Sunday, 22 May 2016 03:51

NCAA Quarterfinals Preview - Virginia/Florida, Ohio State/Cal, UNC/UGA, Oklahoma/UCLA

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[1] Virginia Cavaliers (27-4) vs. [9] Florida Gators (21-6) - Noon CT - Virginia moved into the quarterfinals after pulling out a hard fought 4-2 win over Oklahoma State while Florida's bottom of the lineup help propel them to a 4-0 win over SMU. Virginia won the regular season meeting in Gainesville 5-2 and it looks like the top three spots in the lineup will all be rematches. Virginia is trying to make it back to the NCAA semifinals for the seventh year in a row while Florida last made the semis in 2005. Florida has won its last nine matches while Virginia has won its last three. 

Doubles Records: Virginia 27-4, Florida 22-5
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Florida 84

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 16th. For more details about UTR check out their website. 

The UTR Power 6 is the combined UTRs of the starting 6 (rounded to a whole #).  An individual win/loss to anyone with a UTR difference of 1.0 or greater would be considered an upset.   

Regular Season Meeting 

#3 Virginia 5, #14 Florida 2 
Apr 06, 2016 at Ring Tennis Complex (Gainesville, Fla.) 
Singles competition 
1. #17 Diego Hidalgo (FLA) def. #7 Ryan Shane (VA) 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 
2. #6 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #33 Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-2, 6-4 
3. #38 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #109 Alfredo Perez (FLA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 
4. J.C. Aragone (VA) def. #84 Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) 6-4, 6-3 
5. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Gordon Watson (FLA) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) 
6. Luca Corinteli (VA) def. McClain Kessler (FLA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 
Doubles competition 
1. #3 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (FLA) def. #2 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) 6-4 
2. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) def. #58 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-4 
3. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) 6-4 
Match Notes 
Virginia 18-3; National ranking #3 
Florida 12-5; National ranking #14 
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,4,6,5,1,3) 

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.39) vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.64) 
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.25) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (UF 14.39)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.50) vs. #37 Elliott Orkin (UF 14.10)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.37) vs. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 14.03) 
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.90) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.54)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.53)  vs. McClain Kessler (UF 13.73)
O: Luca Corinteli (VA 13.68) 

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-12 vs. Hidalgo 17-5 
2. Altamirano 24-4 vs. Perez 19-4
3. Kwiatkowski 21-6 vs. Orkin 16-7
4. Ritschard 3-0 vs. Perez-Blanco 15-7
5. Aragone 23-4 vs. Watson 17-5
6. Wiersholm 23-2 vs. Kessler 14-5 
Bench: Corinteli 10-3

When the bracket first came out I had this penciled in as a Virginia win but I really like the way Florida has been playing these last three matches. Florida hasn't made it this far in over a decade so they're playing with house money while Virginia is still carrying the banner as defending national champs and has the weight of the number one seed hanging on them. 

Florida won the doubles point in the first meeting and I think they'll take it again in this one. Virginia will be favored on just about every court but I think Florida is going to find a way to pull off a couple of big upsets. In my opinion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski is Virginia's biggest lock and I expect him, Henrik Wiersholm, and Alex Ritschard to each pull through to put Virginia on the verge of clinching it. However I think Diego Hidalgo gets past Ryan Shane for the second time this year, Gordon Watson pulls off a mild upset over J.C. Aragone, and Alfredo Perez upsets Collin Altamirano to give Florida a stunning win.  Upset Prediction: Florida 4-3  

[5] Ohio State Buckeyes (33-2) vs. [13] Cal Bears (20-6) - Noon CT - Ohio State is coming off a really tough 4-3 win over Texas while Cal pulled off a nice surprise with a 4-3 win over TCU. Both teams had grueling matches on Friday but they should be well rested for this one after having a full day off in between. It'll be interesting to see how Mikael Torpegaard responds after suffering his first dual-match loss while both Billy Griffith and J.T. Nishimura will try to rebound after losing for only the third time this year.

Doubles Records: Ohio State 31-4, Cal 17-7
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Ohio State 85, Cal 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 15.18) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 14.23)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.81) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.26)
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.42) vs. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL 14.34)
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 14.05) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.24)
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.83) vs. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.63)
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.92) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.53)

Dual-Match Records
1. Torpegaard 23-1 vs. Lakat 9-8
2. Diaz 8-8 vs. Goransson 12-10
3. Di Feo 14-6 vs. Griffith 15-3
4. Steinbach 24-3 vs. Bergevi 18-3
5. Pollanen 14-5 vs. Wikberg 11-4
6. Joyce 20-0 vs. Nishimura 11-3

Ohio State will be the favorite in doubles and I'd be really surprised if they dropped the point. I'm expecting Mikael Torpegaard to bounce back and win at No. 1 and I think Martin Joyce will remain undefeated at No. 6. I like Cal's Andre Goransson and Filip Bergevi at No. 2 and No. 4 but Herkko Pollanen gets it done again at No. 5 to send the Buckeyes back to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. Prediction: Ohio State 4-2. 

[3] UCLA Bruins (25-2) vs. [11] Oklahoma Sooners (18-10)  - Sunday 4pm CT - UCLA is coming off a 4-2 win over Stanford while Oklahoma hammered Wake Forest 4-0. These two last met in the last year's NCAA Round of 16 with Oklahoma winning a 4-3 thriller in a match that started outdoors and was moved indoors due to rain.  

2015 NCAA Round of 16 

[1] Oklahoma def. [16] UCLA 4-3 
May 14, 2015 - Waco, TX (Hurd Tennis Center Grandstand Courts) 
Doubles Competition 
1. #57 Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #12 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) 8-4 
2. Dane Webb/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #86 Joseph De Guilio/Karue Sell (UCLA) 8-4 
3. Axel Alvarez/Jose Salazar (OU) vs. Dennis Mkrtchian/Austin Rapp (UCLA) 6-4, unf 
Singles Competition 
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 15.20) def. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU 15.19) 6-4, 6-4 
2. #36 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 14.09) def. #7 Andrew Harris (OU 15.05) 7-6(5), 7-6(3) 
3. #118 MartinRedlicki (UCLA 14.44) def. #44 Dane Webb (OU 14.22) 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4 
4. #103 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.41) def. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.00) 6-3, 6-4 
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.89) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA 13.04) 6-3, 6-4 
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.64) def. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.44) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 
Match Notes: 
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 2); Singles (5, 4, 1, 3, 2, 6) 
Oklahoma 27-2 UCLA 17-10

Doubles Records: UCLA 20-7, Oklahoma 15-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: UCLA 85, Oklahoma 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #6 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.95) vs. #97 Andrew Harris (OU 14.76)
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.03) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.29)
3. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA 14.14) vs. #82 Spencer Papa (OU 13.96)
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA 14.50) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.02)
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA 13.57) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.70) vs. Andre Biro (OU 13.74)
O: Austin Rapp (UCLA 13.22); Maxime Mora (OU 13.68)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. McDonald 15-1 vs. Harris 6-1
2. Redlicki 18-3 vs. Alvarez 11-8
3. Brymer 14-5 vs. Papa 10-9
4. Sell 20-2 vs. Ghilea 11-6
5. Staggs 14-6 vs. Bragusi 9-6
6. Di Giulio 17-5 vs. Biro 16-5

Oklahoma will definitely be the crowd favorite with a large contingent of OU fans expected to turn Tulsa into Norman East. Oklahoma played really well in doubles against Wake Forest but I think UCLA will play a little better and take the early 1-0 lead. The matchup at No. 1 should between Mackenzie McDonald and Andrew Harris will be well worth the price of admission and I like McDonald to come away with the win. I'm going to take Alvarez, Papa, and Ghilea for OU while I like Staggs and Di Giulio for UCLA. Bruins pull it out with the doubles point being the difference. Prediction: UCLA 4-3. 

[2] North Carolina Tar Heels (28-4) vs. [7] Georgia Bulldogs (23-4) - Sunday 4pm CT - North Carolina is coming off a 4-0 win over Mississippi State while Georgia came back from 3-1 down to defeat USC 4-3. The last time these teams met was in the 2014 NCAA Tournament in Athens with North Carolina coming away with a 4-2 win. The biggest question marks for North Carolina is whether or not Robert Kelly will play after he sat out Friday's match against Mississippi State with a minor injury plus can Jack Murray play that well two matches in a row. For Georgia you have to wonder if Austin Smith will be fully recharged after his match against Max de Vroome and will Jan Zielinski play better on Sunday or will we possibly see a change in the lineup with Nick Wood moving up to 5 with Emil Reinberg coming up to 6. 

Doubles Records: North Carolina 25-7, Georgia 18-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: North Carolina 84, Georgia 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.06) vs. #17 Austin Smith (UGA 14.52)
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.14) vs. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 13.98)
3. #46 Brett Clark (UNC 14.22) vs. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 14.01)
4. Jack Murray (UNC 13.94) vs. #123 Walker Duncan (UGA 13.62)
5. #117 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.98) vs. Jan Zielinski (UGA 13.76)
6. Anu Kodali (UNC 13.29) vs. Nick Wood (UGA 13.80)
O: Bo Boyden (UNC 13.22); Emil Reinberg (UGA 13.42)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Schnur 9-10 vs. Smith 20-5
2. Schneider 21-5 vs. Montgomery 14-10
3. Clark 23-5 vs. Oosterbaan 16-7
4. Murray 20-5 vs. Duncan 14-5
5. Kelly 25-4 vs. Zielinski 9-7
6. Kodali 13-5 vs. Wood 15-2

I'll make these predictions based off UNC having the services of Robert Kelly on Sunday. 

I'll take North Carolina to win the doubles point though I think Georgia will play much better than they did against USC. North Carolina will get it done in the middle of the singles lineup with Clark, Murray, and Kelly each winning while Smith, Montgomery, and Wood will either win or have the lead  Prediction: North Carolina 4-2. 

Note: if Kelly can't play I think Georgia wins the doubles point and also wins at No. 5 to steal it 4-3.

Read 702 times Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2016 07:34


  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 11:55 posted by Previous Commenter

    UVA and Cal into the final 4. UVA 4-0 over Florida and Val 4-3 in a squeaker over Ohio State.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 14:31 posted by Previous Commenter

    Georgia and Oklahoma on the other side. UGA rolled UNC 4-0 and Oklahoma won in a squeaker 4-3.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:21 posted by Previous Commenter

    0-4 Bobby??

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:25 posted by Previous Commenter

    I don't like the precedent that UVA and OU are setting. Resting a healthy player all season just so they are fresh for NCAAs. This could be dangerous

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:34 posted by Previous Commenter

    I got a little overconfident after going 7-1 in the R16 and my gut led me astray today - I did say Georgia win if Robert Kelly didn't play so I guess I can take that as a consolation.

    The Ohio State loss was the biggest shocker - comes down to the ITA #1 singles player serving for the match up 5-3 and he can't close it....stunning loss.

    I knew OU/UCLA would close; I didn't think OU could win 4 singles matches against UCLA and I really didn't see them taking the doubles point.

    Florida over Virginia was just a bad pick plain and simple - everything told me to take Virginia but I didn't listen to common sense.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:37 posted by Previous Commenter

    Harris didn't play competitive tennis for almost 9 months with a bad knee so I wouldn't say he was healthy - same with Ritschard and his shoulder. This isn't like the NBA where guys take games off just for the heck of it - if they are healthy they play.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 15:58 posted by Previous Commenter

    You got Papa and McDonald right but none of the others. I thought McDonald would win and Papa would lose. I had UCLA winning similar.

    I thought

    FYI, I am very familiar with both teams and their players strengths/weaknesses. If it were played tomorrow, I would go with the same prognostication. As so often, that singles doubles point was everything. Once you get this far, it is just too hard to win 4 singles matches very often.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:08 posted by Previous Commenter

    Bobby, I want to know who you are picking tomorrow so I can bet on the opposite team. Do you think Tcu can reenter in the semis and win the tourny? Were they not the team you picked to win it all?
    Just kidding around. Thanks for your blog.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:24 posted by Previous Commenter

    Stop it right now! Bobby is college tennis

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:25 posted by Previous Commenter

    Nothing is better than seeing a Ty Tucker team lose again.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:29 posted by Previous Commenter

    The Ucla loss had to be particularly painful for Coach Martin. He was worried about a reinactment of 1996 with Stanford yesterday. Ironically he should have worried equally about today's match with Oklahoma. For just like last year they lost the doubles point and fell behind further in singles. But they came back to tie it by winning all 3 front court matches. Thus it came down to Joey D. And just like last year he went up a break early in the 3rd set. But unfortunately each time he was unable to consolidate and the match slipped away. It is a shame things like that have to happen but in the randomness of sports they sometimes do.
    Also painful for Coach Martin is the fact that 2 teams Ucla dominated this year (Georgia and Cal) both move on to the semis. He is such a nice guy he really deserves better.

  • Comment Link Previous Commenter Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:41 posted by Previous Commenter

    maybe he should not rely on mediocre transfer talent (Logan Staggs) to win

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