Friday was a stacked day with nine matchups between top 25 teams with six of those coming on the women's side. The highest profile match on the men's side took place in Waco with sixth-ranked Baylor hosting ninth-ranked TCU. The Bears claimed the doubles point with a 6-4 win at No. 1 and a 7-6(5) win at No. 3 and then in singles each team won three opening sets. Only two of the six matches would finish in straight sets with Baylor's Sven Lah winning 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 while TCU's Alex Rybakov won 7-5, 6-3 at No. 1. 

Baylor's Will Little put the Bears up 3-1 with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 4 and Jimmy Bendeck clinched at No. 6 with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 win. The other two matches were played out with Baylor's Johannes Schretter winning at No. 2 while TCU's Reese Stalder won at No. 3.

Baylor Head coach Brian Boland on the win…
"We enjoyed it. It was a tremendous crowd, and everyone came out and supported a great college tennis match and it was everything (and) more than we thought it would be. I'm just happy for the guys. They really prepared well all week, and now we have to get ready to play Texas, so we do not have a lot of time. But a tribute to our leaders, they played really hard tonight and did a really good job preparing this week, along with the rest of the team. Once again, doubles is pivotal in terms of the momentum, especially in matches that are as competitive as this one. And congratulations to TCU, they played a great match, and I look forward to another opportunity to play them again down the road. The Big 12 is a big challenge, and now we have another top-five team in front of us on Sunday."

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For the most part Friday was a pretty dull day but Saturday delivered us some gems including two big comeback wins. I'll start with the upset of the day which came in Stillwater when Illinois rallied from 3-0 down to stun No. 11 seed Oklahoma State 4-3. The Cowboys took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 and then each team took three opening sets in singles. Oklahoma State seniors Lucas Gerch and Lukas Finzelberg made quick work of their opponents at No. 3 and No. 6 to make it 3-0 but Illinois started winning all the close sets and got back in the match. 

Aron Hiltzik put the Illini on the board with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 2 which elicited a big fist pump from head coach Brad Dancer and then both Aleks Kovacevic and Zeke Clark would win their matches within seconds of each other to tie it up at 3-3. Clark came back from a 4-0 first set deficit to take the set 6-4 and then he won the second set in a tiebreak by a 10-8 score. Kovacevic had a chance to close his match out in straight sets but after failing to do so he won the third set 6-0. 

Illinois junior Aleks Vukic, who missed yesterday's match against Drake, would get the clincher with a 7-6, 7-6 win over Julian Cash at No. 1. Illinois is headed back to the Sweet 16 for the first time in two years and in doing so that means that an unseeded team has advanced to the Sweet 16 every year since the NCAA field was expanded to 64 teams in 1999.  

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The opening day of the NCAA Tournament brought us a few good matches but for the most part it was blowout city as 23 of the 32 matches ended in 4-0 shutouts. All regional hosts won their matches 4-0, which was expected, but I was surprised that only one No. 3 seed was able to get past a No. 2 seed. 

#42 Louisville was the No. 3 seed that pulled off the upset as the Cards knocked off #28 UCF in the lone 4-3 match of the day. UCF jumped out to the early 1-0 lead by claiming the doubles point with a 7-5 win at No. 2 and a 7-6(5) win in the decider at No. 3. Louisville came back strong in singles and picked five opening sets and both Parker Wynn and Clement Filho would win in straight sets to make it 2-1. UCF came back and forced three third sets and after Korey Lovett won at No. 1 and Mariano Porter at No. 4 the Knights led 3-2. Louisville's Nicolas Rouanet and Brandon Lancaster each went up early breaks in the third set on the two remaining courts and both would win 6-3 in the third with Rouanet getting the clincher. Below are some quotes from Louisville's recap:

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Former Virginia Tech Hokie Sebastien Jacques is making his way across the country, by foot, after not being able to walk across a room just a few years ago. Jacques played at Virginia Tech from 2007 to 2010 but during his senior year he had to quit playing due to a lack of energy. After graduating with a degree in marketing he returned home to Magog, Canada, and after seeing several doctor he was eventually diagnosed with a pineal cystic tumor in his brain which was the cause of the energy drain. The doctors in Canada determined the procedure was too risky and the health care system wouldn't cover the cost so Jacques ended up raising $80000 and had the surgery performed in California. The surgery was a success and Jacques returned to a normal life but he decided to embark on the cross-country walk to show people that it is possible to overcome obstacles in life. Virginia Tech had a write-up on Jacques a few days ago plus there are plenty of details on his website

The NCAA Division II Men's Championship has reached the semifinals with #1 West Florida advancing after a 5-0 win over #4 Hawaii Pacific. UWF's top player, #4 Alex Peyrot, played doubles but sat out in singles which was interesting because in the round of 16 its #2 player, Gabriel Dias, did the same thing. Next up for UWF will be #23 Southwest Baptist after the Bearcats held off #16 Ferris State 5-4 with Raul Cabalero winning the deciding match 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1) at #4 singles. The other semifinal match will be between #2 Barry and #3 Columbus State. Barry cruised past #18 Drury 5-1 with the Bucs taking two of three in doubles and winning every completed set in singles. Columbus State ran through #14 Azusa Pacific 5-1 with the Cougars sweeping all three doubles courts (count as a point each) and then getting two straight set wins at #3 and #4. APU got its lone point when Oliver Frank, D2s top ranked player, cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win at #1. 

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For the second down in a row the Bay Area delivered some high quality but on Saturday the big winners were the visitors from the Lone Star State. TCU came into the weekend ranked just outside the top 30 with a 5-4 record but they'll head to Santa Barbara three games over .500 after coming back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat No. 41 Stanford 4-3. TCU made a doubles lineup adjustment by dropping an ailing Reese Stalder from No. 1 to No. 3 and moving Cameron Norrie up from No. 3 to No. 1 in an attempt to find a way to sweep the top two courts. On Friday night against Cal, Stalder teamed with Jerry Lopez to defeat the top ranked doubles team of Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat but during singles he was forced to retire with what appeared to be some kind of shoulder injury. 

Stanford's No. 3 team of David Wilczynski and Brandon Sutter would take advantage of the situation and jump on Stalder and Gianni Mancini by breaking Stalder from 30/40 to go in front 3-1. Sutter held for 4-1 and then Stanford broke Mancini from 30/40 to make it 5-1. Wilczynski would serve it out on the no-ad point to give Stanford a 6-1 win. 

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Virginia got a last minute warmup for the National Team Indoors by welcoming in No. 17 Illinois for a somewhat rare mid-week match in Charlottesville. Virginia claimed a quick 6-2 win from Luca Corinteli and Carl Soderlund at No. 1 doubles and it looked like Illinois would get a quick win at No. 3 when Zeke Clark and Gui Gomes led 5-2* but Virginia's Collin Altamirano and JC Aragone came roaring back to win 7-6(4). The match at No. 2 doubles was halted just as the tiebreak was ready to get started. 

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The upsets keep on coming and today it was #2 Duke's turn as the Blue Devils got stunned by #44 Virginia Tech 6-1.  What made the Hokies win that much more impressive was the fact that Virginia Tech played singles without its #1 player Amerigo Contini which meant everybody else had to slide up 1 spot in the lineup.  Duke was also without its #5 singles player Chris Mengel.

Duke started off fine by taking the doubles point with wins at 1 and 2 but Virginia Tech would pick off Duke 1 by 1 in singles.  Florian Nicoud started things off by blowing out Josh Levine at #5 singles 6-1, 6-3 then Aaron Gomez gave Tech its first lead when he finished off TJ Pura 7-6(5), 6-0 at #6 singles.  Andreas Bjerrehus would put Virginia Tech up 3-1 when he broke Nicolas Alvarez to take the match at #1 singles 7-6(7), 6-4. With all remaining matches in the 3rd set it looked like VT's Hunter Koontz was going to be the one to clinch because he led 4-2 in the 3rd at #3 while Duke's Bruno Semenzato led 5-3 in the 3rd on #4 and Duke's Jason Tahir led 4-3 in the 3rd on #2. However Semenzato would be unable to serve it out up 5-4 then Edoardo Tessaro would consolidate the break with a hold to go up 6-5.  With Koontz nearing the finish line at 3, Tessaro decided he wanted to close it out himself and he broke Semenzato again to take the match and give Virginia Tech the stunning win.  Koontz would also win his match at #3 as would Joao Monteiro at #2 to make the final score 6-1 VT.

Note: ACC conference matches play a pro-set to 8 in doubles and utilize regular ad scoring similar to what will be used during the NCAA Championships.  The Big 10 is the only other major conference to use the same format while everyone else is playing no-ad. 

Virginia Tech recap

"This was a great win for our program, said head coach Jim Thompson. "We were down a player in singles and for the guys to come in here and step up, really shows our depth. I'm proud of this team and the work that these guys put in everyday to be the best they can be.

Duke recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of today's (3/8) date.  For more details about UTR check out their website.

#44 Virginia Tech 6, #2 Duke 1
March 8, 2015 at Blacksburg, Va. (Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #74 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT 13.76) def. #8 Nicolas Alvarez (DU 14.31) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4
2. Joao Monteiro (VT 13.79) def. #32 Jason Tahir (DU 13.77) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)
3. Hunter Koontz (VT 13.32) def. #99 Raphael Hemmeler (DU 14.01) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-3
4. Edoardo Tessaro (VT 12.69) def. Bruno Semenzato (DU 13.88) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
5. Florian Nicoud (VT 13.31) def. Josh Levine (DU 12.74) 6-1, 6-3
6. Aaron Gomez (VT 12.83) def. TJ Pura (DU 13.35) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0
Doubles competition
1. #11 Nicolas Alvarez/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Amerigo Contini/Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) 8-5
2. Jason Tahir/Josh Levine (DU) def. Hunter Koontz/Florian Nicoud (VT) 8-4
3. Edoardo Tessaro/Joao Monteiro (VT) def. Bruno Semenzato/TJ Pura 8-3
Match Notes
Virginia Tech 10-1, 2-0 ACC; National ranking #44
Duke 13-2, 0-1 ACC; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,6,1,4,3,2)



#20 Wake Forest 4, #13 TCU 3 
Singles competition
1. #21 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.28) def. #28 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.64) 6-4, 6-4
2. #48 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.71) def. #70 Jon Ho (WF 13.47) 6-2, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5)
3. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.09) def. Will Stein (TCU 13.26) 6-4, 6-4
4. Guillermo Nuez (TCU 13.49) def. Keivon Tabrizi (WF 12.95) 6-2, 6-4
5. Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.98) def. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.50) 6-4, 6-3
6. Maksim Kan (WF 13.31) def. #110 Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.46) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #28 Christian Seraphim/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #20 Nick Chappell/Will 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.
A-119

TCU recap

"Today was a disappointing loss," head coach David Roditi said. "We had a great opportunity to play a team without their best player. We had the opening and we didn't handle the moment very well. I give credit to Wake Forest for handling it better than us.

"We will need to figure out what we need to change in doubles. At the moment, we are not playing with a full team. For us to be the team we appeared to be a month ago, we need every player competing better. When we all start competing well, we will then get the results we believe we can get. Until then we will continue to be disappointed against the top teams. We have five days to figure it our before we play Michigan at home next Sunday."

#4 Georgia 4, #28 LSU 2
Singles competition
1. #25 Austin Smith (UGA 14.08) def. #64 Jordan Daigle (LSU 13.28) 6-1, 6-1
2. #17 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.68) def. #98 Chris Simpson (LSU 13.48) 6-2, 6-2
3. #16 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.20) def. #125 Tam Trinh (LSU 13.00) 6-3, 6-4
4. #119 Justin Butsch (LSU 13.52) def. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.24) 6-3, 6-3
5. Nick Wood (UGA 13.68) vs. Boris Arias (LSU 13.24) 7-6 (7-5), 4-2, unfinished
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.54) def. Andrew Korinek (LSU 13.31) 6-3, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #57 Boris Arias/Jordan Daigle (LSU) def. #10 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-2
2. Eric Perez/Tam Trinh (LSU) def. Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (UGA) 6-0
3. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) vs. Justin Butsch/Chris Simpson (LSU) 4-4, unfinished
Match Notes: 
LSU 11-2 (2-2); National ranking #28
Georgia 11-2 (4-0); National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,2,3,4,6)
Official: Clark Weaver T-2:08 A-376

Georgia recap
LSU recap

Said head coach Manuel Diaz: "LSU played a tremendous doubles match and it was the first doubles point that we've dropped in a long time. They just outplayed us. Our guys really came back in singles and asserted themselves. I thought we had tremendous wins at the top of the lineup. Paul, who is continuing to improve in every match, did a tremendous job in clinching the win for us."

"We jumped on them in doubles and had some leads on several courts," said head coach Jeff Brown. "[Georgia] did a good job of fighting back on most of those courts and closing out the matches they had leads in."

#34 Minnesota 4, #24 Drake 3 - Minnesota recap
Baseline Tennis Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Singles competition
1. #55 Alen Salibasic (DRAKE 13.77) def. #30 Leandro Toledo (MINN 14.01) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. #34 Ben Lott (DRAKE 13.75) def. Jack Hamburg (MINN 13.09) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. Ruben Weber (MINN 13.23) def. Ravi Patel (DRAKE 13.60) 6-1, 6-4
4. Matic Spec (MINN 13.62) def. Ben Stride (DRAKE 12.83) 6-1, 6-2
5. Felix Corwin (MINN 13.67) def. Matt Frost (DRAKE 12.90) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
6. Calum MacGeoch (DRAKE 12.15) def. Mathieu Froment (MINN 12.83) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. No. 41 Mathieu Froment/Jack Hamburg (MINN) def. Ben Lott/Bayo Philips (DRAKE) 6-4
2. No. 48 Leandro Toledo/Felix Corwin (MINN) def. Matt Frost/Ravi Patel (DRAKE) 6-4
3. Alen Salibasic/Ben Mullis (DRAKE) def. Matic Spec/Eric Frueh (MINN) 6-3
Match Notes
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,1,3,6,2,5)


#66 Wichita State 6, #58 Nebraska 1 - Shockers recap - Recap says they played in front of a large crowd - attendance listed at 55 - if that's large what's small?
Mar 08, 2015 at Wichita, Kan. (Genesis)
Singles competition
1. #61 Tin Ostojic (WSU 13.73) def. Dusty Boyer (NEB 13.22) 6-3, 6-4
2. Tomislav Gregurovic (WSU 12.83) def. Marc Herrmann (NEB 12.42) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6
3. Ilija Cuic (WSU 13.13) def. Linus Erhart (NEB 13.09) 7-5, 6-3
4. Guillermo de Vilchez (WSU 12.27) def. Chris Hobgarski (NEB 12.39) 6-1, 7-5
5. Andrew Dzulynsky (NEB 12.41) def. Miroslav Herzan (WSU 12.66) 7-6 (11-9), 6-2
6. Jocelyn Devilliers (WSU 12.44) def. V. Stavropoulos (NEB 12.06) 6-1, 7-6 
Doubles competition
1. #24 Tomislav Gregurovic/Tin Ostojic (WSU) def. Dusty Boyer/Linus Erhart (NEB) 6-4
2. Ilija Cuic/Guillermo de Vilchez (WSU) def. Scott Elsass/Bradford Zitsch (NEB) 7-6 (7-4)
3. Andrew Dzulynsky/Marc Herrmann (NEB) def. Jocelyn Devilliers/Miroslav Herzan (WSU) 6-3
Match Notes
Nebraska 5-5; National ranking #58
Wichita State 10-3; National ranking #66
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,4,6,5,2)
T-2:45 A-55

#10 Texas A&M 4, #40 South Carolina 2
Singles competition
1. Andrew Adams (SC 13.75) def. #65 Shane Vinsant (TAMU 14.27) 6-3, 6-0
2. #66 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU 14.03) def. Kyle Koch (SC 13.74) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.18) def. Thiago Pinheiro (SC 13.28) 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(2)
4. #101 Andrew Schafer (SC 13.43) def. Jordi Arconada (TAMU 13.59) 6-0, 6-4
5. #88 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU 14.06) def. Harrison O'Keefe (SC 13.29) 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-0
6. Max Lunkin (TAMU 12.94) vs. Thomas Maryonne (SC 12.92) 2-6, 7-5, 4-1, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. Kyle Koch/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. #8 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-2
2. #22 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. #44 Thomas Maryonne/Harrison O'Keefe (SC) 6-4
3. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Andrew Adams/Andrew Schafer (SC) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,4,5,3,2)

Texas A&M recap


#19 North Carolina 5, #29 Florida State 2
Doubles: 
1. Marco Nunez/Jose Gracia (FSU) vs. #34 Esben Hess-Olesen/Oystein Steiro (UNC), 7-6, dnf
2. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Michael Rinaldi/Cristian Gonzalez Mendez (FSU), 8-6
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Terrance & Terrell Whitehurst (FSU), 8-5
Singles:
1. #27 Ronnie Schneider(UNC 13.99) def. Marco Nunez(FSU 13.35), 7-6(2) 5-7,7-6(7)
2. #81 Brett Clark (UNC 13.75) def. Michael Rinaldi (FSU 13.50), 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. #89 Jack Murray (UNC 13.79) def. Jose Gracia (FSU 13.40), 7-5, 7-5
4. Cristian Gonzalez Mendez (FSU 13.40) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.62), 6-3, 6-3
5. #86 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.57) def. Terrance Whitehurst (FSU 12.82), 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
6. Terrell Whitehurst (FSU 12.61) def. Stuart DePaolo (UNC 12.36), 6-3, 6-3
Match Notes:
Florida State 12-4 (1-1 ACC); National ranking #29
North Carolina 13-5 (2-0 ACC); National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,3,6,5,2,1)
Sunny, 67 degrees, wind gusts 13-22 mph
T-4:20 A-223


Both teams were without its #1 singles player with UNC's Brayden Schnur out with an injury and FSU's Benjamin Lock playing in the Davis Cup.

North Carolina recap
Florida State recap

"It was a very hard-fought match, said North Carolina head coach Sam Paul. "We were able to come back and get the job done.

"Today was a long, hard battle against a really good North Carolina team, head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "Unfortunately, UNC came out on top, but it was hard played and a really good college tennis match.

"Jose had some good points, and had set point a couple times that got away from him, Hultquist said. "Michael battled back in the third set, and Marco was able to rebound from a first set loss against a Top 30 player. Cristian was great all weekend. Our guys played well today, we just came up short.


#5 Baylor 4, #47 Memphis 0
Mar 08, 2015 at Memphis, Tenn. (Racquet Club of Memphis)
Singles competition
1. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.71) vs. #54 Connor Glennon (MEM 13.89) 7-5, 3-3 DNF
2. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.15) def. #50 Andrew Watson (MEM 13.71) 6-1, 6-4
3. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.31) vs. Ryan Peniston (MEM 13.57) 7-6, 0-1 DNF
4. Diego Galeano (BU 13.75) def. Patrick Mayer (MEM12.73) 7-5, 6-2
5. Vince Schneider (BU 13.49) def. Kai Lemke (MEM 12.66) 6-4, 6-2
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.69) def. Shakeel Manji (MEM 11.78) 6-2, 6-1

Match Notes
Baylor (11-2, 1-0 Big 12); National ranking #5
University of Memphis (6-4, 2-0 American); National ranking #47
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (6,2,4,5)
Singles matches were played first due to threat of inclement weather.

Memphis recap
Baylor recap 

TOP QUOTE #1
"We didn't get off to a very good start. I think we were down a break on five of six courts, but once we got our legs underneath us we played pretty well. We didn't lose a set, so overall it was a good day. It was a little bit of a flat environment at the beginning. It was cold, so the balls don't really bounce. The tennis was a little bit different, but once we got started the guys did a great job." - head coach Matt Knoll on the match

TOP QUOTE #2
"Mississippi has a tough environment. I surveyed a bunch of people around the country a few years ago and asked where they thought the toughest place to play in America was and a lot of them said Ole Miss, so that's why we scheduled them. We came down here a couple years ago and got beat. They have a great team. We are going to get all we want down there. It will be a big challenge for us and we are really looking forward to it." - Knoll on facing No. 10 Mississippi Tuesday


#33 Louisville 5, #23 Notre Dame 2
Mar 08, 2015 at Louisville, Ky (Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #5 Seb Stiefelmeyer(LOU 14.69) def. #24 Quentin Monaghan(ND 14.28) 7-6(1), 6-4
2. #104 Albert Wagner (LOU 13.69) def. #102 Josh Hagar (ND 13.77) 6-2, 6-1
3. Alex Gornet (LOU 13.46) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.14) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (6)
4. Michael Lippens (LOU 13.25) def. Billy Pecor (ND 13.00) 6-3, 6-3
5. Alex Lawson (ND 12.85) def. Van Damrongsri (LOU 12.38) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
6. Chris Simich (LOU 13.39) def. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.52) 6-2, 6-1 
Doubles competition
1. #19 Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) def. Seb Stiefelmeyer/Van Damrongsri (LOU) 8-5
2. Alex Gornet/Jeffrey Brown (LOU) vs. Alex Lawson/Quentin Monaghan (ND) 4-7, unfinished
3. Dougie Barnard/Billy Pecor (ND) def. Albert Wagner/Chris Simich (LOU) 8-5
Match Notes
Notre Dame 6-5; National ranking #23
Louisville 13-3; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,4,6,5,1,3)
T-3:45 A-103

Louisville recap
Notre Dame recap

"I am so happy for the upperclassman today," said head coach Rex Ecarma. "They were 0-3 against the Fighting Irish and made this match a personal one. When you respect a team as much as we respect Notre Dame, they will get our best effort. Our theme today was positive self-talk and that is what Chris (Simich), Albert (Wagner) and Michael (Lippens) did. They closed games with confidence and continually pumped themselves up."

"The hero was the engine of our team, Sebastian Stiefelmeyer," said Ecarma. "He knew he had to take the fourth and final point into his own hands. He was down 2-5 and fought for a straight set win. He and Quentin Monaghan played maybe the best singles match of the season so far. The icing on the cake was Alex Gornet's win in three sets. I also have to mention a special speech from former Cardinal Tennis standout, Tim Barnoud, who shared his special team memories with the current players. He also taught them about the lifetime bond of brotherhood that he has with his Cardinal teammates."


#14 Vanderbilt 4, #35 Auburn 0 
Published in Blogs
Friday, 13 March 2015 13:01

Friday Preview

Friday will be a fairly light day of activity with just 8 teams in the Top 20 in action and with the only matchup between top 20 teams taking place in College Station as #9 Texas A&M hosts #11 Vanderbilt.

Before I preview that one here are a few others to keep an eye on today:

#31 San Diego (8-3) at #34 Texas Tech (12-4) - 1pm est - Live Scoring - San Diego is coming off a hard fought loss against USC and has wins on the year over South Carolina and South Florida while Texas Tech has only played 1 match in the last 3 weeks though has wins this year over Auburn and Mississippi State.  

#24 Florida State (10-4) at #19 Wake Forest (9-4) - 4pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming - FSU is coming off a weekend where the Noles beat Louisville and gave North Carolina all it wanted despite FSU playing without its #1 Benjamin Lock who was playing in the Davis Cup.  Wake has played its last 3 matches without its #1 Noah Rubin (wrist) going 1-2 in that stretch with respectable losses to Texas and Virginia and a win over TCU.  This should be a very competitive match that probably finishes 4-3 on way or the other.  


#28 Louisville (13-3) at #37 NC State (10-5) - 4pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming - Louisville comes off a weekend where they split with Notre Dame (W) and Florida State (L).  NC State on the other hand went 0-2 last week with a close 4-3 loss to North Carolina (playing w/o Schnur) before getting plowed by Virginia 7-0.  Like the FSU/Wake match this too will likely be a 4-3 match.  


#42 Mississippi State (11-3) at #18 Florida (6-5)- 5pm est - Live Scoring - State has won 4 in a row with a pair of recent wins over Alabama and Arkansas while Florida has dropped 3 of its last 4.  I think Florida should get the win here though State is more than capable of the upset. 



#11 Vanderbilt (13-3) at #9 Texas A&M (7-2) - 7pm est - Live Scoring - Last year Texas A&M rolled into Nashville and rolled over the Dores 4-0 so this year it'll be Vandy trying to return the favor.  Vandy is a stout 11-3 in doubles while Texas A&M is an equally impressive 8-1.  College Station is a tough place to play so for Vanderbilt to win this one they really need the doubles point.  Unfortunately for them I think Texas A&M gets the point but Vandy will put up a fight in singles.  The matchup at #1 should be a good one with Gonzales Austin bringing a 14-1 dual match record into this one while Jeremy Efferding is 6-1.

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. #10 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.34) vs. #65 Jeremy Efferding (aTm 14.03)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.43) vs. #71 Shane Vinsant (aTm 14.19)
3. Daniel Valent (VU 13.73) vs. #48 Harrison Adams (aTm 13.73)
4. Kris Yee (VU 13.66) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (aTm 14.15)
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.87) vs. #89 A.J. Catanzariti (aTm 13.96)
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.93) vs. Max Lunkin (aTm 12.91)

Others who could play:  Jordi Arconada (aTm 13.54)

#1 singles - Austin has a 14-1 dual match record and has won 2 straight after dropping his only match to Ole Miss's Nik Scholtz while Efferding is 6-1 but 2-0 playing at #1. Efferding has won 3 straight and led Georgia's Wayne Montgomery 3-0 in the 3rd in a match that didn't finish.  This one will likely have a few close 7-5 type of sets and might not get to finish.  I'll say Austin is ahead when the match is clinched.

#2 singles - Johnson is 5-8 on the year and has lost 2 straight while Vinsant is 2-2, with 4 additional matches not finishing, though he got blown out 6-3, 6-0 his last time out against South Carolina's Andrew Adams.  I see Vinsant rebounding in this one and winning in 2.

#3 singles - Valent is 13-1 on the year and 3-0 since moving up from 4 to 3.  Valent has also won 5 straight with 2 of those wins over ranked opposition.  Adams on the other hand has really struggled this year with an 0-6 record and he actually was pulled from the lineup for the Aggies last match against South Carolina.  I've got to go with Valent in this one though if Adams sits and Rinderknech gets moved up I could see it going the other way.

#4 singles - Yee is 8-7 in dual match play and 1-1 since dropping down from 3 to 4 in the lineup. Yee blew out Auburn's Joseph Van Dooren 6-1, 6-0 last weekend with that win stopping a 4 match losing streak.  Rinderknech is a solid 7-1 and has won 7 straight since dropping his 1st dual match. Rinderknech played at #3 the last time out and picked up a 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 win over South Carolina's Thiago Pinheiro.   Outside of #1 singles I think this will be the 2nd closest match and I'm going to take Rinderknech in 3.

#5 singles - Eswaran is 8-5 this year and 1-1 since moving up from 6 to 5 while Catanzariti is 5-3 though he's won 4 of his last 5.  Anything other than Catanzariti in 2 would be surprising.

#6 singles - Newman is 5-5 on the year and 3-0 since moving down from 5 to 6 while Lunkin is 3-1 and the last time out he was up 4-1 in the 3rd against South Carolina's Thomas Mayronne when the team match was clinched.   I'll go with Lunkin in 2 tight sets.

In my opinion Vanderbilt's best path to an upset would be to take the doubles point and pick up singles wins from Austin, Valent, and Newman.  If this were in Nashville I'd probably take Vanderbilt but I think that home court advantage pays off for the Aggies. Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-1
Published in Blogs
Well the big match of the day was actually a good bit closer than I thought it would be after noticing that Vanderbilt was without its #1 singles player #10 Gonzales Austin who also makes up the #1 doubles team in the country with Rhys Johnson.  I still haven't seen anything official from anyone on why AJ didn't play but if I had to guess I'd say he was under the weather which I can relate to.

The one thing I don't get is how neither of the school's press releases bothered to even mention the fact that Austin didn't play.  I mean if the starting quarterback on the football team didn't play it'd have to be addressed by somebody, right?  If you are the person conducting the post match interviews wouldn't question #1 be "How do you think the absence of Vandy's #1 effected the match?" It sure would be my first question.   

Back to the match itself it was admirable that Vanderbilt was able to take the doubles point despite moving its #2 team up to #1 and putting together a make-shift team at #2 with both of those teams winning. 

In singles play, Texas A&M took 5 of 6 1st sets with AJ Catanzariti, Arthur Rinderknech, and Jeremy Efferding able to close them out in straights at 6, 4, and 1. On the 2 remaining courts Vandy had just got a split at #2 and was up a set and on serve at #3.  

Texas A&M recap


"Obviously the night did not start like we wanted to with the doubles, but a win like this when the guys have to gut it out and come from behind is good for their character as a team, Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. "Wins like this are good for our confidence that they can comeback against a quality opponent like Vanderbilt. Give Vanderbilt a lot of credit tonight, they played very well in the doubles and took it to us early.

"Matches like tonight where we don't win the doubles point, which we have become accustomed to doing this season, are good for this team, Denton added. "The first point is still a long way from the finish line and our guys have to just keep battling and good things will happen.

"Once again it very important for us to hold serve at home in conference play, Denton said. "I knew this was going to be a close match. I knew our guys would not be looking ahead to a very good Illinois team coming in here on Sunday. They have a tough match with Texas in Austin tomorrow then turnaround and play us here on Sunday. I expect a very high level college tennis match that will be really fun to watch.

Vanderbilt recap


"There were a lot of positives we can build on from this match," said head coach Ian Duvenhage. "We had four really close first sets, and we just have to find a way to win those first sets. Today we came up short, but we just have to find ways to win when we have opportunities"

"We played with a great deal of emotion, intensity and urgency. Pen and Baker did a really good job at No. 1 and beat a ranked team. Rhys and Jeff also did a really great job at two. At No. 3 we were in the match serving at 4-5 and we just played a bad game at 4-5. If we had found a way to win that, we would have won all three doubles matches."

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 12th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 


#9 Texas A&M 4, #11 Vanderbilt 1
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, TX
Singles competition
1. #65 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU 14.03) def. Rhys Johnson (VANDY 13.43) 6-3, 6-4
2. #71 Shane Vinsant (TAMU 14.19) vs. Daniel Valent (VANDY 13.73) 6-4, 4-6, unfinished
3. #48 Harrison Adams (TAMU 13.73) vs. Kris Yee (VANDY 13.66) 5-7, 5-4, unfinished
4. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.15) def. Suresh Eswaran (VANDY 12.87) 7-5, 6-3
5. Jordi Arconada (TAMU 13.54) def. Baker Newman (VANDY 12.93) 7-5, 6-3
6. #89 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU 13.96) def. Jeffrey Offerdahl (VANDY 12.67) 6-1, 6-4 
Doubles competition
1. Baker Newman/Pen Binet (VANDY) def. #9 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4
2. Jeffrey Offerdahl/Rhys Johnson (VANDY) def. #26 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-2
3. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Suresh Eswaran/Daniel Valent (VANDY) 6-4 
Order of Finish
Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,4,5,1)

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Wake Forest welcomed back its #1 Noah Rubin and he helped deliver a shutout over Florida State. Also check out the scoreline at #4 singles - 20-18 1st set tiebreak.  

Wake recap
Florida State recap

Published in Blogs
Friday brought us several close ones as 6 matches finished with a 4-3 final score though of course there were several that weren't as close most notably 3 of the 4 in Indian Wells.  

The big upset of the day came in Louisville as the #29 Cardinals stunned #10 North Carolina 5-2.  It looked like #7 Texas A&M might get picked off too however the Aggies rallied late and held off #35 Mississippi State 4-1.  #33 Drake came back from 3-0 down to stun #22 Harvard 4-3 and #23 LSU pulled out a tight 4-3 win on the road at #60 Alabama.

In the biggest match of the day #12 Wake Forest ran its winning streak to 4 with a 5-2 win over #16 Virginia Tech.  The Demon Deacons cruised past Va Tech in doubles and then Noah Rubin made it 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 beat down of Amerigo Contini at #1 singles.  Jon Ho would extend the lead to 3-0 with a 6-4, 6-3 win at #4 singles over Hunter Koontz before Virginia Tech's Edoardo Tessaro would put the Hokies on the board with a come from behind 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Christian Seraphim at #5 singles. Romain Bogaerts would clinch the win for Wake Forest with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win at #2 singles over Andreas Bjerrehus and then the teams would split the 2 remaining matches after the clinch.  

Wake Forest now sets its sights on #6 Duke with Wake making the short trip to Durham on Sunday.

Wake recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 20th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 


#12 Wake Forest 5, #16 Virginia Tech 2
Mar 20, 2015 at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #63 Noah Rubin (WF 14.80) def. #55 Amerigo Contini (VT 14.32) 6-1, 6-1
2. #12 Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.40) def. #40 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT 13.81) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
3. #98 Joao Monteiro (VT 13.85) def. Skander Mansouri (WF 13.30) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. #69 Jon Ho (WF 13.56) def. Hunter Koontz (VT 13.62) 6-4, 6-3
5. Edoardo Tessaro (VT 13.04) def. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.74) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. Maksim Kan (WF 13.28) def. Jai Corbett (VT 12.76) 7-6 (3), 7-5
Doubles competition
1. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Andreas Bjerrehus/Hunter Koontz (VT) 8-3
2. Jon Ho/Noah Rubin (WF) def. Joao Monteiro/Edoardo Tessaro (VT) 8-2
3. Keivon Tabrizi/Romain Bogaerts (WF) vs. Amerigo Contini/Jai Corbett (VT) 3-4, unfinished
Match Notes
Virginia Tech 12-2 (4-1 ACC); National ranking #16
Wake Forest 13-4 (3-1 ACC); National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,4,5,2,3,6)
T-3:14 A-171
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Louisville head coach Rex Ecarma picked up career win #400 today with a 5-2 stunner over #10 North Carolina.   The doubles point came down to a tiebreak at #2 which Louisville pulled out (not sure what the TB score was though because it isn't listed anywhere).  Louisville ran through North Carolina in singles by picking up 4 1st sets and finishing 3 of them in straight sets with Albert Wagner clinching it at #3 singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Esben Hess-Olsen.  

North Carolina is still a good team but they just aren't a great team without Brayden Schnur who missed his 5th straight match since retiring on 2/28 against Minnesota's Leandro Toledo.  

Louisville recap

"I am ecstatic for this group of players," said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. "A top 10 win against the elite in the ACC is something to be proud of. We always felt that they were capable of this, but sometimes potential never materializes - today it did. This UNC program has been so good for so long and mentally you have to overcome their great tradition before you even play the first point. I believe this can be the beginning of a second great run for us this season because there is a lot of excitement here."

"All of these teams have given their best for the program and me," said Ecarma. "I appreciate so much the leadership in our department. Everyone wants to work for Tom Jurich, I am one of the lucky ones. Kevin Miller has been with me since 1990 helping me every step of the way providing great mentorship. John Carns has given me great advice, support and friendship as well. My current and past assistant coaches, Brendan Burke, Mark Beckham, John Boetsch, Rodrigo DaSilva, Jakob Gustafsson and Matt Coomer have been a huge part of partnering with me to build a national level tennis program. The tennis staff of Meg Peavy, Melinda VanArsdale, Lori Korte, Kamari Wooten, Zach Farrell, Steve Hoelscher who have been beside me for years. Lastly, but most importantly, my family who have endured the almost ridiculous working hours of a head coach and still loving and supporting me every day. What is icing on the cake is not only the 400th win today as a coach but all 400 wins have been here at my alma mater - UofL."

UNC recap

#26 Louisville 5, #10 North Carolina 2
Mar 20, 2015 at Louisville (Bass-Rudd Tennis Center)
Singles
1. #1 Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (LOU 14.67) def. #25 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.19) 6-3, 6-1
2. Alex Gornet (LOU 13.39) def. #57 Brett Clark (UNC 13.79) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (6)
3. #106 Albert Wagner (LOU 13.55) def. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 12.97) 6-4, 6-4
4. #115 Jack Murray (UNC 13.92) def. Chris Simich (LOU 13.33) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (8)
5. #86 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.59) def. Michael Lippens (LOU 13.24) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Jeffrey Brown (LOU 12.68) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.50) 6-3, 6-4
Doubles
1. Alex Gornet/Jeffrey Brown (LOU) def. #22 Oystein Steiro/Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC) 8-5
2. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer/Albert Wagner (LOU) def. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 8-7
3. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Chris Simich/Van Damrongsri (LOU) 8-5
Match Notes:
North Carolina 14-6, 3-1; National ranking #10
Louisville 15-4, 3-2; National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,6,3,5,2,4)
Published in Blogs
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