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Texas A&M started off its season by losing three of its first four but after tonight's come from behind 4-3 win at Florida they've now won five in a row with the last three coming on the road. Florida jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after winning at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and then the Gators also added four opening sets in singles. Florida's Chase Perez-Blanco extended the lead to 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 3 but Texas A&M countered with straight set wins from freshmen Valentin Vacherot and Hady Habib at No. 5 and No. 6 to tie it at 2-all. Florida's Elliott Orkin put the Gators ahead 3-2 by coming back from 3-1 down in the third set to defeat AJ Catanzariti in a third set tiebreak at No. 2. Texas A&M's Arthur Rinderknech tied the match at 3-3 by pulling away from Alfredo Perez at No. 1 and then Jordi Arconada clinched the win by breaking Johannes Ingildsen at love to close out a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 win.
Second-ranked Ohio State played its first outdoor match of the year this afternoon at No. 10 Florida and despite dropping the doubles point the Buckeyes would come back strong in singles to win it 4-1. Florida's Josh Wardell and Chase Perez-Blanco dropped the opening game of their match at No. 3 but they'd win the next five and eventually close it out 6-2. Ohio State's Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce served for the match at No. 2 up 5-4 but Florida's Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin broke Joyce from 15/40 to even it at 5-all. Over at No. 1, Florida's Alfredo Perez and Johannes Ingildsen jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen broke and held for 2-2. Florida would hold for 3-2 and break on the no-ad point for 4-2 but Ohio State would break back from 30/40 and hold for 4-4. After three consecutive holds, Florida would break the Pollanen serve on the no-ad point to win it 7-5. On the no-ad point, Perez drilled the return at Torpegaard, who was at the net, and Torpegaard's volley sailed long to give Florida the win.
The USTA released its top 25 on Wednesday with both the Virginia men and Florida women unanimous No. 1s. Ohio State and Wake Forest were unanimous No. 2 and No. 3 on the men's side while North Carolina and Cal were No. 4 and No. 5. The women's top three stayed the same while Stanford and Georgia swapped spots at No. 4 and No. 5.
Texas made the biggest jump on the men's side rising five spots to No. 9 while Northwestern took the biggest plunge falling seven spots to No. 13. There wasn't a whole lot of movement on the women's side with UCLA and Baylor each rising three spots to No. 14 and No. 19 respectively while no one fell more than two spots. TCU was the only team to go from unranked to ranked on the women's side with Northwestern dropping out.
The opening day of the 2017 Men's National Team Indoor Championships is in the books and it was an action packed day that saw one exciting dual-match after another. Each of the four time slots had at least one close match and the 3:30 time slot had two close ones. The top two seeds, Virginia and Wake Forest, faced the least resistance while the No. 3 seed Ohio State faced some resistance but managed to close out enough courts before Oklahoma could get on the board. The UCLA/USC match was the only one to finish with a 4-3 score while four matches finished 4-2.
For the first time in 18 years the Women's National Team Indoor Championship is coming back to Gainesville after the top ranked and No. 1 seed Florida Gators held off second ranked/seed North Carolina 4-2. Florida got off to a great start in doubles by going up early breaks at No. 2 and No. 3 and it would only take 21 minutes for Florida's Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock to win 6-0 at No. 3. Florida's Ingrid Neel and Anna Danilina jumped out to a 2-0 lead at No. 2 and they'd add one more break to go up 5-2 and then Danilina would hold on the no-ad point to clinch the doubles point with a 6-2 win. The match at No. 1 was abandoned with the score tied at 4-4.
The finals are set at the 2017 Women's National Team Indoor Championships and after three days of action it has all come down to the top seed Florida and the second seed North Carolina. In the opening semifinal of the day at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, North Carolina and the No. 7 seed Ohio State went toe-to-toe for just under three hours. North Carolina struck first during the doubles point with Hayley Carter and Sara Daavettila winning 6-2 at No. 1 but Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase countered with a 6-4 win at No. 2. The decider at No. 3 went back and forth with North Carolina's Alexa Graham and Chloe Ouellet-Pizer jumping out to an early 3-1 lead but Ohio State's Ferny Angeles Paz and Olivia Sneed won three straight to go ahead 4-3. After three straight holds, North Carolina went up 0/40 on Sneed's 5-5 service game but the Buckeye duo battled back to hold on the no-ad point for 6-5. Graham held from 40/30 to send the match to a tiebreak and after the teams split the first 10 points North Carolina took the last two to win it 7-6(5).
The battle of the OSU's ended up being the closest match of the day in New Haven with Ohio State getting the best of Oklahoma State 4-3. Oklahoma State rolled through the doubles point with a 6-2 win at No. 2 and a 6-1 win at No. 3 but Ohio State bounced back in singles and took four opening sets.
Oklahoma State's Aliona Bolsova extended the Cowgirls lead to 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 4 but Ohio State would pick up straight set wins from Francesca Di Lorenzo, Gabriella De Santis, and Ferny Angeles Paz at No. 1, No. 3, and No. 6 to make it 3-2 Ohio State. The other two matches went the distance with Oklahoma State's Katarina Adamovic getting the win at No. 2 to tie the match at 3-3 but Ohio State's Miho Kowase would pull away from Carla Tur Mari in the decider at No. 6 and take it 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
The opening day of the Women's National Team Indoor Championships is in the books with seven of the top eight seeds advancing to the quarterfinals. There were some blowouts and some close ones though none of them came down to the deciding court with 4-0 and 4-1 scores accounting for six of the eight results with the other two being 4-2. We'll start with the one seeding upset of the day which took place at the Tennis and Fitness Center in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Vanderbilt, which is the No. 8 seed, came into the match with a perfect 4-0 record during the doubles point while Texas Tech had only won the point once in four attempts. Many folks including myself though Vandy was a shoe-in to take the doubles point but Texas Tech must have figured something out in the off-week because the Red Raiders rolled in doubles by picking up a 6-2 win at No. 3 and a 6-3 win at No. 2.
The Tennis Recruiting Network (TRN) released it's Winter Rankings of the Top 25 Women's Recruiting Classes for the Class of 2017 and coming in at No. 1 was Jeff Wallace's Georgia Bulldogs. Wallace signed a pair of blue chippers for next fall in Oklahoma's Morgan Coppoc (11.16) and California's Annette Goulak (10.67) along with Katarina Jokic (12.23) from Bosnia/Herzegovina. Coppoc is the top rated recruit in the Gulf States and has been ranked as high as sixth in the country while Goulak is the fourth rated recruit in California and has been ranked as high as 19th in the country. Jokic achieved a career high ITF junior ranking of 36 and has been ranked as high as 604 in the WTA rankings.
UCLA's Stella Sampras Webster signed TRN's No. 2 class with Illinois's Caroline Dolehide (12.40) and Louisiana's Helen Altick (10.53) set to join the Bruins next fall. Dolehide has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the country while Altick has been ranked as high as No. 12. To view the entire top 25 click on this link.
The fourth Pac-12/SEC Challenge is in the books and the big winner from the weekend was the Florida Gators. Florida had only won one match at this event over the last three years but this year they doubled that number with a win over USC yesterday and today they took out UCLA 4-2. Florida started off the match in a 1-0 hole after UCLA won the doubles point with 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The key point at No. 3 doubles came when UCLA's Max Cressy was serving at 4-4 (40/40). Florida's Elliott Orkin and McClain Kessler were in control of the point and had an overhead at the net to get the break but Cressy used his quick reflexes to block back the shot and it turned into a lob winner. Cressy and Gage Brymer would break Orkin on the next game to get the win. The doubles decider at No. 1 ended when Martin Redlicki hit a service return winner at 30/40 to give he and Evan Zhu the win.