Monday, 21 May 2018 05:17

NCAA Men's and Women's Semifinal Previews

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Just four men's and women's teams remain as we head into the second to last day of the dual-match season. The women's semifinals will kickoff the day at 10 a.m. and both matches should be able to be played outdoors however the men's matches scheduled for 2 p.m. may not be as fortunate. The forecast currently shows a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms starting around 2 p.m. and staying around for most of the day so hopefully the other 50% with no rain is what we get. 

On the women's side, Vanderbilt is appearing in its fourth consecutive NCAA semifinal and will be seeking its third appearance in the championship match while Georgia Tech is trying to get back to the championship match for the first time since it won it all in 2007. Stanford will be attempting to reach the championship match for the 26th time while Duke will be seeking its third championship appearance with its last coming in 2009 which also happened to be the only time the Blue Devils won it all. 

On the men's side, both Wake Forest and Texas A&M are first-time semifinalists so whoever wins that match will be making its first championship appearance. UCLA has made it to the championship match 12 times with its most recent appearance in 2013 while Ohio State will try to get back for the second time in school history with its only previous appearance coming in 2009 when it lost to USC.

WOMEN'S SEMIFINALS

[1] Vanderbilt vs. [4] Georgia Tech - 10 a.m. ET

Vanderbilt's Path to the Final Four

  • def. Alabama State 4-0
  • def. Clemson 4-0
  • def. Miami FL 4-0
  • def. Florida State 4-0

Georgia Tech's Path to the Final Four

  • def. Eastern Kentucky 4-0
  • def. Winthrop 4-0
  • def. Pepperdine 4-3
  • def. UCLA 4-3

All-Time Series: Vanderbilt 13-5

Most Recent Meeting: 2014 - Vanderbilt 4-2 (NCAA Second Round)

Notables:

  • VU's Astra Sharma has won 11 of her last 12
  • VU's Fernanda Contreras has won 5 straight and 12 of her last 13
  • VU's Christina Rosca has won 6 of her last 7
  • VU's Amanda Meyer has won 5 straight and 8 of her last 10
  • VU's Summer Dvorak has won 8 straight 
  • VU's Amanda Meyer and Christina Rosca have won 11 of their last 12 in doubles 
  • VU's Sharma and Contreras have won 6 straight at No. 1 doubles 
  • GT's Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones have won 9 of their last 10 at No. 1 doubles 
  • GT's Ida Jarlskog has won 12 straight matches with 9 of them in straight sets
  • GT's Johnnise Renaud has won 8 of her last 10
  • GT's Nami Otsuka has won 6 of her last 7
  • GT's Victoria Flores has won 7 of her last 9 completed matches

VU GT

Who Wins: Georgia Tech has overcome the loss of the doubles point in two straight matches but doing it for a third time may be too tall a task. I like VU in doubles and if they played the singles matches out (which they don't) I'd take Sharma, Contreras, Rosca, and Dvorak for VU while I'd give the nod to Jarlskog and Otsuka for GT. I'll go Vandy 4-2. 

 

[3] Duke vs. [15] Stanford - 10 a.m. ET

Duke's Path to the Final Four

  • def. Furman 4-0
  • def. Oregon 4-2
  • def. Northwestern 4-0
  • def. Texas Tech 4-1

Stanford's Road to the Semifinals

  • def. St. John's 4-0
  • def. Michigan 4-0
  • def. North Carolina 4-1
  • def. Georgia 4-0

All-Time Series: Stanford 9-1 (Duke's only win was 5-4 in the 1998 NCAA semifinals)

Most Recent Meeting: 2015 - Stanford 4-0

Notables:

  • Duke's Samantha Harris has lost 3 of her last 4
  • Duke's Kaitlyn McCarthy has won 8 of her last 9
  • Duke's Kelly Chen has won 19 straight
  • Duke's Ellyse Hamlin has won 11 straight
  • Stanford's Emma Higuchi has won 15 in a row with 14 of those in straight sets.
  • Stanford's Janice Shin has won 9 in a row 
  • Stanford's Caroline Lampl has won 3 in a row and 9 of 10
  • Stanford's Emily Arbuthnott has won 6 in a row and 15 of 16
  • Stanford's Melissa Lord and Janice Shin are 11-2 at No. 3 doubles since pairing up on 3/28. 
  • Stanford's Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee have won 11 of 13 doubles matches at No. 2

Stanford Duke

Who Wins: Stanford has been as dialed in as anyone this week and for Duke to pull the "upset" it'll need a really stout effort from everyone in the lineup. Duke has a pair of top 10 doubles teams but I'm still going with Stanford to take the early 1-0 lead. There are a lot of toss-ups in singles but Duke needs to find a way to take at least 3 or 4 first sets to keep the avalanche from crashing down on them. I like Harris and McCarthy for Duke at 1 and 3 and I'll take Lord and Higuchi for Stanford at 2 and 6. The matches at 4 and 5 are swing matches that will probably decide the winner. I just can't go against Stanford at this point so I'll take Shin to clinch at 5 - Cardinal wins 4-3. 

 

MEN'S SEMIFINALS 

[1] Wake Forest vs. [5] Texas A&M - 2 p.m. ET

Wake's Path to the Final Four
  • def. Navy 4-0
  • def. South Carolina 4-1
  • def. Columbia 4-1
  • def. Illinois 4-0
Texas A&M's Path to the Final Four
  • def. Lamar 4-0
  • def. Baylor 4-1
  • def. Alabama 4-0
  • def. Florida 4-3

All-Time Series: Texas A&M leads 8-1 (Wake's only win was in 1997)

Most Recent Meeting: 2008 - Texas A&M 4-3

Notables:

  • Wake Forest has won 14 matches in a row
  • Wake's Petros Chrysochos has won 22 straight matches with 21 of those finishing in straight sets
  • Wake's Bar Botzer has won 16 straight matches 
  • Wake's Skander Mansouri has won 11 straight matches 
  • Wake's Borna Gojo has won 8 straight matches 
  • Wake's Botzer and Chrysochos have won 9 of their last 10 doubles matches
  • A&M's Patrick Kypson has won 9 of his last 11 
  • A&M's Jordi Arconada has won 8 straight and 11 of his last 12 
  • A&M's Arthur Rinderknech has won 7 of his last 8
  • A&M's Valentin Vacherot has won 8 of his last 10
  • A&M's Carlos Aguilar has won 9 of his last 11
  • A&M's AJ Catanzariti has dropped 4 of his last 5
  • A&M's Aguilar and Arconada have won 9 of their last 10 doubles matches

Wake aTm 

Who Wins: There's no doubt that Wake Forest is the favorite here but if Texas A&M can keep from falling behind and can hang around then all bets are off. I thought going into the weekend that Wake would use Seraphim at 5 and Cungu at 6 but putting Gadjiev at 5 and Seraphim at 6 is probably their best formula to get at least a split at those two spots. Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton has a decision to make on who he is going to play at No. 6. A&M senior AJ Catanzariti took over the spot from freshman Barnaby Smith in the last month because Smith had struggled some but now Catanzariti is struggling as well. 

I'm going to take Wake in doubles because they'll feed off the crowd's energy and then in singles I like Gojo, Chrysochos, Botzer, and Seraphim while I'd take Arconada and Aguilar for A&M. Depending on when the matches finish I think it'll be either a 4-1 or 4-2 win for Wake. 

 

[2] UCLA vs. [3] Ohio State - 2 p.m. ET

UCLA's Path to the Final Four
  • def. Idaho 4-0
  • def. San Diego 4-0
  • def. Michigan 4-2
  • def. USC 4-3
Ohio State's Path to the Final Four
  • def. East Tennessee State 4-0
  • def. Kentucky 4-0
  • def. Minnesota 4-1
  • def. Mississippi State 4-3

All-Time Series: UCLA leads 5-3 (most recent Ohio State win was in 2009 NCAA semifinals)

Most Recent Meeting: 2018 National Indoors Quartefinals - UCLA 4-1

Meetings in NCAA Tournament: 2014 Quarterfinals (UCLA 4-2); 2013 Semifinals (UCLA 4-3); 2012 Quarterfinals (UCLA 4-2); 2009 Semifinals (Ohio State 4-3)

Notables:

  • UCLA's Martin Redlicki has won 11 of his last 12
  • UCLA's Evan Zhu has won 7 of his last 10
  • UCLA's Keegan Smith has won 18 straight 
  • UCLA's Logan Staggs is 1-3 with 9 DNFs in his last 13 matches 
  • UCLA's Maxime Cressy has won 10 straight and 15 of his last 16
  • UCLA's Connor Hance has won 8 of his last 10
  • UCLA's Cressy and Bryce Pereira have won 9 of their last 10 in doubles 
  • OSU's JJ Wolf has won 15 of his last 17 (12-match winning streak snapped by Oradini)
  • OSU's John McNally has won 9 straight and 16 of his last 17
  • OSU's Tim Seibert has won 6 straight (hasn't played since second round)
  • OSU's Kyle Seelig has won 9 straight
  • OSU's Martin Joyce has won 16 of his last 18
  • OSU's Joyce and Wolf have won 10 of their last 11 in doubles (10-match streak snapped by Borges/Rakic)
  • OSU's Torpegaard and McNally had won 14 straight but have lost their last 2 in doubles 
  • OSU's Hunter Tubert and Matt Mendez have won 12 of their last 13 in doubles 
Regular Season Meeting
No. 7 UCLA 4, No. 2 Ohio State 1
Feb 17, 2018 at Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Tennis Club)
Singles competition
1. #5 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 6-4, 6-4
2. Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-3, 7-6(5)
3. #107 Keegan Smith (UCLA) vs. #56 John McNally (OSU) 4-6, 6-2, 1-3, unfinished
4. #58 Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Tim Seibert (OSU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) vs. #30 Kyle Seelig (OSU) 7-6(3), 5-6, unfinished
6. Connor Hance (UCLA) def. Martin Joyce (OSU) 6-3, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) vs. #25 Mikael Torpegaard/Martin Joyce (OSU) 5-6, unfinished
2. Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. John McNally/JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-4
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) def. #43 Hunter Tubert/Matt Mendez (OSU) 6-4
Match Notes:
UCLA 10-1; National ranking #7
Ohio State 9-1; National ranking #2
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,1,2,4) 

UCLA OSU 

Who Wins: Before the tournament started in my Slam.Tennis bracket I picked Ohio State to defeat UCLA in the semifinals but with the way UCLA has been playing I just don't see them losing this one. Ohio State had won the doubles point in 19 consecutive matches before dropping it yesterday while UCLA has now won it 9 times in a row. In singles we won't know Ohio State's bottom three until match time but with Tim Seibert having sat in both matches this week and having lost to Logan Staggs in the previous meeting it'd be a surprise to see him in there (so he'll probably play). I think UCLA is going to take the doubles point and two of the bottom three in singles, most likely Cressy and Hance, with its fourth point coming from Redlicki up top. I'm going UCLA 4-2 though if Ohio State wins the doubles point that momentum boost plus wins from Wolf, McNally, and Seelig at 2, 3, and 4 might be the ticket to the promised land.    

Read 884 times Last modified on Monday, 21 May 2018 07:47

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