The men's second round wrapped up on Saturday so Sunday belonged to the women with nine regionals closing out the weekend after seven finished on Saturday. 15 of the 16 regional hosts advanced to Friday's Sweet 16 in Athens with the one upset taking place in Waco. Baylor had already defeated Texas A&M once this season (4-0) but on Sunday they'd find themselves playing from behind virtually the entire match. In that first meeting on March 22nd, Texas A&M was without its top player Rachel Pierson so having her in the lineup today obviously changed the whole complexion of the match.
Texas A&M struck first in doubles with a quick 6-0 win from Eva Paalma and Domenica Gonzalez at No. 2 but it looked like Baylor would take No. 1 after Blair Shankle and Karina Traxler went up a double break at 4-1. Texas A&M's Rachel Pierson and Rutuja Bhosale got one break back to make it 4-3 but Baylor held for 5-3. A&M then held, broke, and held to take a 6-5 lead.
Meanwhile over No. 3, Baylor's Theresa Van Zyl and Rhiann Newborn jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Texas A&M's Stefania Hristov and Saska Gavrilovska broke Van Zyl's serve and then held for 2-2. A&M would go up a break at 4-3 after breaking Van Zyl again but BU immediately broke back for 4-4 and then Newborn fought off two break points to hold for 5-4. After a Gavrilovska hold for 5-5, A&M would break Van Zyl for a third time to go up 6-5 and then Newborn served it out at love to take it 7-5.
The latest USTA Top 25 is out with both the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining at No. 1. The men's top four stayed the same with TCU moving up one spot to No. 5. The women's top 10 remained largely unchanged with the only real move coming when North Carolina and Stanford swapped spots at No. 3 and No. 4. Oklahoma State and Northwestern made the biggest jumps on the men's side with each coming up three spots to No. 6 and No. 21 respectively. Kentucky took the biggest fall dropping five spots to No. 24 after a loss at home to Alabama.
On the women's side, Arizona State and Texas each came up three spots to No. 17 and No. 18 respectively while Kentucky took the biggest fall dropping five spots to No. 20 after losing to LSU and Texas A&M.
Second-ranked Ohio State played its first outdoor match of the year this afternoon at No. 10 Florida and despite dropping the doubles point the Buckeyes would come back strong in singles to win it 4-1. Florida's Josh Wardell and Chase Perez-Blanco dropped the opening game of their match at No. 3 but they'd win the next five and eventually close it out 6-2. Ohio State's Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce served for the match at No. 2 up 5-4 but Florida's Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin broke Joyce from 15/40 to even it at 5-all. Over at No. 1, Florida's Alfredo Perez and Johannes Ingildsen jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen broke and held for 2-2. Florida would hold for 3-2 and break on the no-ad point for 4-2 but Ohio State would break back from 30/40 and hold for 4-4. After three consecutive holds, Florida would break the Pollanen serve on the no-ad point to win it 7-5. On the no-ad point, Perez drilled the return at Torpegaard, who was at the net, and Torpegaard's volley sailed long to give Florida the win.
TCU and Northwestern were originally supposed to meet a few weeks ago in Evanston but due to bad weather TCU's flight was cancelled so they made up the match up today in Fort Worth. Today in Fort Worth there were high winds anticipated so play was moved indoors though evidently it never got as windy as forecasted.
The doubles point would be a precursor to the type of match that was going to take place over the next two hours and forty-five minutes. Northwestern's Fedor Baev and Strong Kirchheimer won 6-4 at No. 1 but minutes later TCU's Cameron Norrie and Jerry Lopez would pick up a 6-4 win at No. 3. The doubles point would be decided in a tiebreak at No. 2 with TCU's Trevor Johnson and Guillermo Nuez coming back from 4-1 down to take it 7-6(5).
TCU's indoor facility has just five courts so the top five singles spots went on first with No. 6 not going on until the first match finished.
TCU took three of the five first sets and almost had a fourth but Northwestern's Strong Kirchheimer pulled out a tiebreak at No. 3. TCU sophomore Cameron Norrie finished first with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sam Shropshire at No. 2 and then Eduardo Nava made it 3-0 after he defeated Alp Horoz 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5.
Northwestern's Strong Kirchheimer started the Wildcats comeback with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Guillermo Nunez at No. 3 and then Fedor Baev pulled away from Jerry Lopez in the third set to win 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 at No. 4.
Konrad Zieba tied it up at 3-3 with a big 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Alex Rybakov at No. 1 so it would all come down to a third set at No. 6 singles to decide it.
TCU sophomore Trevor Johnson took the first set 6-4 but Northwestern freshman Ben Vandixhorn took the second 6-3. Johnson started off the third set by holding and then breaking but Vandixhorn broke back and held for 2-2. Johnson would hold, break, hold, and break once more to close it out 6-2 in the third.
Sights & Sounds from today's battle with No. 12 Northwestern presented by @FrogVision!#GoFrogs #TCUTennishttps://t.co/pjjmSOYvhmTCU Men's Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) March 23, 2016
#3 TCU 4, #12 Northwestern 3
.@RoditiTCUTennis breaks down the battle as TCU pulled out the 4-3 win over No. 12 Northwestern#GoFrogshttps://t.co/yzrMJeGzIKTCU Men's Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) March 22, 2016
The biggest surprise of the day took place in Lexington as a short-handed Kentucky team knocked off No. 10 Illinois 4-3. Kentucky was playing without its usual No. 3 and No. 4 singles players, Nils Ellefsen and Enzo Wallart, but the substitutes came through in a major way.
Illinois took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 but Kentucky took four of six opening sets in singles. Kentucky senior Kevin Lai was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Brian Page at No. 6. It was only Lai's second dual-match of the season and first against a Power 5 school.
UK sophomore Jake Stefanik put the Cats ahead 2-1 with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Asher Hirsch at No. 5. It just Stefanik's fifth dual-match of the year although he was coming off a blowout win over Vanderbilt's Alex Ross.
UK sophomore William Bushamuka put Kentucky within a point of the win with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 win over Jared Hiltzik at No. 1. Hiltzik led 2-0 in the tiebreak when he was defaulted due to a fourth overrule which occurred on a Bushamuka first serve. Hiltzik took to Twitter after the match and was less than pleased with what he thought was some horrible officiating.
Aron Hiltzik trimmed the Kentucky lead to 3-2 with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over Trey Yates at No. 3 and Aleks Vukic tied it up with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Ryotaro Matsumura at No. 2.
The match would be decided at No. 4 singles between Kentucky freshman Austin Hussey and Illinois redshirt junior Julian Childers. Hussey took the first set 6-3 and led 3-1 in the second but Childers took the next five games to take it 6-3. Childers went up an early break in the third and would serve for the match up 5-4 but Hussey broke and then held for 6-5.
Hussey went up 0-15 on the Childers serve when a forehand down the line forced an error but Childers evened it at 15-all with a second serve service winner. Childers went up 30-15 with an overhead put away from the service line but a double fault on the next point made it 30-all. Childers went up 40-30 when a Hussey backhand sailed just long on the 15th shot of the rally but Hussey took the next point when Childers sent a forehand long on the 14th shot of the rally. Hussey elected to receive the deciding no-ad point in the ad-court and on the 19th shot of the rally he hit a forehand from the service line that Childers couldn't get back in play and that was game, set, and match.
The 17th shot of the rally was the shot that set up the finish because Hussey looped a forehand that the wind carried to the baseline so Childers had to hit a forehand above his shoulders. Childers couldn't get into position to hit an overhead so just tapped it back and the wind knocked it down enough that Hussey was able to come in and drill it.
Kudos to Kentucky for periscoping the final game!!
CATS WIN! Hussey defeats Childers on four, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 for the 4-3 victory! UK plays Morehead State at 6 p.m. pic.twitter.com/madCPvn6nAKentucky Mens Tennis (@UKMensTennis) March 22, 2016
Drake hadn't played in nine days and was coming off a tough loss to Wisconsin but the Bulldogs were able to gut out a come from behind 4-3 win over No. 26 Oregon.
Oregon blew Drake off the court in doubles winning 6-2 at both No. 2 and No. 3 and they also led 5-2 at No. 1 when play was stopped due to the clinch. Each team took three first sets and five of the six matches would finish in straight sets.
Drake's Ben Stride cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 6 but Oregon's Simon Stevens answered with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 3. Drake's Ben Lott tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 1 but Oregon's Cormac Clissold put the Ducks back ahead with a 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 5. Drake's Calum MacGeoch tied it back up with a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 4 so the match would be decided in a third set at No. 2 between a pair of freshman.
Oregon's Thomas Laurent took the first set 7-5 but the second set was all Vinny Gillespie as the Scotland native took it 6-1. Gillespie broke Laurent to start the third set and then held for 2-0. Gillespie kept the break lead until Laurent broke for 4-4 and then held for 5-4. Gillespie held, broke, and then held to close it out 5-7, 6-1, 7-5.
It was the fourth time this season that Gillespie clinched a team win and also the fourth time he had been in the final match left on court. After dropping his first two he has now won the last two.
Also nice job by Drake getting some video clips after the match with Davidson and Vinny.
In the early match of the day it was No. 27 Tulsa holding on to edge #42 Dartmouth 4-3. Dartmouth won easily at No. 3 doubles but Tulsa cruised at No. 2. Tulsa's No. 1 team of Matthew Kirby and Okkie Kellerman broke Dartmouth's Sakinis and Glasnovic to go up 6-5 and then served it out to take the match 7-5.
All six singles matches would finish in straight sets after each team took three first sets. Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel, who normally plays at No. 1, picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2. Dartmouth's Dovydas Sakinis got past Juan Matias Gonzalez 7-6, 6-2 at No. 1. Dartmouth's George Wall won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 to tie the match at 2-all but Tulsa's Francois Kellerman put the Golden Hurricane back ahead with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6.
Dartmouth's Max Schmidt tied it at 3-all with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 5 so it came down to No. 3 between Tulsa's Carlos Bautista and Dartmouth's Max Fliegner.
Flienger jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first set but Bautista took the next four to go up 5-3. Fliegner held for 4-5, broke for 5-5, and then held for 6-5. Bautista held to send it a tiebreak and then he took took the tiebreak 7-4. Fliegner broke Bautista to start the second set and then held for 2-0. After an exchange of holds Bautista would break to even it at 3-3 and then hold for 4-3. Bautista would break again and then hold to seal the win 7-6, 6-3.
UCLA made a quick trip down to Las Vegas to play UCLA but they ended up playing indoors in neighboring Henderson due to high wind. They played singles first and UCLA won five of six match with Karue Sell taking the day off.
Mackenzie McDonald, Martin Redlicki, Logan Staggs, and Joseph Di Giulio won in straight sets while Gage Brymer was pushed to a third set supertiebreak. Austin Rapp, who played his first match since injuring his ankle against North Carolina at the National Indoors on February 14, fell in a third set supertiebreak to Richard Solberg at No. 6.
UCLA swept all three courts in doubles with the closest match coming at No. 2 where Max Cressy and Joey D won 7-6(5).
No. 6 UCLA Downs UNLV 6-1 https://t.co/dzqCVxob6o #GoBruins #UCLA #ImABruin #BruinsInVegas pic.twitter.com/FiJR9pV6McUCLA Men's Tennis (@uclatennis) March 22, 2016
Earlier in the day Pepperdine tumbled out of the top 10, but later in the day the Waves were all smiles after defeating No. 20 Stanford for the first time in program history. The match was originally scheduled for Monday but was pushed back to Tuesday due to rain. Rain was still a possibility on Tuesday so the team played singles first and wouldn't you know but it was all tied at 3-3 after singles.
Stanford picked up straight set wins from Carolina Doyle, Krista Hardebeck, and Kimberly Yee at 2, 3, and 6 while Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani won in straights at No. 1.
Pepperdine's Matea Cutura and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai each won in three-sets with Cutura the last one on court.
The doubles point decided the winner and it was Pepperdine winning 6-3 at No. 1 and 6-1 at No. 2 to take the point and the match.
Texas turned it around in singles and claimed five opening sets to really put TCU on its heels. The only Horned Frog to win a first set was also the first one to finish as Cameron Norrie defeated George Goldhoff 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1.
TCU found its fire in the second set and took all six sets to send five of the six matches to a third set. Jerry Lopez put TCU ahead 3-0 after completing his comeback with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Michael Riechmann at No. 5.
Texas's Julian Zlobinsky was on his way to a straight set win over Trevor Johnson at No. 6 but he hit a pothole late in the second set. Zlobinsky led 6-4, 5-3 but Johnson took the next four games to take the set 7-5. Zlobinsky went up an early break in the third and was able to hold on this time and take it 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Adrian Ortiz pulled Texas to within 3-2 after he beat Eduardo Nava 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 at No. 4 and it looked like Harrison Scott would tie it up at 3-3 when he led Alex Rybakov 5-2 in the third at No. 2. Rybakov had other plans and would take the final five games of the match to close out Scott 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
The remaining match at No. 3 was abandoned with TCU's Guillermo Nunez serving at 4-5 in the third. UT's Rodrigo Banzer led 6-3, 5-3 but he lost three straight games before holding for 6-6 and then Nunez would bagel him in the tiebreak.
The difference in the match was Texas's inability to finish off courts when they had what appeared to be commanding leads. Scott led 5-2 in the third and lost, Banzer led 6-3, 5-3 and ended up with a DNF in the third, and Zlobinsky led 6-4, 5-3 and even though he won in three letting Johnson hang around kept Texas from gaining some momentum from an early win.
16 straight for @RoditiTCUTennis & #TCUTennis!#GoFrogsTCU Men's Tennis (@TCUMensTennis) April 16, 2016
PS-We see you dabbing in the background @cam_nozzahttps://t.co/Kou6YTEcOh
Cal made it 2 for 2 this year against Stanford this year after knocking off the Cardinal 4-2. Cal took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then came out firing in singles by taking the opening sets on four courts.
Filip Bergevi extended Cal's lead to 2-0 with a 6-0, 7-6 win over Nolan Paige at No. 4. Stanford's Brandon Sutter was a late substitute in the singles lineup but his addition paid off as he took out Cal's Mads Engsted 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6.
Cal's Florian Lakat made it 3-1 with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Tom Fawcett at No. 1 and then Andre Goransson clinched the win by defeating David Wilczynski 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2.
Oregon more than likely locked up a spot in next month's NCAA Tournament by picking up a huge 4-2 win on the road over No. 35 Washington.
The Ducks took the doubles point with a 7-5 win at No. 1 and a 6-4 win at No. 2. Each team picked up three first sets in singles but only three of those would finish in straight sets with Washington's Mitch Stewart winning at No. 1 while Oregon's Thomas Laurent and Jayson Amos won at No. 3 and No. 4.
Washington cut the Oregon lead to 3-2 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Cormac Clissold at No. 5 but Oregon's Ethan Young-Smith clinched the win by defeating Kawika Lam 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(2).
Post-Match Quotes from Washington's recap
"Today was a beautiful day and a great day for college tennis to be on display as it should be, said Anger. "I didn't like the ultimate result today though and we just came up on the short end.
Cal was one match away from an undefeated regular season but its bay area rivals, No. 17 Stanford, wouldn't have any of it and stunned the top-ranked Bears 4-3. Cal got things started off on the right foot by taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the Bears also took four opening sets in singles.
Stanford only took two first sets but Carol Zhao and Krista Hardebeck both finished in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 4 to give the Cardinal the 2-1 lead.
Cal's Klara Fabikova tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Taylor Davidson at No. 2 and it looked like Lynn Chi was going to make it 3-2 when she had a lead late in the third set against Stanford's Carolina Doyle. Chi led 5-4 and 6-5 but Doyle held both times and forced a third set tiebreak. Chi was serving up 5-2 in the tiebreak but Doyle won six of the next seven points to close it out 8-6. (Stanford's recap said Doyle fought off five match points in the TB but at most it would have been four if Chi led 6-2)
Cal's Karla Popovic tied the match at 3-3 by winning two close sets to close out Melissa Lord at No. 6. In the deciding match at No. 5, Stanford's Caroline Lampl would break Olivia Hauger's 3-4 service game and then serve it out to give the Cardinal the upset win.
Welcome to the rivalry, @carolinelampl. Stanford hands No. 1 Cal its first loss. 4-3 Cardinal. Pac-12 crown in play. pic.twitter.com/SWAtd0hrOoStanfordWTennis (@StanfordWTennis) April 16, 2016
Top-seeded Coastal Carolina became the first team to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament by coming back from 3-1 down to defeat the No. 2 seed Presbyterian 4-3 in the finals of the Big South Conference Tournament.
Presbyterian looked like it had the match in control virtually the entire way. The Blue Hose took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and then took four first sets in singles.
CCU's Vuk Velickovic was the first to finish with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 2 but PC's Brandon Mills answered with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 4. PC's Diego Manzanas came back from a set down to defeat Rick Timmerman 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 so the Blue Hose were just a point away from sewing up its first ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.
PC's Alexander Lykou had what appeared to be a commanding 6-1, 5-3 lead on Jabor Al-Mutawa at No. 1 but Jabor Al-Mutawa won the last 10 games of the match to take it 1-6, 7-5, 6-0. CCU's Luiz Faria tied the match at 3-3 with a come from behind 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Ben Kelley at No. 6.
The conference championship would be decided in a third set at No. 3 between CCU's Pedro Leme and PC's Danny Bruce. Leme jumped out to a double-break 4-1 lead but Bruce came back to tie it at 4-4. Bruce was serving at 30-40 when he chipped a shot that was close to the line - Leme made a late out call which incensed both Bruce and the PC coaches. It was all for naught because the chair upheld the call and Leme would be serving for the match up 5-4.
Leme served it out from 40-30 and the Chanticleers were headed to the NCAA for the sixth time in school history.
Congratulations @CoastalMTennis on winning the @BigSouthTennis Championship!#BigSouthMTEN #BigSouthChamps pic.twitter.com/xNvR2S2AFJBig South Conference (@BigSouthSports) April 16, 2016
Cal Poly stayed undefeated in Big West play with a thrilling 4-3 win over conference rival UC Davis. UCD took the doubles point but CP took five first sets in singles.
Cal Poly got straight sets wins from Garrett Auproux and Corey Pang at No. 2 and No. 3 while UCD's Everett Maltby won in straights at No. 5.
Cal Poly's Ben Donovan put the Mustangs ahead 3-2 with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win at No. 1 but UC Davis's Tommy Lam tied it at 3-3 with a 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6. Cal Poly's Josh Ortlip would win the deciding match 6-4 in the third over Bryce McKelvie to give CP the 4-3 win.