Displaying items by tag: Florida

[1] Virginia Cavaliers (26-4) vs. [16] Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-7) - 1pm ET - Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 4-0 win over Monmouth and a 4-1 win over Penn State while Oklahoma State beat Bryant and Arkansas 4-0. Oklahoma State will only be playing 75 miles from its Stillwater campus so it should have a good amount of fan support but it'll take a Herculean effort to get past Virginia. 

Doubles Records: Virginia 26-4, Oklahoma State 18-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Oklahoma State 82

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.   

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.39) vs. #56 Julian Cash (OSU 13.84)
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.25) vs. Arjun Kadhe (OSU 13.97)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.50) vs. Lucas Gerch (OSU 13.97)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.37) vs. Tristan Meraut (OSU 13.61)
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.90) vs. Lukas Finzelberg (OSU 13.86)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.53)  vs. Jurence Mendoza (OSU 13.30)
O: Luca Corinteli (VA 13.68) 

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-11 vs. Cash 11-8
2. Altamirano 23-4 vs. Kadhe 14-7
3. Kwiatkowski 21-6 vs. Gerch 16-2
4. Ritschard 2-0 vs. Meraut 11-7
5. Aragone 23-3 vs. Finzelberg 12-3
6. Wiersholm 22-2 vs. Mendoza 10-1
Bench: Corinteli 10-3/Roper 2-4

Virginia is definitely the stronger team but I think Oklahoma State will keep it fairly close in its first Round of 16 appearance since 2008. I'm going to take Virginia in doubles and Altamirano, Ritschard, and Wiersholm in singles. Oklahoma State's best chance at pulling off the stunner would be to take the doubles point and to get wins from Cash, Kadhe, and Finzelberg. Prediction: Virginia 4-0. 



[9] Florida Gators (20-6) vs. [17-32] SMU Mustangs (22-8) - Saturday 1pm ET - Florida has now won eight in a row after shutting out North Florida and South Florida in the first two rounds while SMU is into the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 after beating Washington 5-0 and Texas Tech 4-2. 

Doubles Records: Florida 21-5, SMU 22-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Florida 84, SMU 81

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.64) vs. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU 13.60)
2. #53 Alfredo Perez (UF 14.39) vs. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU 13.91)
3. #37 Elliott Orkin (UF 14.10) vs. Samm Butler (SMU 13.82)
4. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 14.03) vs. Markus Kerner (SMU 12.83)
5. Gordon Watson (UF 13.54) vs. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU 13.38)
6. McClain Kessler (UF 13.73) vs. Yates Johnson (SMU 13.23)

Dual-Match Records
1. Hidalgo 17-5 vs. H Johnson 12-6
2. Perez 19-4 vs. Lammons 19-4
3. Orkin 16-7 vs. Butler 19-4
4. Perez-Blanco 14-7 vs. Kerner 11-12
5. Watson 16-5 vs. Slobodchikov 16-3
6. Kessler 13-5 vs. Y Johnson 12-5

Florida seems to be playing with a swagger and while SMU is playing well I don't think they are playing well enough to pull off the upset. I like Florida in doubles and Hidalgo, Perez-Blanco, and Kessler in singles. SMU's best chances are in doubles and at 2, 3, and 5.  Prediction: Florida 4-0. 



[5] Ohio State Buckeyes (32-2) vs. [17-32] Texas Longhorns (19-11) - 10am ET - Ohio State punched its ticket to the Round of 16 for the 11th year in a row with a 5-0 win over Tennessee Tech and a 4-2 win over Virginia Tech. Texas is back in the Round of 16 for the third year in a row after defeating Lamar 4-0 and Texas A&M 4-3. Ohio State won the regular season meeting 4-0 though as you can see from the box score below it was a much closer match than the score indicates. 

Regular Season Meeting: 

#8 Ohio State 4, #26 Texas 0 
Jan 31, 2016 at Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #7 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 14.43) def. George Goldhoff (UT 13.69) 6-4, 7-6 (1) 
2. #10 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.20) vs. #94 Harrison Scott (UT 13.49) 6-2, 5-7, 1-2, unf 
3. Rodrigo Banzer (UT 13.53) vs. #19 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.95) 4-6, 6-4, 3-1, unf 
4. #25 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.61) def. Adrian Ortiz (UT 13.73) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 
5. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.80) def. #114 Michael Riechmann (UT 13.05) 6-3, 6-3 
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.73) vs. Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.72) 6-3, 5-7, 4-2, unf 
Doubles competition 
1. #22 Ralf Steinbach/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Michael Riechmann/Adrian Ortiz (UT) 6-3 
2. Chris Diaz/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Julian Zlobinsky/George Goldhoff (UT) 6-4 
3. Rodrigo Banzer/Harrison Scott (UT) def. #24 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-4 
Match Notes 
Texas 4-4; National ranking #26 
Ohio State 7-0; National ranking #8 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,1,4) 
Official: Marcus Lee T-2:35 A-222


Doubles Records: Ohio State 30-4, Texas 14-14
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Ohio State 85, Texas 81

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 15.18) vs. #68 George Goldhoff (UT 13.66)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.81) vs. Adrian Ortiz (UT 13.76)
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.42) vs. Harrison Scott (UT 13.69)
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 14.05) vs. Rodrigo Banzer (UT 13.36)
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.83) vs. Michael Riechmann (UT 13.32)
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.92) vs. Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.88)
O: Matt Mendez (OSU 13.55); John Mee (UT 13.13)

Dual-Match Records
1. Torpegaard 23-0 vs. Goldhoff 10-11
2. Diaz 7-8 vs. Ortiz 14-6
3. Di Feo 14-5 vs. Scott 14-10
4. Steinbach 24-2 vs. Banzer 7-7
5. Pollanen 13-5 vs. Riechmann 17-7
6. Joyce 19-0 vs. Zlobinsky 13-6

Ohio State is a huge favorite in doubles with the Buckeyes having the highest doubles winning % of the remaining 16 teams while Texas is 14th out of 16. Ohio State will be favored on just about every court but Texas will be playing with a lot of confidence after slaying Texas A&M. Ralf Steinbach had his 12-match winning streak snapped by Virginia Tech's Edoardo Tessaro but I think he gets back into the win column by knocking off Rodrigo Banzer at #4. I like the undefeated Martin Joyce at #6 and also look for Mikael Torpegaard to stay undefeated with a win at #1. I like Adrian Oritz and Michael Riechmann for Texas at 2 and 5 and I wouldn't be surprised if Harrison Scott is close to the finish line at 3. I'm going to take the Buckeyes but if Texas finds a way to take the doubles point it could get pretty wild. Prediction: Ohio State 4-2. 



[4] TCU Horned Frogs (26-3) vs. [13] Cal Bears (19-6) - 10am ET - TCU cruised through the first two rounds with 4-0 wins over Jackson State and LSU while Cal was equally impressive with 4-0 wins over Army and Ole Miss. Cal knocked off TCU 4-2 back on February 7th in a match that took place indoors in Austin as part of the Big 12/Pac-12 Challenge. TCU was without its #6 starter, Trevor Johnson, in that match but Cal really took it them at 2, 3, and 4. The matches at 3, 4, and 5 will all be rematches while 1, 2, and 6 will have new pairings. 

Regular Season Meeting 

#24 Cal 4, #2 TCU 2 
Feb 07, 2016 at Austin, Texas (Weller Indoor Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #4 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.52) def. #3 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.33) 6-1, 6-3 
2. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 13.88) def. Alex Rybakov (TCU 14.68) 6-2, 6-2 
3. #39 Billy Griffith (CAL 13.52) def. #24 Guillermo Nuez (TCU 14.18) 6-4, 6-4 
4. #86 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.04) def. #109 Jerry Lopez (TCU 13.64) 6-1, 6-4 
5. Eduardo Nava (TCU 13.98) vs. #54 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.57) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished 
6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.50) def. Reese Stalder (TCU 12.90) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) 
Doubles competition 
1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) def. Trevor Johnson/Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-3 
2. Hudson Blake/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-4 
3. Guillermo Nuez/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Billy Griffith/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) 7-5 
Match Notes 
Cal 4-1; National ranking #24 
TCU 3-1; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,2,4,3,6)


Doubles Records: TCU 21-8, Cal 17-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: TCU 84, Cal 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #5 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.77) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 14.23)
2. #24 Alex Rybakov (TCU 14.44) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.26)
3. #86 Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.91) vs. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL 14.34)
4. Jerry Lopez (TCU 13.78) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.24)
5. Eduardo Nava (TCU 13.75) vs. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.63)
6. Trevor Johnson (TCU 13.79) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.53)

Dual-Match Records
1. Norrie 17-4 vs. Lakat 9-7
2. Rybakov 18-4 vs. Goransson 11-10
3. Nunez 13-7 vs. Griffith 15-2
4. Lopez 16-5 vs. Bergevi 17-3
5. Nava 9-6 vs. Wikberg 10-4
6. Johnson 17-6 vs. Nishimura 11-2

Despite the 7am pacific start time I think Cal answers the early morning call and takes the doubles point. I look for Cameron Norrie to win his fifth match in a row at #1 and I also look for Alex Rybakov to win his ninth straight match at #2. I like Cal's Billy Griffith and Filip Bergevi to win their 6th and 7th straight matches at #3 and #4 but I think Eduardo Nava stops his three-match losing streak with a win at #5. Trevor Johnson has won 13 of his last 14 and I look for that to go to 14 of 15 with a three-set win at #6. TCU survives, barely, and moves on to the quarterfinals.  Prediction: TCU 4-3



Published in Blogs
After a great first half of the day in Tulsa we were treated to a gem in the evening as Georgia and USC went toe-to-toe for the better part of three hours. USC came into the round of 16 with the worst doubles winning percentage (.409) out of the teams still left in the field but that didn't stop them from getting off to a quick start against Georgia.

USC's No. 1 team of Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven opened the match by holding on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead and then they'd break Austin Smith to go up 2-0. Crystal held for 3-0 before Ben Wagland finally put Georgia on the board with a hold for 1-3. Verboven held on the deciding point for 4-1 and then USC broke Austin Smith on the deciding point to go up 5-1. Crystal went up 40-15 on his next service game but had to hit a service winner on the deciding point to win it 6-1.




USC also started off well at No. 2 as Max de Vroome and Thibault Forget broke Paul Oosterbaan on the deciding point to take the early 1-0 lead. USC maintained the break lead until de Vroome was broke from 30-40 to even it at 3-3.


The match at No. 3 stayed on serve until USC's Jack Jaede and Tanner Smith broke Emil Reinberg from 30-40 to go up 5-4. On the 30-40 point Reinberg called USC's shot deep however the chair disagreed and overruled the call. Tanner Smith would serve it out from 40-15 to give USC the 6-4 win and thus the early 1-0 lead.


USC rode the momentum from the doubles point and jumped on Georgia in singles by going up breaks on five of six courts (No. 1 was the exception).

USC freshman Jack Jaede held to start his match at No. 5 and then Georgia freshman Jan Zielinski donated a break by double faulting on the deciding point to make it 2-0 (Zielinski trailed 0-40 and battled back to 40-40 before the DF). Zielinski broke back at love to make it 2-1 however Jaede broke back and then held for 4-1. Jaede would come from 30-40 down to take the opening set 6-3 after Zielinski pushed this backhand well long on the deciding point.


Jaede went up a break in the second at 3-2 when he broke Zielinski on the deciding point and he'd break again to go up 5-2. Jaede quickly served it out from 40-15 to take it 6-3, 6-2 and extend USC's lead to 2-0. The official box score showed this match finished after #2 singles but it beat that one to the finish line by at least 90 seconds.


Georgia's Wayne Montgomery double faulted the break to Nick Crystal to start the match at No. 2 however he'd win the next seven games to take the opening set 6-1 and go up an early break in the second set at 1-0. Crystal would get the match back on serve however Montgomery would break from 30-40 to go up 5-4 when Crystal sprayed a forehand wide. Montgomery would serve it out on the deciding point to win it 6-1, 6-4 to pull Georgia to within 2-1.


USC sophomore Thibault Forget would put the Trojans ahead 3-1 after holding on to defeat Georgia freshman Walker Duncan at No. 4 singles. Forget broke Duncan to start the match and then broke him again to go up 3-0 in the opening frame. Forget would maintain the two break lead and hold on the deciding point to take the first set 6-2. Forget quickly jumped out to a break lead in the second set and he'd eventually serve for the match up 5-4. Duncan would break on the deciding point when Forget netted a forehand much to the delight of the Georgia faithful (couldn't avoid the fence in these clips).


Duncan held to go up 6-5, which I believe was his first lead all match, and then Forget would send it to a tiebreak by holding for 6-6. Duncan went ahead 3-1 in the tiebreak but Forget would win the next three to go up 4-3. Duncan hit a service winner and then an ace to go up 5-4. Duncan looked like he'd go up 6-4 but he badly mishit an overhead off the frame to make it 5-5. A Forget forehand winner made it 6-5 but Duncan got a service winner to even it at 6-6. Forget went ahead 7-6 with a nice backhand crosscourt winner and then he'd win it on the next point when a Duncan forehand caught the tape and kicked just wide.


Georgia may have been down 3-1 but they weren't out of it yet because Paul Oosterbaan had a set lead at No. 3 and Nick Wood was up a break in the third at No. 6 while Austin Smith and Max de Vroome were just starting a third set at No. 1.

Wood dropped the opening set to USC's Rob Bellamy 6-4 (Bellamy served for it at 5-2 before serving it out from 5-4) and then went a break down in the second at 2-1. Wood would then win the next 10 games to take the second set 6-2 and go up 5-0 in the third. Bellamy held for 1-5 but Wood served it out to trim the USC lead to 3-2 (no video because both No. 3 and No. 4 were in tiebreaks a few courts away).

Oosterbaan came back from a break down to take the opening set 6-4 and then he broke Logan Smith to go up 3-2 in the second. Oosterbaan held for 4-2 but Smith held, broke, and held to go up 5-4. The set would go to a tiebreak with Oosterbaan leading 4-2 at the first changeover. Smith would take four of the next five points to go up 6-5 and then it looked like he had the set won but he pushed a volley just wide to make it 6-6 (Smith went for the line while Oosterbaan was on the opposite side of the court). Oosterbaan took the next point to go up 7-6 and he had a chance to serve it out but he mis-hit an overhead from the center of the court to make it 7-7. Oosterbaan would close it out two points later when Smith sent a forehand long and the match was now tied at 3-3.

So the stage was set for a dramatic finish with Georgia senior Austin Smith and USC senior Max de Vroome playing a third set for all the marbles. Smith had taken the opening set 7-6(5) before de Vroome rolled to a 6-1 second set. The third set stayed on serve until de Vroome broke Smith on the deciding point to go up 4-3.
De Vroome came back from 15-30 down to hold for 5-3 and then Smith held for 4-5 after de Vroome sent a forehand long at 40-30. Smith went up 15-40 on de Vroome's service but Max got it back to the deciding point which was now also a match point.  Smith would hit an aggressive backhand which forced a de Vroome error and it was back on serve at 5-5 (clip below is the full service game)


Smith fell behind 30-40 on his 5-5 service game but a service winner brought up the deciding point. Smith would hit a big forehand down the line which forced de Vroome's backhand to sail long and it was now 6-5 (video starts with Smith serving at 30-all)


Smith went up 15-40 on de Vroome's serve and then clinched when Max wasn't able to pick up a low volley at the net. It was truely a great finish to a great match with both players slugging it out. The first clip is de Vroome's final service game starting at 0-15 and all the clips below that are from different angles courtesy of both Georgia and the NCAA.






#7 Georgia (23-4) def. #10 Southern California (17-7), 4-3 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Manuel Diaz (Georgia) and Peter Smith (Southern California)
Doubles
1. #46 Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC) def. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (Georgia), 6-1
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) vs. Max de Vroome/Thibault Forget (USC), 5-4 DNF
3. Jack Jaede/Tanner Smith (USC) def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (Georgia), 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3
Singles
1. #17 Austin Smith (Georgia) def. #23 Max de Vroome (Southern California), 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-5
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) def. #41 Nick Crystal (Southern California), 6-1, 6-4
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. #69 Logan Smith (Southern California), 6-4, 7-6 (7)
4. #121 Thibault Forget (Southern California) def. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-2, 7-6 (6)
5. Jack Jaede (Southern California) def. Jan Zielinski (Georgia), 6-3, 6-4
6. Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Rob Bellamy (Southern California), 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 4, 6, 3, 1



Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
Opening Statement...
"One of the best tennis matches I have been involved with in a long time. I couldn't have asked our guys to give anymore. That was a great USC team that took us to the woodshed in doubles play, but we competed hard. I didn't think we played a poor doubles point though. You got to give them (USC) credit though, because they put us in a position where it came down to our guys fighting and trying to establish a little bit of momentum. With a few matches here and there we just kind of got back in it. That was a tremendous performance from both players in the No. 1 singles position. That was high-level tennis, and I couldn't be prouder of Austin. He has been doing this all year, and he has been our rock. It came down it him, and you got to give him all the credit.

On Austin Smith's play...
"He has certainly been one of our tri-captains. While we know that we have six guys out there that can win at any spot, but I think that Austin has been a tremendous steady point for us. He has taken on our opponents' best player every time, and he has learned so much this year. He has learned to embrace the difficult moments even when things aren't going his way while maintaining a positive attitude. The willingness to play big when the moment called for him is just a testament to the great player that he has become.

Austin Smith, Georgia (#1 singles)
On what was going on in his head being down 5-3 and then scoring 4 straight to win it...
"At one point I was thinking that this could be my last match ever with the team, with the team that I love and that I would do anything for and I just decided I was going to do everything in my power to keep us going and I didn't want it to be my last match. I just gave it my all and I feel like things clicked for me. I started serve receiving really well and time just let instincts take over. Towards the end I wasn't really thinking that much.

On whether or not there was a turning point in the match...
"Not really, obviously when he is serving 5-3 on a deuce point it is obvious that if I lose that point it is over, so that is definitely a turning point, but even then there was a deuce point the next game. Every single game was neck and neck, he played an unbelievable match and I am at a loss for words right now. I am just happy to be through.

Southern California Head Coach Peter Smith
Comments on the match...
"I think with matches like that you have this overwhelming sense of being a part of something that is bigger than you. It's such a great rivalry between UGA (Georgia) and us (Southern California). To play that quality of a match for three and half hours, you really feel like its a honor and privilege
to be a part of it. It hurts to lose, but it was just a great match. It ends with our two best players, who are seniors, who have had such successful careers, going out. You just feel sorry that you had to lose it, but they played a great match and that's the way sports go.

________________________________________________________

The last match of the evening was expected to be on of the better ones but Oklahoma didn't mess around and absolutely floored Wake Forest 4-0. Wake had taken both of the regular season meetings but that was without OU's Andrew Harris in the singles lineup.

Wake took the doubles point in both of the previous meetings but Oklahoma would get on Friday with a 6-2 win at No. 1 and a 6-4 win at No. 2.

Oklahoma won all six first sets in singles and Andrew Harris, Spencer Papa, and Alex Ghilea would each win in straights with Harris breaking Skander Mansouri to clinch it at No. 1.

#11 Oklahoma (18-10) def. #6 Wake Forest (31-6), 4-0
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 7 p.m.
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
Doubles
1. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) def. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-2
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. #79 Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-4
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest) def. Andre Biro/Max Mora (Oklahoma), 6-0
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
Singles
1. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) def. #13 Skander Mansouri (Wake Forest), 6-4, 6-4
2. #27 Petros Chrysochos (Wake Forest) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma), 6-3, 5-4 DNF
3. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-3, 6-3
4. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) def. Romain Bogaerts (Wake Forest), 6-1, 6-0
5. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) vs. Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-4, 4-4 DNF
6. Andre Biro (Oklahoma) vs. Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest), 6-4, 5-1 DNF
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1



Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
Opening Statement...
"I'd like to congratulate Wake Forrest on the season they had after winning the ACC tournament. They have been an impressive team, and obviously they beat us twice but we didn't have this guy (Andrew Harris) in the line-up. Andrew, being in the line-up, changes the complexion of the match, and I think every coach knows that. When he (Andrew) is in the line-up it takes a lot of pressure off a lot of guys because everyone can nudge down one spot in the line-up. Our guys had to battle a lot of the year with out him, and we played a little higher than what we wanted. We lost a lot of matches that way, but over the course of time it helps your guys get tougher and it tests them. We got a good idea of who is playing well right now and who to play, and I think that is the big difference between winning and losing the match.

On the attitude of the team...
"It doesn't get easier, and maybe with success sometimes it gets harder because guys get complacent and comfortable. We have had a long year battling injures, and we have had a lot of things to deal with as a team. It doesn't get easier just because you are in the finals. If you have a bullseye on your back and if you are complacent you a target and people will take you out. It's not something that we think just because we were there once or twice that we will be there again. It's a different year and a different tournament and we have to play well.

On the leadership of the team...
"We have been focused as a team for a little while now. That's the one thing that I feel is out of a coach's control. By nature coaches are control freaks. Your guys have to be leaders and you have to have internal team control that does not come from the top, and I think it's something that we have found and our guys are doing better with it. We played the best match that we have played all year tonight, and so it's coming together right now. Our guys had long talks together and I probably wasn't at all of them and some of them probably weren't pleasant. That's how you grow as a team. I'm proud of the team for coming together, better later than never.

Andrew Harris, Oklahoma (#1 singles)
On what this win does for him...
"I feel amazing. I felt so much relief after I won that match point. It's been a very tough year for me, because my knee has been injured a while. I came back from that knee injury and played a few matches then I injured my groin a little bit. It's just been very frustrating so this win gives me a lot of confidence going into my next match against UCLA.

On the leadership of the team...
"We lost two great players last year, and they left a bit of a hole to fill but like coach said we have had a lot of meetings without the coaches. We definitely come out better after it, and we understand each other better. We are playing better as a team, and it's much better compared to the start of the year.

On playing close to Norman...
"I was surprised at how many people turned out. We had more fans here than we did at our home matches so it was definitely nice. It was really great support.

Wake Forest Head Coach Tony Bresky
Comments on the match and playing Oklahoma for a third time this season...
"It's the third time we've played them (Oklahoma), obviously, congrats to them, they totally out-played us. The scoreboard says it wasn't close. They played great. Obviously an experienced and tough team, congrats to them.

Did the pro-Oklahoma environment have any affect on your team's play...
"No, not really. They're fans were very cordial. We have played at more hostile environments. I think their play probably had a lot to do with how we played.
_________________________________________________________

UCLA punched its ticket to the Elite 8 by beating Pac-12 rival Stanford for the fourth time this season despite losing the doubles point in each of those four matches.

Stanford won the doubles point when Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz won the decider 7-5 at No. 1 which came when Romanowicz held on the deciding point.

UCLA came back and took four opening sets in singles and Mackenzie McDonald, Martin Redlicki, and Gage Brymer would each finish in straight sets to put UCLA ahead 3-1.

Stanford's Maciek Romanowicz won in straight sets at No. 6 but Karue Sell would clinch the match with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 win over Nolan Paige at No. 4



#3 UCLA (25-2) def. #17-32 Stanford (15-11), 4-2 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 7 p.m.
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Paul Goldstein (Stanford)
Doubles
1. #23 Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz (Stanford) def. #2 Mackie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA), 7-5
2. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige/David Wilczynski (Stanford), 6-4
3. Yale Goldberg/Sameer Kumar (Stanford) def. Maxime Cressy/Austin Rapp (UCLA), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
Singles
1. #6 Mackie McDonald (UCLA) def. #15 Tom Fawcett (Stanford), 6-1, 6-2
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Michael Genender (Stanford), 7-5, 6-2
3. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #87 David Wilczynski (Stanford), 7-5, 6-3
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige (Stanford), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-0
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. Sameer Kumar (Stanford), 6-3, 5-7, 5-3 DNF  
6. Maciek Romanowicz (Stanford) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA), 6-3, 7-6
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 6, 4


UCLA Head Coach Billy Martin
Opening Statement...
"We have had so many great battles with Stanford, and unfortunately in my era we have been on the down turn on a lot of them. It's always good
to get a win here, especially in the first round no matter who it's against. I was particularly worried about this match, because it was our fourth time
to play Stanford this year. I always feel like we were kind of spreading it thin trying to get a team four times in one year. I couldn't help but to reflect back to 1996 when we were undefeated going into the finals to of the NCAA's when we played a Stanford team that we beat three times earlier in the season, but we lost to them in the finals. As superstitious as I am I could only sort of reflect back to that moment. I didn't tell anybody about this until now, but that has been bothering me and I am glad we got over the hump. I think that the first round here was really to acclimate, because the lights were difficult on those back courts and we really haven't had much practice time. I think that we will play a little bit better next time. I am not sure if we are playing Wake Forrest or Oklahoma, but whoever we play we have got a really tough match on our hands.

Karue Sell, UCLA (#4 singles)
On his singles match...
"He started by serving me really well, but I was kind of adjusting to the lights. I couldn't really see the ball for the first five or six games. Whenever he tossed the ball up to serve I couldn't really see the ball so it kind of turned into a guessing game. He came out fired up and playing really well. I just played him in a match a couple weeks ago and it was a much easier match, but this time he played pretty well. I just wanted to hang in there and try not to give him too much comfort because he was ripping the ball. I was feeling the ball well for the most part, but a couple points went his way in the first set and he ended up winning that set. I was still confident I could get the win coming into the second set, and I started playing better and moving the ball better. In the third set I just kind of rolled, and so it ended up being a pretty good first match and first round.

Stanford Head Coach Paul Goldstein
Comments on the match...
"It's a difficult, emotional thing, that our season has come to an end. We had ups and downs as a team, but as we gathered as a team in September we talked about playing our best tennis in May and I think we accomplished that as team. We lost to a team today that clearly had our number. That's the fourth time they've beaten us this year, we won the doubles point all four times. I'm proud of those guys for being able to do that. They (UCLA) proved again today that they were the superior team on the singles court, but we got better, we competed better today than we did three weeks ago at the Pac 12 Conference Championships, in which we won the doubles point and basically then got smoked in singles. But today we didn't get smoked at all. It was close across the board. I feel for my senior Nolan (Paige) there, he played his heart out in his last match. We couldn't get him a win today. I am pleased we got better. That's good group of young men there that I'm very proud to be associated with. I'm happy for our seniors, who got a chance to be in the round of sixteen for the first time in their career. The words that were said in that huddle there after the match as we gathered as a team are very special to me. That's very much why I do the job, I feel very privileged to be associated with these guys.
__________________________________________________________

North Carolina played without one of its starters but still managed to post a 4-0 shutout over Mississippi State. UNC's Robert Kelly who plays at No. 1 doubles and No. 5 singles sat out with a minor injury but his teammates were able to pick up the slack.

UNC's No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams moved up a spot and both were able to pull through with Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray clinching the point with a 7-6(5) win at No. 1.

UNC took four opening sets in singles and Brayden Schnur, Brett Clark, and Jack Murray would win in straight sets with Murray clinching it at No. 4.



#2 North Carolina (27-4) def. #17-32 Mississippi State (18-8), 4-0
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Sam Paul (North Carolina) and Matt Roberts (Mississippi State)
Doubles
1. #27 Jack Murray/Brayden Schnur (UNC) def. #47 Mate Cutura/Vaughn Hunter (MSU), 7-6 (5)
2. Anu Kodali/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Trevor Foshey/Luka Sucevic (MSU), 6-2 
3. Rishab Agarwal/Niclas Braun (MSU) def. Brett Clark/Andrew Gores (UNC), 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
Singles
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) def. #34 Mate Cutura (Mississippi State), 6-3, 6-4
2. #54 Rishab Agarwal (Mississippi State) vs. #28 Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina), 7-5, 3-4 DNF
3. #46 Brett Clark (North Carolina) def. #70 Nuno Borges (Mississippi State), 6-4, 6-4
4. Jack Murray (North Carolina) def. Niclas Braun (Mississippi State), 6-4, 6-3
5. Strahinja Rakic (Mississippi State) vs. Anu Kodali (North Carolina), 6-4, 6-5 DNF
6. Blaine Boyden (North Carolina) vs. Luka Sucevic (Mississippi State), 6-3, 5-5 DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 4     



North Carolina Head Coach Sam Paul
Opening Statement...
"First of all congratulations to Matt. I know he lost four players from last year's team and to make it here is tremendous by him. They had a great year. I think the doubles point was critical for us to gain some momentum going into singles. Brett, as he has done his entire career, stepped up and got us on the board real quickly. That's a really good win for him, and Jack played the best singles match he has played all year. We look forward to moving on.

On coming into the tournament as the No. 2-ranked team...
"We learned a lot because we were No. 1 in the country for about five or six weeks, and I think our team grew a lot during that period. We definitely felt like we had a target, but I felt we have settled in and started playing better tennis towards the end of the year. We played better in the ACC tournament, and even though we lost to Virginia I thought we played really well there. I think that we have learned to take one match at a time, and we are not really talking about the rankings. We are just worried about taking care of business on the court that day.

Brett Clark, North Carolina (#4 singles)
"On whether winning the first single gives momentum to the rest of the team...
"Definitely, I think all first sets are big on any court. It is nice when the matches are decided by a few points here and there to get quick wins if you can. I thought the whole team did good, doubles were good and we got a lot of great starts on a lot of courts and our off court guys did a good job of letting us know that the momentum was headed our way. I took a lot of positive from that. I just tried to do the best that I could do and focus on my court.

On whether or not he feels like the team was a target or an aggressor coming into this tournament...
"Obviously after winning national indoors the whole country was out to get us because we had a great start to the year and we talked about it as a team, a bunch. It was a little uncharted water for us but we were so excited to be there and be in those big matches. I think exactly what coach said, once we got settled and then realized what we could do to hopefully jump on opponents and have that little intimidation factor to start matches I think we used that really well throughout the ACC season and hopefully we can keep going.

On "jumping on the opponent today...
"That has been the game plan the whole NCAA tournament, to win the first 15 minutes of doubles and singles. We had a good start against Tulane and now again here, that is exactly what we are trying to do with the teams. It's good.

Mississippi State Head Coach Matt Roberts
Comments on the match...
"First of all, I'm very proud of the way the guys handled themselves the character they exude, the sportsmanship, the way they compete, they way they compete as a team. The way they keep it all about tennis and nothing personal, where sometimes you see these other guys do that. I'm just proud of the way they carried themselves, first of all, and they did a great job tonight. It just came down to not closing out the doubles point. We had great opportunities there, give North Carolina credit, they kept competing and played big in the big moments in doubles. It put our back up against the wall going into singles, but we've done it a lot this year. We've been battling through that 0-1 deficit a lot this year and we come out successful. But, singles were a lot of deuce deciding points, we didn't capitalize on. I think they won more deuce deciding points than us and that usually comes down to a little more belief I think. We are kind of new at this stage and it's great for us as young as we are to get to this stage this quick. Hopefully, we can make it to National Indoors, these high level events, so then we feel like we deserve to win a little more in these big moments and North Carolina played those moments better than us today. North Carolina is well coached, they are a great team, and they're going to do great in the tournament I'm sure. It's just really a good experience for our guys. It stings. We're going to keep are heads high.
_____________________________________________________________

Florida advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2005 with a 4-0 win over SMU. The Gators took the doubles point when Chase Perez-Blanco and Alfredo Perez won the decider 7-6(2) at No. 3.

Florida took four opening sets in singles and Chase Perez-Blanco, Gordon Watson, and McClain Kessler each won in straight sets with Perez-Blanco clinching at No. 4. 


Florida highlight video here.

#9 Florida (21-6) def. #17-32 SMU (22-9), 4-0 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 12 noon
Head Coaches: Bryan Shelton (Florida) and Carl Neufeld (SMU)
Doubles
1. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (Florida) def. #31 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU), 7-5
2. Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) def. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (Florida), 6-0
3. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida) def. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU), 7-6 (2)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
Singles
1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (Florida) vs. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU), 6-2, 3-4 DNF
2. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (Florida), 6-2, 4-4 DNF
3. Samm Butler (SMU) vs. #37 Elliott Orkin (Florida), 7-5, 1-4 DNF
4. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida) def. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU), 6-4, 6-2
5. Gordon Watson (Florida) def. Yates Johnson (SMU), 6-2, 6-2
6. McClain Kessler (Florida) def. Tony Russell (SMU), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 4



Florida Head Coach Bryan Shelton
Opening Statement...
"I thought we came out and played well. Hats off to SMU. I think they had a great season. Obviously, we knew it would be a tough match being in the round of 16 with everybody in this tournament being so good. I am really proud of our guys even with the delay today I thought our preparation was great and we came out with great energy. Doubles as usual was pretty crucial for us and I felt like we won two hard fought sets out there in the No. 1 and No. 3 positions, which kind of set the tone for the rest of the match. I also felt we did a really nice job of after the doubles point coming out really strong in singles. We won four out of the first six sets, and we were able to close it out really well. I am just really proud of our guys. We obviously played well at the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 positions.

On coming out strong in the doubles point...
"We always want to focus on holding the serve, and I felt like we did a really nice job of that. I don't know if we ever got broken on the No. 1 or No. 3 courts. On the No. 1 court we served second so we were always down a game, which can be a lot of pressure especially when you are deep in those sets when you are serving to stay in the match. I felt like we handled that situation really well. Obviously I have a lot of trust in our players to make plays out there on the court. Chase (Perez-Blanco) and Alfredo (Perez) won so many matches this season, and I think that in those moments we don't panic and we just stay in there and hang tough. I think that is the difference sometimes between winning and losing.

On Gordon Watson's play...
"He is feeling it. I have always said he is one of the most dangerous players in college tennis when he is in good form as he is right now. We watch him day in and day out and the guy comes up with something special every single day. He is moving so well, and his movement puts a lot of pres- sure on opponents. He is also serving well and hitting his spots, and he can hang in from the back and he can slice and dice you. He knows the front part of the court really well, and he is a smart player who knows how to make other guys feel uncomfortable. Gordon (Watson) is very confident right now, and all those things add up for trouble for the other guy most of the time. Just really pleased with him and how he is playing and leading. I think he is playing like an All-American senior for sure.

Chase Perez-Blanco, Florida (#4 singles)
On keeping mentally focused through the delay...
"It's tough when you are sitting around all day. We really didn't know when we were going to play we just knew we were going to play after Ohio State and Texas. We just got loose, and then we cooled down and warmed up again. We always try to be ready to play when called upon, and good at that today.

On his singles play...
"I thought I played really well. My opponent played really good as well, and he was really solid off the baseline so my goal was just to make a lot of balls and be aggressive. I thought I did that today. Also, I didn't get on the defensive side that much, which really allowed me to attack and move forward in the court.

On the resiliency of the team...
"We all have confidence in each other so it doesn't matter who is going to clinch it. It just happened to be me today, and it was my time to clinch. It could have been anyone. Everyone is confident in each other, and we believe we can pull it out.

SMU Head Coach Carl Neufeld
Cooment on the match...
"I am very excited and proud of our team, our teams improvement through the semester and the year in general. I feel like we are playing our best tennis right now at the end. Florida is a very good team and their record shows how good they are with their SEC championship at the end and their improvements towards the end of the season. The backbone of the team is doubles and they had very good doubles and I thought that was very important, they played great. I felt like we took a little hit and it gave them that boost that they needed in confidence and it took a little gas away from us but they are a very good team. I don't know that we would have beat them or could've beat them, but I know that if we would've won the doubles it would have been a lot more interesting. I am sure they can beat any team that is here and we will see as the tournament falls. I am very proud of our team's improvement and that is what our main goal is at that beginning of the year, to play the best at the end and we certainly saw that based on our record.


Published in Blogs
[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) 
A-459

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.

Published in Blogs
Sunday was unbelievable day to be in Tulsa with two heart-pounding 4-3 thrillers with the Cal and Ohio State match coming down to a third set tiebreak to decide the winner. The crowds were a little light around noon central but by 1 p.m. the stands were filling up and by the time the Cal/Ohio State match came to a conclusion it was standing room only. The actual paid attendance was just over 1100 but by the time you added in coaches, players, volunteers, and media you probably had close to 1400 people crammed in there which made for a great environment.


Ohio State came into this match with a staunch 31-4 doubles record while Cal had won the point a very respectable 18 times in 24 matches. Ohio State jumped out to early break leads at No. 1 and No. 2 while Cal took the early lead at No. 3.

Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen opened up their match at No. 1 by winning the first five games and they had a match point on the deciding point to win it 6-0 but Filip Bergevi managed to get the hold. Pollanen would serve it out to give Ohio State the quick 6-1 win.

Cal's Mads Engsted and J.T. Nishimura got off to the quick start at No. 3 as they led 4-1 but they faced a big point when Nishimura served at 4-2, 40-40. Engsted was able to use some quick reflexes and a little luck to hit a volley winner to give Cal the hold for 5-2 (clip below). Two games later Engsted would serve it out to give Cal the 6-3 win.


Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Ralf Steinbach broke Cal to go up 3-2 at No. 2 but Cal went up 30-40 on Joyce's serve. Joyce hammered an ace down the T to get it to the deciding point and it looked like Joyce would get the hold but Ohio State wasn't able to put away - I'll let the video show you what happened (this is the point that Ty Tucker was talking about in his post-match interview).


Cal's Oskar Wikberg would hold for 4-3, they'd break Steinbach on the deciding point for 5-3, and then Andre Goransson would serve it out to give Cal the 6-3.


It was the first time in 18 matches that Ohio State had dropped the doubles point and it would also set the tone for singles. Ohio State's Chris Diaz, Ralf Steinbach, Herkko Pollanen, and Martin Joyce would each go up breaks in the first set but Joyce would be the only Buckeye to actually win the set.

Steinbach broke Filip Bergevi to start the match but Bergevi would get it back on serve at 2-2. Steinbach would break again to go up 4-3 but Bergevi would break back on the deciding point to even it at 4-4. Bergevi would hold for 5-4 and then he'd break Steinbach again on the deciding point to take the opening set 6-4. The second set was pretty similar to the first because time and time again Bergevi won the big points. Bergevi broke Steinbach on the deciding point to go up 3-1 and then he'd break him again on a deciding point to close out the match 6-4, 6-2.


Less than a minute after Bergevi's win, Ohio State freshman Martin Joyce would put the Buckeyes on the board with a straight set win over J.T. Nishimura at No. 6. Joyce broke Nishimura to go up 4-2 in the first and he'd close out the opening set 6-3. Joyce opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set and cruised to the finish line with a 6-3, 6-2 win to up his dual-match record to 21-0.


Cal senior Oskar Wikberg would put the Bears within a point of the the clinch with a straight set win over Herkko Pollanen at No. 5. Pollanen broke Wikberg to start the match and held for 2-0 but Wikberg would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-2. Pollanen held and then broke on the deciding point to go up 4-3 but Wikberg would break, hold, and break to take the opening set 6-4. The second started off just like the first with Pollanen breaking then holding for a 2-0 lead. Wikberg held, broke, and then held on the deciding point with a little serve and volley action to go up 3-2. Wikberg broke and then held for 5-2 before Pollanen finally got a hold for 3-5. Wikberg went up 40-15 but Pollanen got it back to the deciding point. Wikberg landed his first serve and then hit a low volley that Pollanen couldn't return and that was it.


Cal's lead was now 3-1 but Ohio State was starting to make its move on each of the three remaining courts.

Ohio State redshirt freshman Hugo Di Feo dropped the opening set to Billy Griffith at No. 3 but then he jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second. Di Feo got broke serving for the set not once but twice and all of a sudden it was back on serve at 5-4. Griffith fell behind 15-40 on his serve and then he double faulted the break to give Di Feo the 6-4 set. Di Feo went up 3-1 in the third but Griffith would break and then hold to even it at 3-3. Di Feo would hold at love for 4-3 and then he'd break Griffith on the deciding point to go up 5-3. Di Feo would serve it out at love to take it 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.


Both Mikael Torpegaard and Chris Diaz had come back from a set down and now both had break leads in the third set so it seemed like Ohio State just might pull this one out after all.

Diaz and Cal's Andre Goransson exchanged breaks virtually the entire match with service holds extremely hard to come by. Diaz jumped out to the early 2-0 lead but Goransson would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-2. Goransson broke again to go up 4-2 but Diaz would break back and then hold from 40-30 to even it at 4-4. After three straight holds, Goransson would break Diaz one more time to close out the first set 7-5. Diaz broke Goransson to start the second set but Goransson would immediately break back to even it at 1-1. Diaz would break for 4-3 and then he'd fight off four break points to hold for 5-3. Diaz broke Goransson to take the second set 6-3 and then it seemed like Goransson's body really started to fade as the third set went on - watch the clip to see how badly he was moving


As Diaz started to pull away in the third set, Ohio State sophomore and ITA #1 Mikael Torpegaard was seemingly nearing the finish line at No. 1.

Cal junior Florian Lakat took the opening set 6-3 and then went up an early break in the second before Torpegaard got it together and won the next six games to take the second set 6-2. The third set stayed on serve until Torpegaard broke Lakat from 30-40 to go up 5-3. Torpegaard was serving for the match but unbelievably he would double fault at 30-all and 30-40 to gift wrap the break to Lakat. Lakat would hold at love for 5-5 and then he'd break Torpegaard from 30-40 to go up 6-5. Lakat went up 40-15 and had three match points but he hammered a forehand long to make it 40-30, he hit a double fault that landed two courts over to make it 40-40, and then a forehand went just long on a point that lasted just short of a minute so off to a tiebreak they went.

As the tiebreak was starting up Chris Diaz did manage to close out Andre Goransson 6-2 in the third so it truly was going to be a winner take all tiebreak.

Lakat went up a mini-break to start the tiebreak and then won both points on his serve to go up 3-0. Torpegaard won the next three before Lakat held for 4-3. Lakat went up a mini-break at 5-4 but Torpegaard evened it at 5-5. Lakat held for 6-5 and then Torpegaard fought off a match point with a gutsy drop shot to even it at 6-6. Lakat went up 7-6 after Torpegaard put a pretty tight backhand into the net and then he won it on the next point when Torpegaard pushed a forehand into the alley. The clip below starts with Lakat serving at 1-0 the tiebreak and goes all the way to the celebration.



#13 California (21-6) def. #5 Ohio State (33-2), 4-3
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 12 noon
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Peter Wright (California)
Doubles
1. Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State) def. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal), 6-1
2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal) def. Martin Joyce/Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-3
3. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (Ohio State), 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
Singles
1. #30 Florian Lakat (California) def. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State), 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (Ohio State) def. #31 Andre Goransson (California), 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State) def. #85 Billy Griffith (California), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. #119 Filip Bergevi (California) def. Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-2
5. #124 Oskar Wikberg (California) def. #103 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-3
6. Martin Joyce (Ohio State) def. J.T. Nishimura (California), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1


California Head Coach Peter Wright
On his team's win
"Ohio State is an incredible team and they battle so well. They really brought that match back. We were on top of them early and they kept fighting.
It was just an incredible college match at the end. They had chances to win the match, we had chances to win the match. Up and down, back and forth. It's college tennis at its finest. We've had a couple of nail biters here so far. I just have to say I'm super proud of my guys, coming through when it counts. I'm incredibly proud. The Tulsa fans were amazing.

On the importance of the doubles point
"Today we weren't the favorite going into the doubles point. Ohio State has been very strong in doubles all year. We've played incredibly well at #2 and #3 doubles. It gave us the opportunity to get out in front of Ohio State and build the lead that we did. Ohio State was great at pulling it back.

On making it to the semifinals
"It's been a while. It's really exciting for us. We've been building to this. We have two seniors in our lineup one in doubles and one in singles., but these guys have had this in their sights. It's not just the semifinals. This tournament and coming to Tulsa has been a big part of how we prepared this season and what we want to accomplish. Certainly, every match is on a razor's edge. We feel fortunate to be in the semifinals, but we feel we've earned it too.

On how the Pac-12 prepares a team for this tournament
"Every conference is a little different, but we have a tough conference. We have one team now in the semifinals, but we have solid teams on the men's and women's sides. It's great. I think the guys being able to compete against the best players in the country on a weekly basis just really helps them in preparation for the NCAA Championships. Our Pac-12 tournament is incredible. The Pac-12 is a great tennis conference, and I think what you see at the NCAA Championships year in and year out is a reflection of that.

On what it means for both the men's and women's teams to advance to the semifinals
"It's incredible. We did a facility renovation that opened last year, and we had a lot of our friends and family, the Cal family, come together and raise almost $4 million. That has been transformational to our program. As our women's team plays and as our men's team plays, we have a lot of pride in what we do in representing the school. Having both of our teams there, I think you'll notice that we've been at every one of the women's matches, they've been at every one of our matches, and that really makes a difference. Having that support that's one of the great things about this champi- onship. It's a coed championship, and you'll see the women cheering for the men's teams and the men cheering for the women's teams, and that's really what makes this such a special tournament.

Florian Lakat, California (#1 singles)
On his match...
"I think that my match was just a reflection of the whole match, as a whole. A lot of ups and downs and everyone across the board kept fighting and we stuck to the process. I was down 5-3, maybe 30 minutes earlier I actually looked really good for us and all of the sudden it switched and here I am down 5-3. We all stayed in there, the guys helped me a lot. I for sure would not have done it without them in the crowd, I love the guys coming and supporting me, it made the push for the team.

On if there were any crucial points for him...
"Not really, it is just point after point you know, that point view. You cannot be thinking about oh, I got to win this point here. It is all about process and just sticking to the game plan.

On what is going through his mind during the tie break...
"Same thing. Ups and downs, I am serving for it. I have three match points, huge rallies, I don't make it, it goes back to a breaker, up 3-0 back to 3-3. Lot of ups and downs all across the courts and it could have gone either way. I am glad it turned in our favor.


Ohio State Head Coach Ty Tucker
Comments on the match...
"Obviously it was a touch match, California did a good job at No. 1 singles, the guy (Florian Lakat) stepped up and hit the ball in some tight moments. He made some errors, but kept hitting it. I thought my guy (Mikael Torpegaard) got a little bit tight, served for the match at 5-3 and double faulted twice in that match. That's what you want in the NCAA Championships, a chance to go to the final four with your horse serving, 5-3, in the third set, I'd take it everyday of the week. But, we did a poor job in the start, we had a break on two doubles and gave it back on a deuce-point where there was an overhead involved inside the service line and gave that back. Then looked a little shell-shocked. Talked to the guys before the match, and I said you're going to have to face some adversity. That was the point; we didn't get back up onto the horse and start riding until about 40 minutes in the singles. But once we got going, we started to establish what we do, started putting points on the board, all the way to the end. We came back after being down for about two hours, and came back to have our opportunity to win. That's what you get when you let it slip away from you in the beginning.
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The other early afternoon quarterfinal really wasn't much off a match as No. 1 Virginia trounced No. 9 Florida 4-0. Virginia was in control of the doubles point pretty early on and would win 6-3 at both No. 1 and No. 3.

Virginia won all six first sets in singles and while Florida came back a little in the second set it wasn't nearly enough as Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Alex Ritschard, and J.C. Aragone each won in straight sets with Ritschard clinching the win at No. 4.

The Virginia and Florida highlight packages can get up caught up on the rest of the details.




#1 Virginia (28-4) def. #9 Florida (21-7), 4-0
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 12 noon
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and Bryan Shelton (Florida)
Doubles
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (UVA) def. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF), 6-3
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (UVA) vs. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF), 5-5
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (UVA) def. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3 
Order of Finish: 1, 3
Singles
1. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia) vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (Florida), 6-3, 4-6, 3-1 DNF
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (Florida), 6-4, 5-4 DNF
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) def. #37 Elliott Orkin (Florida), 7-6 (2), 6-2
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia) def. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3, 7-6 (4) 
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) vs. Gordon Watson (Florida), 7-6 (2), 4-6, 2-2 DNF
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. McClain Kessler (Florida), 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 4


Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
On his team's win...
"Congratulations to Florida on having a great season, winning the SEC Championship, and coming in here and doing as well as they did. They made it tough on us. 

"I thought we played really well today. We came out incredibly strong in doubles, executing well and moving well. We had an enormous amount of energy. I'm really pleased with how we started. We got off to an excellent start in singles as well. We used the momentum and it carried over. The guys are locked in and seem to be playing really well. Now we just need to prepare for whoever is next.

On what it says about the players and the program to advance to the semifinals for the seventh time...
"It's probably one of the things I'm most proud of. Consistency is hard to come by, and you have to keep the focus on year after year. There are so many great coaches and competitive programs out there, that it's hard to be consistent. When these guys put the orange and blue on, they have a tremendous amount of pride. I'm really proud of that. They play for something bigger than themselves, and it really shows day in and day out in practice, as well as the matches.

On whether depth has separated his team over the last two seasons...
"Depth has been a strength for us for a long time. I think you'll see that over a lot of the top programs. Certainly we believe in our depth, but I'm really pleased with how we played at the top of the lineup as well. Ryan Shane was about ready to go up two breaks in the third. He's playing some great tennis and moving well. Then we were serving for it at #2 with Collin Altamirano. I like how we were playing up and down the lineup. I thought it was a strong performance. Everyone was focused on their job and doing what they can. We left it out there and played a really complete match.

Luca Corinteli, Virginia (#1 doubles)
On his match being against two of the top ranked doubles teams...
"We played them earlier in the year in Gainesville and I was talking to Ryan about it before the match. I thought these guys were one of the best teams we've played all year. They serve really well, return well, both of them were great volleys so I knew it was going to come down to a couple of points. We won a couple deuce points at the beginning of the match and we came out with a ton of energy. Like I said before, this is how doubles points work it's whoever can get those deuce points and they went our way today so we got the job done.

"We have been very close, become best friends. We have known each other for so long and I know this is the last tournament that we can play with each other in the orange and blue so we are just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I know I am going to miss being able to play with him. We just keep it really light on the court that is how he is in singles as well. I don't know if you have gotten to see too many of his matches but that's just the kind of guy he is and it is what makes him so good.

Florida Head Coach Bryan Shelton
Comments on the match...
"I thought UVA came out and played really well today, it started in the doubles. When we played them in the season we were able to get that doubles point. They came out really strong today, serving well and really playing aggressively. I felt like they were just able to get off to a better start today and once they seized the momentum, they were able hold on to it throughout the singles. Our guys had an incredible year, I felt like we got better throughout the whole season and obviously in the postseason winning the SEC title, as well as, making a good run here (NCAA Championships) up to this point. I feel like we have a solid foundation, and solid core and looking forward to just continuing it next season with this group. Just proud of my seniors, who gave us so much throughout the season this year, Diego (Hidalgo) and Gordon (Watson). I'm really excited about the individual tournament and opportunities that lie ahead there.
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The late afternoon time slot was just like the early one with one close match and one that was never in doubt. The one that was never in doubt was this one between No. 7 Georgia and No. 2 North Carolina. North Carolina was playing without Robert Kelly (#1 dubs/#5 singles), who was unavailable due to a lower body injury, and Georgia definitely took advantage of the situation. Just as UNC had done against Mississippi State on Friday it shifted both its No. 2 and No. 3 teams up a spot while Brett Clark who normally plays with Kelly was paired up with Blaine Boyden at No. 3.

North Carolina got off to a good start at No. 3 when its makeshift team of Boyden and Clark broke Emil Reinberg on the deciding point to take a 2-0 lead. There would be five straight holds before Boyden and Clark broke Wayne Montgomery to win it 6-2.

Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski broke Anu Kodali to start the match at No. 2 and they'd break him one more time to win it 6-3.

The doubles point would be decided at No. 1 and for the first 25 minutes North Carolina was in control. Jack Murray and Brayden Schnur broke Ben Wagland from 30-40 to go up 2-1 and then Jack Murray would hold on the deciding point for 3-1. After an Austin Smith hold, Schnur would hold from 40-30 to put UNC up 4-2. Wagland would hold for 3-4 and then Jack Murray would start off the next game serving at 0-15 after Brayden Schnur was given a point penalty for arguing with the chair over a call in the previous game. Smith and Wagland would break Murray for 4-4 and then they'd break him again to take the match 7-5.


With Kelly also out of the singles lineup that meant that Anu Kodali had to move up one spot to No. 5 while Blaine Boyden came off the bench to play at No. 6.

Georgia's got off to a quick start on four of the six courts with Wayne Montgomery, Walker Duncan, Jan Zielinski, and Nick Wood each going up early breaks while North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Brett Clark took break leads on the other two courts.

Duncan and Jack Murray exchanged early breaks at No. 4 but Duncan would break again to go up 4-2. Duncan held for 5-2 and then two games later he'd hold to take the opening set 6-3. The second set was all Duncan as he'd win all six games to close out a 6-3, 6-0 win. The first clip is an unbelievable tweener that Duncan hit in his 5-0 game and the second clip is match.



Less than seven minutes later the match would be over as both Nick Wood and Jan Zielinski won in straight sets with Zielinski clinching about 30 seconds after Wood's finish. The total match time was just 2 hours and 7 minutes.



North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Brett Clark were both a game away from winning at the time of the clinch while Georgia's Wayne Montgomery was up a set on the other court.

Here are some additional highlights from Georgia.



#7 Georgia (24-4) def. #2 North Carolina (28-5), 4-0 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Sam Paul (North Carolina) and Manuel Diaz (Georgia)
Doubles
1. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (Georgia) def. #27 Jack Murray/Brayden Schnur (UNC), 7-5
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Anu Kodali/Ronnie Schneider (UNC), 6-3
3. Blaine Boyden/Brett Clark (UNC) def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (Georgia), 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
Singles
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) vs. #17 Austin Smith (Georgia), 6-4, 5-3 DNF
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) vs. #28 Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina), 6-3, 3-3 DNF
3. #46 Brett Clark (North Carolina) vs. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia), 6-2, 5-3 DNF
4. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia) def. Jack Murray (North Carolina), 6-3, 6-0
5. Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Anu Kodali (North Carolina), 6-4, 6-2
6. Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Blaie Boyden (North Carolina), 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 5



Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
On his feelings going into the semifinals...
"Well, first of all I am so excited about the fact that these guys have worked so hard. We have overcome so much this year. You know, not just us,
a whole lot of teams come into this tournament and I know North Carolina was affected by not having Robert Kelly in the lineup, but honestly to see our team handle adversity, nobody knows this until this moment probably but Austin Smith pulled his bicep tendon completely out of the socket the Monday of the regional. He didn't practice at all that week, I held him out of the Saturday match in the round of 64. He played in the round of 32, he was not in good form but he got a cortisone shot on Monday. Long story short, he has practiced two hours in two weeks and to see him handle that adversity, and to see our team rally around him and everybody has really pulled together. To me that has just been the most rewarding thing to see, our team come together. We have three seniors, one of them is right here (Nick Wood), just a terrific contributor for four years and himself dislocated his ankle as a freshman and lost that year pretty much. That's been the story, these guys have shown a lot of toughness and they've shown how much they've wanted it. This year I think we have a closer team than we have had in a long time. All the credit to them.

On what he tells his players now...
"Well, there is not a whole lot of time to enjoy this victory today. You get to enjoy it for an hour or two and we have a shorter window to prepare for the semifinals match. We have had a day's break between the last two matches and we have got to be ready to bounce back a little bit quicker. We've got to try and get our minds on whomever we place next, still to be decided. We are a little bit fortunate in that sense that we maybe get a little bit of rest. We get to do what we get to do here, and hopefully get these guys some good food and get them in bed.

Nick Wood, Georgia (#6 singles)
On fighting through teammate Austin Smith's injury before regionals, and how the team responded...
"He's contributed so much for us this year. When he went down, it was the rest of the guys' time to step up, and contribute back for him. We kind of rallied around him, and we're just playing for each other right now. Like Coach (Manuel Diaz) said, we're just such a close team, and we have a special bond that has taken us this far. It's pretty special.

On his match...
"I played a good match. I felt pretty comfortable out there. Once I got that early break in the second set, I kind of just rolled. I was just playing loose and playing relaxed and just having fun out there, just trying to enjoy my last run here, and it's just been incredible.

On being a senior and working to get to the next step...
"Coach talks about all the stories of them winning the national championship. It's pretty inspiring. We're just really inspired right now, and we're look- ing to take that championship. We're not settling for anything less.

North Carolina Head Coach Sam Paul
Comments on the match...
"First of all congratulations to Georgia, they played a great a match, they just out-played us today. The doubles point was key; they got a lot mo- mentum from that. The sad thing for us, it's your last chance to coach, Brett Clark. Our seniors worked so hard. He's been to three elite eights in his career. Andrew Gores, he came back for a fifth year. I'm really proud of him, how hard he worked. I appreciate what he did coming back for his fifth year, and Stuart DePaolo. That's the sad thing about today, we don't have another day to coach those guys and work with those guys. I want to congratulate my guys on a great season. We were a little bit injured coming in and that was unfortunate for us. But again, Georgia just out-played us anyway, that's the way sports go sometimes. We weren't able to handle it. Congratulations to them. This was record-breaking year for us, our kids won a National Championship in February, and we've been highly ranked consistently all year, and looking forward to next year.
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The other late afternoon quarterfinal matched up UCLA and Oklahoma. There wasn't any doubt who the locals were cheering for with the crowd roaring every time Oklahoma won a point.

Oklahoma got off to the hot start at both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles while UCLA was running away with the match at No. 3. UCLA's Maxime Cressy and Austin Rapp broke OU to go up 3-1 and then they'd break again for 5-1 and serve it out for a 6-1 win. OU's Axel Alvarez and Andrew Harris jumped out to a 3-0 lead at No. 1 and would upset the ITA No. 2 ranked team of Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki 6-3. The doubles point would be decided in a tiebreak at No. 2 between OU's Alex Ghilea and Spencer Papa and UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio and Karue Sell. Ghilea and Papa won the first four points of the tiebreak but Di Giulio and Sell would take four of the next five to pull within 5-4. Papa would take the next two on his serve to win it 7-6(4).

Each team took three opening sets in singles and four of the six matches would finish in straight sets. OU sophomore Spencer Papa put the Sooners ahead 2-0 with a straight set win over Gage Brymer at No. 3. Papa broke Brymer to go up 3-1 in the first and he'd make that break lead hold up for a 6-3 opening set. Papa broke Brymer to start the second set and he'd eventually lead 5-3 but Brymer would hold for 4-5. Papa had three match points on his serve after going up 40-15 but Brymer would come back to get the break for 5-5. Brymer had to start off his next game down 0-15 because of a point penalty for excessive noise (I thought I heard the chair say it was due to the noise from the UCLA bench area). Papa would break Brymer on a double fault to go up 6-5 and then he's serve it out from 40-15 to win it 6-3, 7-5.


Moments later Karue Sell would put UCLA on the board with a straight set win over Alex Ghilea at No. 4. Sell broke Ghilea to go up 6-5 in the first but Ghilea broke back to force a tiebreak. Sell would roll through the tiebreak and win it 7-3. Ghilea went up a break at 3-2 in the second but Sell won the final four games to take it 7-6, 6-3.

Florin Bragusi would put Oklahoma ahead 3-1 after he defeated Logan Staggs in straight sets at No. 5. Bragusi broke Staggs to start the match but Staggs would break back for 3-all. Braugsi would immediately break back and a few games later he would take set 6-4. Bragusi broke Staggs to go up 3-2 in the second but he would be broke serving for the match to even it at 5-5. Bragusi would break back and then he'd serve it out at love to win 6-4, 7-5.


UCLA sophomore Martin Redlicki would put the Bruins second point on the board with a straight set win over Axel Alvarez at No. 2. Redlicki won the first set 7-5 after breaking Alvarez's 5-6 service game. Alvarez would break for 2-1 in the second and he'd eventually lead 5-3. Redlicki would take the next three games to go up 6-5 and he'd have three match points after going up 15-40 on Alvarez's serve. Alvarez managed to fight each off to send it to a tiebreak. Redlicki went up 6-2 in the tiebreak but Alvarez would take three straight to pull within 6-5. Redlicki would win it on the next point when an Alvarez backhand sailed long.

Despite trailing 3-2, UCLA was in good shape because Mackenzie McDonald had a 5-2 lead in the third set at No. 1 while Joseph Di Giulio led 2-0 in the third set at No. 6.

Andrew Harris wouldn't go down quietly at No. 1 as the OU junior would take the next three games to even it at 5-5. McDonald held for 6-5 and then he broke Harris from 30-40 to win it 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.


The deciding match would be at No. 6 between UCLA junior Joseph Di Giulio and Oklahoma freshman Andre Biro. Di Giulio looked like he'd close this match out in straight sets win he led 6-4, 4-1 but Biro charged back and took six of the next seven games to take the second set 7-5. Di Giulio went up 2-0 in the second but Biro rattled off four straight games to go ahead 4-2 (Di Giulio was broke on his 2-1 service game when he called a Biro shot long at 30-40 but upon Biro's appeal the chair overruled the call). Di Giulio came back from 30-40 down to hold for 3-4. Biro would hold easily from 40-15 to go up 5-3 and then he'd break from 30-40 to clinch the win.


Video

#11 Oklahoma (19-10) def. #3 UCLA (25-3), 4-3
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
Doubles
1. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (OU) def. #2 Mackie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA), 6-3
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (OU) def. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA), 7-6 (4)
3. Maxime Cressy/Austin Rapp (UCLA) def. Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (OU), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
Singles
1. #6 Mackie McDonald (UCLA) def. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma), 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma), 7-5, 7-6 (5)
3. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA), 6-3, 7-5
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma), 7-6 (3), 6-3
5. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Logan Staggs (UCLA), 6-4, 7-5
6. Andre Biro (Oklahoma) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5, 2, 1, 6


Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
On his team's win...
"It was a great match. The doubles came down to the end. In the singles, UCLA fought incredibly hard. They just played tremendous. We've had three of those with UCLA the last three years, so we expected them to play well, and that's what they did. You have to give UCLA a lot of credit for how they competed. It was an incredible effort by both teams. I thought after they won at 1 and 2, and we were down a break at 6, it doesn't look great there, but you just keep fighting and going, and (Andre) Biro did a really nice job of stepping up and not letting the moment get to him at all, and just played rock solid tennis. It was just a great match, and too bad someone had to lose that one.

On whether they were worried about UCLA coming back after losing the doubles point (had lost 5 of 6 doubles points)...
"I didn't know. I probably should have. I didn't know. We talk about the doubles point, I'm sure other teams do too, where if you win or lose it, you just have to put it behind you. Obviously in the back of your mind when you're thinking you have to win three, it's a lot easier road. I didn't know. It's like what I said in the opening statement, UCLA all those guys competed hard. That's why they're able to do that. That's an interesting stat, and a lot of credit to them just to keep competing no matter what it's looking like out there.

On coming back from two down in singles....
"That's kind of the spot of the match where we just lost those two that I alluded to earlier. That was for us, and for everybody, a big moment in the match. For Andre (Biro) to settle down and get the break back early in that set so you're not fighting uphill the whole way, was really good for a freshman to be able to come in and settle down and execute, and get some great passing shots there and earn some points. So that was huge to
get right back in it at that particular moment. No player or coach is going to want to be down it's 3-all and then you're down 2-0 at the third break. Everybody will take being up 2-0. Right there, you have to figure out what you need to do to execute, and then you have to go do it. Andre did a great job in that moment.

On the crowd support...
"It was great. It was a great environment. That was probably by far the most people that have ever watched the Sooners play tennis. I'm sure for the guys it's fun to play in. I can speak from experience playing at Georgia in front of Georgia in the NCAA's, and it's something you never forget.

Spencer Papa, Oklahoma (#3 singles)
On the importance of doubles and his match specifically...
"I think that me and Alex were starting to play some of our best doubles and we have kind of struggled throughout the season, but we have been practicing for the last couple of weeks, just focusing on doubles, and it paid off today.

On what it is like to be here in Tulsa for the tournament...
"We're lucky we are close and have a bunch of fans that can come out. I have played on these courts for the last three or four years, so I am used to them and I think that was a little bit of an advantage for me today.

UCLA Head Coach Billy Martin
Opening Statement...
"We have had some really good matches with Oklahoma in the past three years, and we haven't been successful. The doubles point was really crucial, and I thought that we fought back really good in the No. 2 doubles position. I thought we fought pretty well in singles. Obviously, we had a chance to win that No. 6 singles position after being up a set, and that's one we probably shouldn't have let slip away but unfortunately we did. That young man (OU's Andre Biro) hung in there and played pretty well to win that match, but a great college tennis match. There were two good teams fighting their hearts out today, and unfortunately we were on the bottom side. There is nothing to be ashamed of because that is a really good team. Oklahoma has taken there lumps without Harris in their line-up, but I knew with him in the line-up it's a completely different team and as good of a team as there is in college tennis. I think they have a good as chance as anybody else left to win the tournament.
Published in Blogs
The 2016 NCAA Singles and Doubles Champion and recently named ITA National Player of the Year Mackenzie McDonald announced today that he was leaving UCLA a year early and turning pro. Many people including myself figured it was a foregone conclusion that McDonald would move on after a tremendous junior year and he made it official after signing an exclusive representation agreement with Octagon.


Colette Lewis had a Q&A with Mackie after today's announcement so I highly recommend that you give that a read over at ZooTennis. UCLA's release had some good quotes from Mackie and Billy Martin and the Daily Bruin had comments from associate head coach Grant Chen.


UCLA will now have to replace both McDonald and Karue Sell so it'll be interesting to see who Billy brings in to keep things rolling along in Westwood - maybe a big time transfer, or top international player, or possibly a top U.S. junior that might be able to enroll in January.

There weren't any head coaches hires today but there was a pretty big assistant hiring with Tanner Stump, 2016 ITA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year, leaving his alma mater at Mississippi State for Florida. The Florida assistant job came open when Mark Merklein decided to step down at the end of the season so he and his family could pursue other opportunities.

For the second day in a row there was a release about a player transferring from one school to another. Yesterday Rice announced that Eric Rutledge was transferring from Wake Forest and Wendy Zhang was transferring from Miami and today Arizona announced that Shoti Meparidze was transferring from NC State. I expect to see plenty more transfers announced as the summer goes along and I'll list then on my transfers page as hear about them. I'm sure I'll miss some of them so if you hear about any others let me know and I'll add them to the list.

There was plenty of activity today on the pro tour with some good results and some rough ones. It looked like John Isner (Georgia '07) was going to book his spot in the quarterfinals at the ATP 500 Aegon Championships (Grass) in London but Gilles Muller fought off 10 match points to get the win 3-6, 7-6(16), 7-6(7).

Guys with college ties went 4-6 on the day at the Winston-Salem USA F18 (Hard) Futures. Georgia rising sophomore Emil Reinberg pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he beat #476 Dennis Nevolo (Illinois '12) 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) in a match that took 3 hours and 41 minutes. Reinberg, who earned his first-ever ATP point on Tuesday, served for the match up 6-4, 5-4 and had a match point at 40/30 but he wasn't able to close it out in straight sets. Nevolo led 5-3 in the third and served for it up 5-4 but Reinberg broke from 15/40 to even it at 5-5. Reinberg held from 40/15 to go up 6-5 and then Nevolo sent it to a tiebreak after fighting off a pair of match points before holding in a four deuce game. Reinberg led 4-0 in the tiebreak before Nevolo rattled off three straight to make it 4-3. Reinberg won both points on his serve to go up 6-3 but Nevolo did the same to make it 6-5. Reinberg was able to close it out on his sixth match point to move into the quarterfinals for the first-time ever.

Thursday Results:
Sekou Bangoura (Florida '11) def. Jared Hiltzik (Illinois '16) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Emil Reinberg (Georgia Rising Soph) def. Dennis Nevolo (Illinois '12) 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(5)
Rhyne Williams (Tennessee '11) def. Tennys Sandgren (Tennessee '11) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Alex Kuznetsov def. Jonathan Ho (Wake Forest '16)  6-3, 6-3
Peter Polansky def. Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest Rising Soph) 6-3, 6-3
Eric Quigley (Kentucky '12) def. Reilly Opelka 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Darian King def. Aron Hiltzik (Illinois Rising Jr) 6-0, 5-0 ret.

Friday Schedule:
[1] Sekou Bangoura (Florida '11) vs. [Q] Emil Reinberg (Georgia Rising Soph)
[Q] Rhyne Williams (Tennessee '11) vs. [7] Alex Kuznetsov
[5] Eric Quigley (Kentucky '12) vs. [2] Darian King


13 of the 16 guys playing at the Buffalo USA F19 (Clay) Futures had college ties and those 13 guys going a combined 6-7. NCAA runner-up Mikael Torpegaard powered past 15 year-old Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1 and will next meet former Illini Farris Gosea after Gosea beat Torpegaard's former teammate Hunter Callahan 7-6, 7-5.

Thursday Results:
Gavin Van Peperzeel def. [Q] Evan Zhu (UCLA Commit) 7-6(3), 6-4
Hans Hach (Abilene Christian '13) def. [Q] Justin Roberts (South Florida Rising Jr) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State Rising Jr) def. Sebastian Korda 6-1, 6-1
Farris Gosea (Illinois '15) def. Hunter Callahan (Ohio State '15) 7-6(4), 7-5
Nathan Pasha (Georgia '15) def. William Bushamuka (Kentucky Rising Jr) 6-2, 6-3
Tigre Hank def. Juan Benitez Chavarriaga (Baylor '15) 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2
Winston Lin (Columbia '15) def. [Q] Andrew Watson (Memphis Rising Jr) 6-2, 6-4
Evan King (Michigan '13) def. [Q] Dragos Ignat (Columbia '16) 6-2, 7-5

Friday Schedule
[7] Hans Hach (Abilene Christian '13) vs. [1] Gavin Van Peperzeel
Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State Rising Jr) vs. Farris Gosea (Illinois '15)
[8] Nathan Pasha (Georgia '15) vs. [4] Tigre Hank
[2] Evan King (Michigan '13) vs. [5] Winston Lin (Columbia '15) 


Arthur Rinderknech (Texas A&M Rising Jr) booked his first-ever spot in a Futures quarterfinal with a 6-1, 6-1 rout over #395 Juan Carlos Saez at the Binche, Belgium, F1 Futures (Clay). Artillery Arthur will meet another fellow qualifier in the quarters when he faces #1353 Benjamin Dhoe.

Nick Horton (NC State Rising Jr) and Alexis Musialek (Kentucky '12) both went out in the quarterfinals at the Mont-de-marsan, France F10 Futures(Clay). Horton lost to #789 Romain Arneodo 6-2, 6-1 while Musialek lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to #466 Maxime Hamou.

Mikelis Libietis (Tennessee '15) moved into the quarterfinals at the Hong Kong F2 Futures (Hard) after defeating #635 Arata Onozawa 6-4, 7-6(8). Next up is #522 Yecong He in a match that is already into the second set (He up 7-6).

Mitchell Frank (Virginia '15) joined Aziz Dougaz (Florida State Rising Jr), Tucker Vorster (Ole Miss '11), and John Lamble (Santa Clara '14) in the quarterfinals at the Maputo, Mozambique F2 Futures (Hard) after defeating Michael Grant (USC '14) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. Dougaz and Vorster will face each other, Lamble gets the top seed Lloyd Harris, and Frank will face the No. 4 seed Marc Polmans.

Peter Nagy (Texas A&M Corpus Christi '15) is into the semifinals at the Warsaw, Poland, F4 Futures (Clay) after defeating #984 Patrik Niklas-Salminen 6-4, 6-4. Next up is #736 Grzegorz Panfil.

South Florida players went 1-1 in the quarterfinals at the Cartagena, Columbia, F1 Futures (Hard).
Roberto Cid (South Florida '16) beat the top seed #379 Facundo Mena 6-2, 6-2 and will next face the No. 4 seed Juan Gomez. Peter Bertran (South Florida Rising Jr) lost to Alejandro Gomez (Kentucky '14) 6-3, 6-2 with Gomez now set to play #455 Christopher Diaz-Figueroa.



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