Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:00

Friday Recap: USC Upsets UCLA; Washington Jumps The Jayhawks; Baylor Blanks Illinois; Yellow Jackets Sting The Noles; Georgia Singing On Rocky Top; Tide Rolls Past LSU; & More

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Friday was an action-packed day of tennis across the country with a pair of top 7 women's teams going down while Baylor, Alabama, and a pair of Georgia schools were the big winners on the men's side.

We'll start in the Battle for LA as No. 32 USC upset crosstown rival No. 5 UCLA 4-1. The non-conference match, which was televised on the Pac-12 Network, saw the Women of Troy jump out to the early 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. USC kept things rolling along in singles and claimed four opening sets. UCLA evened the match at 1-1 with a straight set win by Jada Hart at No. 1 but USC remained in control elsewhere and would add straight set wins from Angela Kulikov, Rianna Valdes, and Becca Weissmann at No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 with Kulikov clinching at No. 2. 

#32 USC 4, #5 UCLA 1
3/1/2019 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Jada Hart (UCLA) def. #34 Salma Ewing (USC) 6-0, 6-2
2. Angela Kulikov (USC) def. #11 Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-3, 7-5
3. Rianna Valdes (USC) def. #112 Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 6-3, 6-3
4. Abi Altick (UCLA) vs. Ana Neffa (USC) 2-6, 4-5, unfinished
5. #120 Becca Weissmann (USC) def. Alaina Miller (UCLA) 6-0, 6-4
6. Taylor Johnson (UCLA) vs. Danielle Willson (USC) 6-2, 5-7, 0-2, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. Angela Kulikov/Rianna Valdes (USC) def. #8 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 6-4
2. #14 Elysia Bolton/Jada Hart (UCLA) def. Becca Weissmann/Danielle Willson (USC) 6-4
3. Constance Branstine/Estella Jaeger (USC) def. #38 Abi Altick/Alaina Miller (UCLA) 6-3
Match Notes:
USC 6-2; National ranking #32
UCLA 7-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,5,3,2)


The other women's top 10 team to go down also came courtesy of a Pac-12 opponent. Washington, ITA #22/USTA #23, improved to 10-1 on the year after knocking off ITA No. 7/USTA No. 12 Kansas 4-3. The Jayhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after claiming the doubles point and picking up a straight set win at No. 5 singles however the Huskies would come back and win four of the five remaining matches all of which went three sets. UW freshman Nika Zupancic was the first Husky to finish with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 6 and junior Natsuho Arakawa followed with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 4. UW junior Katarina Kopcalic gave the Huskies its first lead of the day with a 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 3 and sophomore Vanessa Wong made it four in a row with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 2.  

"I am so proud of our team for coming together and competing the way we did tonight," said head coach Robin Stephenson. "This was the first time all season that we had lost the doubles point and I challenged them to let it go and respond the right way. We knew that we are capable of winning on every court in singles."

"I am so proud of everyone on this team and how we competed," commented Kopcalic. "We talk a lot about unity and I thought we did a really good job of that today. After we lost the doubles point, we all regrouped and knew that we needed to go out swinging and that's what we did. We just had a blast out there today."

"We knew we were going to have to earn every single point out there tonight and that it was going to be a battle until the end," continued Stephenson. "Kansas is a very good team and it took our best competitive effort to get the win. We competed our best tonight and executed when we needed to. That comes through a lot of hard work and commitment to doing the right things day in and day out. We will enjoy this win for a day or so and then get back to work for our conference opener next weekend."

Kansas head coach Todd Chapman
"Credit to Washington. In the big moments they played them well and competed at a high level. We have to learn to play looser and with more confidence in those moments. We have to bounce back quickly and be ready to play Oregon on Sunday."

#22 Washington 4, #7 Kansas 3
March 1, 2019 at Seattle, Wash
Singles Results (5, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1)
1. #43 Rychagova, Anastasia (KU) def. Stacey Fung (WASH-W) 5-7, 6-4, 7-6
2. Vanessa Wong (WASH-W) def. #79 Koch, Janet (KU) 6-7, 7-6, 6-2
3. Katarina Kopcalic (WASH-W) def. Plipuech, Ploburng (KU) 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
4. Natsuho Arakawa (WASH-W) def. Khmelnitckaia, Nina (KU) 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
5. Ribas, Maria Toran (KU) def. Sedona Gallagher (WASH-W) 6-2, 6-4
6. Nika Zupancic (WASH-W) def. Smagina, Sonia (KU) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
Doubles Results (3, 2)
1. #35 Stacey Fung/Nika Zupancic (WASH-W) vs. #3 Koch, Janet/Khmelnitckaia, Nina (KU) 4-4, unfinished
2. #51 Rychagova, Anastasia/Smagina, Sonia (KU) def. Vanessa Wong/Zoey Weil (WASH-W) 6-4
3. #39 Ribas, Maria Toran/Ngounoue, Malkia (KU) def. Sedona Gallagher/Kenadi Hance (WASH-W) 6-1


The most highly touted match on the men's side saw #7/#10 Baylor post a 4-0 shutout in Waco over #11/#13 Illinois. The Bears won the doubles point with a 6-3 win at No. 2 and a 7-5 win at No. 3 and then they added four opening sets in singles. Baylor would get its three singles wins from Matias Soto, Sven Lah, and Adrian Boitan at No. 2, No. 4. and No. 5 with each winning in straight sets. At the time of the clinch, Illinois had a set and a break lead at No. 1 and No. 3 and the match at No. 6 was even at 3-3 in the third.

Sorry for not listing a box score but neither team put one out in a format that I could cut and paste and the scores from the unfinished sets were scrubbed at that so I had to find those on Twitter.

Head coach Brian Boland - On the win…
"First of all, the crowd was incredible. They brought an energy to the match that you can't duplicate. Our guys really fed off of that and performed very well in the pressure moments. Any time you can collect a win against a Big Ten powerhouse like Illinois, you feel great. They pushed us to the brink. The final score did not reflect how hard we had to work to win. We are happy with the win but need to quickly focus on another home match against a solid Purdue squad tomorrow."

"Give credit to Baylor. They stepped up at enough spots to beat us," said head coach Brad Dancer. "We gave situations away in doubles because we lost our principles."

"In the singles matches we lost, we are not identifying with who we are," noted Dancer. "We have another good challenge Sunday in Fort Worth."


Georgia Tech picked up its biggest win of the year after upsetting #21/#17 Florida State 4-3. The Jackets took the doubles point by winning the decider at No. 2 in a tiebreak 7-4 but FSU bounced back in singles with four opening sets. GT's Andrew Li won in straights at No. 3 to make it 2-0 but FSU came back with straight set wins at No. 2 and No. 6 from Alex Knaff and Chase Wood. Georgia Tech retook the lead with a three set win from Cole Gromley at No. 5 but FSU's Richard Thongoana evened it up with a three set win at No. 4. In the deciding match at No. 1, it was Georgia Tech's Carlos Divar breaking a 2-2 tie in the third set by winning the final four games to take it 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Georgia Tech 4, #21 Florida State 3
Mar 01, 2019 at Atlanta, Ga. (Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
Singles Competition
1. #36 Carlos Divar (GT) def. #63 Lucas Poullain (FS) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2. Alex Knaff (FS) def. Phillip Gresk (GT) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1)
3. Andrew Li (GT) def. Juan Martin Jalif (FS) 6-3, 6-1
4. Richard Thongoana (FS) def. Chris Yun (GT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. #106 Cole Gromley (GT) def. Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. Chase Wood (FS) def. Joseph Gandolfo (GT) 6-1, 6-4
Doubles Competition
1. Carlos Divar/Phillip Gresk (GT) def. Alex Knaff/Sebastian Arcila (FS) 6-4
2. Joseph Gandolfo/Chris Yun (GT) def. Lucas Poullain/Juan Martin Jalif (FS) 7-6 (7-4)
3. Richard Thongoana/Chase Wood (FS) def. Andrew Li/Brandon Freestone (GT) 6-3
Match Notes:
Florida State University 10-3, 1-1 ACC; National ranking #21
Georgia Tech 6-5, 1-1 ACC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,6,2,5,4,1)


Georgia went to Knoxville and won the doubles point and six opening sets in singles but had to hold on to defeat #19/#15 Tennessee 4-2. After claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3, the Dawgs extended their lead to 3-0 with straight set wins from Robert Loeb and Trent Bryde at No. 5 and No. 3. Georgia freshman Philip Henning opened up a 5-1 lead in the final set of his match at No. 4 before Tennessee senior Preston Touliatos roared back to even it at 5-5 (fought off match points at 2-5 and 3-5. 

During Touliatos's comeback, Tennessee added three set wins from TImo Stodder and Luca Wiedenmann at No. 1 and No. 6 to close to within 3-2. Stodder led 5-2 in the final set but Georgia's Jan Zielinski won four straight and served for the match up 6-5 before Stodder broke and then won the tiebreak 7-3. Wiedenmann broke for 5-4 in the third and served his match out to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Back at No. 4, Georgia's Henning would pull away in the third set tiebreak and clinch the match 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(2).  

"I'm very proud of this bunch," Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. "We showed tremendous focus and intent and played terrific doubles at the two and three spots to set the tempo. Our team got tougher today, and I'm very proud of our freshmen in their first SEC match. We also had great leadership from our seniors, as well as a dominant performance from Robert Loeb."

Georgia 4, #15 Tennessee 2
March 1, 2019 at Knoxville, TN
Singles competition
1. Timo Stodder (UT) def. Jan Zielinski (UGA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
2. Adam Walton (UT) vs. Emil Reinberg (UGA) 4-6, 6-2, 3-5, unfinished
3. Trent Bryde (UGA) def. Scott Jones (UT) 7-6 (7-1), 6-4
4. Phillip Henning (UGA) def. Preston Touliatos (UT) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Robert Loeb (UGA) def. Martim Prata (UT) 6-1, 6-2
6. Luca Wiedenmann (UT) def. Walker Duncan (UGA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Timo Stodder/Preston Touliatos (UT) def. Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) 6-2
2. Walker Duncan/Emil Reinberg (UGA) def. Pat Harper/Adam Walton (UT) 6-3
3. Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA) def. Andrew Rogers/Martim Prata (UT) 6-4
Match Notes:
Georgia 5-3
Tennessee 9-2; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,6,1,4)


Alabama won a top 20 showdown at home against LSU with a 5-2 win. The Crimson Tide took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then added straight set wins from Mazen Osama, Edson Ortiz, and Riccardo Roberto to make it 4-0. The remaining matches were played out with LSU winning at No. 3 and No. 4 while Alabama won at No. 5.

"I thought doubles play was a little up and down, but we prevailed," said head coach George Husack. "We came up with two big victories and we had a really great start in singles winning the first five out of six set, I thought that made a statement. I thought Mazen (Osama) also made as statement with a quick win. LSU is really tough, but we got after it and had a good finish to the night."

Co-Head Coach Chris Brandi on the Match
“Tough one today,” LSU co-head coach Chris Brandi said. “Alabama seized the momentum much better than we did. When you play better teams, you get fewer opportunities and today we just dug too deep a hole. We’ll learn from this and get better.”

#20/#25 Alabama 5, #18/#23 LSU 2
3/1/2019 at Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Alabama Tennis Stadium)
Singles competition
1. #32 Mazen Osama (UA) def. #112 Shane Monroe (LSU) 6-2, 6-2
2. Edson Ortiz (UA) def. Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-2, 7-5
3. Malik Bhatnagar (LSU) def. #108 Patrick Kaukovalta (UA) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
4. Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. Zhe Zhou (UA) 1-6, 6-1, 7-5
5. Alexey Nesterov (UA) def. Joey Thomas (LSU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
6. Riccardo Roberto (UA) def. Nick Watson (LSU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Doubles competition
1. Mazen Osama/Patrick Kaukovalta (UA) def. #45 Rafael Wagner/Joey Thomas (LSU) 6-4
2. Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (UA) def. Shane Monroe/Daniel Moreno (LSU) 6-3
3. Boris Kozlov/Nick Watson (LSU) def. Edson Ortiz/Zhe Zhou (UA) 6-2
Match Notes:
LSU 11-2; National ranking #18
Alabama 11-2; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,6,3,4,5)
T-2:56 A-98


Other Men's Results

  • #1 Ohio State won at #36 Penn State 4-1 - Buckeyes won dubs and then after dropping four first sets had to rally to get wins at 1 and 4 while Seelig won in straights at 3.
  • #8 Mississippi State def. #27 Vanderbilt 7-0 - Bulldogs rallied to take the doubles point and then won three singles matches in straight sets and the other three in third sets 
  • #17 Minnesota def. Washington 5-2 - Gophers won dubs and at the bottom four spots in the singles lineup (3 in straight sets)
  • #24 Oklahoma def. #45 Tulsa 4-1 - Sooners dropped dubs but came back in singles winning in straights at 1, 2, and 6 with Ferran Calvo clinching at 3 (4-6, 6-4, 6-1)
  • Kentucky won at #30 Ole Miss 4-3 - UK won all three singles matches that went the distance with Enzo Wallart winning the decider at No. 2 in a third set tiebreak 7-2
  • #42 Arkansas def. #34 South Carolina 5-2 - Razorbacks won dubs and added straight set wins at 3, 4, 5, and 6 singles. 
  • Utah def. #40 Old Dominion 4-0 - Utes won dubs and added three straight set wins in singles
  • Indiana def. #41 Northwestern 4-2 - Hoosiers dropped dubs but picked up straight set singles wins at 1, 2, and 6 while Andrew Redding clinched at 5 in three sets 7-6, 3-6, 6-3
  • #44 Wichita State def. #43 Drake 4-2 - Shockers won dubs and in straights at 5 with all other matches going the distance - Haru Inoue clinched at 2 (6-4, 4-6, 6-3)
  • #49 Georgia State def. North Florida 4-3 - Bailey Showers made it 4-2 with a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win at No. 5
  • #50 Princeton def. Wisconsin 6-1 - Tigers dropped the doubles point but swept singles with three coming in straight sets


Other Women's Results

  • #1 North Carolina def. Notre Dame 6-1 - Tar Heels cruised with five straight set wins in singles
  • #3 Duke def. #35 Georgia Tech 6-1 - Blue Devils won a close doubles point but had no issues in singles 
  • #6 Vanderbilt def. #39 Missouri 7-0 - Dores won all but two sets in singles 
  • #11 NC State def #49 Louisville 6-1 - Wolfpack took dubs and rolled through singles
  • #12 LSU def. Alabama 4-0 - Tigers won 7 of 9 completed sets in singles 
  • #13 Northwestern def. #26 Illinois 5-2 - Wildcats took dubs and won three singles matches in straight sets and another in three sets
  • #21 Michigan def. #46 Baylor 7-0 - Michigan won all sets in singles with Baylor forfeiting at No. 3 dubs and No. 5 and No. 6 singles due to a lack of healthy players (12 showing on roster)
  • #33 Wake Forest def. #40 Boston College 6-1 - Deacs won comfortably with four straight set singles wins while the teams split third set supertiebreaks in the other two
  • Idaho won at Oregon 4-3 - Vandals dropped dubs but won via a forfeit at No. 6 and 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 while also winning in straights at 1 and 2


***All quotes are from the respective school's recaps

Read 691 times Last modified on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:32

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