What a start to the weekend it was with 2 thrillers taking place 100 miles apart as Texas A&M took out the new #1 Oklahoma 4-3 in College Station while Texas's Lloyd Glasspool refused to lay down as Texas knocked off North Carolina 4-3 in Austin.
We'll start off in College Station where #1 Oklahoma came to town expecting to waltz all over Texas A&M but the Aggies had other plans as they took the all important doubles point and were then able to pick up 3 1st sets and ultimately pulled off the stunner when freshman Arthur Rinderknech came back from a set down to knock off Oklahoma freshman Spencer Papa 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 at the #4 spot. Oklahoma swept the top 3 spots in the lineup and usually if you do that you've got to feel pretty good about your chances but Texas A&M was able to lock down the bottom 3 plus take the doubles point so there you have it - upset city.
aTm recapOU recap
#13 Texas A&M 4, #1 Oklahoma 3 George P Mitchell Tennis Center 1. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU) def. #45 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4, 6-2 2. #26 Andrew Harris (OU) def. #43 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) 6-4, 6-1 3. #31 Dane Webb (OU) def. #36 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5 *4. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Spencer Papa (OU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-1 5. #51 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU) def. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 6. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Jose Salazar (OU) 6-4, 6-2 1. #8 Shane Vinsant/Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. #5 Dane Webb/Axel Alvarez (OU) 6-4 2. Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #13 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-3 3. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. Spencer Papa/Florin Bragusi (OU) 7-5 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,2,6,5,3,4)
Over in Austin it was a top 10 battle between Texas and North Carolina and the night started off on the positive side for Texas as the Horns won the doubles point for just the 5th time in 11 tries. The teams would split the opening sets in singles and while Texas was able to close out both 1 and 5 in straights North Carolina did the same at 3 and 4. North Carolina's Robert Kelly would tie it at 3 when he completed his comeback at #6 as he defeated Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz 6-1 in the 3rd and with Ronnie Schneider opening up a huge 5-1 lead in the 3rd it looked like Texas was done for.
Schneider had a rather large lead in the 2nd set as well leading 5-3 but Glasspool managed to erase that and win the final 4 games of the set to force a 3rd so that had to be in the back of each players minds while the 3rd set came to a close. As if on cue, Glasspool would break Schneider not once but twice to get it back on serve and tie it at 5 only to be broken himself which would give Schneider a 4th opportunity to serve the match out. Glasspool would promptly break back and send it to a deciding tiebreak. Glasspool would jump out to a 3-0 lead, then lose 3 straight, then win 3, then lose 3, and with it tied at 6-6 he'd finally finish it off by taking the final 2 points to give Texas the 4-3 win. Great win at home for Texas but a brutal, brutal loss for North Carolina.
UNC recap - i love how the UNC recap omits the part about Schneider serving for the match 4 times #10 Texas 4, #8 North Carolina 3 1. #16 Soren Hess-Olesen (UT) def. #6 Brayden Schnur (UNC) 6-1, 6-4 2. Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. #19 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) 3. Brett Clark (UNC) def. #65 Adrien Berkowicz (UT) 6-3, 7-5 4. #104 Jack Murray (UNC) def. George Goldhoff (UT) 7-5, 6-3 5. Nick Naumann (UT) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-1, 6-1 6. #75 Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz (UT) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 1. Soren Hess-Olesen/Lloyd Glasspool (UT) def. Brayden Schnur/Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4 2. Adrien Berkowicz/George Goldhoff (UT) def. Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (UNC) 6-3 3. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Nick Naumann/Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz (UT) 6-2 North Carolina 9-3; National ranking #8 Texas 9-1; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,3,4,6,2)
Vanderbilt came from behind to beat Minnesota 4-3 - it was Vandy's 6th match this year that has finished with a 4-3 score.
I love the headline from Vandy's website - see anything spelled incorrectly.
#23 Vanderbilt, 4; #34 Minnesota 3
1. #8 Gonzales Austin (VANDY) def. #25 Leandro Toledo (MINN) 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 2. Rhys Johnson (VANDY) def. Jack Hamburg (MINN) 6-4, 6-3 3. Ruben Weber (MINN) def. Kris Yee (VANDY) 6-3, 6-3 4. Matic Spec (MINN) def. Daniel Valent (VANDY) 6-1, 6-4 5. Felix Corwin (MINN) def. Baker Newman (VANDY) 6-2, 6-0 6. Suresh Eswaran (VANDY) def. Mathieu Froment (MINN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 1. #2 Gonzales Austin/Rhys Johnson (Vandy) def. #52 Jack Hamburg/Mathieu Froment (MINN) 6-2 2. Leandro Toledo/Felix Corwin (MINN) def. Ryan Smith/Baker Newman (Vandy) 6-2 3. Daniel Valent/Suresh Eswaran (Vandy) def. Matic Spec/Eric Frueh (MINN) 7-6 Vanderbilt 8-2 (0-0 SEC); National ranking #23 Minnesota 7-2 (0-0 Big Ten); National ranking #34
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,2,3,6,1)
Illinois won its 25th straight over Northwestern but it was a little tougher than expected after Northwestern took the doubles point and then Illinois had to move everyone up a spot in the lineup with its #1 Farris Gosea not playing in singles.
#6 Illinois 5, #26 Northwestern 2 1. #23 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. #96 Sam Shropshire (NU) 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 2. #37 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. #64 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 6-1, 6-3 3. #69 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Logan Staggs (NU) 6-4, 6-3 4. #46 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Mihir Kumar (NU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 5. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) def. Fedor Baev (NU) 6-2, 6-1 6. Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL) 6-4, 6-1 1. #11 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) 8-3 2. Sam Shropshire/Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Farris Gosea/Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 8-5 3. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Blake Bazarnik/Brian Page (ILL) 8-3 Illinois 9-2; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,6,3,2,4,1)
The biggest upset of the day came in San Diego as a 4-4 San Diego State beat down #21 South Carolina 7-0.
San Diego State 7, #21 South Carolina 0 1. Freddy Gelbrich (SDSU) def. Andrew Adams (USC) 6-1, 6-4 2. Thorsten Bertsch (SDSU) def. #103 Kyle Koch (USC) 7-6 (8-6), 0-6, 10-4 3. Hendrik Jebens (SDSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro (USC) 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 4. Marko Goles-Babic (SDSU) def. #120 Andrew Schafer (USC) 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 11-9 5. Milen Ianakiev (SDSU) def. Harrison O'Keefe (USC) 6-4, 6-0 6. Andranik Khachatryan (SDSU) def. Sam Swank (USC) 6-4, 6-2 1. Freddy Gelbrich/Hendrik Jebens (SDSU) def. Thiago Pinheiro/Kyle Koch (USC) 6-3 2. Thorsten Bertsch/Jonas Meinzer (SDSU) def. #46 Thomas Mayronne/Harrison O'Keefe (USC) 6-4 3. Marko Goles-Babic/Andranik Khachatryan (SDSU) def. Andrew Schafer/Andrew Adams (USC) 7-5 South Carolina 8-4; National ranking #21 San Diego State 5-4, 0-1 MW
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 Lineup1. #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
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
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