Thursday, 14 March 2019 03:56

Center Dismissed at Texas; Florida Firepower Too Much For Wake Forest; Pepperdine Women Blank UCLA; TCU Toughs Out Win Over Tennessee; Tulsa Takes Out Oklahoma State; New Rankings Released

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The University of Texas stayed in the news for a second day in a row after athletic director Chris Del Conte dismissed men's head coach Michael Center following the charges that made headlines all across the county on Tuesday. Center, who was in his 19th season as head coach at Texas, reportedly accepted approximately $100,000 to help an unnamed student gain admittance to Texas by labeling him as a tennis recruit. Associate head coach Bruce Berque will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season and I'm sure the story will be a major topic on tonight's nationally televised broadcast of Texas's match against No. 1 Ohio State which will air on the Longhorn Network. Below was the official statement from Del Conte via the University of Texas:

"After working with campus leaders to review the recent situation with Michael Center, we have decided to relieve him of his duties as our Men's Tennis coach," Del Conte said. "It's a very difficult decision, and we are grateful for the years of service that he has provided, but winning with integrity will always be paramount at The University of Texas, and it was a decision that had to be made.

"I've met with our team and assured them that we will do everything in our power to support them," Del Conte added. "I also plan to reach out to all of our commitments, signees and their families immediately. I'm grateful for Coach Berque's leadership during this challenging time. Our team is in the middle of a tremendous season, and I applaud them for how they've handled this situation, especially the way they responded in their match on Tuesday."

The Tennis Recruiting Network has an article with comments from one of Texas's top recruits for next year. The Longhorns 2019 recruiting class was rated No. 2 with four blue chips and a four-star recruit so it'll be interesting to see how many remain committed to Texas following the news this week. 

The big match of the day on the men's side took place in Gainesville with No. 8 Florida defeating No. 2 Wake Forest 5-2. The Demon Deacons were playing without Borna Gojo (#1 singles/#1 doubles), whose run at Drummondville Canada Challenger ended on Tuesday, however they jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after lopsided doubles wins at No. 1 and No. 2.

The story in singles was the exact opposite with Florida steamrolling past Wake at 3, 4, 5, and 6. 

McClain Kessler put the Gators first point on the board with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 6, Johannes Ingildsen made it 2-1 with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 4, Lukas Greif made it 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5, and moments later Sam Riffice clinched with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 3. The final two matches were played out with Wake's Bar Botzer winning 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 and Florida's Oliver Crawford defeating ITA No. 2 Petros Chrysochos 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.

Sophomore Oliver Crawford
On beating Petros Chrysochos…
"Yeah, it's obviously cool. Petros is arguably the best college tennis player in the last year and a half to two years, so it's cool to beat him. I lost to him this last fall in a close three-set match, so I knew I was pretty close last time and I was just going to go out and do my best and it was nice to come away with a win tonight."

On the team win tonight…
"It's awesome. We have multiple guys winning multiple matches in a row. We have a lot of guys in the middle to low lineup that are taking care of business really quickly and makes my job a lot easier at the top of the lineup with confidence knowing that I can go out and play freely because I know they have my back and they are going to win most of the time."

On dropping the doubles match and then winning five singles matches to win two straight wins…
"I think it shows a lot of our character. After the doubles point the last two matches, we just huddled up as a team and we know we have each other's backs win or lose and we just try and go down swinging and play freely and play the game we enjoy. So everyone knows that win or lose, we have each other's back and tennis isn't the biggest thing in life and everyone is just excited to go out there and do the best we can, especially in front of a wonderful home crowd."

Freshman Sam Riffice
On what was going through his head during match point on his court and Lukas Greif's….
"Yeah, I was paying attention to Lukas' match. I definitely wanted him to finish first so I could clinch. I wanted to clinch. But he [Lukas] is playing so good. It's fun to play out there next to him. He is really positive and plays a good game."

On taking down two top-10 teams at home…
"The fans in the first place were so good. It was so loud out there today and they were so supportive. I mean we lost both doubles points in both matches and it just shows how good all of our guys are in singles. We have just such a solid lineup and it's really fun playing out there with those guys and beating such great teams. All of the guys on our team can play, so it's really fun."

#8 Florida 5, #2 Wake Forest 2
March 13, 2019 at Gainesville, Florida
Doubles-Order of Finish: 3,1,2
1. Julian Zlobinsky/Alan Gadjiev (WF) def. #73 McClain Kessler/Duarte Vale (UF)- 6-1
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) def. #14 Oliver Crawford/Andres Andrade (UF)- 6-2
3. Johannes Ingildsen/Sam Riffice (UF) def. Melios Efstathiou/Siddhant Banthia (WF)- 6-3
Singles-Order of Finish: 6,4,5,3*,2,1
1. #24 Oliver Crawford (UF) def. #2 Petros Chrysochos (WF)- 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
2. #21 Bar Botzer (WF) def. #54 Andres Andrade (UF)- 6-1, 6-4
3. #48 Sam Riffice (UF) def. #60 Melios Efstathiou (WF)- 6-3, 6-1*
4. #79 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) def. Rrezart Cungu (WF)- 6-2, 6-2
5. Lukas Greif (UF) def. Siddhant Banthia (WF)- 6-3, 6-2
6. McClain Kessler (UF) def. Julian Zlobinsky (WF)- 6-3, 6-1


The big match of the day on the women's side saw #20 Pepperdine blank #6 UCLA 4-0. The Waves took the doubles point with a pair of 6-4 win at No. 2 and No. 3 and then they added five opening sets in singles. Pepperdine closed out three of those matches in straight sets with Ashley Lahey winning 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1, Anastasia Iamachkine winning 6-4, 6-4 at No. 6, and Adrijana Lekaj clinching at No. 2 with a 6-4, 7-5 win. 

#20 Pepperdine 4, #6 UCLA 0
Mar 13, 2019 at Malibu, Calif. (Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #56 Ashley Lahey (PEPP) def. #64 Jada Hart (UCLA) 6-3, 6-4
2. Adrijana Lekaj (PEPP) def. #10 Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-4, 7-5
3. Satsuki Takamura (PEPP) vs. Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 4-6, 5-3, unfinished
4. Dzina Milovanovic (PEPP) vs. #110 Abi Altick (UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
5. Daria Kuczer (PEPP) vs. Alaina Miller (UCLA) 6-0, 5-7, 1-2, unfinished
6. Anastasia Iamachkine (PEPP) def. Gabby Andrews (UCLA) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Ayan Broomfield/Jada Hart (UCLA) def. #17 Jessica Failla/Anastasia Iamachkine (PEPP) 6-2
2. Ashley Lahey/Daria Kuczer (PEPP) def. Gabby Andrews/Alaina Miller (UCLA) 6-4
3. Adrijana Lekaj/Dzina Milovanovic (PEPP) def. Abi Altick/Elysia Bolton (UCLA) 6-4
Match Notes:
UCLA 9-3; National ranking #6
Pepperdine University 6-3; National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,6,2)


#12 TCU went on the road to Knoxville and picked up a hard fought 4-0 win over #22 Tennessee.  The Horned Frogs took the doubles point with 6-4 wins at 1 and 2 but the Vols rallied in singles with four opening sets. The only match to finish in straight sets came at No. 4 with TCU's Bertus Kruger winning 6-3, 7-5. After Kruger made 2-0, freshman Luc Fomba made it 3-0 with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win at No. 5. Fomba was down a break for most of the third set but after breaking for 5-5 he won the next two to close it out. 

TCU freshman Sander Jong clinched the match at No. 6 with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win. The other matches were halted with Tennessee up a break in the third at 1 and 3 while TCU was up a break in the third at 2. 

Quotes from the Match - TCU Head Coach David Roditi
"What a road win for the boys. This match was the furthest from a 4-0 win. If our team hadn't been ready for a dog fight, then it would have been 4-0 the other way. During the whole doubles time, we were either down or even. We were mostly down and our boys hung in there and they were clutch with late breaks to get that critical road doubles point. Then in singles, we got off to great starts on several courts and I felt their coaches did an incredible job of helping them come back. We had huge wins at bottom of lineup again. I love the fact that with this team, we have always been able to find four points from different positions. The level of play at the No. 1 position was very high in my opinion and getting the second sets on courts one and two to extend the matches was huge moral lift for our squad. I'm very proud of the way our Frogs fought and competed today. I also want to thank the Frogs that flew here to cheer us on because that is always awesome."

#12 TCU 4, #22 Tennessee 0
Mar 13, 2019 at Knoxville, Tenn. (Goodfriend Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #59 Timo Stodder (UT) vs. #7 Alex Rybakov (TCU) 6-3, 5-7, 3-0*, unfinished
2. #93 Adam Walton (UT) vs. #26 Alastair Gray (TCU) 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 1-2*, unfinished
3. Scott Jones (UT) vs. #115 Reese Stalder (TCU) 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 4-2*, unfinished
4. #86 Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. Luca Wiedenmann (UT) 6-3, 7-5
5. Luc Fomba (TCU) def. Martim Prata (UT) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
6. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Pat Harper (UT) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #18 Reese Stalder/Bertus Kruger (TCU) def. #36 Timo Stodder/Preston Touliatos (UT) 6-4
2. #56 Alex Rybakov/Alastair Gray (TCU) def. Scott Jones/Pat Harper (UT) 6-4
3. Adam Walton/Martim Prata (UT) vs. Eduardo Roldan/Juan Martin (TCU) 5-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
TCU 10-3; National ranking #12
Tennessee 10-4; National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,5,6)


Unranked Tulsa will most likely not be unranked come next week after they defeated No. 23 Oklahoma State 4-3. The Golden Hurricane took the early lead after winning at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles and then they kept things rolling in singles with four opening sets. Kody Pearson made it 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 4 but Oklahoma State countered with a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 5 by Luke Hammond. Boriss Kamdem made it 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 6 and Josh Goodger clinched the match with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 2. The final two matches were played out with Oklahoma State winning both in a third set. 

Tulsa 4, #23 Oklahoma State 3
3/13/2019 at Tulsa, Okla. (Michael D. Case Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Matej Vocel (OSU) def. #52 Majed Kilani (TU), 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-6)
2. Joshua Goodger (TU) def. Maxim Tybar (OSU), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Mathieu Scaglia (OSU) def. Jarod Hing (TU), 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5
4. Kody Pearson (TU) def. Emile Hudd (OSU), 6-1, 6-1
5. Luke Hammond (OSU) def. Stefan Hampe (TU), 7-6(3), 6-2
6. Boriss Kamdem (TU) def. Brady Draheim (OSU), 7-5, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Jarod Hing/Boriss Kamdem (TU) def. #22 Maxim Tybar/Mathieu Scaglia (OSU), 6-2
2. Majed Kilani/Kody Pearson (TU) v. Emile Hudd/Luke Hammond (OSU), 4-4 unf.
3. Joshua Goodger/Tom Thelwall-Jones (TU) def. Matej Vocel/Brady Draheim (OSU), 6-3
Match Notes:
Oklahoma State 11-5; National ranking #23
Tulsa 10-8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,5,6,2,1,3)
T-2:30 A-202


Virginia went on the road and earned a top 25 win after defeating #23 Michigan 5-2. The Cavs took the doubles point and clinched at 4-1 with Amber O'Dell's 7-5, 7-6 win at No. 3

"It was a great match," said Virginia head coach Sara O'Leary. "Michigan is a very good team and made us really earn every spot in singles and doubles. It really was a full team effort to get this win. Even Meghan (Kelley) and Hunter (Bleser), who did not get wins on the scoreboard, helped the team tremendously by hanging tough in their matches and never giving in. For Hunter to win that second set after losing the first set 6-0 gave the rest of the remaining players a huge boost. I'm really proud of the fight, composure and belief our entire team showed today."

No. 24 Virginia 5, No. 23 Michigan 2
March 13, 2019 at Ann Arbor, Michigan
1. No. 4 Kate Fahey (UM) def. No. 33 Meghan Kelley - 6-3, 6-4
2. Vivian Glozman (UVA) def. No. 89 Giulia Pairone (UM) – 4-6, 7-6 (5), 1-0 (5)
3. Amber O'Dell (UVA) def. No. 29 Brienne Minor (UM) – 7-5, 7-6 (3)
4. Chloe Gullickson (UVA) def. No. 21 Chiara Lommer (UM) – 6-2, 6-3
5. Sofia Munera (UVA) def. Alyvia Jones (UM) – 6-2, 6-4
6. Anca Craciun (UM) def. Hunter Bleser – 6-0, 5-7, 6-3
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 4, 3, 6, 2
1. Kate Fahey/Giulia Pairone (UM) def. No. 58 Chloe Gullickson/Amber O'Dell - 6-3
2. Vivian Glozman/Sofia Munera (UVA) def. Chiara Lommer/Bella Lorenzini (UM) - 6-4
3. No. 56 Hunter Bleser/Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. Brienne Minor/Alyvia Jones (UM) - 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2


The latest ITA and USTA rankings are out with very little movement up top. The only change in the ITA top 5 was Vanderbilt and Stanford swapping spots at 4 and 5. Other notable movements in the ITA Women's Top 25 were Texas climbing from 16 to 8 after a win over Florida State and Tennessee shooting up from 33 to 16 after wins over Texas A&M and LSU. Tennessee was the new women's entrant to the USTA Top 25 with the Vols coming in at 25. 

The same teams stayed in the ITA Men's Top 10 with some minor shuffling of spots. Texas A&M made the biggest jump in the top 25 by moving up 9 spots from 28 to 19. The Aggies wins over Georgia and Tennessee accounted for the movement while the win over #1 Ohio State will be reflected in next week's rankings since it was played on Monday. 

I have the side-by-side charts of the ITA and USTA rankings below plus you can view the ITA team rankings from 26 to 50 at this link while the USTA's release is available here


Rank Avg School Prv   Rnk Votes School Prv
1 91.49 North Carolina 1   1 300 Georgia 1
2 86.60 Georgia 2   2 288 North Carolina 2
3 67.71 Duke 3   3 276 Stanford 3
4 62.51 Vanderbilt 5   4 261 Duke 4
5 61.20 Stanford 4   5 252 Vanderbilt 5
6 57.61 UCLA 6   6 240 Texas 6
7 55.29 South Carolina 9   7 220 South Carolina 7
8 53.77 Texas 16   8 209 UCLA 9
9 47.77 Washington 7   9 206 Michigan 8
10 46.33 Kansas 12   10 200 Ohio State 10
11 45.50 Oklahoma State 8   11 163 Florida State 11
12 42.83 NC State 11   12 158 Pepperdine 12
13 42.73 Ohio State 10   13 142 NC State 14
14 41.58 California 20   14 125 Kansas 15
15 41.30 Wake Forest 19   15 123 Oklahoma State 16
16 40.76 Tennessee 33   16 93 California 19
17 40.59 USC 14   17 89 LSU 13
18 37.29 Northwestern 13   18 86 Miami FLA 17
19 36.57 LSU 15   19 76 Washington 21
20 33.52 Pepperdine 23   20 62 Northwestern 22
21 33.46 Kentucky 18   21 58 USC 24
22 32.37 Florida State 17   22 55 Wake Forest 25
23 31.97 Michigan 22   23 54 UCF 23
24 31.34 Virginia 25   24 53 Virginia 20
25 30.62 Texas Tech 30   25 44 Tennessee NR


Rank Avg School Prv   Rnk Votes School Prv
1 90.00 Ohio State 1   1 300 Ohio State 1
2 73.65 Wake Forest 2   2 286 Wake Forest 2
3 65.04 Virginia 4   3 277 Texas 3
4 63.67 Texas 3   4 262 North Carolina 4
5 61.98 Stanford 7   5 250 Virginia 5
6 59.62 Baylor 5   6 240 Stanford 6
7 59.37 North Carolina 6   7 221 TCU 7
8 58.11 Florida 9   8 214 Florida 9
9 55.49 Columbia 8   9 213 Columbia 8
10 55.41 Mississippi State 10   10 194 Baylor 10
11 48.65 Notre Dame 13   11 174 USC 12
12 47.94 TCU 11   12 164 Mississippi State 11
13 43.29 Michigan 14   13 153 UCLA 13
14 43.24 Illinois 15   14 139 Michigan 14
15 40.85 Minnesota 16   15 124 Oklahoma 15
16 40.48 USC 19   16 116 Illinois 16
17 39.33 Oregon 12   17 104 Notre Dame 17
18 38.61 Alabama 17   18 97 Minnesota 18
19 38.44 Texas A&M 28   19 96 Texas A&M 20
20 37.89 UCLA 20   20 66 Oregon 21
21 36.53 Oklahoma 18   21 56 Tennessee 19
22 33.55 Tennessee 25   22 52 South Carolina 23
23 29.66 Oklahoma State 30   23 29 Georgia NR
24 28.87 South Carolina 29   24 17 Alabama 24
25 28.20 BYU 22   25 16 Florida State 22


*All quotes are from the respective school's recaps

**If there are two rankings listed the first ranking is the ITA ranking and the second is the USTA rankings


Read 1462 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 March 2019 05:40


  • Comment Link go blue Thursday, 14 March 2019 16:12 posted by go blue

    Michigan women always look so good on paper. Hey Bobby why do you think they struggle?

    and What happened to the Florida Gators women's team?

  • Comment Link wondering Thursday, 14 March 2019 16:16 posted by wondering

    SEC Teams got two big gifts when Ohio State plays to them without their number one guy and loses, then Wake Forest does the same thing against Florida?

    Do colleges give free passes to their players to go off and play pro events during the season? not cool

    I mean if coaches are being fired for using influence in admissions, maybe something is going on here too?

  • Comment Link Bobby Knight Thursday, 14 March 2019 17:33 posted by Bobby Knight

    Michigan is always at/near the top of the Big Ten though the Big Ten is usually pretty top heavy with not much competition so by the time the NCAAs come around they're not as battle tested against top level teams plus they're playing outdoors against teams that play outdoors most of the year. The match against Virginia was a toss-up though I would have thought Michigan would have won with it being at home.

    I think the reason Florida is down is because they only had one new player come in from 2015 to 2017 and that one player, Ingrid Neel, left after a year. So after the group of seniors graduated the year before last that left them with a huge hole in their roster. That big graduating class had girls that were the elite of the elite and the ones that have come in over the last two years have been good but not quite at the same level as the previous group. Of the 8 players on the roster only 3 were there last year and of those 3 only Kessler was a strong contributor. It'll be interesting to see who they can bring in over the next few years to try to get back up to the top.

  • Comment Link Bobby Knight Thursday, 14 March 2019 17:43 posted by Bobby Knight

    In this day and age if a coach wants to get the best of the best they have to be flexible on letting those players play pro events even if it comes during the dual-match season. I don't particularly like it or agree with it but it's the way things are. If Tony Bresky didn't let Gojo play those pro events chances are he either doesn't come to Wake at all or he leaves after last year.

    These guys that have the ranking to get into Challengers have to take every opportunity they can get because the points won at Futures events last year won't carry over this year. If they don't play any Challengers during the dual season then by the time the season is over their ranking might not be high enough to get them in any at all.

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