Displaying items by tag: Illinois

North Carolina Regional
Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center - Chapel Hill, NC

[13] North Carolina (21-10) vs. [49-64] William & Mary (16-12) - Friday 1pm - William & Mary got the automatic bid by beating the College of Charleston 4-1 in the Colonial Championship while North Carolina got an at-large bid after falling to #3 Virginia 4-0 in the ACC semifinals. William & Mary went 0-7 against ranked opponents with the closest loss being 4-3 to Old Dominion.

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.   

Doubles Records: UNC 22-9, W&M 20-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: UNC 84, W&M 75

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 1st.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #12 Brayden Schnur (NC 14.66) vs. Christian Cargill (W&M 13.05)
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (NC 14.35) vs. Will Juggins (W&M 12.31)
3. #73 Brett Clark (NC 13.85) vs. Addison Appleby (W&M 12.46) 
4. Jack Murray (NC 14.17) vs. Damon Niquet (W&M 12.72)
5. Robert Kelly (NC 13.77) vs. Lars de Boer (W&M 12.28)
6. Stuart DePaolo (NC 12.50) vs. Alec Miller (W&M 12.46) 
Others who could play: Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.53), Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.43)

North Carolina will take the doubles point and then get wins from Schnur, Schneider, and Murray to wrap it up in under two hours. William & Mary's only chance at picking up a point would come at #6 where Stuart DePaolo will be the likely fill-in for the less than 100% Hess-Olesen and Steiro.  Prediction: North Carolina 4-0

[17-32] Mississippi State (19-7) vs. [33-48] Denver (18-8) - Friday 10am - #50 Denver got in with the Summit League's automatic bid after beating IPFW 4-0 in the finals while #20 Mississippi State gets an at-large selection after losing to Texas A&M 4-0 in the SEC semifinals. Denver went 5-7 on the year against ranked opponents with its best win being 4-3 over #33 Drake. Denver pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent NCAA tournament history when it stunned Florida in Gainesville 2 years ago in the first round. Denver was a 49-64 seed while Florida was #15 and its very rare to see that large an upset.  Henry Craig is the only current starter that was on that senior-laden team from two years ago.

Doubles Records: Mississippi State 19-6, Denver 20-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Mississippi State 82, Denver 78

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #62 Florian Lakat (MSU 13.96) vs. #112 Henry Craig (DEN 13.64)
2. Juan Cruz Estevarena (MSU 13.78) vs. #114 Diogo Rocha (DEN 13.23)
3. Mate Cutura (MSU 13.67) vs. Alex Gasson (DEN 13.06)
4. Rishab Agarwal (MSU 13.89) vs. David Fox (DEN 12.77) 
5. Tassilo Schmid (MSU 12.94) vs. Yannik James (DEN 12.97)
6. Julian Cash (MSU 13.40) vs. Wyatt Lovera (DEN 11.88)

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) us W-L vs. ranked:
1. Lakat 14-6 (7-6) vs. Craig 15-6 (1-4) - won 9 straight
2. Estevarena 10-5 (1-2) vs. Rocha 20-3 (3-1) - won 9 straight
3. Cutura 12-7 (lost 4 straight) vs. Gasson 13-10
4. Agarwal 18-3 (won 11 straight) vs. Fox 12-9
5. Schmid 5-14 (lost 10 of 12) vs. James 16-6
6. Cash 9-6 vs. Lovera 6-4

You'd have to think if Denver were to pull of the upset here they'd have to take the doubles point and get wins from Henry Craig, Diogo Rocha, and Yannik James who went a combined 51-15 in dual match play because the other guys were a combined 31-23. I like the Pioneers chances in doubles but I only see Rocha with a decent chance of winning in singles. I'll go with Lakat, Cutura, Schmid, and Cash in singles for State with Agarwal also leading. Prediction: Mississippi State 4-2 

Illinois Regional
Atkins Tennis Center - Champaign-Urbana, IL

[4] Illinois (25-4) vs. [49-64] UWGB (18-7) - Friday 5pm - Illinois got the Big 10's automatic bid after blanking Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship while Green Bay got the Horizon's automatic bid after blanking Valparaiso in the Horizon League Championship. Illinois won the regular season meeting handily (box score below) with Green Bay going 0-6 on the year against ranked opposition.  Green Bay was tied for the worst doubles winning percentage out of the 64 teams that made the tournament.  

Regular Season Meeting:

#11 Illinois 4, Green Bay 0
Jan 23, 2015 at Urbana, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. #77 Michael Tenzer (UWGB) 6-1, 6-2
2. #31 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Leopold G Islinger (UWGB) 6-0, 6-3
3. #62 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Howard Scott (UWGB) 6-2, 4-3, unf
4. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL) vs. Joshua Schramm (UWGB) 6-3, 3-4, unf
5. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) vs. Joey Leto (UWGB) 6-2, 3-1, unf
6. Brian Page (ILL) def. Jorge G Soler (UWGB) 6-3, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. Jared Hiltzik/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Tenzer/Scott (UWGB) 2-5, unf
2. Farris Gosea/Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Leto/Florian Kraenzler (UWGB) 6-1
3. Toshiki Matsuya/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Islinger/Michael Tebon (UWGB) 6-1
Match Notes
Green Bay 1-1
Illinois 2-0; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,6,1)

Doubles Records: Illinois 19-10, UWGB 11-14
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Illinois 86, UWGB 75

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #33 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.68)  vs. Michael Tenzer (GB 13.35)
2. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.57) vs. Leo Gomez Islinger (GB 12.88) 
3. #65 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.30) vs. Howard Scott (GB 12.50) 
4. #81 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.20) vs. Florian Kraenzler (GB 12.14) 
5. #74 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.46) vs. Joshua Schramm (GB 11.84) 
6. Ross Guignon (ILL 13.30) vs. Joey Leto (GB 12.02) 
Others who could play: Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.19), Blake Bazarnik (ILL 12.86)

The Illini won't have any issues here and won't come close to losing a set anywhere - dubs, J & A Hiltzik, and Vukic each win. Prediction: Illinois 4-0

[17-32] Louisville (23-8) vs. [33-48] Drake (24-6) - Friday 2pm - #32 Louisville got in as an at-large after losing to Clemson in the 1st round of the ACC Tournament while #33 Drake got the automatic bid after edging #68 Wichita State 4-3 in the Missouri Valley Championship. These two met in the regular season in Louisville with Drake winning fairly comfortably (box score below) although the Cardinals were without their #2 Albert Gornet for that match.  The only singles rematches will come at #1 and #4 with every other spot different this time.

Regular Season Meeting:

#46 Drake 5, #39 Louisville 2
Jan 18, 2015 at Louisville, Ky. (Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #1 Seb Stiefelmeyer (LOU) def. #46 Salibasic, Alen (DU) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
2. #30 Lott, Ben (DU) def. #59 Albert Wagner (LOU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Frost, Matt (DU) def. Michael Lippens (LOU) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6
4. Patel, Ravi (DU) def. Chris Simich (LOU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Stride, Ben (DU) def. Jeffrey Brown (LOU) 6-1, 6-3
6. Van Damrongsri (LOU) def. Philips, Bayo (DU) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Salibasic, Alen/Lott, Ben (DU) def. Albert Wagner/Chris Simich (LOU) 6-4
2. Patel, Ravi/Frost, Matt (DU) def. Seb Stiefelmeyer/Michael Lippens (LOU) 6-3
3. Philips, Bayo/Stride, Ben (DU) def. Jeffrey Brown/Van Damrongsri (LOU) 6-5
Match Notes
Drake 2-0; National ranking #46
Louisville 0-1; National ranking #39
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,2,1,4,3,6)

Doubles Records: Louisville 22-9, Drake 21-9
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Louisville 81, Drake 80

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #5 Seb Stiefelmeyer (UL 14.70) vs. #40 Alen Salibasic (DU 13.79) 
2. Alex Gornet (UL 13.58) vs. #66 Ben Lott (DU 13.71)
3. #91 Albert Wagner (UL 13.78) vs. Matt Frost (DU 13.14)
4. Chris Simich (UL 13.25) vs. Ravi Patel (DU 13.51)
5. Van Damrongsri (UL 12.50) vs. Calum MacGeoch (DU 12.44) 
6. Michael Lippens (UL 12.90) vs. Ben Mullis (DU 13.09)
Others who could play: Luis Elizondo (UL 12.39), Jeffrey Brown (UL 12.70), Ben Stride (DU 12.92)

#1 singles - Seb Stiefelmeyer has won 9 in a row and has only lost 2 dual matches this year while Salibasic has won 5 of 6 and he also avenged the 1 loss to Tin Ostojic in the Missouri Valley Championship match. Prediction: Steifelmeyer (UL) in 2

#2 singles - Alex Gornet lost his last 3 and 6 of his last 10 while Ben Lott split his final 6. Prediction: Lott (DU) in 3

#3 singles - Albert Wagner won 4 of his last 5 including a win over Duke's #57 Raphael Hemmeler while Matt Frost finished the year on a 6-match winning streak.  Prediction: Wagner (UL) in 3

#4 singles Chris Simich lost his last 3 while Ravi Patel won his last 4 and 6 of his final 7. Patel beat Simich 6-4, 6-2 in the regular season meeting. Prediction:Patel (DU) in 2

#5 singles - Van Damrongsri won 7 of his final 8 while Calum MacGeoch lost his last 2 and lost the last one 6-1, 6-0. Prediction: Damrongsri (UL) in 3

#6 singles - Michael Lippens only played in a handful of matches down the stretch dropping 3 of his last 4 so it's possible Ecarma puts Luis Elozondo in at 6 though Elozondo dropped his final 3. Ben Mullis won 5 of his last 6. Prediction: Mullis (DU) in 2

I've got the singles matches split with Louisville winning at 1, 3, and 5 and Drake winning at 2, 4, and 6. Louisville dropped the doubles point in its final 4 conference matches while Drake went 6-9 in doubles against ranked teams though they won the point in 4 of their final 6 matches.  Tough one to call - really could go either way. Prediction: Drake 4-3

Published in Blogs
Friday, 08 May 2015 10:00

2nd Round Preview

I'm obviously making the assumption that my first round picks will be correct so based off those picks this is how I have the 2nd round playing out.  The doubles records and stats are as of Thursday so if the guys win or lose a match on Friday the numbers would change.

Oklahoma  Regional
Headington Family Tennis Center - Norman, OK

[1] Oklahoma (25-2) vs. [17-32] Northwestern (21-9) - 2pm est - This will be the second time this season that these two have met with Oklahoma winning 4-1 during the Kickoff Weekend in a match that was surprisingly close.  

Regular Season Meeting

#2 Oklahoma 4, #28 Northwestern 1
Jan 25, 2015 at Norman, Okla. (Headington Family Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #20 Andrew Harris (OU) def. Sam Shropshire (NU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. #14 Axel Alvarez (OU) def. Logan Staggs (NU) 6-2, 6-2
3. #33 Dane Webb (OU) def. #108 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 7-5, 7-5
4. Spencer Papa (OU) vs. Mihir Kumar (NU) 6-2, 6-7, 1-0, unf
5. Alex Ghilea (OU) vs. Fedor Baev (NU) 7-5, 2-6, 5-4, unf
6. Jose Salazar (OU) def. Alp Horoz (NU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
Doubles competition
1. #38 Dane Webb/Axel Alvarez (OU) def. Kumar/Pasareanu (NU) 6-3
2. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Papa/Harris (OU) 6-3
3. Sam Shropshire/Alp Horoz (NU) def. Ghilea/Bragusi (OU) 6-3
Match Notes
Northwestern 2-2; National ranking #28
Oklahoma 3-0; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,6,1,3)

Doubles Records:  Oklahoma 15-12, Northwestern 17-13
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating:  Oklahoma 86, Northwestern 81

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.89) vs. #42 Sam Shropshire (NU 14.04)
2. #7 Andrew Harris (OU 14.96) vs. Strong Kirchheimer (NU 13.73)
3. #44 Dane Webb (OU 14.25)  vs. Konrad Zieba (NU 13.70)
4. #103 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.33) vs. Logan Staggs (NU 13.43)
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.88) vs. Fedor Baev (NU 12.89) 
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.65) vs. Alp Horoz (NU 13.14)

Oklahoma was just getting its bearings straight in the first meeting but they are firing on all cylinders now - I like OU in doubles and look for Alvarez, Harris, and Papa to get the job done. Prediction: Oklahoma 4-0.

UCLA Regional
LA Tennis Center - Los Angeles, CA

[16] UCLA (16-9) vs. [17-32] Texas Tech (19-8) - 6pm est - These two met back during the Kickoff Weekend with UCLA pulling out the 4-1 win in a highly competitive match that had 4 singles matches go 3 sets.  Only #1 and #2 singles will be rematches from the first encounter plus the guy that played #3 for Texas Tech in the first meeting is no longer on the team. 

Regular Season Meeting:

#4 UCLA 4, #48 Texas Tech 1
Jan 24, 2015 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)
1. #35 Dojas/Soares (TTU) def. #11 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) 6-4
2. Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) def. Cornea/Sendegeya (TTU) 6-2
3. Mkrtchian/Rapp (UCLA) def. Curry/Francisco Zambon (TTU) 6-4
1. #7 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #28 Felipe Soares (TTU) 6-0, 6-3
2. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) vs. Hugo Dojas (TTU) 7-6, 3-6, 1-0, unf
3. #88 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Victor Cornea (TTU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
4. Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Alex Sendegeya (TTU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
5. Jolan Cailleau (TTU) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) 7-6, 6-3
6. #90 Austin Rapp (UCLA) vs. Connor Curry (TTU) 6-2, 5-7, 2-2, unf
Match Notes
Texas Tech 6-2; National ranking #48
UCLA 3-0; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,5,3,4)

Doubles Records: UCLA 18-7, Texas Tech 9-9
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating:  UCLA 84, Texas Tech 80

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 15.07) vs. #37 Felipe Soares (TTU 13.67)
2. #36 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.94) vs. Hugo Dojas (TTU 13.47)
3. #107 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.35) vs. #117 Alex Sendegeya (TTU 13.74)
4. Karue Sell (UCLA 13.90) vs. #123 Jolan Cailleau (TTU 13.43)
5. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.82) vs. Francisco Zambon (TTU 13.00) 
6. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.99) vs. Connor Curry (TTU 13.02) 
Could also play: Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.36) 

UCLA hasn't been the most consistent team at the bottom of the lineup (15-20 at #5 and #6) but the top has been rock solid with McDonald, Mkrtchian, and Redlicki combining to go 43-9 in dual match play.  Texas Tech may take one of the matches at the bottom but UCLA gets it done up top and in doubles.  Prediction: UCLA 4-1

Texas Regional
Caswell Tennis Center - Austin, TX

[8] Texas (20-6) vs. [17-32] California (19-8) - Saturday 2pm est - These two met last year in the NCAA Round of 16 with Texas winning 4-1 though Cal graduated its top 2 and added 3 newcomers to the roster while Texas has the exact same starting 6 as they had a year ago.  Last year Cal went into College Station and upset Texas A&M in the 2nd round so the Bears won't have a problem going on the road and playing in front of a tough crowd. 

Doubles Records:  Texas 12-13, Cal 17-10
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating:  Texas 84, Cal 82

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #4 Soren Hess-Olesen (TX 14.95) vs. #29 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.21)
2. #42 Lloyd Glasspool (TX 14.01) vs. #97 Filip Bergevi (CAL 13.94)
3. #54 Adrien Berkowicz (TX 13.98) vs. Greg Bayane (CAL 13.47)
4. George Goldhoff (TX 13.68) vs. Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.48)
5. Nick Naumann (TX 13.77) vs. JT Nishimura (CAL 13.70)
6. Clement Homs (TX 13.69) vs. Billy Griffith (CAL 13.51)

I like Cal's chances in doubles and I'd give Wikberg a good shot at #4  but I see Hess-Olesen, Berkowicz, Naumann, and Homs winning in singles for Texas. Prediction: Texas 4-2

Georgia Regional
Dan Magill Tennis Complex - Athens, Ga

[8] Georgia (22-4) vs. [17-32] Florida State (20-10) - Saturday 3pm - This would be the 3rd second round meeting between these 2 in the last 5 years with Georgia coming back 3-1 down to win a 4-3 in 2010 and then Georgia won 4-1 in 2012.

Doubles Records: Georgia 18-8, Florida State 21-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating:  Georgia 84, Florida State 82

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #24 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.61) vs.  #46 Benjamin Lock (FSU 13.97)
2. #30 Austin Smith (UGA 14.24) vs. #101 Michael Rinaldi (FSU 13.75)
3. #31 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.32) vs. Marco Nunez (FSU 13.54)
4. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.47) vs. 
C. Gonzalez Mendez (FSU 13.57)
5. Nick Wood (UGA 13.83) vs. Jose Gracia (FSU 13.43)
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.84) vs. Terrell Whitehurst (FSU 12.97)

Dual Match Singles Records:
1. Montgomery 13-3 vs. Lock 14-7
2. Smith 14-6 vs. Rinaldi 12-8
3. Pasha 12-5 vs. Nunez 8-10
4. Wagland 10-5 vs. Gonzalez Mendez 13-10
5. Wood 14-6 vs. Gracia 13-10
6. Oosterbaan 13-3 vs. Whitehurst 12-7

Doubles is a near toss-up but I'm leaning toward Florida State however I think Georgia gets it done in singles with wins from Montgomery, Smith, Wagland, and Oosterbaan. Prediction: Georgia 4-2

TCU Regional
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center - Fort Worth, TX

[5] TCU (22-7) vs. [33-48] NC State (18-11) - Saturday 6pm  

Doubles Records: TCU 15-11, NC State 18-11
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: TCU 84, NC State 82

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 1st.  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. #49 Nick Chappell (TCU 14.03) vs. #69 Robbie Mudge (NCST 13.89)
2. #59 Guillermo Nuez (TCU 14.00) vs. Beck Bond (NCST 13.68) 
3. #39 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.33) vs. #110 Simon Norenius (NCST 13.76)
4. Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.92) vs. #93 Austin Powell (NCST 13.60) 
5. Arnau Dachs (TCU 14.10) vs. Thomas Weigel (NCST 13.53) 
6. Will Stein (TCU 13.40) vs. Nick Horton (NCST 13.43)

Dual Match Singles Records
Chappell 11-6 vs. Mudge 18-7
Nunez 18-1 vs. Bond 17-5
Norrie 14-8 vs. Norenius 15-8
Lugones 14-5 vs. Powell 14-11
Dachs 16-5 vs. Weigel 15-8
Stein 11-7 vs. Horton 14-12

The matchup at #2 singles ought to be a good one with Beck Bond (17-5) and Guillermo Nunez (18-1) combining to go 25-6 in dual match play. I think NC State steals the doubles point and gets a win at #1 from Robbie Mudge but TCU pulls out the rest though I expect several to be very close. Prediction: TCU 4-2  

Wake Forest Regional
Wake Forest Tennis Complex - Winston-Salem, NC

[12] Wake Forest (22-7) vs. [17-32] Florida (15-8)  - Saturday 3pm  

Doubles Records: Wake Forest 22-7, Florida 13-10
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Wake Forest 84, Florida 83

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #6 Noah Rubin (WF 15.20) vs. #63 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.05) 
2. #16 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.63) vs. Elliott Orkin (UF 14.19)
3. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.34) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.77)
4. #106 Jon Ho (WF 13.81) vs. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.78)
5. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.72)  vs. #102 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.53)
6. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 13.05) vs. Joshua Wardell (UF 13.20)
Others who could play: Maksim Kan (WF 13.26), Jordan Belga (UF 13.04)

Dual Match Singles Records:
1. Rubin 19-3 vs. Hidalgo 10-5
2. Bogaerts 20-4 vs. Orkin 13-6
3. Mansouri 13-11 vs. Watson 10-6
4. Ho 17-8 vs. Perez-Blanco 12-3
5. Seraphim 17-9 vs. Lipman 5-11
6. Tabrizi 8-6 vs. Wardell 2-4

If Florida can find a way to take the doubles point I'd give them a reasonable shot at pulling the upset because Wake is a tad vulnerable to 3, 4, and 6. Having said that I like Wake Forest in doubles and see them getting singles wins from Noah Rubin, Romain Bogaerts, and Christian Seraphim. I'll like Gordon Watson and Chase Perez-Blanco for Florida though they both might not get a chance to finish. Prediction: Wake Forest 4-1

North Carolina Regional
Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center - Chapel Hill, NC

[13] North Carolina (22-10) vs. [17-32] Mississippi State (20-7) - Saturday 3pm 

Doubles Records: UNC 23-9, Miss State 20-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: UNC 84, Miss State 82

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #12 Brayden Schnur (NC 14.66) vs. #62 Florian Lakat (MSU 13.96)
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (NC 14.35) vs. Juan Cruz Estevarena (MSU 13.78)
3. #73 Brett Clark (NC 13.85) vs. Mate Cutura (MSU 13.67)
4. Jack Murray (NC 14.17) vs. Rishab Agarwal (MSU 13.89)
5. Robert Kelly (NC 13.77) vs. Tassilo Schmid (MSU 12.94)
6. Stuart DePaolo (NC 12.50) vs. Julian Cash (MSU 13.40)
Others who could play: Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.53), Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.43)

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) is W-L vs. ranked:
1. Schnur 7-7 (3-7) vs. Lakat 14-6 (7-6) 
2. Schneider 17-10 (6-10) vs. Estevarena 10-5 (1-2) 
3. Clark 19-5 (6-4) vs. Cutura 12-7 (1-2) 
4. Murray 18-6 (2-4) vs. Agarwal 18-3 (1-1) 
5. Kelly 22-4 (1-1) vs. Schmid 5-14 (1-4)
6. DePaolo 5-8 vs. Cash 9-6 

Notable Streaks - Clark has won 7 of 8, Kelly has won 7 in a row, Agarwal has won 11 in a row, Schmid has lost 10 of 12

Hess-Olesen is listed at 6 and Steiro is listed at 7 in the singles lineup however each has battled injuries for most of the season so it wouldn't surprise me if neither played and DePaolo got the call at 6.  I like Mississippi State in doubles and Julian Cash in singles but North Carolina should sweep the top 3 and also pick up a win from Robert Kelly at 5 with #4 likely in a tight 3rd set. Prediction: North Carolina 4-2

Illinois Regional
Atkins Tennis Center - Champaign-Urbana, IL

[4] Illinois (26-4) vs. [33-48] Drake (25-6) - Saturday 3pm - Last year in the 2nd round Illinois was on the ropes against Memphis trailing 3-0 and facing what seemed like sure defeat when Memphis's #1 served for the win however the Illini fought back and won 4-3. Drake has a good team but Illinois is too strong from 1 to 5 to get upset here.  

Doubles Records: Illinois 20-10, Drake 21-10
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Illinois 86, Drake 80

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #33 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.68)  vs. #40 Alen Salibasic (DU 13.79)
2. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.57) vs. #66 Ben Lott (DU 13.71)
3. #65 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.30) vs. Matt Frost (DU 13.14)
4. #81 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.20) vs. Ravi Patel (DU 13.51)
5. #74 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.46) vs. Calum MacGeoch (DU 12.44) 
6. Ross Guignon (ILL 13.30) vs. Ben Mullis (DU 13.09)
Others who could play: Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.19), Blake Bazarnik (ILL 12.86), Ben Stride (DU 12.92)

I like the Illini in doubles and look for Jared Hiltzik, Tim Kopinski, and Aleks Vukic to pick up straight set wins at 2, 3, and 5.  Prediction: Illinois 4-0

Virginia Regional
Snyder Tennis Center - Charlottesville, VA

Published in Blogs
After a wild and crazy first round of the NCAA Tournament, we had a more tame second round with 9 of the 16 matches being shutouts. 14 of the top 16 seeds advanced with Columbia and South Florida pulling off the mild upsets.

#17 Columbia punched its second ever ticket to the Round of 16 with a 4-1 win over #14 Ole Miss. Columbia took the doubles point with wins at 2 and 3 but Ole Miss would take four opening sets in singles. Ole Miss's Nik Scholtz would even the match at 1-1 with a straight set win over Winston Lin at #1 but Columbia's Ashok Narayana and Shawn Hadavi would close out their respective matches in straight sets at 3 and 5 to put Columbia up 3-1. Columbia's Dragos Ignat, Mike Vermeer, and Bert Vancura would each take the 2nd sets after dropping the first and in a race to the finish line it'd be Vancura that would provide the clincher with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win at #6.

Comments from Columbia recap
"We knew that Ole Miss is very tough at home. They are very hard to beat here. So after Georgia Tech we thought we needed to win the doubles point," Howard Endelman, Associate Head Coach said.  "They are very strong at the top of the lineup, so we knew if we won the doubles point and put some pressure on them, it would give us a little edge heading into singles.  The guys played so well in doubles and I think it took some air out of the home crowd, which was good for us."

"I was on courts 5 and 6, so I couldn't see the other courts but I could see the main scoreboard, and it seemed like every first set was in a breaker, or 5-5, Endelman said.  "This match couldn't have been any closer.  We have to give Ole Miss a lot of credit.  They won four first sets, but our guys, they all hung in there.  Bert's opponent was playing great.  Bert just stayed around, stayed around and won the second set, and he was just incredible in the third.  It was probably one of the best sets I've ever seen him play.  {Shawn} Hadavi played a really good player and Shawn played one of the best tie-breakers I've ever seen him play.  They were just so tough.

"Last year we snuck up on people. No one picked us to beat Vanderbilt. This year, in many ways, was much harder.  No one was surprised by us. But our goal was always to get back to the Sweet 16, and to beat Ole Miss in Oxford to get there, is just incredible, Endelman concluded.

Comments from Ole Miss recap
"It was a very tough day," head coach Toby Hansson said. "Obviously it's disappointing when you lose. We thought we had a good chance to win this match today, and we just couldn't get it done."

"We came out a little slow in doubles and didn't have the energy and positive body language," Hansson said. "When things didn't go our way, we let it affect us a little."

"I told the guys we had an opportunity in singles, and even though we didn't play our best, we battled," Hansson said. "We had chances on several different courts.  I have to give Columbia a lot of credit for hanging around and never giving up on all the courts."

"Overall I am very pleased with the season," Hansson said. "With a little perspective I think the guys will realize that we've done some good things this year."

[2] #17 Columbia def. [1] #14 Ole Miss 4-1
May 9, 2015 at Oxford, MS (Palmer-Salloum Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #18 Nik Scholtz (OM) def. #17 Winston Lin (CU) 6-4, 6-3
2. #86 Stefan Lindmark (OM) vs. #108 Dragos Ignat (CU) 7-6(7), 4-6, 2-1, unf
3. Ashok Narayana (CU) def. Gustav Hansson (OM) 6-3, 7-6 (2)
4. William Kallberg (OM) vs. Mike Vermeer (CU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (6), 1-2, unf
5. Shawn Hadavi (CU) def. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
6. Bert Vancura (CU) def. Vinod Gowda (OM) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. Nik Scholtz/Stefan Lindmark (OM) vs. #46 Lin/Mike Vermeer (CU) 5-6, unf
2. #84 Ashok Narayana/Dragos Ignat (CU) def. Hansson/William Kallberg (OM) 8-3
3. Max Schnur/Bert Vancura (CU) def. Grey Hamilton/Zvonimir Babic (OM) 8-5
Match Notes:
Columbia 16-5; National ranking #17
Ole Miss 18-9; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,5,3,6)

#18 South Florida stamped its first ever ticket to the Round of 16 with a 4-0 shutout over #15 Virginia Tech. The Bulls took the doubles point with wins at 2 and 3 then took 4 opening sets. Justin Roberts and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy picked up straight set wins at 5 and 6 to extend the lead to 3-0 and then Sasha Gozun would clinch the victory with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win at #2 over Andreas Bjerrehus.

Comments from USF recap
"It was an amazing day for the guys and all the work they've put in," head coach Matt Hill said. "It's a huge day for the program as well. We push the envelope and try to show other teams we're a program that's going to be around for a little while."

"Virginia Tech has very good doubles, especially at No. 1 and No. 2. I thought our guys did a great job of playing smart and competing really well throughout the doubles," Hill said.

"Our guys took it to another level in singles," Hill said. "They continue to impress the coaches on the big stages and in the big moments. They really enjoy it and elevate their game."

[2] #18 South Florida def. [1] #15 Virginia Tech 4-0
5/9/2015 at Blacksburg, Va. (Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #21 Roberto Cid (USF 14.37) vs. #68 Amerigo Contini (VT 14.20) 6-4, 6-5
2. #124 Sasha Gozun (USF 13.61) def. #43 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT 13.99) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
3. #109 Joao Monteiro (VT 13.80) vs. Oliver Pramming (USF 13.69) 7-6(4), 6-5
4. I. Gonzales-Muniz (USF 13.40) vs. Hunter Koontz (VT 13.89) 6-7(4), 6-4, 2-1
4. Justin Roberts (USF 13.21) def. Edoardo Tessaro (VT 13.44) 6-2, 6-0
6. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF 13.29) def. Jai Corbett (VT 13.03) 6-4, 7-6(3)
Doubles competition
1. #39 Andreas Bjerrehus/Hunter Koontz (VT) vs. #28 Roberts/Oliver Pramming (USF) 7-6
2. Sasha Gozun/Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. Monteiro/Tessaro (VT) 8-7(7)
3. Roberto Cid/I. Gonzales-Muniz (USF) def. Contini/Corbett (VT) 8-3
Match Notes:
USF 21-6; National ranking #18
Virginia Tech 20-5; National ranking #15
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,6,2)

Other 2nd Round Results:

[11] #11 Ohio State def[2] #24 Vanderbilt 4-0 
May 9, 2015 - Columbus, OH (OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
Doubles competition
1. #5 Gonzales Austin/Rhys Johnson (VU) def. Kevin Metka/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 8-1
2. Mikael Torpegaard/Hunter Callahan (OSU) def. Pen Binet/Ryan Smith (VU) 8-5
3. Ralf Steinbach/Chris Diaz (OSU) def. Baker Newman/Suresh Eswaran (VU) 8-4
Singles Competition
1. #10 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.58) vs. #47 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 13.92) 7-6(5), 5-4
2. #49 Chris Diaz (OSU 14.27) def. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.58) 6-1, 6-4
3. #88 Daniel Valent (VU 14.08) vs. Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.56) 6-3, 5-3, unf.
4. Hunter Callahan (OSU 14.10) vs. Kris Yee (VU 13.63) 6-4, 2-6, unf.
5. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.82) vs. Baker Newman (VU 12.90) 6-2, 7-6(6)
6. #97 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.90) def. Jeff Offerdahl (VU 12.72) 6-1, 6-3
Match Notes:
Vanderbilt 20-8; National ranking #24
Ohio State 27-8; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,2,5)
Official: Jerri Banks T-2:06 A-192


Comments from Oklahoma recap
"Singles was solid, head coach John Roddick said. "We didn't dig any holes. The one spot where we got down, we got out of it and had control of that match when it finished. Doubles was close. It came down to a tiebreaker and a few points here or there. Overall we are playing better there.

"It is pretty impressive to play like that at one, Roddick said. "When you are moving the ball around like that and not making errors it is tough to handle.

"He was just really patient, Roddick said. "He hit solid ground strokes in rallies and wasn't going for too much and didn't leave it short either. He just really did a good job of forcing that guy into errors all day. He won 12 games to five. That is pretty solid.

"We are going to get an idea of the practice schedule, but we are going to take a day off and then head out, Roddick said. "We are ready to get it going and I think the guys are excited to play.

[1] #1 Oklahoma def. [2] #28 Northwestern 4-1
May 09, 2015 at Norman, Okla. (Headington Family Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU) def. #48 Sam Shropshire (NU) 6-1, 6-2
2. #7 Andrew Harris (OU) def. Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 6-2, 6-2
3. #44 Dane Webb (OU) vs. Konrad Zieba (NU) 2-6, 6-3, 0-1, unf
4. #103 Alex Ghilea (OU) def. Logan Staggs (NU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Spencer Papa (OU) def. Fedor Baev (NU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Florin Bragusi (OU) vs. Alp Horoz (NU) 7-5, 2-3, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. #64 Alex Pasareanu/Sam Shropshire (NU) def. #57 Harris/Ghilea (OU) 8-5
2. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Webb/Papa (OU) 8-7 (7-3)
3. Axel Alvarez/Jose Salazar (OU) def. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NU) 8-4
Match Notes
Northwestern 21-9, 8-3; National ranking #28
Oklahoma 25-2,4-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,5,4)

[1] #10 Duke def. [2] #23 Stanford 4-1
May 9, 2015 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
Singles competition
1. #14 Nicolas Alvarez (DU) def. #26 Tom Fawcett (STAN) 6-4, 6-0
2. #41 Jason Tahir (DU) led #71 John Morrissey (STAN) 2-6, 6-4, *5-4 unf
3. #57 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. David Wilczynski (STAN) 6-4, 6-4
4. Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Davis Hsu (STAN) 6-2, 6-3
5. Chris Mengel (DU) led Robert Stineman (STAN) 5-7, 6-4, 2-1* unf
6. TJ Pura (DU) def. Nolan Paige (STAN) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #9 John Morrissey/Robert Stineman (STAN) def. #20 Hemmeler/Alvarez (DU) 8-7 (3)
2. #69 Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) def. Tahir/Josh Levine (DU) 8-6
3. David Wilczynski/Nolan Paige (STAN) led Semenzato/Pura. (DU) 7-6
Match Notes
Duke 24-6; National ranking #10
Stanford 18-7; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,4,3,6)
NCAA Team Championship Second Round
Duke advances to NCAA Team Championship Round of 16
T-3:48 A-172

[1] #12 Wake Forest def. [3] #39 Pepperdine 4-0
May 09, 2015 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex - Outdoors)
Singles competition
1. #6 Noah Rubin (WF) def. Guilherme Hadlich (PEP) 6-1, 6-4
2. #16 Romain Bogaerts (WF) def. Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 6-1, 6-4
3. Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Stefan Menichella (PEP) 6-4, 6-2
4. Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. Pedro Iamachkine (PEP) 7-6 (7-2), 1-5, unf
5. Keivon Tabrizi (WF) vs. Lautaro Pane (PEP) 6-2, 3-4, unfinished
6. Maksim Kan (WF) vs. Tom Hill (PEP) 6-4, 2-2, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. #13 Christian Seraphim/Skander Mansouri (WF) vs. Hadlich/Thakkar (PEP) 7-3, unfi
2. Jon Ho/Noah Rubin (WF) def. Lautaro Pane/Pedro Iamachkine (PEP) 8-2
3. Sam Bloom/Keivon Tabrizi (WF) def. Stefan Menichella/Tom Hill (PEP) 8-2
Match Notes
Pepperdine 18-9; National ranking #39
Wake Forest 23-7; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,1,2)
NCAA Men's Tennis Championship - Second Round
Wake Forest goes for school-record 24th win
T-2:34 A-304

Comments from TCU recap
"Obviously that doubles point gave us a tremendous amount of momentum going into singles," head coach David Roditi said. "That is some of the most competitive points I have ever seen at the No. 3 position and it was anyone's match. Guillermo came up with a huge ace down match point and our No. 2 team of Cameron Norrie and Trevor Johnson just keep getting it done. They are playing just such a high level and having so much fun. They are communicating and connecting and it is just fun to watch. The scary part is that we are winning doubles points and we can still play better. There is still room for improvement and that is exactly what we want going into next week.

"In singles, our guys came out focused and let that excitement from doubles keep them going. Cameron Norrie is just too good and he is just too much for some guys at the No. 3 position. Guillermo finally closed out his m
Published in Blogs
[4] Illinois (27-4) vs. [13] North Carolina (23-10) - Thursday 1pm - Illinois is coming off a 4-0 win over Green Bay and a 4-2 squeaker over #33 Drake while North Carolina blanked William & Mary and then won fairly comfortably over #20 Mississippi State 4-1. North Carolina welcomed Esben Hess-Olesen back to the singles lineup at #6 after he missed all but a handful of matches with injury troubles. Illinois won the regular season meeting 4-3 in a match that North Carolina played without its #2 Ronnie Schneider though Hess-Olesen was in at #3 so the bottom half of the lineup stayed the same.  The only singles rematches will come at #1 and #5. Below is the box score from that first meeting and here are a few video highlights that I shot when I was in attendance.  

#8 Illinois 4, #6 North Carolina 3
Jan 31, 2015 at Urbana, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. #2 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)
2. #31 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Brett Clark (UNC) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC) def. #62 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
4. #40 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Jack Murray (UNC) 7-6 (5), 6-2
5. Robert Kelly (UNC) def. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
6. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) def. Stuart DePaolo (UNC) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. Oystein Steiro/Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC) def. Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) 6-4
2. Farris Gosea/Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 6-1
3. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-1
Match Notes
North Carolina 6-1; National ranking #6
Illinois 4-1; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,4,6,3,2,1)

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.   

Doubles Records: Illinois 20-11, North Carolina 24-9
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Illinois 86, North Carolina 84

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 11th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Projected Singles Lineups with UTRs in ( ):
1. #33 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.69)  vs. #12 Brayden Schnur (NC 14.64)
2. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.55) vs. #28 Ronnie Schneider (NC 14.35)
3. #65 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.24) vs. #73 Brett Clark (NC 13.88) 
4. #81 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.20) vs. Jack Murray (NC 14.15) 
5. #74 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.53) vs. Robert Kelly (NC 13.70)
6. Ross Guignon (ILL 13.39) vs. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.54)
Others who could play: Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.40), Brian Page (ILL 12.68), Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.41)

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) is W-L vs. ranked:
1. Gosea 13-5 (5-5) vs. Schnur 9-7 (4-7) 
2. J Hiltzik 20-2 (11-2) vs. Schneider 17-10 (6-10) 
3. Kopinski 18-4 (2-3) vs. Clark 20-6 (6-4) 
4. A Hiltzik 17-3 (3-0) vs. Murray 19-6 (2-4) 
5. Vukic 22-2 (3-0) vs. Kelly 23-4 (1-1) 
6. Guignon 5-3 vs. Hess-Olesen 4-4 (1-2)

1. Gosea has won 8 in a row including a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 win on Saturday over Drake's #40 Alen Salibasic while Schnur has won 5 of 6 including a Saturday win over Mississippi State's #62 Florian Lakat 6-3, 6-4. Gosea came back from 5-2 down in the 3rd to beat Schnur in the regular season meeting to clinch the team win. Gosea has been the more consistent of the two all season and that's why I think he pulls through in this one. Prediction: Gosea (ILL) in 2

2. Jared Hiltzik has won 8 of his last 9 and he won on Saturday against Drake's #66 Ben Lott 7-5, 6-4 while Schneider has split his last 6 with his last match against Juan Cruz Estevarena going unfinished with Schneider leading 6-4, 3-4. There will probably be a lot of long rallies in this one but Hiltzik is just a notch better than Schnedier.  Prediction: Hiltzik (ILL) in 2

3. Kopinski has won 6 of his last 7 but he lost on Saturday to Drake's Matt Frost 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 while Clark has won 8 of his last 10 but he also lost on Saturday to Mississippi State's Mate Cutura 6-2, 6-2. Prediction: DNF with Kopinski (ILL) leading in the 3rd

4. Aron Hiltzik has won 15 in a row though both his matches over the weekend went unfinished though he did lead Drake's Ravi Patel 5-2 in the 3rd. Murray has won 8 of his last 10 with his match on Saturday against Mississippi State's Rishab Agarwal going unfinished with Murray leading 7-5, 3-1. These are two evenly matched players but I like Hiltzik to pull through in what I think will be the match decider Prediction: Hiltzik (ILL) in 3

5. Vukic has won 20 of his last 21 including a 6-0, 6-3 win on Saturday over Drake's Calum MacGeoch while Kelly has won 8 in a row including a 6-2, 6-1 rout on Saturday over Mississippi State's Tassilo Schmid. Kelly beat Vukic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the regular season meeting. Both guys are playing extremely well but I think Vukic comes out on top this time. Prediction: Vukic (ILL) in 2

6. Guignon has won his last 2 including a 7-6, 6-4 win on Saturday over Drake's Ben Mullis while Hess-Olesen won 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday over Mississippi State's Julian Cash. It was Hess-Olesen's first win since beating Aron Hiltzik back on January 31st. Hess-Olesen has been battling injuries all year but when healthy he is a top half of the lineup player. Prediction: Hess-Olesen (UNC) in 3

The doubles point is a toss-up but I'll go with North Carolina based on their performance last weekend. If Hess-Olesen plays like he did against Cash he should win at #6 but I think Illinois gets it done everywhere else with Gosea, Vukic, and the Hiltzik brothers winning at 1, 2, 4, and 5. North Carolina's path to a win would be to take doubles and get wins from Schnur, Clark, and Hess-Olesen.  Prediction: Illinois 4-2

[5] TCU (23-7) vs. [12] Wake Forest (24-7) - Thursday 1pm - TCU is coming off a pair of shutouts over Marist and #30 Tulsa while Wake did the same and blanked George Washington and #39 Pepperdine. Wake's Jon Ho played in doubles but did not play in singles in either match so there must be an injury keeping him out. Wake will need him in the lineup to have a good shot at beating TCU for a 2nd time this year.  Wake Forest did win the regular season meeting 4-3 (box score below) in a match the Deacs played without its #1 Noah Rubin. However only 1 of the singles matches will be a rematch with that likely coming at #5 between Dachs and Seraphim and that'll only happen if Jon Ho returns to the lineup. 

#20 Wake Forest 4, #13 TCU 3
Mar 08, 2015 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF) def. #28 Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
2. #48 Nick Chappell (TCU) def. #70 Jon Ho (WF) 6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5)
3. Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Will Stein (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Guillermo Nuez (TCU) def. Keivon Tabrizi (WF) 6-2, 6-4
5. Arnau Dachs (TCU) def. Christian Seraphim (WF) 6-4, 6-3
6. Maksim Kan (WF) def. #110 Facundo Lugones (TCU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #28 Christian Seraphim/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #20 Chappell/Stein (TCU) 6-2
2. Jon Ho/Keivon Tabrizi (WF) def. Guillermo Nuez/Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-4
3. Hudson Blake/Facundo Lugones (TCU) def. Sam Bloom/Romain Bogaerts (WF) 6-3
Match Notes
TCU 9-5 (0-1 Big 12); National ranking #13
Wake Forest 9-4 (0-1 ACC); National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,5,3,1,6,2)
Used ITA shortened scoring format.
T-3:40 A-119

Doubles Records: TCU 16-11, Wake Forest 23-7
Projected Doubles Lineups with W-L ( ):
1. #23 Chappell/Stein (TCU 9-12) vs. #13 Seraphim/Mansouri (WF 17-7)
2. #30 Trevor Johnson/Norrie (TCU 13-2) vs. Rubin/Ho (WF 15-5) 
3. Hudson Blake/Nunez (TCU 7-2) vs. Tabrizi/Bogaerts (WF 8-4)

This will be a monster doubles point that I think may decide who wins the match. Wake has taken the doubles point in 5 of its last 6 matches while TCU has won it in 4 of its last 5. TCU is 4-9 in doubles against top 25 opponents while Wake is 5-4. I'm going to take Wake at #1 and #3 to claim the point and take the early 1-0 lead.

UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: TCU 84, Wake Forest 84

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.   

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 11th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Projected Singles Lineups with UTRs in ( ):
1. #49 Nick Chappell (TCU 14.04) vs. #6 Noah Rubin (WF 15.18)
2. #59 Guillermo Nuez (TCU 14.00) vs. #16 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.63) 
3. #39 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.31) vs. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.36)
4. Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.96) vs. #106 Jon Ho (WF 13.81) 
5. Arnau Dachs (TCU 14.10) vs. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.70)
6. Will Stein (TCU 13.55) vs. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 13.04) 
Others who could play: Trevor Johnson (TCU 13.30), Maksim Kan (WF 13.30)

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) is W-L vs. ranked:
Chappell 11-6 (4-6) vs. Rubin 21-3 (12-3)
Nunez 19-1 (5-1) vs. Bogaerts 21-4 (8-4)
Norrie 16-8 (5-7) vs. Mansouri 15-11 (1-7)
Lugones 15-5 (2-1) vs. Ho 17-8 (2-5)
Dachs 17-5 (3-4) vs. Seraphim 18-9
Stein 12-7 (0-2) vs. Tabrizi 8-6/Kan 10-5

1. Chappell has dropped 4 of his last 5 though he was ahead in both of his matches last weekend that went unfinished while Rubin has won 12 in a row and 16 of 17. Rubin is on a roll and I don't see Chappell derailing him. Prediction: Rubin (WF) in 2.

2. Nunez has won 4 in a row since his only loss to USF's Sasha Gozun (10 point TB instead of a 3rd set) while Bogaerts has won 9 in a row and he hasn't dropped a set since April 3rd. Nunez is coming off a 6-3, 6-4 win over Tulsa's #87 Alejandro Espejo while Bogaerts beat Pepperdine's Rakshay Thakkar 6-1, 6-4. This will be the first time that Nunez has played a top 20 player and it'll be by far his biggest test this year. I think Bogaerts has a little too much game and pulls it out in 3. Prediction: Bogaerts (WF) in 3

3. Norrie has won 8 in a row and is coming off a weekend where he only dropped 7 games in blowout wins over Tulsa's Matthew Kirby and Marist's Fredrik Bjerke while Mansouri has won 5 of his last 6 and is coming off a 6-4, 6-2 win over Pepperdine's Stefan Menichella. Mansouri is 1-7 against ranked opponents and I don't see him getting win #2 in this one. Prediction: Norrie (TCU) in 2

4. Lugones has won 10 of his last 11 while Ho has split his last 4. Ho played doubles last weekend but didn't play singles in either match. Lugones beat Marist's Joseph Dube 6-1, 6-0 but he trailed Tulsa's Juan Gonzalez 6-3, 4-5 when the match was stopped. If Ho plays and is close to 100% I think he wins this match. Prediction: Ho (WF) in 3

5. Dachs has won 6 in a row and is coming off a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tulsa's Carlos Bautista while Seraphim has won 4 of his last 5 and was headed for a split in his last match with Pepperdine's Pedro Iamachkine with the score 7-6, 1-5. Dachs won the regular season meeting 6-4, 6-3 and I think he wins this one by a similar score. Prediction: Dachs (TCU) in 2

6. Stein has won 5 of his last 6 while Tabrizi's last 4 matches have gone unfinished though he led in 3. Stein's last match against Tulsa's Dylan McCloskey was stopped in the 1st set since they only had 5 indoors courts and his match was last on while Tabrizi led Pepperdine's Lautaro Pane 6-2, 3-4 before that one was halted. Stein's the better player and should win this one. Prediction: Stein (TCU) in 2

In my opinion this is the toughest of Round of 16 matches to pick a winner. When I was filling out my bracket last week I pencilled in a 4-3 win for Wake but after Jon Ho didn't play singles last weekend that had me reconsidering my pick. I think for me it boils down to whether Ho plays because if he does play I think he and Wake Forest wins 4-3. If Ho doesn't play singles and they have to move Seraphim up to 4, Tabrizi to 5, and Kan to 6 then I think TCU wins 4-2 or 4-3. I'll stick with my original pick and go with Wake with Bogaerts clinching it at #2 singles.  Prediction: Wake Forest 4-3

Published in Blogs
It was a wild and crazy Thursday with it taking 6+ hours to complete the opening matches due to a series of rain/lightning delays. Both the Oklahoma/UCLA and Georgia/Texas matches started outdoors and were finished indoors due to 3 rain delays and lastly a lightning delay.

Before I go through the matches I wanted to thank you guys on twitter for Periscoping some of the key points in the indoor matches where there wasn't streaming video available.  Big shout out to Jeff McMillan and Drew Mastin who both did a great job letting me and many others follow the end of the Oklahoma/UCLA and Georgia/Texas matches. Jeff also had footage of many of the key moments in the Virginia/Columbia match as well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words - well if that's the case then a video is worth a million words. It's so much better to be able to watch and experience these matches on some kind of video because words can only tell you so much.  Thanks again guys!!

The unpredictable Oklahoma doubles pairings surprised many of us by taking the doubles point with ease over UCLA.  Both Harris/Ghilea and Webb/Papa won 8-4 at #1 and #2 doubles.

In singles play Oklahoma raced out to a 3-0 lead after Alex Ghilea and Spencer Papa won by identical 6-3, 6-4 score at #4 and #5 singles and it looked like Florin Bragusi was going to potentially make it 4-0 when he led Joseph DiGiulio 6-3, 5-5 at #4.  However DiGiulio would hold for 6-5 then break Bragusi to send it to a 3rd set.

Mackenzie McDonald would put UCLA on the board when he handed Axel Alvarez his first dual-match loss of the year with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #1. Alvarez jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd before McDonald won 6 of the next 7 games to close the match out.

Martin Redlicki had just broken Dane Webb to go up 3-2 in the 3rd at #3 singles when play would be stopped by a lightning delay and with this being the 4th delay the decision was made to move all remaining matches indoors.
Once indoors Redlicki held onto the break lead and finished off Webb 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 to trim the Oklahoma lead to 3-2.

After taking the 1st set in a tiebreak, UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian would break Andrew Harris to go up 5-4 in the 2nd but Harris would break back and eventually push the match to a tiebreak. Mkrtchian would control the 2nd set tiebreak just like he did the first and would close it out for a 7-6(5), 7-6(3) win to knot the match at 3.

In the deciding match OU's Mr. Clutch Florin Bragusi would go up 4-2 in the 3rd and would end up serving out the match at love to take the match clinching 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win to send Oklahoma on to the Quarterfinals.

FYI, I embedded a video that has UGA/Texas highlights that starts to auto-play when this page is opened so if you hear sound that's where it's coming from. Can't see to figure out how to keep it from automatically playing. (if there are any readers that are fairly tech savvy send me a message and let me know how you can embed a URL without it automatically starting)

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 15th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

[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


Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
On his team's fight
"They played really well at the top. (Mackenzie) McDonald had a great match against Axel (Alverez). Axel played pretty well, he just missed a couple of opportunities and ended up losing it and at a high level that is what happens. He went on to play a really good match. I thought (Martin) Redlicki did a great job of closing Dane (Webb) out in the third set when they moved indoors. Dane had a couple chances to break back and didn't quite get there. Even Andrew (Harris) had a chance into the third. We got a little unlucky and you'd like to think you'd get a couple of those points that you need. But we didn't get them today and our guys down low pulled it through.

On the rain delays
"It's hard on the staff. You have to make sure you have everything when you come off. It was a difficult day. It's tough on the guys to go on and off the court. Our guys did a really good job handling that. They kind of knew because when the weather is like that you kind of know. These guys have dealt with days like that before with weather so it wasn't something they've never done. That helps with it and with the staff we have here it makes it a little bit easier.

More Comments from OU recap
On Florin Bragusi

"He is undefeated in that situation, head coach John Roddick said. "We are proud of that effort, and he is one of those guys you just want to have out there at the end.

"He did a good job, Roddick said. "I think moving indoors helped him. He was able to get the ball through the court a little bit more.

"I think it helped me to move inside, Bragusi said. "I play better indoors and I think the guy I was playing prefers to play outdoors. I think that helped me a little bit.

"It is a great feeling, but I just won one match, Bragusi said. "Everyone did a great job, especially in doubles. It feels great to clinch, but we won three other matches. It is a team victory.

On Georgia:
"We saw Georgia at the National Indoors and then we played them in January in a preseason tournament, Roddick said. "We have a day off after a tough match so we'll be ready to play and I'm sure they will be too.

Well its time to put the 2014-15 season in the rear-view mirror and start looking ahead to next year. There are 4 teams (TCU/USC/Texas/Duke) in the final top 10 that will have to replace 4 starters so those teams could face an uphill climb next year to return to the top 10.

The new recruits section is from tennisrecruiting.net so its possible some of those guys may not end up where they are currently showing. Several teams will probably have some guys coming in from outside the U.S. so we probably won't know any names until the schools put out a release or we see the name on the roster in August/January.

I'm sure we'll also see some guys transfer as we do every year. We probably won't know those until they show up on a new roster in the fall or we see a name with a different school beside it on the ITA All American list of participants in late September. I've added a new tab at the top to keep up with transfers throughout the summer.

There's a possibility that a few guys may choose to leave school early (Rubin/Harris) and go pro but for now we'll assume if they have eligibility remaining they'll be back at the same place next year.

The returning depth players will mainly be guys that I think have a chance of playing so I may leave a few names off.

I'll go team-by-team based off the final top 25 of the season and the # in ( ) beside the player's name is where they played in the lineup at the end of the year.

I'll take a wild guess at the starting 6 for next season but I won't really know until the roster is set and I see some results in the fall.

I'll start off with the top 10 and do the next 10 in a few days.

#1 Virginia
  • Returning singles starters: Ryan Shane (1), Collin Altamirano (3), Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (4), Alexander Ritschard (5), J.C. Aragone (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Mitchell Frank (2)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Shane, Altamirano, Kwiatkowski, Ritschard, Aragone, Styslinger/Wiersholm
  • Returning doubles starters: Shane/Corinteli (1), Kwiatkowski/Styslinger (2), Altamirano/Aragone (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: None
  • Returning depth: Mac Styslinger, Henrik Wiersholm, Luca Corinteli, Harrison Richmond
  • Departing depth: None
  • New Recruits: None at the moment
Comments: It's never easy to replace someone as accomplished as Mitchell Frank but Virginia has the horses in the barn to make the transition somewhat seamless. Virginia hosts the National Indoors next February so they won't be playing during the Kickoff Weekend. Virginia should be the preseason #1 or at the very least #2.

#2 Oklahoma
  • Returning singles starters: Axel Alvarez (1), Andrew Harris (2), Alex Ghilea (4), Spencer Papa (5), Florin Bragusi (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Dane Webb (3)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Alvarez, Harris, Redlicki, Ghilea, Papa, Bragusi
  • Returning doubles starters: Ghilea/Harris (1), Papa (2), Alvarez/Jose Salazar (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Webb (2)
  • Returning depth: Jose Salazar, Austin Siegel
  • Departing depth: Nick Papac
  • New Recruits: Michael Redlicki (former Duke #1)
Comments: The Redlicki transfer won't become official until he enrolls in school but it appears to be a done deal. OU should be just as good next year if Redlicki is able to play at the level he played out a few years back.

#3 Baylor
  • Returning singles starters: Julian Lenz (1), Max Tchoutakian (3), Felipe Rios (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Tony Lupieri (2), Diego Galeano (4), Mate Zsiga (5)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Lenz, Tchoutakian, Rios, Schneider, Benitez, Little/Schretter
  • Returning doubles starters: Lenz (1), Rios/Vince Schneider (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Galeano (1), Lupieri/Zsiga (2)
  • Returning depth: Vince Schneider, Juan Benitez, William Little, Johannes Schretter
  • Departing depth: None
  • New Recruits: None at the moment
Comments: The returning depth guys should be capable of filling some of the starting spots left open by the 3 departing seniors though it'd be tough to see Baylor being as good as they were this year. Tchoutakian played at #2 early in the season before dropping to #3 and Rios did very well at #6 so I wouldn't see him having too much of an issue stepping up to play at #3 or #4.  

#4 TCU
  • Returning singles starters: Guillermo Nunez (2), Cameron Norrie (3)
  • Departing singles starters: Nick Chappell (1), Facundo Lugones (4), Arnau Dachs (5), Will Stein (6)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Nunez, Norrie, Johnson, Stalder, Daniel, Anderson
  • Returning doubles starters: Norrie/Trevor Johnson (1), Nunez/Hudson Blake (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Chappell/Lugones (2), Stein (1) - most of the year.
  • Returning depth: Trevor Johnson, Trey Daniel
  • Departing depth: None
  • New Recruits: Reese Stalder (5* & UTR 13.26), Gregory Anderson (4* & UTR 12.47), Gianni Mancini (4* & UTR 11.53)
Comments: TCU loses a slew of wins (55.5% of dual-match wins) with the 4 seniors departing. Trevor Johnson should be a quality lower lineup starter and Stalder will have a shot at starting but TCU will likely need to bring in at least 2 high-level guys from overseas to have any shot at another top 10 season because right now I don't see anyone that can fill the 3 and 4 spots in the singles lineup.

#5 Texas A&M
  • Returning singles starters: Shane Vinsant (2), Arthur Rinderknech (3), Harrison Adams (4), AJ Catanzariti (5), Jordi Arconada (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Jeremy Efferding (1)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Vinsant, Rinderknech, Adams, Catanzariti, Arconada, Lunkin/Withrow/Gordon/Janglin/Colunga
  • Returning doubles starters: Vinsant/Adams (1), Rinderknech/Catanzariti (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Efferding/Szabo (2)
  • Returning depth: Max Lunkin, Frankie Colunga, Jackson Withrow (sat out last season)
  • Departing depth: Jordan Szabo
  • New Recruits: Henry Gordon (5* & UTR 12.98), Kevin Lam (4* & UTR 12.24), Oscar Janglin (UTR 12.93)
Comments: I'm assuming Jackson Withrow will have a redshirt season though it's possible he may be done. A&M should be a top 10 team again next year with Rinderknech, Catanzariti, and Arconada likely to be that much better with a year under their belts. 

#6 Illinois
  • Returning singles starters: Jared Hiltzik (2), Aron Hiltzik (4), Aleks Vukic (5)
  • Departing singles starters: Farris Gosea (1), Tim Kopinski (3), Ross Guignon (6)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: J Hiltzik, A Hiltzik, Vukic, Matsuya, Jesse, Page/Childers/Hirsch
  • Returning doubles starters: J. Hiltzik (1), Vukic (2), A Hiltzik (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Kopinski (1), Gosea (2), Guignon (3)
  • Returning depth: Toshiki Matsuya, Julian Childers, Alex Jesse, Brian Page, Pablo Landa 
  • Departing depth: Blake Bazarnik 
  • New Recruits: Asher Hirsch (5* & UTR 12.98), Pengxuan Jiang 5* & UTR 11.75)
Comments: Illinois loses 2 of its top 3 but with Aron Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic shifting up they'll still most likely have the top starting 3 in the B1G. How well the Illini can fill the bottom 3 will determine whether they'll be a top 10 team or be in that 10 to 20 range.  

#7 USC 
  • Returning singles starters: Max De Vroome (5), Nick Crystal (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Yannick Hanfmann (1), Roberto Quiroz (2), Eric Johnson (3), Jonny Wang (4)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: De Vroome, Crystal, Farren, L Smith, Boyd, Devine/Bellamy/Forget/T Smith/Jaede
  • Returning doubles starters: De Vroome (2), Crystal/Forget (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Hanfmann/Quiroz (1), Johnson (2)
  • Returning depth: Connor Farren, Rob Bellamy, Thibault Forget, Tanner Smith
  • Departing depth: None 
  • New Recruits: Kalman Boyd (BC & UTR 13.53), Logan Smith (BC & UTR 13.73), Jake Devine ( & UTR 13.62), Jack Jaede (UTR 13.19)
Comments: USC will have to replace its top 4 (accounted for 59.3% of its dual match wins) which will be a mighty tough task.  Peter Smith has the 3rd best recruiting class per TR.Net and it wouldn't surprise me to see another high-caliber player added before next season. USC will still be good next year but I can't say they'll be a top 5 team without seeing the newcomers in action. A lot will be expected of De Vroome, Crystal, and Farren next year.

#8 Georgia
  • Returning singles starters: Wayne Mongtomery (1), Austin Smith (2), Ben Wagland (4), Nick Wood (5), Paul Oosterbaan (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Nathan Pasha (3)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Montgomery, Paul, Smith, Wagland, Wood, Oosterbaan/Duncan/Bertran
  • Returning doubles starters: Smith/Wagland (1), Montgomery (2), Oosterbaan (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Pasha (2), Diaz (3)
  • Returning depth: Peter Bertran
  • Departing depth: Eric Diaz 
  • New Recruits: Tommy Paul (BC & UTR 14.75), Walker Duncan (BC & UTR 13.66), and Emil Reinberg (BC & UTR 12.99)
Comments: Manny Diaz brings in the #1 recruiting class per TR.Net and if they all show up on campus Georgia should be a top 3 team next year with a serious shot at a National Title. There are only 7 current college players with a UTR higher than Tommy Paul so to say he can play is an understatement. 

#9 Texas
  • Returning singles starters: George Goldhoff (4), Nick Naumann (5)
  • Departing singles starters: Soren Hess-Olesen (1), Lloyd Glasspool (2), Adrien Berkowicz (3), Clement Homs (6)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Civita-Telles, Goldhoff, Naumann, Mee, Riechmann, Caruana/Ortiz-Ruiz/Scott
  • Returning doubles starters: Goldhoff (2), Naumann/Michael Riechmann (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Hess-Olesen/Glasspool (1), Lewis (2)
  • Returning depth: John Mee, Michael Riechmann, Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz, Julian Zlobinsky
  • Departing depth: Jacoby Lewis
  • New Recruits: Liam Caruana (BC & UTR 13.57), John Goodwin (4* & UTR 12.67), Harrison Scott (UTR 13.38), Ben Cardone (No Info), Leonardo Civita-Telles (UTR 13.73)
Comments: Texas has to replace 63% of its dual match wins from this season which will be tough to say the least. Texas has a very deep recruiting class coming in with Civita-Telles and Caruana both likely to start next year.

#10 Duke 
  • Returning singles starters: Nicolas Alvarez (1), TJ Pura (6)
  • Departing singles starters: Jason Tahir (2), Raphael Hemmeler (3), Bruno Semenzato (4), Chris Mengel (5)
  • Potential starting 6 next year: Alvarez, Mateas, Lin, Pura, Levine, Chamdni/Dickerson/McCall
  • Returning doubles starters: Alvarez (1), Levine (2), Pura (3)
  • Departing doubles starters: Hemmeler (1), Tahir (2), Semenzato (3)
  • Returning depth: Josh Levine, Daniel McCall
  • Departing depth: None
  • New Recruits: Adrian Chamdni (BC & UTR 13.04), Vincent Lin (BC & UTR 13.47), Catalin Mateas (BC & UTR 13.55), Ryan Dickerson (5* & UTR 13.01) 
Comments: Duke loses 4 of its top 5 (57% of its dual match wins) so the new recruits will have to show up on Day 1 ready to go or it could be a tough year. 

RankAvgSchoolPrevious Week
195.93University of Virginia 3
294.39University of Oklahoma 1
384.63Baylor University 2
470.97TCU 6
568.75Texas A&M University 5
668.21University of Illinois 4
766.38University of Southern California 8
866.32University of Georgia 7
960.26University of Texas 9
1056.90Duke University 10
1154.53North Carolina 13
1252.03Ohio State University 11
1349.25Wake Forest University 12
1445.48Columbia University 17
1544.17UCLA 16
1643.25University of South Florida 18
1740.94University of Mississippi 14
1840.61Virginia Tech 15
1938.93Texas Tech University 19
2036.87Stanford University 23
2136.55University of Minnesota 25
2236.08University of San Diego 21
2336.04Mississippi State University 20
2434.93Vanderbilt University 24
2533.73University of Florida 22
Published in Blogs
Saturday, 09 January 2016 01:28

2016 Season Preview - Illinois Fighting Illini

Despite its early exit in Waco I'd still consider last season a success for Illinois because after years of playing second fiddle to Ohio State the Illini beat the Buckeyes not once, not twice, but three times. Illinois won its second Big Ten Tournament Championship in the last four years and won its first regular season Big Ten Championship since 2005 though they did have to share it with Ohio State and Minnesota. The first and third wins over Ohio State came in tournament play but the second win snapped the Buckeyes 97-match Big Ten regular season winning streak which dated back to 2005.

Brad Dancer enters his 11th season as head coach of the Illini and currently sits in second on the all-time wins list with 215 wins which is only 59 behind Craig Tiley's 274 (12 seasons).

Dancer returns half of his starting 6 from last year's team but he lost some solid contributors with Farris Gosea, Tim Kopinski, Ross Guignon, and Blake Bazarnik all departing. Those 4 accounted for 38% of the Illini's dual-match singles wins and were part of 53% of Illinois's doubles wins.

Gosea went 13-6 last year in dual-match singles play with 9 of those wins coming at #1 but he was even better in doubles going 20-2 including 12-0 with Aleks Vukic at #2 and #3. Kopinski went 19-4 last season in singles with 15 of those wins coming at #3 while on the doubles side he went 12-12 with 23 of those matches coming at #1 (13 with Jared Hiltzik & 10 with Ross Guignon). Guignon went 7-3 in singles including 5-2 at #6 while in doubles he went 13-10 splitting time at #1 with Kopinski and #2 and #3 with Aron Hiltzik. Bazarnik went 6-6 in singles while splitting time between #5 and #6 and he went 5-6 in doubles playing 8 matches with Brian Page at #2 and #3 (3-5).

Jared Hiltzik (Sr) is back for his final year after going 20-3 in dual-match play last year winning 8 of those matches at #1 and the other 12 at #2. Hiltzik mainly played pro events this fall though he did get a wild card into the National Indoor Intercollegiates and beat 2 ranked players before falling in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion and current ITA #1 Dominik Koepfer (Tulane) 7-6(6), 7-5. Hiltzik beat former teammate Farris Gosea in the finals of 2 money tournaments - $2K UTR Decatur Open and $5K Walt Herrick Sr. Open. Hiltzik's take from those 2 tournaments was $3000 but per the NCAA rules he's only allowed to keep enough to cover his expenses so hopefully Jared at least had a couple of steak dinners during his time competing. I expect Jared to have a solid senior season playing at #1 and #2.

Aleks Vukic (Soph) didn't play any college events this fall so hence he starts off the dual-match season unranked though I can assure you that will change quickly. Vukic had a dominating freshman season racking up a team best 23 dual-match wins by going 10-0 at #4 and 13-2 at #5. 19 of his 23 wins came in straight sets and he avenged 1 of his 2 losses by beating UNC's Robert Kelly in the NCAA Tournament. Vukic's best result this fall was a semifinal at the Mansfield USA F29 Futures which included straight set wins over former Ole Miss #1 Nik Scholtz and current Baylor #2 Max Tchoutakian. Vukic is currently playing pro events in his native Australia and just beat #62 Sergiy Stakhovsky in the opening round of qualies at the ATP 250 in Sydney. Assuming Vukic comes back for his sophomore season I expect he'll be just as strong at #1 and #2 as he was at #5.

Aron Hiltzik (Soph) finished last season on a 16-match winning streak and ended up 18-3 in dual-match play including 10-0 at #4. Hiltzik's best result this fall was the Round of 16 at the ITA All-Americans which included a straight set win over #12 Nicolas Alvarez (Duke). Aron should be fine at #3 this season.

Julian Childers (R-Jr) took a non-injury related redshirt season last season and has come back this year playing some great tennis. Childers had a team best 12 wins this fall including a ranked win over #50 Sam Shropshire (Northwestern). Childers went 7-5 in dual-match play in the 2014 season playing all but one match at #6 but I think he's the strongest candidate to play at #4 this season (at least based off fall results). Childers would probably be more effective if he was in the #5 or #6 spot but I'm not sure who would play at #4 if it wasn't him.

The other 2 starting singles spots will probably be filled by a committee that includes Alex Jesse (R-Jr), Toshiki Matsuya (Soph), Asher Hirsch (Fr), and Brian Page (Sr). Matsuya started 18 matches last year going 8-3 with 7 others going unfinished while primarily playing at #6 but he didn't have the greatest fall going just 3-7 with 0 back-to-back wins. Alex Jesse sat out last season after going 9-5 in dual-match play the year prior while splitting time between #5 and #6. Jesse went just 1-5 this fall but he was competitive in each of his losses against guys that will play in the top 4 of their respective lineups. Hirsch went 5-4 in his first fall with his best win coming over Texas Tech's Connor Curry who played at #6 last season for the Red Raiders. Page saw limited action last season going 4-1 in dual-match play and he didn't play any fall college events though he did play in a few Futures.

Aiden Jiang (Fr) and Pablo Landa (R-Fr) probably won't see too much action unless a few other guys above them get injured.

Illinois went 20-12 in doubles last season but they'll have to come up with some new combinations after losing half of its starters.

Below are each players summer/fall college records (singles/doubles) along with a list of accomplishments. The ranking listed in front of a player is the ITA preseason ranking.

#21 Jared Hiltzik - (2-1/0-1) - beat #35 Uros Petronijevic (San Diego) and #57 David Wilczynski (Stanford) at the National Indoor Intercollegiates before falling to #1 Dominik Koepfer (Tulane) in the quarterfinals, made the finals at the Godfrey USA F22 Futures, made the semifinals at the Markham, Canada F11 Futures, made the doubles finals at the Birmingham USA F31 Futures (w Lomacki)

Aleks Vukic (0-0) - made the finals at the Saskatoon, Canada F6 Futures, made the semifinals at the Mansfield, Texas USA F29 Futures, made the quarterfinals at the Toronto, Canada F9 Futures, beat #249 Zhe Li in qualies at the Happy Valley, Australia Challenger, beat #62 Sergiy Stakhovsky in qualies at the ATP 250 in Sydney

#41 Aron Hiltzik (6-5/2-2) - beat Amerigo Contini (Va Tech) and #12 Nicolas Alvarez (Duke) before falling to #3 Andre Goransson (Cal) in the Round of 16 at the All-Americans, made it to the quarterfinals at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional, beat #71 Nicky Hu (Harvard) at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, earned an ATP point in singles at the Champaign USA F25 Futures

Julian Childers (12-3/4-6) - beat #50 Sam Shropshire (Northwestern) in route to the Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional, went 3-1 in singles at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, made it to the final round of pre-qualies at the All-Americans, made it to the quarterfinals of the $5K Walt Herrick Open before falling to Tim Kopinski 7-6 in the 3rd, made the doubles Round of 16 at the Midwest Regional (w Matsuya)

Alex Jesse (1-5/5-3) - made the doubles semifinals at the Big Ten Doubles Championships (w Matsuya), had several close losses at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge against some good competition (Arconada, Dojas, Sisko, Yueng)

Toshiki Matsuya (3-7/7-3) - made the doubles semifinals at the Big Ten Doubles Championships (w Jesse), made the doubles Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional (w Childers), made the semifinals at the UTR $2K Decatur Open before falling to Jared Hiltzik 7-6, 7-6

Asher Hirsch (5-4/1-3) - went 3-1 in singles at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, made the Round of 16 at the Big Ten Singles Championships

Brian Page (0-0) - made the final round of qualies at the Tallahassee F35 Futures, played in a few local USTA tournaments with varying degrees of success

Aiden Jiang (2-5/0-4) - won a match at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge

Pablo Landa (5-6/2-3) - went 3-1 at the the Valpo Crusaders Indoor Invitational

Projected Depth Chart:
1. Jared Hiltzik
2. Aleks Vukic
3. Aron Hiltzik
4. Julian Childers
5. Alex Jesse
6. Toshiki Matsuya
7. Asher Hirsch
8. Brian Page
9. Pengxuan (Aiden) Jiang
10. Pablo Landa

Players With A Current ATP Singles Ranking as of 1/4/16 - high in ( )
#624 - Jared Hiltzik (574)
#718 - Aleks Vukic (708)
#1727 - Aron Hiltzik (1436)

Universal Tennis Rating as of 1/7/16:
14.49 - Aleks Vukic
14.07 - Jared Hiltzik
13.81 - Aron Hiltzik
13.18 - Toshiki Matsuya
13.17 - Julian Childers
12.97 - Alex Jesse
12.84 - Asher Hirsch
12.74 - Aiden Jiang
12.63 - Brian Page
12.18 - Pablo Landa

Universal Tennis Rating as of 6/3/15
14.49 - Jared Hiltzik
14.40 - Aleks Vukic
14.19 - Aron Hiltzik
13.44 - Toshiki Matsuya
13.16 - Alex Jesse
12.98 - Asher Hirsch
12.73 - Julian Childers
12.61 - Brian Page
12.11 - Pablo Landa
11.75 - Aiden Jiang

Pre-College Ratings/Rankings:

Peak ITF Junior Ranking:
#116 - Toshiki Matsuya
#132 - Aron Hiltzik
#348 - Aiden Jiang
#408 - Pablo Landa
#580 - Jared Hiltzik
#726 - Aleks Vukic
#813 - Brian Page
#1224 - Julian Childers

TennisRecruiting.Net Star Rating/High Ranking (Americans Only)
Blue Chip #1 - Jared Hiltzik
Blue Chip #1 - Aron Hiltzik
Blue Chip #10 - Brian Page
5-star #16 - Alex Jesse
5-star #29 - Toshiki Matsuya
5-star #29 - Asher Hirsch
5-star #29 - Aiden Jiang
5-star #39 - Julian Childers

TRN Yearly Recruiting Rankings:
2015 - #24 - (Hirsch, Jiang)
2014 - #18 - (A Hiltzik, Vukic, Matsuya, Landa)
2013 - No additions
2012 - #6 - (J Hiltzik, Page, Childers, Jesse)

2016-17 Recruiting Class:
Zeke Clark - Tulsa, OK - TRN Blue Chip #3 - UTR 14.13
Gui Gomes - Newport Beach, CA - TRN 5-star #27 - UTR 12.96



The Illini typically schedules an aggressive out of conference schedule and this season is no different with at least 5 Top 10 opponents lined up. Illinois opens up with a doubleheader against Valparaiso and #37 Notre Dame with the ND match officially part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. If they beat Notre Dame they'd face the winner of the #26 Northwestern/#29 Tulsa match; if they lose to the Irish they'd face the loser of the other match.

The following weekend they head to Tobacco Road to play #13 Duke and #9 North Carolina. Last year Duke beat Illinois 4-3 in Champaign but the Blue Devils lost 4 starters off that team while Illinois beat UNC 4-3 in the regular season only to see UNC beat them 4-3 in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Illinois then plays #37 Notre Dame for a second time before heading off to Charlottesville for the National Team Indoors (assuming they win both matches during the K-O Weekend)

The weekend after the NTIs they welcome in #5 Texas A&M and then #1 Virginia and #3 TCU come in the following weekend.

After a much needed 2 week break the Illini opens up Big Ten play by going to #26 Northwestern and then they hit the road for their final 2 non-conference matches against #4 Baylor in Indian Wells and Kentucky in Lexington. In notable B1G action Illinois welcomes in #23 Minnesota and Michigan while the Illini goes to #47 Indiana and #10 Ohio State.

2015 STATS

Returning singles starters: Jared Hiltzik (2), Aron Hiltzik (4), Aleks Vukic (5)
Departing singles starters: Farris Gosea (1), Tim Kopinski (3), Ross Guignon/Blake Bazarnik (6)

Returning doubles starters: J. Hiltzik (1), Vukic (2), A Hiltzik (3)
Departing doubles starters: Kopinski (1), Gosea (2), Guignon (3)

Returning depth: Toshiki Matsuya, Julian Childers, Alex Jesse, Brian Page, Pablo Landa
Departing depth: None

New Recruits: Asher Hirsch, Pengxuan Jiang 

I don't expect the Illini to match or exceed last season's 27 wins but I don't think they'll be too far behind. They have the strongest top 3 (J Hiltzik, Vukic, A Hiltzik) in the conference, and one of the strongest top 3s in the nation, but there will be several teams that will have more skill at the bottom 3. Illinois can't expect to sweep the top 3 against the heavy hitters (UVA, TCU, aTm, UNC, Ohio St) so they'll need to find enough points from doubles and the bottom 3 to pull some upsets. I think a 20-6 regular season with a trip to Tulsa for the NCAA Sweet Sixteen is a good probability with any chance to go further dependent on the bottom 3 being able to win at least 2 matches consistently.   


In the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, North Carolina really put Illinois behind the 8-ball after taking the doubles point and 5 opening singles sets but the Illini clawed its way back into the match and took 5 second sets. Illinois went ahead 3-2 and had both Gosea and J Hiltzik into third sets but North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Ronnie Schneider turned them away and UNC took it 4-3 - recap

[13] North Carolina def. [4] Illinois 4-3
May 14, 2015 - Waco, TX (Hurd Tennis Center/Grandstand Courts)
Doubles Competition    
1. Ebsen Hess-Olesen/Brayden Schnur (UNC) def. #36 J Hiltzik/Kopinski (ILL) 8-5
2. Farris Gosea/Aleks Vukic (ILL) vs. #45 Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) 7-5, UNF
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Blake Bazarnik/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 8-4
Singles Competition 
1. #11 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.63) def. #33 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.60) 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-2
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.36) def. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.56) 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3
3. #65 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.20) def. #73 Brett Clark (UNC 13.84) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
4. #81 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 14.20) def. Jack Murray (UNC 14.17) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. #74 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.37) def. Robert Kelly (UNC 13.77) 6-3, 6-2
6. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.67) def. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.40) 6-3, 6-2
Match Notes:
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (5,6,3,4,1,2)
North Carolina 24-10
Illinois 27-5

Published in Blogs
Well that didn't take long - on the first weekend of the season a pair of Top 15 teams got upset as unranked Kentucky went into Durham and beat #13 Duke 4-3 and #62 Washington rebounded from a Friday loss to UCSB and knocked off #12 Texas by a 4-3 score. As I mentioned when the preseason rankings came out a week ago, the rankings didn't really take into account the number of starters that some teams lost and thus ranked a few of them way too high. Both Texas and Duke fell into that category because each team had to replace 4 starters and most of the replacements were freshman.

Anyway back to the day's events starting first in Durham. Duke and Kentucky battled it out in doubles with all 3 matches going back and forth. Kentucky went up an early double break at #1 and led 3-0 but Duke would claw back and end up taking it in a tiebreak. Duke had the break lead at #2 but lost it only to break late and take it 7-5. Duke also had the early break lead at #3 but Kentucky came back to forth a tiebreak which Duke ultimately won.

4 of the 6 singles matches finished in straight sets as Kentucky's William Bushamuka, Ryotaro Matsumura, and Nils Ellefsen swept the top 3 spots while Duke's Adrian Chamdani won at #6. Kentucky had a 3-2 lead and just needed 1 of the final 2 courts but it wasn't look good for them on either. Duke's Catalin Mateas led Kentucky's Trey Yates 4-1 in the 3rd at #4 and Duke's Josh Levine was serving for the match at #5 leading Kentucky's Enzo Wallart 5-3 in the 3rd. Wallart wouldn't go away and would break back and push the match to a tiebreak. Levine took the first point in the tiebreak but Wallart took the next 7 to clinch the win for Kentucky. Duke's Mateas would close out Yates after Kentucky had already officially won it to make the final score 4-3. For a full blow-by-blow read Duke's extremely detailed recap.

Note: Kentucky won despite playing without Beck Pennington who started 22 matches last season at #1 singles (11-9)

Kentucky 4, #13 Duke 3
Jan 17, 2016 at Durham, N.C. (Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #79 William Bushamuka (UK 13.95) def. #12 Nicolas Alvarez (DU 14.21) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
2. Ryotaro Matsumura (UK 14.53/20%) def. #102 TJ Pura (DU 13.43) 6-1, 6-4
3. #117 Nils Ellefsen (UK 13.06) def. Vincent Lin (DU 13.46) 6-2, 6-2
4. Catalin Mateas (DU 13.62) def. Trey Yates (UK 13.19) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
5. Enzo Wallart (UK 13.02) def. Josh Levine (DU 12.74) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (1)
6. Adrian Chamdani (DU 12.92) def. Austin Hussey (UK 12.92) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Nicolas Alvarez/Vincent Lin (DU) def. Nils Ellefsen/Kevin Lai (UK) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Josh Levine/Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Ryotaro Matsumura/Enzo Wallart (UK) 7-5
3. Catalin Mateas/TJ Pura (DU) def. William Bushamuka/Charles Minc (UK) 7-6 (7)
Match Notes:
Kentucky 3-0
Duke 1-1; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,6,2,1,5,4)
T-3:08 A-278

A slew of post-match quotes from Kentucky's recap
"A very good win for us in the beginning stage of the year, said head coach Cedric Kauffman. "Beating this team on the road with three freshmen and two sophomores in the lineup after losing the doubles shows that we have come a long way from last year. The upperclassman are improving and this freshman class is the best in the country. We left a lot on the table in the doubles. We didn't close out some opportunities that we had. We will go over it this week. It was great to get Charles [Minc] back on the court. I can't wait for him to be at 100-percent and playing well.

"What a great team effort today by the guys, assistant coach Matt Emery said. "I thought we left a point on the board in the doubles. But what a great job our guys did of bouncing back and winning or being in a position to win at every spot in singles."

"A great win for us on the road and an amazing feeling to upset such a talented team, Ellefsen said following the match. "We should have closed out the doubles point as well, but we fought back in singles to win the match. So proud of the guys for today's effort.

"I though that as a team everyone gave it their all, especially the freshman in their first win against a ranked team, Bushamukasaid. "Enzo [Wallart] I thought was the man of the match, clinching for us in the third. Even though we just beat a top-15 team, we need to get back to work on Tuesday. I'm very proud of the team though.

"I'm very happy that we beat a top-15 team in Duke today, Matsumura said. "I knew we could do it. I think I did well in my first match against a ranked player. I have some goals for my next match, wanting to improve on my serve and overhead. Too many errors, but I am looking forward to beating Michigan next.

"I was really proud of William today, Emery continued. "This is a benchmark win for him, and we know it's only the beginning for him.  He was the tougher player on Court #1 today. I also can't say enough about the two freshman, Ryotaro and Enzo, today. They showed tremendous guts and poise for freshmen playing in their first big match on the road. They are two of the best freshmen in the country, and they proved that today."

"I'm very proud of the team today, Wallart said following the win. "After losing all three doubles very closely, we went back out there and gave everything we had. It was an incredible feeling winning 7-6 in the third and bringing the fourth point to the team for the win, especially in my second college match. We're ready for the season.

Post-match comments from Duke's recap:
We did some good things and fought hard, head coach Ramsey Smith said. "We had a couple courts where I thought we did a lot of really, really good things. We're a couple points away from winning that match and feeling great. Overall, we made some progress this week. We certainly have some work to do. The doubles point was obviously extremely intense, Smith said. "There were a lot of pressure situations on all three courts and we were able to come through. That was a big positive. Kentucky bounced back extremely well.

"Adrian was very impressive today, Smith said. "He didn't play the first match and wasn't in the lineup to begin with. He got in and played a guy who made a lot of balls. Adrian stepped up. I was encouraged with him.

"I thought Catalin looked very comfortable out there, Smith added. "I wish it had come down to him. Josh has won so many big matches for us and lost a tough one today. I have full confidence that Josh is going to win that match the majority of the time. From a freshman standpoint, I thought it was a great weekend.

It was a crazy weekend of tennis in Seattle - on Friday night #54 UCSB knocked off #62 Washington 4-3, then on Saturday #12 Texas beat #54 UCSB 6-1, and then finally today #62 Washington knocks off #12 Texas 4-3 - go figure. 

Texas didn't have any issues in doubles and claimed the point with wins at #1 and #2 but Washington turned things around in singles. Washington's Mitch Stewart, Gal Hakak, Enzo Sommer, and Sebastian Hawken each took first sets and it didn't take long for Stewart, Hakak, and Hawken to finish their matches off in straight sets. Washington was now up 3-1 but Texas trimmed it to 3-2 with a straight set win from Julain Zlobinsky at #6 but a short while later freshman Enzo Sommer closed the door on Texas by defeating #114 Michael Riechmann 7-5, 6-4. Texas's Adrian Ortiz beat Washington's Jake Douglas in the remaining match to make the final 4-3.

#62 Washington 4, #12 Texas 3
Jan 17, 2016 at Seattle, WA. (Nordstrom Tennis Center)
Doubles competition 
1 Adrian Ortiz/Michael Riechmann (UT) def. Piers Foley/Enzo Sommer (UW), 6-4
2 George Goldhoff/Julian Zlobinsky (UT) def. Jake Douglas/Wendell Watanabe (UW), 6-2
3 Colin Markes/Harrison Scott (UT) vs. Kawika Lam/Mitch Stewart (UW), 5-4, susp.
Singles competition 
1 #84 Mitch Stewart (UW 13.89) def. George Goldhoff (UT 13.65), 6-3, 6-2
2 #122 Gal Hakak (UW 13.34) def. #94 Harrison Scott (UT 13.44), 6-3, 6-3
3 Adrian Ortiz (UT 13.61) def. #121 Jake Douglas (UW 13.26), 7-6, 7-5
4 Enzo Sommer (UW 13.49) def. #114 Michael Riechmann (UT 12.95), 7-5, 6-4
5 Sebastian Hawken (UW 12.56) def. John Mee (UT 13.40), 6-3, 6-2
6 Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.76) def. Piers Foley (UW 12.37), 7-5, 6-4
Match Notes
Washington 3-1
Texas 3-1; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,5,2,6,4,3)

Comments from Washington recap
"Today was great, it was a very close match like we had Friday night, said head coach Matt Anger. "I was really surprised all matches were straight sets, usually in a close match like that matches are going to go to three sets but it just seemed to work out that way today. Within all of those matches however it was still really close.  We were able to play a lot of freshmen today, and even two sophomores, said Anger. "So it was just a great win for the team, and also a lot of fun for those guys to get that great experience.

Comments from Texas recap
"I give credit to Washington," said UT head coach Michael Center. "They played very well. We were not quite as sharp in some areas today, and we were exploited. Once again, I was pleased with our doubles. The guys played hard, but we still have a lot of room for improvement."

Northwestern won its season opener on the road by blanking #36 Louisville 4-0. The only real suspense came during the doubles point which was decided in a tiebreak at #2. Northwestern won 9 of the 10 completed sets and was ahead in the other 3 when play was halted due to the clinch. Northwestern had to get back home to play Chicago State at 7pm central so that's why they cut bait and took off.

Louisville head coach Rex Ecarma had some nice things to say about the Northwestern team - read below.

#26 Northwestern 4, #36 Louisville 0
Jan 17, 2016 at Louisville, Ky. (Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #16 Konrad Zieba (NW 14.22) vs. #108 Alex Gornet (LOU 13.11) 6-1, 5-3, unf
2. #50 Sam Shropshire (NW 13.71) def. Jeffrey Brown (LOU 13.02) 6-0, 6-3
3. #55 Strong Kirchheimer (NW 13.93) def. Sean Donohue (LOU 12.42) 6-1, 6-2
4. Fedor Baev (NW 13.00) vs. Brandon Lancaster (LOU 13.08) 2-6, 6-1, 4-1, unf
5. Alp Horoz (NW 13.04) vs. Courtney Lock (LOU 11.97) 6-3, 4-3, unf
6. Ben Vandixhorn (NW 12.87) def. Christian Haushammer (LOU 12.22) 7-6 (2), 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #52 Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NW) def. #57 Alex Gornet/Jeffrey Brown (LOU) 6-3
2. Sam Shropshire/Konrad Zieba (NW) def. Haushammer/Lancaster (LOU) 7-6 (3)
3. Courtney Lock/George Hedley (LOU) def. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NW) 6-4
Match Notes:
Northwestern 1-0; National ranking #26
Louisville Men's Tennis 2-1; National ranking #36
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,3,6)
T-2:12 A-102

Comments from Louisville's recap
There were just 4 matches on the Friday's schedule and none of them were particularly close with USC, Tulane, Illinois, and Northwestern each rolling into the second round.

Tulane started off the day by really taking it to Pepperdine with the Green Wave cruising to the doubles point and then getting runaway singles wins from Dominik Koepfer, Sebastian Rey, and Chi-Shan Jao at 1, 4, and 6. 

USC sat its #1 Max DeVroome and still rolled to a 7-0 win over UC Davis in a match where all courts were played to conclusion which is something that I like to see. The only Trojan to drop a set was newcomer Laurens Verboven who dropped his opening set before rallying to win in 3-sets at #2 singles. 

I think the USC/Tulane match is going to come down to the final court and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Tulane pull off the upset. 

#37 Tulane 4, #33 Pepperdine 0
Jan 22, 2016 at Los Angeles (Marks Stadium)
Singles competition
1. #1 Dominik Koepfer (TLN) def. Stefan Menichella (PU) 6-2, 6-2
2. #63 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) vs. Pedro Iamachkine (PU) 6-1, 5-5, unf
3. Lautaro Pane (PU) vs. Alex Van Cott (TLN) 6-2, 3-5, unf
4. #111 Sebastian Rey (TLN) def. Gabriel Sidney (PU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Nikolas Tukic (TLN) vs. Tom Hill (PU) 6-2, 4-2, unf
6. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) def. Jack Van Slyke (PU) 6-3, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #17 Chi-Shan Jao/Dominik Koepfer (TLN) def. Pedro Iamachkine/Lautaro Pane (PU) 6-2
2. Ian Van Cott/Alex Van Cott (TLN) def. Tom Hill/Stefan Menichella (PU) 6-2
3. Constantin Schmitz/Sebastian Rey (TLN) vs. Jack Van Slyke/Gabriel Sidney (PU) 5-4, unf
Match Notes:
Tulane 3-0; National ranking #37
Pepperdine 0-1; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,1,6)

Comments from Tulane's recap:
"This was a great team effort from start to finish, Tulane men's tennis head coach Mark Booras stated. "We came out with a bang in doubles, stuck to the game plans, stayed aggressive and got the point to give us nice momentum into the singles round.

"In singles, we were up a break or more on all six matches within the first 15 minutes so that kept the momentum rolling, Booras added. "Pepperdine kept on fighting and turned it around on some of the courts but our guys stayed focused and closed well to finish them off.

 "There was a lot of good energy from both teams today and I liked how our guys stayed focused with their emotions and tactics throughout the match, Booras concluded. "We'll need to turn right around and do the same tomorrow to put ourselves in a good position to be successful.

#8 USC 7, #57 UC Davis 0
Jan. 22, 2016 - Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(1) Crystal/Verboven (USC) def. Adamson/Levie (UCD) - 6-1
(2) de Vroome/Jaede (USC) def. Bacharach/Whittle (UCD) - 6-2
(3) DeVine/T. Smith (USC) vs. Lam/Wade (UCD) - 4-3 susp.
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2
(1) #41 Nick Crystal (USC) def. #38 Alec Adamson (UCD) - 6-1, 6-0
(2) Laurens Verboven (USC) def. James Wade (UCD) - 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
(3) #69 Logan Smith (USC) def. Brett Bacharach (UCD) - 7-6 (4), 6-4
(4) #83 Jake DeVine (USC) def. Bryce McKelvie (UCD) - 7-5, 7-5
(5) Jack Jaede (USC) def. Everett Maltby (UCD) - 6-2, 6-4
(6) Rob Bellamy (USC) def. Eli Whittle (UCD) - 6-2, 6-4*
Order of finish: 1, 5, 6*, 4, 2, 3

I figured Illinois would beat Notre Dame but I didn't think they'd dominate like they did on Friday night. The Illini won the doubles point with a couple of new pairings and then Aleks Vukic and the Hiltzik Brothers cleaned up at 1, 2, and 3 to give Illinois the 4-0 win.

Northwestern jumped on Tulsa by taking the doubles point with 6-3 wins at #1 and #3 and then picked up singles wins from Konrad Zieba, Strong Kirchheimer, and Fedor Baev. Tulsa got a win from Juan Matias-Gonzalez at #5 but couldn't get any traction anywhere else. 

#7 Illinois 4, Notre Dame 0
January 22, 2016 - Champaign/Urbana, IL (Atkins Tennis Center)
Singles Results
1. Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. #37 Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-3, 6-4 
2. #21 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND) 6-0, 6-2 
3. #41 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Alex Lawson (ND) 6-4, 6-2 
4. #67 Julian Childers (ILL) vs. Josh Hagar (ND) 6-2, 4-3, unf
5. Grayson Broadus (ND) vs. Alex Jesse (ILL) 6-6(5-6) unf
6. Asher Hirsh (ILL) vs. Nicolas Montoya (ND) 6-1, 5-3, unf.
Doubles Results
1. No. 6 Alex Lawson/Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. Jared Hiltzik/Alex Jesse (ILL) 7-5 
2. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) 6-4 
3. Julian Childers/Brian Page (ILL) def. Grayson Broadus/Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 6-3

"I have a ton of respect for Notre Dame and their coaching staff, so to get through that match without dropping a set tells me our guys were ready to go in singles play," head coach Brad Dancer said. "We are looking forward to another great challenge tomorrow.

#25 Northwestern 4, #24 Tulsa 1
January 22, 2016 - Champaign/Urbana, IL (Atkins Tennis Center) 
Singles Results
1. #16 Konrad Zieba (NU) def. #51 Or Ram-Harel (TU), 6-4, 6-2
2. #50 Sam Shropshire (NU) vs. Carlos Bautista (TU), 2-6, 6-4, 5-3, unf
3. #55 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Majed Kilani (TU), 7-6, 6-3*
4. Fedor Baev (NU) def. Matthew Kirby (TU), 7-6, 3-6, 6-2
5. Juan Matias-Gonzalez (TU) def. Alp Horoz (NU), 7-5, 6-2
6. Ben Vandixhorn (NU) vs. Mitchell Pritchard (TU), 3-6, 7-5, 3-2 unf
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 3*
Doubles Results
1. #52 Baev/Kirchheimer (NU) def. McCloskey/Kirby (TU), 6-3
2. Zieba/Shropshire (NU) vs. Kellerman/Kellerman (TU), 5-5 unf
3. Kumar/Horoz (NU) def. Matias-Gonzalez/Bautista (TU), 6-3*
Order of Finish: 1, 3*

"The guys fought very hard today," head coach Arvid Swan said. "Tulsa is a very good team, and the match was extremely competitive. It was great to see a complete team effort with singles and doubles."

"We expect another competitive match tomorrow against either Illinois or Notre Dame," Swan said. "There is a lot on the line with a spot at national indoors."

The biggest surprised of the day took place off the court as Cal announced that it'd be unable to make it to Durham, North Carolina due to the bad weather taking over much of the east coast.
I had actually picked Cal to win the regional but with them out that opens the door for Duke since they'll be able to get a walkover into the regional final.
Published in Blogs
This busy weekend of college tennis gets started with a couple of good ones in Durham and Stillwater. Illinois was dominate in its first three matches last weekend while Duke has taken a few tough losses at home with its lone win coming over an unranked Elon. Wake Forest faced some resistance last weekend against Auburn while Oklahoma State was an eye lash away from upsetting #3 TCU before falling 4-3. I expect both matches to be highly competitive despite the rankings difference.

#7 Illinois (3-0) at #24 Duke (1-2)  - 6pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming - Most knew that Duke would struggle a little this season after losing Jason Tahir, Raphael Hemmeler, Bruno Semenzato, and Chris Mengel but the one thing that has been a bit surprising has been the play of Nicolas Alvarez. The sophomore from Lima, Peru started off the fall by making it to the finals of the Oracle/ITA Masters but since then he's just 2-5. Alvarez lost to San Diego's Uros Petronijevic in straight sets last weekend and the week prior he lost in straights to Kentucky's William Bushamuka. Both of those guys are solid players but to lose both in straight sets was surprising.

Despite taking a few losses and dropping to #24 in rankings, Duke still has the talent to beat higher ranked teams so Illinois will need to bring its best to avoid a loss. Duke won 4-3 in Champaign last season though you can't compare last year to this year due to the roster turnover.

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.33) vs. #12 Nicolas Alvarez (DU 14.16)
2. #21 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.11) vs. #102 TJ Pura (DU 13.37)
3. #41 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 13.74) vs. Vincent Lin (DU 13.40)
4. #67 Julian Childers (ILL 13.36) vs. Catalin Mateas (DU 13.67)
5. Alex Jesse (ILL 12.89) vs. Adrian Chamdani (DU 12.90)
6. Asher Hirsch (ILL 12.79) vs. Josh Levine (DU 12.69)
Depth: Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.07); Ryan Dickerson (DU 13.32)

Illinois should sweep the top 3 and I like Julian Childers at #4 though Mateas has yet to lose yet. Chamdani and Levine will be slight favorites at #5 and #6 for Duke and I think Duke probably gets the doubles point. If they play all the courts out it could end up 4-3 but I think the Illini finishes it a little sooner. Prediction: Illinois 4-2 

Last Season's Meeting:

#11 Duke 4, #8 Illinois 3
Jan 30, 2015 at Urbana, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Doubles competition
1. Nicolas Alvarez/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. #3 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) 6-3
2. Jason Tahir/Josh Levine (DU) def. Aron Hiltzik/Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 6-3
3. Chris Mengel/Bruno Semenzato (DU) led Farris Gosea/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 5-3, unfinished
Singles competition
1. #36 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Farris Gosea (ILL) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
2. #31 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. #18 Nicolas Alvarez (DU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. #40 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #103 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0
4. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. #112 Bruno Semenzato (DU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Chris Mengel (DU) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) 6-2, 7-5
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL) 0-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
Match Notes
Duke 5-0; National ranking #11
Illinois 3-1; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,5,1,3,6,2)
T-2:30 A-600

#11 Wake Forest (4-0) at #25 Oklahoma State (4-1)- 7pm est/6pm cst - Live Scoring & Streaming - Last season these teams met in Winston-Salem with Wake Forest winning 4-3 though it doesn't appear that there will be any individual rematches in this year's meeting. Wake Forest has the deeper lineup so for Oklahoma State to have a shot in this one they'll need to grab the doubles point. The matchup at #1 between a pair of January admits should be pretty even with both guys having ATP rankings inside the top 600 (Ismailov 449/Chrysochos 574).

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. Petros Chrysochos (WF 14.01) vs. Temur Ismailov (OSU 13.95)
2. #26 Skander Mansouri (WF 14.23) vs. #112 Arjun Kadhe (OSU 13.81)
3. #103 Jonathan Ho (WF 13.99) vs. #68 Julian Cash (OSU 13.73)
4. Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.00) vs. Lucas Gerch (OSU 13.68)
5. Dennis Uspensky (WF 13.59) vs. Tristan Meraut (OSU 13.38)
6. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55) vs. Lukas Finzelberg (OSU 13.65)
Depth: #110 Maksim Kan (WF 13.15); Jurence Mendoza (OSU 13.21)

Wake Forest lost the doubles point to Auburn last week and came back from a ways down to beat Tennessee while Oklahoma State rolled over TCU and Harvard. I think Oklahoma State takes the doubles point but Wake will go back ahead with wins from Skander Mansouri and Dennis Uspensky at #2 and #5. Julian Cash will tie it up with a win at #3 but Christian Seraphim and Romain Bogaerts will get the Deacs to the magic number 4 for the win. If they finish out the match at #1 Ismailov will pull it out. Prediction: Wake Forest 4-3

Last Year's Meeting:

#19 Wake Forest 4, #32 Oklahoma State 3
Feb 21, 2015 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #55 Noah Rubin (WF 14.79) def. #88 Jakob Sude (OKST 13.54) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
2. #14 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.34) def. #87 Arjun Kadhe (OKST 13.57) 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7)
3. Lucas Gerch (OKST 13.82) def. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.07) 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (10), 1-0 (10-2)
4. #57 Jon Ho (WF 13.49) def. Lukas Finzelberg (OKST 13.82) 7-5, 6-3
5. Tristan Meraut (OKST 13.26) def. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.40) 6-3, 6-4
6. Nicolai Ferrigno (OKST 13.38) def. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.92) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #50 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. #10 Jakob Sude/Arjun Kadhe (OKST) 6-1
2. Romain Bogaerts/Keivon Tabrizi (WF) def. Tristan Meraut/Jurence Mendoza (OKST) 6-4
3. Nicolai Ferrigno/Lucas Gerch (OKST) def. Sam Bloom/Anthony Delcore (WF) 6-3
Match Notes
Oklahoma State 8-3, 0-0 Big 12; National ranking #32
Wake Forest 7-2, 0-0 ACC; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,4,1,6,2,3)
T-2:49 A-234

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