped it up in singles and he beat a really good player. Rana kept fighting, I kept on fighting. Guy pushed it to 5-5. We showed a lot of fight at the end, but it was a little too late.”

Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist - “I think for us, we've been a very good doubles point, and we got beat pretty bad today in doubles. The thing I liked was how we competed at the end of the match. We were down 5-2 at court two, 4-0 at court four, and 5-2 at court six and they couldn't close it out. We came back to five-all, we came back to four-all, we came back to five-all. We were a little bit late in that run. Certainly Lucas was a very good win for us, he beat a highly-ranked player today. That's a great win for him, he's been our best point all year. They jumped on us in doubles and we just needed to make it more of a physical match and let the heat play in, and certainly we were doing it in the last three matches.”

“We are a team that wasn't very experienced. Guy and Lucas, it was their first year playing Division 1, and we had two freshmen in their first year. With four new guys that were in the lineup today, that's not very much experience. I think we had our good days. I think one of the things that shows for the future is that we played very close with a lot of people who were top teams. I think moving forward we return a lot of guys, so that is very exciting.”

 

 

Baylor is back in the Sweet 16 for the 14th time in the last 15 years (missed last year) after a 4-0 win over Ivy League Co-Champion Cornell.  The Bears took the doubles point and then got three straight set wins from Juan Benitez, Will Little, and Jimmy Bendeck with Little clinching at No 5.

 

 

#7 Baylor 4, #26 Cornell 0
May 13, 2017 at Waco, Texas (Hurd Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #15 Juan Benitez (BU) def. David Volfson (CORN) 6-1, 6-2
2. #50 Max Tchoutakian (BU) vs. #122 Lev Kazakov (CORN) 2-6, 6-3, 1-0*, unfinished
3. Colin Sinclair (CORN) vs. #63 Johannes Schretter (BU) 6-4, 3-2*, unfinished
4. Bjoern Petersen (BU) vs. Chris Vrabel (CORN) 7-6 (8), 2-2, unfinished
5. Will Little (BU) def. Pierto Rimondini (CORN) 6-3, 6-3
6. Jimmy Bendeck (BU) def. B. Casares Rosa (CORN) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #22 Juan Benitez/Will Little (BU) vs. Colin Sinclair/Chris Vrabel (CORN) 5-5, unfinished
2. #84 Johannes Schretter/Jimmy Bendeck (BU) def. Lev Kazakov/David Volfson (CORN) 6-1
3. Max Tchoutakian/Bjoern Petersen (BU) def. Juan Jose Rosas/B. Casares Rosa (CORN) 6-3
Match Notes
Cornell 22-4; National ranking #26
Baylor 23-7; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,6,5)
NCAA Tennis Championship Second Round.

Quotes from BU's recap

Head coach Matt Knoll on the victory: “I think anybody that was here yesterday saw that we played much, much better today. It wasn’t just getting through, it was playing better. We know that we are going to have to continue to raise our level, and I was really proud of the guys for coming out today and just playing a much better tennis match."  

Knoll on how his team raised its level: “It’s a focus issue. You know it was just a matter of focusing a little bit better, executing a little bit better, moving a little bit better, taking their time, being in their routines, doing all the things we talk about all the time, and just doing a better job of it. And I thought across the board, just a much, much better tennis match.” 

On taking Cornell's best punches in the opening set: "Those guys are good. You saw it., those guys are good tennis players. ... Those guys were posing some problems for us, which is great. We got pushed out of our comfort zones in spots, and I thought we responded and continued to battle."

On Bjoern Petersen's progress: "What a great job for him to battle like he did. He fought off some set points, he had some set points that he didn't play great points on, and found a way (to win the first-set tiebreak). I was a little worried that he would be a little overjuiced after playing such a tough first set, but he did a really nice job of maintaining his composure and getting right back to work. ... It's a huge step for him. That guy's a very good player. It's funny, I watched that guy beat Will Little like a drum at Kalamazoo in juniors, so I knew that guy was good. I think (Bjoern) will continue to build. The difference from yesterday to today was significant, and we'll continue to see him get better and better as the tournament progresses."

On facing Texas next week in the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga: "Well, they're good. They've had a great season, they have a really talented team, a lot of ranked guys, so we're going to have our hands full. They're going to be tough, so we have to be ready to go."

On senior Max Tchoutakian walking the stage at graduation Saturday morning before the afternoon match: "It was a special day. I can't imagine how special it must be for a guy to graduate, to play in the second round of the NCAAs, to have your parents here for the first time. What a special opportunity for him. That he was able to play his best tennis and do such a great job down the stretch really says a lot about who Max is. You know, it's the same old story. You can't replace guys like that. Anyone who's been around has seen the way he's developed, who he is now and what he brings to the table. I'm just really happy for him and there's no question he's going to be a huge success in whatever comes next for him."

 

 

California is back in the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row, and sixth time in the last seven years, after overcoming the loss of the doubles point to defeat Northwestern 4-1. Each team won three first sets in singles but while Cal closed out each of its in straight sets Northwestern was unable to do the same. Cal forced a third set on each of the remaining courts and freshman Bjorn Hoffmann clinched the match with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 6.

[8] #8 California (20-7) def. #21 Northwestern (23-11), 4-1
May 13, 2017, in Berkeley, Calif. (Hellman Tennis Complex)
Doubles competition
1. #80 Sam Shropshire/Konrad Zieba (Northwestern) def. #5 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal), 6-4
2. #74 Andre Goransson/Filip Bergevi (Cal) vs. #53 Strong Kirchheimer/Dominik Stary (Northwestern), 5-4, unf.
3. Chris Ephron/Michael Lorenzini (Northwestern) def. Bjorn Hoffmann/J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 6-2
Order of Finish – 3, 1*
Singles competition
1. #12 Florian Lakat (Cal) vs. #37 Strong Kirchheimer (Northwestern), 3-6, 6-3, *3-4, unfinished
2. #61 Andre Goransson (Cal) def. #67 Konrad Zieba (Northwestern), 7-5, 6-4
3. Filip Bergevi (Cal) vs. Sam Shropshire (Northwestern), 5-7, 6-3, 3-2*, unfinished
4. #81 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Dominik Stary (Northwestern), 7-6(5), 6-2
5. J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Ben Vandixhorn (Northwestern), 6-3, 6-3
6. Bjorn Hoffmann (Cal) def. Jason Seidman (Northwestern), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4^
Order of Finish – 5, 4, 2, 6^

Post-Match Quotes from Cal's recap

“We played a very good match today considering we lost the doubles point and three first sets in singles,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “Northwestern has been having an outstanding season, and they really put us on our heels today. One thing we did well today was compete. Things didn’t look good for a while, and our guys dug deep and fought hard on all six courts. I’m extremely proud of how our team approached the challenges we faced today. I think it was significant that Bjorn Hoffmann clinched the match for us today because he got off to a bad start, but he found a way to compete today, and that’s what counts most to me.

“We’re excited to be heading to Athens for the final 16, and I feel this team is special and it has what it takes to go the distance.”

 

 

North Carolina is headed to the Sweet 16 for the fourth year in a row and fifth time in the last six years after taking out next door neighbor South Carolina 4-1. North Carolina won the doubles point with 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the Heels took five of six first sets after it looked like South Carolina would get at least three. SC's Yancy Dennis led Simon Soendergaard 5-2 at No. 4 but the UNC freshman won the next five games to take it 7-5. SC's Alex Fennell led Jack Murray 5-3 at No. 5 but the UNC senior came back to take the set in a tiebreak 7-3. Last SC's Andrew Schafer led Robert Kelly 6-5 at No. 3 but Kelly held and then took the tiebreak 7-2.

Those missed opportunities would ultimately do South Carolina in because despite Gabriel Friedrich rolling to a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 1, North Carolina would take control everywhere else. William Blumberg won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2, Blaine Boyden won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6, and Soendergaard clinched with a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 4.

#9 North Carolina 4, #20 South Carolina 1
May 13, 2017 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
Doubles Results
1. #12 Blumberg/Kelly (UNC) def. O'Keefe/Dennis (USC), 6-4
2. Murray/Soendergaard (UNC) def. Fennell/Friedrich (USC), 6-4
3. Kodali/Schneider (UNC) vs. Jubb/Mayrone (USC), 4-5 unf
Singles results
1. #49 Gabriel Friedrich (USC) def. #22 Ronnie Schneider (UNC), 6-1, 6-3
2. #16 William Blumberg (UNC) def. #71 Harrison O'Keefe (USC), 6-4, 6-4
3. #116 Robert Kelly (UNC) vs. Andrew Schafer (USC), 7-6 (7-2), 4-2 unf
4. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) def. Yancy Dennis (USC), 7-5, 6-4
5. Jack Murray (UNC) vs. Alex Fennell (USC), 7-6 (7-3), 2-1 unf
6. Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Paul Jubb (USC), 6-2, 6-4
Match Notes
North Carolina 26-4; National ranking #9
South Carolina 21-7; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,2,6,4)

 

 

 

Post-Match Quotes from UNC's recap
“South Carolina has a great team,” UNC coach Sam Paul said. “We knew coming in here, we felt this was one of the toughest regionals, playing VCU and then South Carolina.”

“I think we did a good job of setting the tone in doubles,” Jack Murray said. “That's a really good team, up and down the line, in singles and doubles and I think we came out with really good energy and that helped us get the doubles point.”

“All the credit to Will for doing a great job like he's been doing all year, and to Bo and Simon for coming good in the end,” Murray said. “We have so much fight and different guys who can step up every day.”

“We're looking forward to going to Athens,” Paul said. “I'm really happy for our senior class to finish out here with a win, and it's the fourth time for them to go to the Sweet 16. I'm just extremely happy for my entire team.”

 

 

 

Georgia will make its 14th consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16, but the first as a No. 13 seed, after a 4-1 win over South Florida. Georgia jumped out to early leads on all three doubles courts and would win at No. 1 and No. 3. Georgia carried the momentum from the doubles point over to singles and took five opening sets. South Florida's Sasha Gozun tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 1 but Georgia was able to get three straight set wins from Wayne Montgomery, Emil Reinberg, and Robert Loeb with Montgomery clinching at No. 2. 

Georgia highlights/South Florida highlights

#12 Georgia 4, #22 South Florida 1
May 13, 2017 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Nathan Ponwith (UGA) 6-2, 6-4
2. Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Justin Roberts (USF) 7-6 (10-8), 6-3
3. Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Alberto Campos (USF) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jan Zielinski (UGA) vs. Peter Bertran (USF) 6-1, 3-6, unfinished
5. Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Vadym Kalyuzhnny (USF) 6-3, 4-6, unfinished
6. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Jakub Wojcik (USF) 6-3, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Alberto Campos/Sasha Gozun (USF) 6-3
2. Emil Reinberg/Nathan Ponwith (UGA) vs. Justin Roberts/Peter Bertran (USF) 4-5, unfinished
3. Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Vadym Kalyuzhnny/Jakub Wojcik (USF) 6-2
Match Notes
USF 18-8; National ranking #22
Georgia 19-7; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,6,2)
Official: Richard Rogers

Post-match Quotes from UGA's recap
"I thought we played with great intensity," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz, "especially at one and three [doubles]. They seem to be playing well, and our guys carried that into singles. I thought the pit -- 4-5-6 singles -- really got off to good starts. It was good to see Emil and Wayne pull through. Wayne had a rough first set, didn't play his best, and Justin [Roberts] played a very nice first serve, and really challenged Wayne. I was really glad to see Wayne keep his composure, and pull through that tiebreaker and wind up being the clinching match."

Post-Match Quotes from USF's recap
Head coach Ashley Fisher on facing Georgia and the match overall: “They play really good doubles, so we knew that was going to be a tough point, but felt we could get into some of the singles matches. We kind of got off to an awfully tough start, dug ourselves a hole and did a pretty good job of fighting back. It was just too deep of a hole.”

Fisher on senior Sasha Gozun's win and impact on the program: “Sasha was one of the guys that has turned this program around. When he came here four years ago, USF men's tennis wasn't on the map. He became one of the guys that led that charge and he led us through the finish line here… It's a tribute to how hard he's worked and the sort of tennis he's playing. I really think he's going to be one of the guys to beat in the NCAA tournament. I think he's going to have a big future moving forward.”

Sasha Gozun's thoughts on USF and the team's season finale: “It's been a pleasure playing for USF. I had fun although it wasn't the result we wanted today. The guys fought hard. The best of luck to the team next year."

Gozun on turning his attention to the NCAA Singles Championship: “I'll go back and take a couple days off with my family because I haven't been around the house. Then I'm going to just keep working, get back at it and come back here and try to do well.”

 

 

Texas A&M returned to the Sweet 16 after a one-year absence with a closer than the final score indicated 4-0 win over #24 Oregon. Texas A&M won the doubles point after winning the decider at No. 1 in a tiebreak and then each team captured three first sets in singles. Texas A&M managed to close out each of its first sets in straight sets as Arthur Rinderknech, Jordi Arconada, and AJ Catanzariti won at 1, 2, and 3 with Rinderknech getting the clincher. 

#13 Texas A&M 4, #24 Oregon 0
May 13, 2017 at College Station, TX (George P Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #6 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #27 Thomas Laurent (OREGON) 6-4, 6-2
2. #48 Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Simon Stevens (OREGON) 6-2, 6-4
3. AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. Akihiro Tanaka (OREGON) 6-3, 6-2
4. VJayson Amos (OREGON) vs. Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) 6-3, 5-5, unfinished
5. Hady Habib (TAMU) vs. Cormac Clissold (OREGON) 4-6, 6-3, 0-0, unfinished
6. Ethan Young-Smith (OREGON) vs. Aleksandre Bakshi (TAMU) 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. #9 AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Jayson Amos/Armando Soemarno (OREGON) 7-6 (7-2)
2. Thomas Laurent/Cormac Clissold (OREGON) def. Jordi Arconada/Hady Habib (TAMU) 6-4
3. Aleksandre Bakshi/Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Simon Stevens/Ty Gentry (OREGON) 6-4
Match Notes:
Oregon 19-7; National ranking #24
Texas A&M 21-6; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (3, 2, 1)
T-2:16 A-305

Steve Denton, Texas A&M Men's Tennis Head Coach
Thoughts on the match..."The doubles was really big. Our guys stepped up. We were leading 4-2 and 40-0 on AJ's (Catanzariti) serve and then they broke back and things got complicated. But in that tiebreaker, we were able to win that convincingly and then we that first set kept the pressure on them. That was the difference in the match."

On the double point..."We had a couple of the close, typical doubles volley exchanges and we won those in the tiebreaker. We've been working on those a bit and the guys have better hands at the net and they are more comfortable up there. It paid off for us in a couple of key points. We had some good returns and typically if you're hitting those first serves you have a good chance in a tiebreaker. We've gotten better at doubles as the season went along and I'm proud of the guys for sticking with it. "

On last year's loss as a catalyst..."New team, new season but we were motivated to not let that happen again. We put ourselves in a position to host again. Our guys started playing well toward the end of the season and I was hopefully that they could carry it on."

On the play of AJ Catanzariti..."The key for AJ is to take the ball early and be looking to move forward. Yesterday he only came in a couple time and today he came in a lot more and was pretty successful. He's playing his best when he's aggressive with his feet. Trying to look to get in and he did a great job against a guy who was a tough out with a lot of match wins. AJ took the racket from his hands by his aggressive play."

Nils Schyllander, Oregon Men's Tennis Head Coach
On the match…"I think that the doubles point was crucial. It went down to a tiebreaker. If we had pulled that out, then I like our chances. We still came out in the singles and battled hard and split the first sets. In the end, Texas A&M was just a little too tough."

On the season…"It has been good. We had 19 wins and made it to the regional finals. It is always sour when you lose because you have big goals, but it has been a good year."

 

 

Oklahoma advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth year in a row, sixth all-time, with a gritty 4-1 win over Mississippi State. OU took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then it took four first sets in singles. OU senior Andrew Harris made it 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 and then fellow senior Alex Ghilea made it 3-0 with a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 3. Mississippi State wasn't totally out of it because Simon Baudry won 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 6 and Nuno Borges and Niclas Braun were both in third sets at No. 1 and No. 4. However MSU couldn't get the other match at No. 5 into a third set because OU freshman Jochen Bertsch went up a break midway through the second set and made it hold up as he clinched with a 7-6(6), 6-4 win over Gio Oradini. 

OU highlights here

#14 Oklahoma 4, #18 Mississippi State 1
May 13, 2017 at Norman, Okla. (Headington Family Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #24 Spencer Papa (OU) vs. #4 Nuno Borges (MSST) 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-3, unfinished
2. #32 Andrew Harris (OU) def. Mate Cutura (MSST) 6-4, 6-3
3. #47 Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #115 Strahinja Rakic (MSST) 7-5, 6-4
4. #113 Florin Bragusi (OU) vs. Niclas Braun (MSST) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, unfinished
5. Jochen Bertsch (OU) def. Giovanni Oradini (MSST) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
6. Simon Baudry (MSST) def. Adrian Oetzbach (OU) 7-6 (9-7), 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #15 Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (OU) def. #8 Trevor Foshey/Niclas Braun (MSST) 6-2
2. #66 Florin Bragusi/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. Vaughn Hunter/Mate Cutura (MSST) 6-3
3. Jochen Bertsch/Adrian Oetzbach (OU) vs. Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MSST) 4-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
Mississippi State 21-9; National ranking #18
Oklahoma 17-10; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (,2,3,6,5)
NCAA Championships Second Round - Norman, Okla. Regional Played outdoors

Post-Match Quotes from OU's recap
"Those guys are big-time players and they come to play in the big moments," OU head coach Nick Crowell said. "That doubles point really set us in the right direction."

"I challenged Andrew before the match to try to step up today and get off the court quick, and he did that," Crowell said. "He's an unbelievable player and person, and I'm glad he could win his last match on these courts."

"I had so many emotions going through my head, especially in the second set," Ghilea said. "I was like, 'wow, this is going to be my last game here.' I just really didn't want to end on a losing note, and I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life. Winning today just means a lot and will mean a lot to me in the future, too."

"It's huge for a freshman - coming in in January and being the one to send us to Athens," Crowell said. "He's done it all year long. He did it at the National Indoors against Northwestern, so if you put him in that situation, you know he's going to be there and fight hard and that's what it takes at this level."

"We've just got to be good in the doubles, fight through adversity and play together as a team," Crowell added. "You saw today we did that, no one went away on all six courts."

Post-Match Quotes from MSU's recap
"I'm so proud of what this team has accomplished this year," head coach Matt Roberts said. "They not only exceled on the court with great results, but established an amazing culture for future Bulldog teams. Hats off to Oklahoma, they played a great match and didn't give anything easily."

"Words cannot describe what Mate and Vaughn have done for this program," Roberts said. "The seniors have played a huge role in laying the foundation for our program. I'm proud of how they pushed themselves this season and became great men that will succeed in whatever they do in life."

"This has been one of the toughest seasons I've ever been apart of as a coach or player," Roberts said. "I'll always have a special place for this team in my heart and will never forget how they competed with passion and love for their teammates."

 

 

 

Florida advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row and third time in the last four years with a pretty dominant 4-0 win over Georgia Tech. The Gators led wire-to-wire in doubles and then snagged five first sets in singles. Elliott Orkin and Chase Perez-Blanco upped the lead to 3-0 with routine wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then the freshman Johannes Ingildsen clinched with a 6-1, 7-5 win at No. 5.

Florida highlights/interview at this link 

#15 Florida 4, #19 Georgia Tech 0
NCAA Tournament | Second Round
Saturday, May 13, 2017 | 5:35 PM
Gainesville, Fla. | Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1)
1. #2 Ingildsen/Perez (UF) def. #32 Eubanks/Benito (GT), 6-3*
2. Lipman/Orkin (UF) def. Li/Fiegel (GT), 6-3
3. Wardell/Perez-Blanco (UF) vs. Divar/D. Yun (GT), 5-4
Singles (Order of finish: 2, 3, 5)
1. #8 Alfredo Perez (UF) vs. #7 Christopher Eubanks (GT), 6-7, 0-5
2. #85 Elliott Orkin (UF) def. #92 Andrew Li (GT), 6-2, 6-2
3. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) def. Carlos Benito (GT) 6-4, 6-1
4. Maxx Lipman (UF) vs. Carlos Divar (GT), 7-6, 2-0
5. #123 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) def. Daniel Yun (GT), 6-1, 7-5*
6. McClain Kessler (UF) vs. Christopher Yun (GT) 7-5, 3-4
* Clinched victory

Post-Match Quotes from UF's recap
"I think we played a really hard-fought match. I have a lot of respect for Georgia Tech, and obviously Kenny Thorne, their head coach, and his group. I felt like they came ready to play today. They had a great season, so I just want to congratulate them on a great year and a great tournament. I was really proud of our guys, I felt like we were really well prepared, our guys have been working really hard, especially these last couple weeks to prepare for this, and something that we really wanted to do was move on in the tournament and advance to Athens to the final sixteen. Wanting to do something and doing the things that are necessary to make it happen are two different things, and our guys did the things that they needed to do to be successful. I'm really proud of them, I feel like we're playing our best tennis of the year right now." - Head Coach Bryan Shelton

On the challenge and opportunity of taking on Virginia next…"I think those two words are synonymous, challenge but opportunity, it's just how you view it. For us, we want the show to go on. Our guys are excited and playing really well, so I think it's a great opportunity. We've seen that team a couple times, we saw them at the NCAA Tournament last year in the final eight match, saw them at their home courts earlier this season, so we know them very well and we respect them. They're a quality team with a lot of good players, so I know it's going to be a tough match, but I think if we go out there and put our best foot forward then we're going to win." - Head Coach Bryan Shelton

On what advancing means to him as a senior…"Whether you're a freshman or a senior it's nice to move on to the final sixteen and get to the finals site with all the best teams in the country. Especially with it being my last season, of course I wanted to make it to Athens this year, and I was happy to be able to contribute to the team today by getting a point on the board in both singles and doubles. Even though it was my last match here, it wasn't about me today, it was about the team advancing and we got the job done, so its huge for us." - Senior Elliott Orkin

On his last four years at UF…"These last four years have been more than I can really explain. With Coach Shelton giving me the opportunity to come here four years ago, it was really the best decision of my life to come here. I've grown so much as a player and a person. It's been a great four years and I'm happy the ride is still continuing, and our journey is still ahead of us and our goals are still ahead of us." - Senior Elliott Orkin

On his successful match…It was a tough match, he [Carlos Benito] is a great player. He'll make a lot of balls, so you know going in there's going to be a lot of long rallies. My mindset was move him, keep fighting, don't let him off the hook and try to take advantage when I could, and I think I did a good job of that." - Junior Chase Perez-Blanco

Post-Match Quotes from GT's recap
“Florida played well in doubles and we did not play bad. Our guys played to win but got outplayed. That momentum carried into singles and we were constantly fighting from behind. Our guys made several pushes and they responded well. We never gave in. Credit to Florida and their coaches for doing a great job of keeping on us because our guys don’t get discouraged easily. We pushed them but they were the better team today. It was a very good season for our guys and they deserve a lot of credit. It was an honor to coach them.” – Head Coach Kenny Thorne

 

 

 

Stanford is headed back to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row after defeating Michigan 4-1. Stanford won a close doubles point after its No. 3 team of Brandon Sutter and David Wilczynski came back from 3-1 down to win 6-4 and then Tom Fawcett and Yale Goldberg pulled out a tiebreak at No. 1 by a 7-5 score.  

Each team won three first sets in singles but only three of those would finish in straight sets. Stanford's Tom Fawcett and Brandon Sutter made it 3-0 with wins at No. 1 and No. 5 before Michigan got on the board with a win from Carter Lin at No. 6. Michigan had set leads at both No. 3 and No. 4 but Stanford managed to force third sets on both courts. Stanford sophomore Sameer Kumar jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set at No. 2 but Michigan's Alex Knight came back to force a tiebreak. Knight fought off a few match points but Kumar would get his first career clinch by taking the tiebreak 8-6 to make the final 6-0, 3-6, 7-6(6). 

No. 16 Stanford 4, No. 17 Michigan 1
May 13, 2017 at Stanford, Calif (Taube Family Tennis Center)
Doubles competition
1) No. 54 Fawcett/Yale Goldberg (STAN) d. No. 29 Connor Johnston/Malik (MICH) 7-6 (5)
2) Hua/Knight (MICH) d. Genender/Kumar (STAN) 6-3
3) Sutter/Wilczynski (STAN) d. Schalet/Wong (MICH) 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
Singles competition
1) No. 11 Tom Fawcett (STAN) d. No. 72 Jathan Malik (MICH) 6-4, 6-4
2) Sameer Kumar (STAN) d. No. 86 Alex Knight (MICH) 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (6)
3) Myles Schalet (MICH) led David Wilczynski (STAN) 7-6 (4), 2-6, 1-0*, abandoned
4) Runhao Hua (MICH) led Michael Genender (STAN) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 2-1*, abandoned
5) Brandon Sutter (STAN) d. Kevin Wong (MICH) 6-2, 6-4
6) Carter Lin (MICH) d. William Genesen (STAN) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 6, 2

Post-Match Quotes from Stanford's recap
"Today was exciting collegiate tennis," said Taube Director of Men's Tennis Paul Goldstein. "TNT might think they know drama, but collegiate tennis is where the real drama is, which today's match showed. Credit to Michigan, they brought excitement throughout the match, but the team today showed poise. They continued to pick each other up - Yale alone saved two match points in a doubles point that could have gone either way and they never batted an eye in a match that involved a lot of nerves and tension."

"I'm extremely happy for the team," added Goldstein. "I'm absolutely their number one fan and they've showed a lot of growth not only today, but this entire season."

 

Second Round Match Times

 

#11 Texas [1] def. #29 Tulane [2] 4-3 3:31
#8 California [1] def. #21 Northwestern [2] 4-1 2:54
#16 Stanford [1] def. #17 Michigan [2] 4-1 2:50
#25 Illinois [2] def. #10 Oklahoma State [1] 4-3 2:40
#14 Oklahoma [1] def. #18 Mississippi State [2] 4-1 2:32
#1 Wake Forest [1] def. #32 Kentucky [2] 4-2 2:20
#9 North Carolina [1] def. #20 South Carolina [2] 4-1 2:16
#13 Texas A&M [1] def. #24 Oregon [2] 4-0 2:16
#7 Baylor [1] def. #26 Cornell [2] 4-0 2:15
#12 Georgia [1] def. #22 South Florida [2] 4-1 2:05
#15 Florida [1] def. #19 Georgia Tech [2] 4-0 2:00
#3 Ohio State [1] def. #42 Louisville [3] 4-0 1:58
#4 USC [1] def. #30 Wisconsin [2] 4-0 1:54
#6 TCU [1] def. #33 Florida State [2] 4-1 1:52
#2 Virginia [1] def. #23 Columbia [2] 4-0 1:44
#5 UCLA [1] def. #27 Ole Miss [2] 4-0 1:38

 

Sweet 16 Schedule - Thursday, May 17 - Athens, Georgia

[1] Wake Forest vs. [16] Stanford - 7 p.m. ET
[8] California vs. [9] North Carolina - 7 p.m. ET
[4] USC vs. [13] Georgia - 4 p.m. ET
[5] UCLA vs. [12] Texas A&M - 4 p.m. ET
[6] TCU vs. [17-32] Illinois - Noon ET
[3] Ohio State vs. [14] Oklahoma - Noon ET
[7] Baylor vs. [10] Texas - 9 a.m. ET
[2] Virginia vs. [15] Florida - 9 a.m. ET

 

Conference Representation
Pac-12 (4) - USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford
Big 12 (4) - TCU, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma
SEC (3) - Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida
ACC (3) - Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina
Big Ten (2) - Ohio State, Illinois
 
I'll be in Athens for the entire team portion of the tournament so keep a look out for plenty of coverage - I'll also have men's previews out starting tomorrow which will be available for College Tennis Today subscribers. If you haven't subscribed yet now would be a great time. It'd also help me cover expenses for the trip - thanks!
Read 3784 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 May 2017 13:07

1 comment

  • Comment Link Mikey Sunday, 14 May 2017 23:04 posted by Mikey

    The alacrity of the matches was astonishing with many finished in less than 2 hours. Perhaps it is time to reconsider 8 game doubles rather than 6.

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