After a busy weekend there were a handful of matches on Monday including one match that started on Sunday but finished on Monday due to rain. Seventh-ranked UCLA played its first indoor match of the year at Tulsa and judging by the final score it looks like they'll be ready to go when they begin the National Team Indoors on Friday. While many of the singles matches weren't very close the doubles decider at No. 1 was as close as it gets. Tulsa's Dominic Bechard and Okkie Kellerman had a golden opportunity to serve for the match when they went up 0/40 on Evan Zhu's 5-5 service game however Zhu and Martin Redlicki battled back to get it to the no-ad point. On the no-ad point Zhu's serve hit the tape and kicked up but a scrambling Bechard hit his forehand just long to give Zhu the hold for 6-5. Bechard held to send the match to a tiebreak and in the tiebreak Tulsa went up 3-2 after winning both points on Zhu's serve. Zhu and Redlicki would come back and win both points on Bechard's serve to go up 4-3 and then they made it 5-3 after Kellerman put a backhand into the net. A nice service return by Bechard forced a Redlicki error to put it back on serve but then Redlicki had a great service return himself to put the Bruins up 6-4. Redlicki framed a backhand off the roof on the next point to make it 6-5 but he redeemed himself on the next one with a nice volley that won the match 7-5. 

Published in Blogs

The fourth Pac-12/SEC Challenge is in the books and the big winner from the weekend was the Florida Gators. Florida had only won one match at this event over the last three years but this year they doubled that number with a win over USC yesterday and today they took out UCLA 4-2. Florida started off the match in a 1-0 hole after UCLA won the doubles point with 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The key point at No. 3 doubles came when UCLA's Max Cressy was serving at 4-4 (40/40). Florida's Elliott Orkin and McClain Kessler were in control of the point and had an overhead at the net to get the break but Cressy used his quick reflexes to block back the shot and it turned into a lob winner. Cressy and Gage Brymer would break Orkin on the next game to get the win. The doubles decider at No. 1 ended when Martin Redlicki hit a service return winner at 30/40 to give he and Evan Zhu the win.

Published in Blogs

For the second day in a row Virginia faced a serious challenge but once again the bottom part of the lineup was able to come through when it counted and Virginia edged Kentucky 4-3. Virginia looked like it had the doubles point under control after winning 6-1 at No. 1 and leading 5-3 at No. 2 but Kentucky's Will Bushamuka and Nils Ellefsen won four straight games to win the decider 7-5. Virginia would try to rebound in singles but gaining early momentum would be a little tougher than usual since Virginia's strong No. 5 and No. 6 guys wouldn't get a chance to start immediately due to Kentucky indoor facility only having four courts.

Virginia freshman Carl Soderlund didn't waste any time in his match at No. 3 against Kentucky senior Beck Pennington. Soderlund played at No. 4 yesterday and he seemed to appreciate the bump up to No. 3 because he broke Pennington to start the match and about 25 minutes later he had a 6-0 first set in the bank. Pennington held to start the second set but Soderlund would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-1. Pennington held for 2-3 but then Soderlund won the final three games to close it out 6-0, 6-2. 

Published in Blogs

The new ITA rankings came out on Wednesday with no change in the women's rankings and only a few minor changes on the men's side. As I mentioned in my post yesterday the only ranked women's teams to play a dual-match so far have been Georgia Tech and South Carolina with both winning over the weekend. On the men's side Cal and Georgia had been tied for fifth but now Cal is in sole position of fifth while Georgia fell back to sixth - I guess the national ranking committee wasn't impressed with Georgia going 9-11 in singles over the weekend at the MLK Invitational. TCU and UCLA had been ranked seventh and eighth respectively but now both are tied for seventh - TCU hasn't played at all while UCLA had a pair of guys make the semis at the Sherwood Cup. The only other change was Texas Tech falling from 23rd to out of the poll after a loss at Central Florida while Columbia and South Florida moved up a spot and Duke went from receiving votes to ranked 25th.

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 31 January 2015 15:30

Illinois & Georgia both pick up Top 10 wins

For the 2nd night in a row Champaign was the scene of a nail-biter but this time it was the host Illini coming out on top as they gutted out a 4-3 win over #6 North Carolina in a match that saw 5 of 6 singles matches go the distance with the deciding match coming down to a 3rd set tiebreak.  

North Carolina was able to seize the early momentum by taking the doubles point which was a point the Tar Heels figured they'd need due to having 2 of its singles starters (#2 Ronnie Schneider-shoulder & #6 Oystein Steiro-elbow) out with injuries.  


As evidenced by the the singles scores below nothing would come easy on any of the courts and it would take almost 2 hours before the first match finished which occurred at #5 singles when UNC's Robert Kelly pulled off the upset and defeated #44 Aleks Vukic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.  With North Carolina taking 4 1st sets they had to feel good but finishing off 3 more courts would be a tall task.  



With North Carolina now leading 2-0, it looked like Illinois's Toshiki Matsuya would score the 1st point for the Illini when he had what appeared to be a commanding lead at #6 singles when he served up 6-2, 4-2 (40-15) but North Carolina's Stuart DePaolo would mount a comeback and take 4 straight games to steal the 2nd set 6-4 and force a 3rd set.  

As the match at #6 went to a 3rd set, Illinois would finally get on the board when Tim Kopinski defeated Jack Murray at #4 singles by a 7-6(5), 6-2 score in a match that was anything but easy for Kopinski. Tim jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the 1st set and had 2 break points for a 5-1 lead but Murray rallied and won 5 of the next 6 games and served for the set before Tim broke to send it the tiebreak. In the tiebreak Murray would lead 5-4 with 2 points on his serve but Kopinski got both points and then a 3rd straight, with the last coming via an overrule, to take the tiebreak 7-5.  Kopinski used that momentum to take the 2nd set in much easier fashion.  


With North Carolina's lead trimmed to 2-1, Illinois would get the equalizer to tie it at 2-2 when Matsuya regrouped and cruised to a 6-2 final set at #6 singles.


All 3 remaining matches were into a 3rd set and at #3 singles they stayed on serve until Illinois's Aron Hiltzik served at 3-4 and was facing the deciding deuce point.  With Hiltzik serving into the deuce court he hit what he thought was an ace down the T and headed back to the wall to grab his towel however Hess-Olesen called the serve wide and his call was seconded by the chair.  Hiltzik was able to get his 2nd serve in play but he was unable to get a clean hit on the Hess-Olesen return and as the ball sailed into the net it looked like Illinois's hopes of a comeback were going to be shattered because over at #1 singles North Carolina's Brayden Schnur had built a 5-2 lead in the 3rd set against Farris Gosea.


As UNC's Esben Hess-Olesen served for the match at #3, Gosea got an easy hold on 1 to cut the deficit to 3-5, and Illinois's Jared Hiltzik inched closer to the finish line at #2 as he had 2 match points on the Brett Clark while leading 5-3.   While Hess-Olsen did finish off the younger Hiltzik 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to put UNC up 3-2, the Tar Heel #1 Brayden Schnur was unable to do so at #1 singles getting broke at 30-40 which put the match back on serve.  On that 30-40 point, as Schnur came to the net Gosea was able to land a lob over Schnur's back shoulder and as Schnur turned to chase the ball he slipped and came down awkwardly and then walked around with a limp and held his side during the changeover.  Gosea would hold at 40-15 to tie it up at 5-5 before Schnur would get his bearings straight and put together a love hold for 6-5.  Gosea will then hold at 40-30 to send the match to a deciding 3rd set tiebreak.  Just as the tiebreak got going Illinois's Jared Hiltzik was able to tie the match at 3 as he served out a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over UNC's Brett Clark at #2 singles so all attention was now on the 3rd set tiebreak at #1.  Schnur would jump out to a 4-2 lead before Gosea took 3 straight to lead 5-4 and Gosea was serving. Schnur would even it at 5 but then would hit a back hand into the net to give Gosea his 1st match point and Gosea would not waste it as he hit a backhand cross court past the drawn in Schnur to send the Illini faithful into a frenzy. Final score Illinois 4-3.




YouTube Clips:
Video of Gosea serving at 4-5 in the 3rd and Schnur serving 5-5
Video of Gosea serving at 5-6 in the 3rd
Video of the 1st 6 points of the match
Video of the final 6 points of the match


Illinois recap

UNC recap


#8 Illinois 4, #6 North Carolina 3

Singles competition
1. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. #2 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5)
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 (7-5), 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/Brayden Schnur (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)

_____________________________________________________________


In the 2nd half the SEC/Pac 12 Challenge, Georgia looked to even the score for the SEC after Florida fell earlier to USC 4-2 and the Bulldogs would not let down the crowd and would take a thrilling (for the home fans) 4-2 win over UCLA. Georgia got things started off by taking the doubles point and looked poised to take all 4 1st sets but while Wayne Montgomery and Austin Smith were able to close out 6-1 sets at #2 and #3, UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki would take the opening sets at #1 and #4 in tiebreaks with McDonald fighting off set points at 5-6 40-40 and at 5-6 in the tiebreak.  While Montgomery cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win at #2 singles to give Georgia a 2-0 lead, UCLA would take the momentum back as McDonald and Redlicki both breezed through their 2nd sets to even the match at 2-2.  Due to there being 4 indoor courts in Athens, the matches at #5 and #6 singles weren't able to start until 2 courts opened up so the focus then turned to #3 singles where Georgia's Austin Smith jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the 2nd after taking the 1st 6-1 but Brymer would get it back on serve and ultimately send it to a 2nd set tiebreak.  With UCLA's Karue Sell taking the opening set at #5 singles and Joseph Di Giulio going up an early break at #6 singles the tiebreak at #3 was one that Georgia had to have to keep the match from snowballing the Bruins way.  Brymer would jump out to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak but Smith would rally and take 6 of the next 7 points to close out the 6-1, 7-6(5) win which put Georgia back ahead 3-2.  Georgia's Nick Wood was able to ride the energy coming from Smith's court and would ultimately come all the way back from a set down and seal the deal with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win at #5 singles.  Final score Georgia 4-2.


Georgia recap

UCLA recap


#7 Georgia 4, #4 UCLA 2
Jan. 31, 2015 at Athens, Ga. (Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Facility)
Singles competition
1. #7 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #15 Nathan Pasha (UGA) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-1, 6-0
3. #11 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Gage Brymer (UCLA) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
4. #88 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Ben Wagland (UGA) 7-6 (8-6), 6-0
5. #101 Nick Wood (UGA) def. Karue Sell (UCLA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) vs. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) 7-5, 1-2, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. #11 Mackenzie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #16 Paul Oosterbaan/Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-3
2. #34 Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) def. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA) 7-5
3. #53 Nathan Pasha/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Austin Rapp/Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-3

Match Notes
UCLA 3-1; National ranking #4
Georgia 3-0; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,4,3,5)
SEC/Pac-12 Showdown

Official: Clark Weaver T-3:19 A-630

___________________________________________________________

Early final score in from Athens and it's #1 USC holding off a tough Florida squad 5-2.

USC recap

Florida recap


#1 Southern California 5, #17 Florida 2
Singles competition
1. #3 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #34 Maxx Lipman (UF) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
2. #68 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #81 Elliott Orkin (UF) 6-2, 7-5
3. #60 Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. #8 Jonny Wang (USC) 0-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
4. Gordon Watson (UF) def. Eric Johnson (USC) 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4)
5. #58 Nick Crystal (USC) def. Oliver Landert (UF) 6-2, 7-5
6. Rob Bellamy (USC) def. Jordan Belga (UF) 7-6(5), 2-6, 1-0(6)
Doubles competition
1. #1 Yannick Hanfmann/Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #32 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Max De Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC) def. #49 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) 6-4
3. #43 Oliver Landert/Joshua Wardell (UF) vs. Nick Crystal/Connor Farren (USC) 6-5, unfinished
Match Notes:
Southern California 4-0; National ranking #1
Florida 3-2; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,1,3,4,5)
SEC/Pac-12 Showdown
Official: Clark Weaver T-3:36 A-189

Lots of good action still to come - follow along below:
UCLA at Georgia - 2pm est - Live Scoring & Blog
Florida State at Alabama - 2pm est - Live Scoring
Purdue at LSU - 2pm est - Live Scoring
Montana State at Utah - 2pm est - Live Scoring
Clemson at South Carolina - 3pm est - Live Scoring
South Florida at Pepperdine - 4pm est - Live Scoring
Texas at SMU - 5pm est - Live Scoring
UNLV at Stanford - 5pm est - Live Streaming & Scoreboard
Mercer at Auburn - 5pm est - Live Scoring
The Citadel at Georgia Tech - 5:30pm est - Live Scoring & Live Streaming
Detroit at Michigan State - 6pm est - Live Scoring
Utah State at Utah - 7pm est - Live Scoring
North Carolina at Illinois - 7pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming

Published in Blogs
Sunday, 22 February 2015 12:58

Sunday Preview

Rain is in the forecast in many parts of the country so matches are being cancelled or being moved indoors.  Here is my preview of the bigger matches on Sunday (Texas A&M/Tulsa already cancelled due to rain).

#23 Vanderbilt (8-2) at #25 Harvard (8-2)- 12pm est - Harvard Twitter & Video - Both teams have beaten Minnesota over the last 2 days with Vandy squeaking out a 4-3 win on Friday while Harvard throttled the Gophers pretty good on Saturday by a 5-2.  Vandy is 7-2 in doubles while Harvard is 8-2 so it should be a pretty exciting start to the the match.  I could see Harvard winning the match despite dropping the doubles point but I don't see Vanderbilt finding 4 points without the doubles point.  Vandy has now played in 6 matches that have finished 4-3 while Harvard has played in 5 that were either 4-2 or 4-3 so both teams are used to the pressure.  I like Vandy in doubles and Austin and Valent in singles but I like Beltrame, Hu, Tao, and Yeung for the Crimson.  Prediction: Harvard 4-3

Projected Lineup
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.40) vs. #91 Denis Nguyen (HV 13.99)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.34) vs. #80 Sebastian Beltrame (HV 13.21)
3. Kris Yee (VU 13.73) vs. Nicky Hu (HV 13.78)
4. Danny Valent (VU 13.74) vs. Alex Steinroeder (HV 13.37)
5. Baker Newman (VU 13.00) vs. Kenny Tao (HV 13.11)
6. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.87) vs. Brian Yeung (HV 13.19)

#8 North Carolina (9-4) at #1 Oklahoma (10-1) - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Video - Both of these teams will look to rebound after suffering tough losses on road with UNC coming off a gut wrenching 4-3 loss to #10 Texas that saw Ronnie Schneider get broke 4 times while serving for the match while Oklahoma suffered its 1st loss of the season when it's bottom 3 let them down. These teams met last Saturday during the NTIs with Oklahoma winning 4-1 (box score below) so North Carolina will need to do something really special to avoid the same fate.  In my opinion the only spots in play for UNC are at 1, 4, and 6 because I have a hard time seeing Ronnie Schneider rebounding from Friday's loss against a guy as good as Axel Alvarez especially since Alvarez rocked Ronnie pretty good last week, Dane Webb has had Brett Clark's number, and Steiro has won a combined 4 games in his last 2 matches.  With Esben Hess-Olesen sidelined North Carolina doesn't really have any other viable options if they sit Steiro so they'll probably ride him out and hope for the best.  I wouldn't be totally shocked if John Roddick decided to make a change at #6 singles because Jose Salazar has now dropped 3 straight so maybe we'll see Florin Bragusi. I like Harris, Alvarez, Webb, and Ghilea for OU and Murray and Kelly for UNC.  Prediction:  Oklahoma 4-3

Projected Lineup:

1. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.54) vs. #26 Andrew Harris (OU 14.69) 
2. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 13.91) vs. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.48)  
3. Brett Clark (UNC 13.75) vs. #31 Dane Webb (OU 14.17) 
4. #104 Jack Murray (UNC 13.83) vs. Spencer Papa (OU 13.91) 
5. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.66) vs. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.11) 
6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.54) vs. Jose Salazar (OU 13.72) 


#2 Oklahoma 4, #7 North Carolina 1 - 2015 NTI Quarterfinals
Doubles competition
1. Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OKLA) def. Brayden Schnur/Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-1
2. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (OKLA) 6-4
3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Jose Salazar/Alex Ghilea (OKLA) 6-3
Singles competition
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OKLA) def. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 7-6(5), 6-3
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OKLA) def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 6-1, 6-4
3. #31 Dane Webb (OKLA) vs. Brett Clark (UNC) 6-4, 3-6, 3-0, unfinished
4. Spencer Papa (OKLA) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4, 6-2
5. #63 Alex Ghilea (OKLA) def. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) 7-5, 6-1
6. Jose Salazar (OKLA) vs. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) 0-6, 6-3, 4-5, unfinished
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,5,1)

#12 UCLA (6-4) at #5 Baylor (7-2) - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Blog - This will be a matchup between one team on the rise and the other on the fall.  Baylor had a great weekend in Chicago in beating both Virginia and Duke before seemingly letting Oklahoma off the hook in the semifinals while UCLA continues to struggle to put away the close matches with the Bruins dropping all 4 this year where they've yielded at least 2 points (a pair of 4-3 and 4-2 losses).  Last year Baylor went into LA and stunned UCLA 4-2 so the Bruins will do their best to try and return the favor however I just don't see the horses in the barn to make that happen.  UCLA just hasn't the consistency it's used to with Mkrtchian, Brymer, Sell, and Rapp a combined 13-12 in dual match play while both McDonald and Redlicki have been the bright spots with those guys a combined 14-1.  UCLA is 8-2 in doubles while Baylor is 9-0 so it wouldn't be surprising to see all 3 courts go to a tiebreak which is what happened last year.  Baylor's only weak spot this year has been at #4 where its guys are a combined 2-4 with Galeano 0-3.  UCLA's best chance at the upset is to take the doubles point and to get wins from McDonald, Redlicki, and Sell with each of those matches near toss-ups.  UCLA will keep it close but Baylor pulls through with Tschoutakian, Lupieri, Galeano, and Zsiga winning.Prediction: Baylor 5-2

Projected Lineup:
1. #2 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.84) vs. #10 Julian Lenz (BU 14.77)
2. #44 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.52) vs. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22)
3. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23) vs. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.30)
4. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.83) vs. Diego Galeano (BU 13.78)
5. Karue Sell (14.16) vs. Vince Schneider (BU 13.35)
6. Austin Rapp (12.89) vs. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.84)

#43 Tulsa (8-6) at #13 Texas A&M (3-1) - 1pm est - Live Scoring (Match Rained Out) - Tulsa always plays a tough schedule and things won't get any easier as they head to College Station to take an Aggie team coming off an upset over #1 Oklahoma.  Tulsa is coming off a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma State and they seem to still be trying to find that right mix within the lineup as the newcomers, Jose Gonzalez and Mitchell Pritchard, continue to jump around.  Tulsa was also without its #4 Matthew Kirby (12.88) during the Oklahoma State match so we'll see if he's back in there.  Last year Texas A&M rolled to a 6-1 win at Tulsa with all 6 singles matches finishing in straight sets and this year's match will probably be about the same.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 6-1

Projected Lineup:
1. Or-Ram Harel (Tulsa 13.23) vs. #45 Shane Vinsant (aTm 14.35)
2. Alejandro Espejo (Tulsa 13.80) vs. #43 Jeremy Efferding (aTm 14.09)
3. Jose Gonzalez (Tulsa 13.49) vs. #36 Harrison Adams (aTm 13.97)
4. Carlos Bautista (Tulsa 12.63) vs. Arthur Rinderknech (aTm 13.87)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (Tulsa 12.55) vs. #51 AJ Catanzariti (aTm 13.96)
6. Dylan McCloskey (Tulsa 12.58) vs. Max Lunkin (aTm 12.57)



Follow these matches and others through the links on my Live Scoring Page
Published in Blogs
It was a rainy Sunday across much of the country and while several matches were cancelled due to a lack of indoor courts those that had them put them to use. The matches that were cancelled were Tulsa at Texas A&M, Tennessee vs. Georgia Southern (@ Troy, AL), and a pair of consolation matches at the Blue Gray Classic in Montgomery, Alabama - Boise State vs. Alabama and Auburn vs. Mississippi State.

Baylor's home match with UCLA was moved indoors and in the blink of an eye it was over with the Bears rocking UCLA 4-0 in less than 2 hours.  Baylor improved to 10-0 on the year in doubles with a pair of easy wins at 2 and 3 and were also serving for the match at 1 when the clinch occurred. Baylor took 1st sets at 1, 4, 5, and 6 and Vince Schneider, Felipe Rios, and Julian Lenz each closed out their respective matches in straight sets to seal the win.  Baylor's Mate Zsiga was 2 points away from winning on 5 while UCLA's Dennis Mkrtchian had a set lead on 2 and Martin Redlicki was up 2-1 in the 3rd on 3.


I don't know about you but it seems crazy to me that UCLA would fly from Los Angeles to Texas to practice for a couple of days then play a 2 hour match and turn around and go home.  What possible reason could there be to not play these matches until completion?  It's not like the match started a few hours late and UCLA had a 6pm flight to catch so that's why the teams cut bait - the match started on schedule and the teams were on court for less than 2 hours when it was decided.  Play the remaining 2nd sets out and then play a 10 point tiebreak in lieu of a 3rd set.  Reward the fans that came out in crappy weather instead of sending them back out into it unsatisfied.  

Another thing I don't get is why Baylor and a few other schools wipe the scores away from all the matches that weren't permitted to finish.  I asked the question on their blog one time and was told that's what the NCAA prefers and I responded well this isn't the NCAA Tournament and the blogger said it's what the school preferred too.  Don't get me wrong UCLA wasn't going to win this match but the college tennis fans out there would like to know what the scores were in the remaining matches at the time of the clinch - is it really too much to ask to leave the scores up there? 





Baylor recap
UCLA recap


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



#5 Baylor 4, #12 UCLA 0
Feb 22, 2015 at Waco, Texas (Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #10 Julian Lenz (BU 14.78) def. #2 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.85) 6-4, 6-2
2. #44 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.54) vs. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32) 7-6(4), 4-3* DNF
3. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.25) vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.25) 3-6, 6-3, *1-2 DNF
4. Vince Schneider (BU 13.36) def. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.13) 6-4, 6-1
5. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.85) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91) 7-6(8), 5-1* DNF
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.56) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.59) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #40 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) vs. #6 Mackenzie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA) *5-4 
2. Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU) def. Karue Sell/Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) 6-0
3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Austin Rapp/Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA) 6-3

Match Notes
UCLA 6-5; National ranking #12
Baylor 8-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,6,1)

________________________________________________________

Oklahoma and North Carolina played last weekend in the National Indoors quarterfinals with Oklahoma winning 4-1 and the final score of today's match was exactly the same - 4-1.  The lineups were a little different today with Oklahoma down 2 singles starters, Spencer Papa (sick)/Jose Salazar (injury), while North Carolina was without Esben Hess-Olsen and Robert Kelly plus the Tar Heels switched up 1 and 2 singles to try to avoid the same result from last weekend.

Oklahoma started off by taking the doubles point which was something it hadn't been able to do the last 2 times out versus North Carolina.  In singles play North Carolina came out really strong and took the opening set on 4 courts however they'd only be able to convert 1 of those to a win as Brett Clark upset Dane Webb 6-3, 6-4. Oklahoma's Andrew Harris and Austin Siegel (OU's #8) closed out their matches at 1 and 6 in straight sets to put Oklahoma up 3-1 and it was Florin Bragusi, OU's #7, that provided the clincher by coming back from a set down to defeat Oystein Steiro 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 at #5 singles.  The other 2 matches were abandoned at the time of the clinch with OU's Alex Ghilea was up 5-2 in the 3rd at 4 and UNC's Brayden Schnur up a set at 2.

Oklahoma's recap is one of the more detailed recaps that I've seen recently so check it out for my quotes and details about this match.

OU recap
UNC recap


#1 Oklahoma 4, #8 North Carolina 1

Singles competition
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OU 14.70) def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 13.92), 6-4, 7-5
2. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.55) vs. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.50), 7-6(5), 6-6, unfinished
3. Brett Clark (UNC 13.77) def. #31 Dane Webb (OU 14.18), 6-3, 6-4
4. #104 Jack Murray (UNC 13.84) vs. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.13), 7-5, 2-6, 2-5, unfinished
5. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.51) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.69), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Austin Siegel (OU 13.47) def. Stuart DePaolo (UNC 12.33), 6-4, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #5 Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OU) vs. Brett Clark/Brayden Schnur (UNC), 5-4, unfinished
2. Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC), 6-3
3. Spencer Papa/Austin Siegel (OU) def. Andrew Gores/Oystein Steiro (UNC), 6-3

Match Notes:
North Carolina 9-5; National ranking #8
Oklahoma 11-1; National ranking #1

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,1,6,5)

________________________________________________________

The Ivy League had a superb weekend with Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell all knocking off Power 5 schools but the tables were turned on them today with each coming up short.

Cambridge, MA: Vanderbilt jumped out to the early 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point but Harvard would pick up 4 1st sets and Brian Yeung, Nicky Hu, and Kenny Tao would each close out their opponents in straight sets at 6, 3, and 5 singles to put Harvard up 3-1.  Vandy's rock at #1, Gonzales Austin, would trim the deficit to 3-2 with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Denis Nguyen.  Austin is now 10-0 during dual match play with his last loss coming to Brayden Schnur in the finals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.  Vandy's Danny Valent would even that match at 3 and run his record to 9-1 with a come from behind 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win at #4 singles over Alex Steinroeder. The final match left on court was at #2 singles between Rhys Johnson and Sebastian Beltrame.  After splitting sets, Vandy's Johnson would jump out to a 5-2 lead in the 3rd but Beltrame wouldn't go quietly as he would hold and then break Johnson at 15-40 to put the match back on serve. It would come down to the deciding point on the Beltrame serve but it wouldn't end good for the home team as Johnson would get the point and the match.  (Most of the details came courtesy of Harvard's Tennis Twitter - @HMTofficial - give them a follow)

Harvard recap

#23 Vanderbilt 4, #25 Harvard 3

Singles competition
1. #8 Austin, Gonzales (VU 14.40) def. #91 Nguyen, Denis (HARV 13.99) 7-6, 6-3
2. Johnson, Rhys (VU 13.34) def. #80 Beltrame, Sebastian (HARV 13.21) 7-6, 4-6, 6-4
3. Hu, Nicky (HARV 13.78) def. Yee, Kris (VU 13.73) 6-3, 6-2
4. Valent, Daniel (VU 13.74) def. Steinroeder, Alex (HARV 13.37) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Tao, Kenny (HARV 13.11) def. Newman, Baker (VU 13.00) 6-4, 6-3
6. Yeung, Brian (HARV 13.19) def. Eswaran, Suresh (VU 12.87) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition
1. #2 Austin, Gonzales/Johnson, Rhys (VU) def. #15 Nguyen, Denis/Yeung, Brian (HARV) 6-1
2. Binet, Pen/Newman, Baker (VU) vs. Beltrame, Sebastian/Hu, Nicky (HARV) 3-4*
3. Eswaran, Suresh/Valent, Daniel (VU) def. Haughey, Conor/Tao, Kenny (HARV) 6-3

Match Notes:
Vanderbilt 9-2; National ranking #23
Published in Blogs
Compared to what we'll see on Sunday (Virginia at Baylor, Wake Forest at Texas, Vanderbilt at Ole Miss) Saturday should be fairly tame day with just 1 matchup between top 15 schools.  Below are the best ones that I saw on the docket so check them out if you get a chance.

#34 South Carolina (8-6) at #17 Florida (5-3) - 1pm est. - Live Scoring - South Carolina comes into this one on a 3-match losing streak which includes a 4-2 loss on Thursday to Auburn while Florida is coming off a tough 4-1 loss to Georgia. Florida is 4-4 in doubles while South Carolina is 11-3 with both dropping the doubles point the last time out. Here's an interesting stat that you don't see too often for a team at this level - South Carolina is 0-13 at the #1 singles spot this year.  Most likely that streak will stay intact tomorrow because I'd be surprised if Hidalgo didn't beat Koch.  


The 2nd weakest spot for South Carolina is #2 singles where they are just 6-6.  The 2 participants at #2 singles have lost a combined 13 matches in a row with Andrew Adams on an 8-match slide while Maxx Lipman has dropped 5 straight.  I think Lipman is the one that breaks his streak and gets the win. The matchup at #3 will be interesting because you have Thiago Pinheiro (1-8 dual match record) taking on Gordon Watson (4-3).  Most of Pinheiro's losses came at #1 against some stiff competition and 7 of his 9 losses have gone 3 sets so while Watson should win it likely won't be easy.  With South Carolina underdogs at those top 3 spots they'd need to sweep the bottom 3 and get the doubles point and if they couldn't do it at Auburn it isn't going to happen at Florida. Prediction:  Florida 4-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. Kyle Koch (USC 13.91) vs. #46 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.04) 
2. Andrew Adams (USC 13.80) vs. #103 Maxx Lipman (UF 13.72) 
3. Thiago Pinheiro (USC 13.26) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.74) 
4. #101 Andrew Schafer (USC 13.39) vs. #80 Elliott Orkin (UF 13.84) 
5. Harrison O'Keefe (USC 13.27) vs. #123 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 13.30) 
6. Thomas Mayronne (USC 13.11) vs. Oliver Landert (UF 13.14) 


#37 Stanford (6-3) at #21 UCLA (6-5) - 4pm est. - Live Scoring - It's been a while since UCLA was off to this rough a start as the Bruins limp into this one just above the .500 mark while Stanford comes in after giving #1 USC a decent match the day before though the Cardinal came out on the wrong end of a 6-1 score.  One of the unknowns at this point is whether Gage Brymer will be back in the lineup but I'm going to assume he is after missing the last few. UCLA is 8-3 in doubles while Stanford is 7-2.  UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki are each 7-1 in dual match play and I look for them both to win at their respective positions and I also think Dennis Mkrtchian is playing well enough to get past John Morrissey so I'm predicting a UCLA sweep at the top 3 spots.  I do think Stanford will pull out the doubles point and get at least 1 win if not 2 from the bottom 3 but it won't be enough. Prediction:  UCLA 5-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #26 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.14) vs. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87)
2. John Morrissey (ST 14.10) vs. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50)
3. David Wilczynski (ST 13.86) vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23)
4. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.31) vs. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.83)
5. Nolan Paige (ST 13.32) vs. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03)
6. David Hsu (ST 13.95) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91)


#3 Illinois (11-2) at #14 Notre Dame (6-2) - 4pm est. -  Live Scoring  - This match was originally scheduled for earlier in February but due to poor weather conditions it was pushed back until today.  The home team has won each of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry going all the way back to 2006 but this is probably the best team Illinois has put out since 2007 while Notre Dame is a good team but not as good as the team they had last year.  Notre Dame is 6-2 in doubles while Illinois is 6-5. I like Notre Dame in doubles and I think Quentin Monaghan has a good shot of beating Farris Gosea at 1 but the rest of the Illini lineup is just too stout and I see the Illini winning at 2, 3, 4, 5, an 6 to take it.  Prediction: Illinois 5-2

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #52 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.59) vs. #24 Quentin Monaghan (ND 14.28)
2. #19 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.50) vs. #102 Josh Hagar (ND 13.75)
3. #33 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.19) vs. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.12)
4. #67 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 13.80) vs. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND 13.45)
5. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.18) vs. Billy Pecor (ND 12.99)
6. Toshiki Matsuya ((LL 13.09) vs. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.52)

A couple of other ones to keep an eye on though I don't expect anything close to an upset:

#7 Georgia (8-2) at #28 Auburn (11-2) - 2pm est. - Auburn has been somewhat of a surprise so far, at least record wise, though their highest ranked win is over #34 South Carolina.  Georgia is undefeated against everyone except USC.  I'm sure they'll stop this one at the clinch so unless Auburn takes the doubles point they're not going to get on the board.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0

#26 Florida State (9-2) at #2 Oklahoma (11-1) - 4:30pm est. - Florida State has lost the only 2 matches that it's played against top 25 opponents while Oklahoma already has 8 wins over top 25 opponents - Prediction: Oklahoma 4-0

Check out my live scoring page for a list of all the matches of the day with scoring/video/blog/twitter links.
Published in Blogs
Shocker of the day, week, month, year, decade, century, maybe longer - #1 USC playing without Eric Johnson and Nick Crystal goes down to #51 Tulsa 4-3.

USC came out strong and really blew out Tulsa in doubles winning 6-1 and 6-0 at 2 and 3 despite having new doubles pairing on each court.  Eric Johnson did play in doubles but I guess it was a coaches decision to give him and Nick Crystal the day off in singles and it ultimately proved to be costly.

Still even with those 2 guys out of the singles lineup you figure there is no way that Hanfmann and Quiroz are both going to lose and sure enough they both did in straight sets.

When I was looking at Saturday's matches and deciding which ones to preview I quickly passed this one over because I didn't think there was any way possible that Tulsa could win this match regardless of whether USC sat a couple of guys.  But I guess there is a reason they play the matches because you never know what can happen on a given day.

Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel pulled off the 1st upset of the day when he took out Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-2 at #1 singles to tie the match up at 1 but a short while later Jonny Wang would put USC back ahead 2-1 with a 7-5, 6-0 win at #3 singles over Matthew Kirby.  Tulsa's Alejandro Espejo evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 7-6(0) win over Roberto Quiroz at #2 singles which set the stage for 3 3rd sets on the remaining courts. After dropping the 1st set at both #5 and #6, Tulsa's Mitchell Pritchard and Dylan McCloskey would each take the 2nd set and would both head to a 3rd set tiebreaker. McCloskey would jump out to a 6-3 lead in the tiebreak but USC's Connor Farren would fight off 3 match points to tie it at 6.  Farren would hit each of the next 2 shots just long (he appealed both calls to the chair but neither was overturned much to his dismay) and with that Tulsa had taken a 3-2 lead. The tiebreaker at #5 was just a few points behind but Tulsa's Mitchell Pritchard would grab the early lead and never give it up as he finished off Rob Bellamy 7-5 in the tiebreak to clinch the stunning Tulsa win.

Now it wouldn't be college tennis if there wasn't some kind of uncertainty about something and if you look at each of the school's recaps they both show a different singles lineup from Tulsa at 3, 4, 5, and 6 than what the scoreboard during the match showed.  I watched the live stream on courts 5 and 6 at the end and while the clarity wasn't good enough to make out faces I do remember hearing the Tulsa players yelling out "Come on Mitchell" during the tiebreak at #5 singles so the assumption is that Mitchell Pritchard did play at #5 singles and clinch the match despite the recap saying differently. The score entered into the ITA's system also shows the lineup that matches the scoreboard.  All I want to do is to give credit to where it's due so if it was Carlos Bautista that clinched it at #5 like the recaps say then so be it.

UPDATE:  Both the USC and Tulsa recaps below now show the correct people for Tulsa so it's nice to see Pritchard get his recognition for clinching.  






Tulsa recap
USC recap

#51 Tulsa 4, #1 USC 3

Doubles | Order of finish: 3, 2*
1. Johnson/Quiroz (USC) vs. #33 Bautista/Espejo (TU), 4-2 (unf.)
2. Hanfmann/Wang (USC) def. McCloskey/Kirby (TU), 6-1
3. Smith/Forget (USC) def. Ram-Harel/Matias Gonzalez (TU), 6-0


Singles | Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 6, 5*, 4
1. #71 Or Ram-Harel (TU 13.25) def. #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 15.05) 6-3, 6-2
2. Alejandro Espejo (TU 13.72) def. #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.43) 6-4, 7-6(0)
3. #31 Jonny Wang (USC 14.23) def. Matthew Kirby (TU 12.87) 7-5, 6-0
4. #72 Max De Vroome (USC 14.13) def. Carlos Bautista (TU 12.71) 7-5, 5-7, 6-5(4)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (TU 12.52) def. Rob Bellamy (USC 13.09) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5)
6. Dylan McCloskey (TU 12.56) def. Connor Farren (USC 13.70) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6)
_____________________________________________________

South Bend, IN:  After Notre Dame won a tight doubles point that was decided by a tiebreak on 1, the teams would split 1st sets with Notre Dame taking the opening set at 1, 5, and 6 (5 & 6 in tiebreaks) with Illinois grabbing the opening set at 2, 3, and 4.  All singles matches except #5 would finish in straight sets with Tim Kopinski and Aleks Vukic winning at #3 and #4 to put Illinois up 2-1.  Notre Dame would answer with straight set wins at #6 and #1 by Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan to put the Irish up 3-2.  Illinois's Hiltzik brothers would then take center stage and rise to the occasion as Jared finished off Josh Hagar in straight sets at #2 singles and then Aron would win 12 straight games at #5 singles to clinch the team win with a 6-7, 6-0, 6-0 win.

Note - Notre Dame's #4 Eric Schnurrenberger sat out due to injury which forced the Irish to shift everyone up a spot from 4 on down.

Illinois recap
Notre Dame recap

#3 Illinois 4, #14 Notre Dame 3

Singles competition
1. #24 Quentin Monaghan (ND 14.28) def. #52 Farris Gosea (ILL 14.59) 6-4, 6-4
2. #19 Jared Hiltzik (ILL 14.50) def. #102 Josh Hagar (ND 13.75) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
3. #33 Tim Kopinski (ILL 14.19) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND 13.12) 6-1, 6-2
4. #44 Aleks Vukic (ILL 14.18) def. Billy Pecor (ND 12.99) 7-6 (7-4), 6-0
5. #67 Aron Hiltzik (ILL 13.80) def. Nicolas Montoya (ND 12.52) 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-0
6. Alex Lawson (ND 12.80) def. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL 13.09) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #19 Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (ND) def. #14 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) 7-6 (7-4)
2. Jared Hiltzik/Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Alex Lawson/Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-3
3. Billy Pecor/Dougie Barnard (ND) def. Aron Hiltzik/Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) 6-4

Match Notes:
Illinois 12-2; National ranking #3
Notre Dame 6-3; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,4,6,1,2,5)

T-3:05 A-286

______________________________________________________

Los Angeles, CA:  UCLA won the doubles point but Stanford kept it close in singles by winning 3 first sets but the one set they really needed was at #3 singles and once UCLA's Martin Redlicki took it 9-7 in the tiebreak things started going UCLA's way. Karue Sell, Mackenzie McDonald, and Martin Redlicki would all win in straights with Redlicki clinching it.  Stanford picked up a straight set win from John Morrissey at #2. After the match was clinched, UCLA's Ryoto Tachi finished off a 3rd set bagel of David Hsu at #6 while Stanford's Nolan Paige won a 10 point supertiebreak that was played in place of a 3rd set at #5.

Notes - UCLA played without its usual #4 singles player Gage Brymer and according to the UCLA recap Dennis Mkrtchian sustained some kind of injury during the first set of his match at #2 singles.

UCLA recap
Stanford recap


#21 UCLA 5, #37 Stanford 2
Feb 28, 2015 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. #5 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) def. Morrissey/Robert Stineman (STAN) 6-4
2. Joseph Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) def. #49 Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3
3. Mkrtchian/Rapp (UCLA) vs. Paige/Wilczynski (STAN) 5-6, unfinished
UCLA Wins Doubles Point

Singles
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87) def. #26 Tom Fawcett (STAN 14.14) 7-5, 6-2
2. John Morrissey (STAN 14.10) def. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50) 6-3, 6-1
3. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23) def. David Wilczynski (STAN 13.86) 7-6(7), 6-3
4. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03) def. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN 13.31) 6-1, 6-3
5. Nolan Paige (STAN 13.32) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91) 6-3, 6-7(6), (10-7)
6. Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.06) def. David Hsu (STAN 13.95) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0

Match Notes
Stanford 6-4; National ranking #37
UCLA 7-5; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (2,4,1,3,5,6)

____________________________________________________

North Carolina started the morning off with a routine 4-1 win over Minnesota with the Tar Heels taking all completed sets except for the 1 set that Brayden Schnur dropped at #1 singles before he retired early in the 2nd set.  No word yet on what caused the retirement.  Minnesota also played without it's usual #2 Jack Hamburg (13.04) so everyone else had to slide up a slot which didn't help the Gophers cause.

UNC recap

Published in Blogs
Nothing like a little mid-week tennis to get everybody excited and that's what we'll have Tuesday evening with #5 Baylor hosting #15 TCU and #21 UCLA hosting #51 Tulsa.

#15 TCU (8-3) at #5 Baylor (9-2) - 7pm est - Live Scoring & Blog + Video (if played outdoors) - This will be the Big 12 opener for both schools with Baylor fresh off a win over Virginia while TCU swept a pair of matches on Sunday against Wisconsin and Incarnate Word.  TCU started off the year with 5 straight wins including wins over Texas A&M and LSU but then got swept at the National Indoors by Duke, Virginia, and UCLA.  Baylor lost its opener at home to Illinois but since then they've beaten Tulsa, Duke, UCLA, and Virginia twice with just the 1 other loss to Oklahoma at the National Indoors semifinals.  Baylor is a perfect 11-0 in doubles and has only dropped 3 individual courts while TCU is just 4-5 so I can't see anyway that Baylor doesn't win this point.  TCU has used 7 different guys in singles with Trevor Johnson (13.38) also seeing plenty of action at 6 so it's possible he could play at 6 if either Dachs or Lugones can't play.  Diego Galeano has sat out the singles portion for the last 2 matches so it sounds like he isn't 100% so with the way the other guys have been playing I'd be surprised to see him singles in this one.    


FYI, the # beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of the current date of this preview/recap. For more details about UTR check out their website.

Projected Singles Lineup
1. #28 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.66) vs. #11 Julian Lenz (BU 14.69)   
2. #48 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.81) vs. #23 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.32) 
3. Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.99) vs. #40 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.22) 
4. Will Stein (TCU 13.28) vs. Vince Schneider (BU 13.46) 
5. Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.53) vs. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.82) 
6. Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.49) vs. Felipe Rios (BU 13.62)

#1 singles - Julian Lenz has jumped out to a 7-1 start in dual match play with 6 top 75 wins while Cameron Norrie is 6-3 but just 1-3 against ranked opponents.  Anything other than a Lenz win would be very surprising.  

#2 singles - Tony Lupieri is 5-3 in dual match play including a win over current #1 Thai Son Kwiatkowski but since that win he is 0-2 with losses to Mitchell Frank and Dane Webb.  Nick Chappel is 4-2 in dual play and 1-2 against ranked opponents with 3 other matches that didn't finish.  I think Chappell pulls the mild upset and takes this one in 3 if they play the matches out after the clinch.

#3 singles - Max Tchoutakian is 5-4 in dual match play but just 1-3 against ranked opponents while Arnau Dachs is 5-2 in dual match play but has dropped 2 of his last 3.  Dachs sat out a few matches and had a close one against Wisconsin yesterday so he may not be 100%.  I like Tchoutakian in straights against either Dachs or Stein. 

#4 singles -  Will Stein is 4-3 in dual match play but has dropped 2 of his last 3 while Schneider is 6-1 and 3-0 since moving up to #4 with wins over UCLA's Karue Sell and Virginia's Mac Styslinger.  I think Schneider has the hotter hand right now but Stein is more than capable of winning. 

#5 singles - Guillermo Nunez is 7-0 seeing action at 3, 4, 5, and 6 though none of those wins were against a ranked opponent while the up and down Mate Zsiga is 4-2 with 4 other matches that didn't finish (he was up big in 3 of those).  Zsiga either wins his matches in under a hour or they go closer to 2+ hours and go 3 sets and if he hadn't squandered the big lead against Ghilea in the NTI semis he'd be riding a 5 match winning streak.  Right now there is no way I can pick against Mate especially with it being at home so I'll go Zsiga in 2.  

#6 singles - Felipe Rios is 6-1 in dual match play and has won 6 straight since dropping his 1st collegiate dual match against Illinois's Ross Guignon while Facundo Lugones is 4-2 though he's lost his last 2 against tougher competition (UCLA's Karue Sell & LSU's Boris Arias).  If Trevor Johnson gets the call at 6 he'd bring a 5-1 dual match record into the match.  Ultimately I'd like Rios over both those guys.

It's possible Baylor could have a little bit of an emotional letdown after the big win over Virginia but it'd take a really big effort from TCU to pull the upset.  I'd say TCU's best chance would be to get wins from Chappell, Stein, Nunez, and whoever plays at 6.  A few of those guys may win but I don't see all 4 getting it done.  Prediction:  Baylor 5-2 


#51 Tulsa (10-6) at #21 UCLA (7-5) - 5pm est - Live Scoring - Tulsa has brought a Golden Hurricane down on each of its past 2 west coast victims with neither #1 USC or #53 Pepperdine able to overcome the Tulsa firepower.  UCLA, which had lost 3 of 4, finally stopped the bleeding with a nice 4-2 win on Saturday over an improving Stanford team.  UCLA is 9-3 in doubles while Tulsa is 9-6.  Tulsa has played in 5 consecutive matches that have finished with a 4-3 score - winning 3 of the 5.  

One of UCLA's biggest issues has been getting it's 6 most talented guys on the court at the same time. Gage Brymer, who was a rock last year as a freshman going 18-3 playing primarily at #4, has struggled this year and has only played in 5 of UCLA's 12 matches.  Brymer suffered a personal tragedy when his mother passed away in late January and has had trouble finding his form since then and actually pulled himself out of the starting lineup due to his level of play at the National Indoors after dropping his match against North Carolina's Oystein Steiro.  I guess at this point only Gage knows when he'll be ready to return to the court.  Joseph Di Giulio is another Bruin that's had trouble finding his form this year.  Last year Di Giulio went 9-3 playing at #6, with a slew of matches that didn't finish, but so far this year he's just 2-5 appearing in 9 of UCLA's 12 matches.  If UCLA can get those 2 guys back and playing at last year's form they'll be a tough 2 seed in someone's regional come in May.  


Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #71 Or Ram-Harel (TU 13.24) vs. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.87)
2. Alejandro Espejo (TU 13.67) vs. #35 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.50)
3. 
Juan Gonzalez (TU 13.44)vs. Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.23)
4. Matthew Kirby (TU 12.88)  vs. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.03)
5. Mitchell Pritchard (TU 12.51) vs. Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.91)
6. Dylan McCloskey (TU 12.59) vs. 
Ryoto Tachi (UCLA 13.06)

Other possible singles additions:  Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.82), Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.50), Carlos Bautista (TU 12.71).  

#1 singles - Or Ram-Harel is 8-2 in dual match play with 3 wins over ranked opponents including the stunner on Friday over #6 Yannick Hanfmann while Mackenzie McDonald is 8-1 with 6 wins over ranked opponents. While Ram-Harel caught Hanfmann on the right day he won't catch McDonald and the Bruins sophomore wins this in 2. 

#2 singles - Espejo is 6-4 with his only ranked win coming over Roberto Quiroz while Mkrtchian is just 3-4 with 2 ranked wins and with 4 additional matches not finishing. Mkrtchian took a medical timeout during his match against Stanford due to flu symptoms but he was able to continue though the result wasn't too good.  I'm assuming that Mkrtchian still won't be at 100% and will likely come up short in this one -Espejo in 2.

#3 singles - Gonzalez is 0-6 on the year having played 2 matches each at 1, 2, and 3 while Redlicki is 8-1 with notable wins over Brett Clark and David Wilczynski. Gonzalez didn't play against USC but did play against Pepperdine losing 6-4 in the 3rd.  I like Redlicki in 3.

#4 singles - Kirby is 7-4 with notable wins over Herkko Pollanen and Diego Galeano but has dropped 3 straight while Sell is 7-4 but he's lost 3 of his last 5. 6 of Sell's 7 wins have come in straight sets so I say he makes it 7 of 8.  

#5 singles - Pritchard was the hero of the USC match by winning the clincher and is now 9-5 however he got blown out on Sunday by Pepperdine's Pedro Iamachkine 6-1, 6-1.  Rapp is 3-3 with 4 additional matches that didn't finish.  I'll go with the Tulsa freshman in this one.

#6 singles - McCloskey is 6-4 on the year splitting his last 4 matches while Tachi has seen action in just 3 matches going 2-0 including a come from behind win on Saturday over Stanford's David Hsu.  I'll go with Tachi in 3 in this one.  

The one thing that you can be assured of is that Tulsa won't catch UCLA sleeping but after 2 tough matches in the last few days the question is how much does Tulsa have left in the tank.  The doubles point could be the turning point in this one because if Tulsa can take it I could easily see them picking up 3 points in singles especially if Mkrtchian isn't 100% and neither Brymer or Di Giulio play.  However I do see the Bruins grabbing the doubles point and then picking up wins at 1, 3, and 4.  If they play it out after the clinch I think it'd finish 5-2. Prediction:  UCLA 4-1 







Published in Blogs
Page 4 of 9