Displaying items by tag: Vanderbilt

Saturday had several close ones with both Baylor and Oklahoma pulling through in the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge while San Diego and Princeton both won tight ones in the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic.   There was also a good one in Nashville where Vanderbilt won a 3rd set tiebreak in the deciding match to avoid getting upset by unranked Kentucky.

The headliner of the day was between #3 Baylor and #4 USC.  It was almost a forgone conclusion that Baylor would take the doubles point with how dominant they'd been in doubles play but USC had the point well within grasp.  Baylor's #3 duo of Vince Schneider and Felipe Rios were first off the court with 6-3 win but USC's #1 pair of Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz answered with a 6-4 win.  So it all came down to #2 doubles where Baylor's Julian Lenz and Diego Galeano had jumped out to an early break lead on USC's Max De Vroome and Eric Johnson.  USC's 2s would break back to even it at 4 then get a De Vroome hold to go up 5-4 and then would go up 0-30 on the Galeano serve.  The Baylor 2s would win 4 straight points to hold for 5-5 but then Eric Johnson would hold at 40-15 to put USC up 6-5.  For the second service game in a row Baylor would go down 0-30 but they'd dig themselves out again by winning 3 straight points to go up 40-30.  After USC got the next point to make it 40-40, which was a deciding/break point, Lenz dropped the hammer on a 1st serve and sent to a tiebreak.  The tiebreak was all Baylor as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead and ended up cruising to a 7-1 win.

In singles, Baylor jumped out to an early break lead at 1, 2, 5, 6 while USC got the early advantage at 3 and 4.  The first to finish was Baylor's Felipe Rios as he snapped Nick Crystal's 10 match winning streak with a 6-2, 6-3 win at #6 singles.  After falling behind 4-2 in the 1st, USC's Roberto Quiroz would win 4 straight to close out the opening set then would keep the momentum going in the second and would finish off Tony Lupieri 6-4, 6-3 at #2 singles.

Eric Johnson would then even the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Max Tchoutakian at #3. Johnson led virtually the entire match before giving up his break lead late in the 2nd set.  After falling behind 5-4 in the 2nd, Johnson won the final 3 games to close it out.

It looked like for a while that Jonny Wang would be the first off the court after he jumped out to a 6-2, 4-1 lead on Vince Schneider but the BU sophomore rallied to take 4 straight to go up 5-4 in the 2nd. Wang would then do as Johnson did and win the final 3 games to close it out 6-2, 7-5.

USC was now just a point away with a 3-2 lead but Baylor had the upper hand on each of the 2 remaining courts.  Baylor senior Mate Zsiga would tie it up a 3 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Max De Vroome at #5 singles.  Zsiga led this match wire to wire by breaking De Vroome to start both the first set and second sets.  Zsiga would not be broke the entire match.

The final match on court was at #1 singles between Julian Lenz and Yannick Hanfmann.  Lenz cruised in the 1st set taking it 6-2 and it stayed close deep into the 2nd set until Hanfmann broke Lenz to go up 5-4.  However Hanfmann would get broke serving for the set and Lenz would consolidate the break with a hold and would then break again to take the match 6-2, 7-5.

It's interesting to note that all 6 singles matches were finished in straight sets and none even made it to a tiebreak.

Baylor recap

"It was a great match at No. 2 doubles. There were a lot of dramatic momentum swings. You looked up there for a while and it felt like we were going to win and then you looked up there a little while later and it felt like they were going to win. I thought both teams did a good job of competing hard. We fought off a match point to get to the tiebreaker and then did a great job in the tiebreaker." - head coach Matt Knoll on doubles

"It is kind of funny that we had such a competitive match and all the matches only went two sets. They are super good, but Felipe (Rios) certainly helped us get momentum with what he did. It was really good tennis all over the place." - Knoll on the singles wins


"It is great to be in the finals. We knew at this event we were going to have to play great to win matches. Now we have the No. 1 team in the country waiting for us in the finals. They beat us earlier this year and have a great program. It is going to be a super opportunity for us. We have to play these kind of matches to get better and it is going to help us. It is a great chance for our guys to be pushed." - Knoll on playing Oklahoma

USC recap

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 21st.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

#3 Baylor 4, #4 Southern California 3
Mar 21, 2015 at Indian Wells, California (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
Singles competition
1. #4 Julian Lenz (BU 14.63) def. #8 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 14.92) 6-2, 7-5
2. #20 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.36) def. #29 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.21) 6-4, 6-3
3. Eric Johnson (USC 14.01) def. #36 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.15) 6-3, 7-5
4. #35 Jonny Wang (USC 14.18) def. Vince Schneider (BU 13.50) 6-2, 7-5
5. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.86) def. #50 Max de Vroome (USC 14.30) 6-4, 6-4
6. Felipe Rios (BU 13.73) def. #51 Nick Crystal (USC 14.06) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #4 Yannick Hanfmann/Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #40 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-4
2. #77 Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU) def. #50 Eric Johnson/Max de Vroome (USC) 7-6 (7-1)
3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Thibault Forget/Nick Crystal (USC) 6-3
Match Notes
Southern California 13-3; National ranking #4
Baylor 14-2; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,3,4,5,1)

Who Wins?

  2 (33%)
  4 (66%)

Votes so far: 6 


In the first semifinal of the day it looked like Columbia had a really good chance to pull off the upset after they took the doubles point and 3 opening sets against #1 Oklahoma.  However while Oklahoma's Andrew Harris, Axel Alvarez, and Spencer Papa would finish off each of their matches in straight sets only Columbia's Mike Vermeer would be able to do the same.  After Max Schnur took the first set 7-6 at #3, Oklahoma's Dane Webb would win 12 of the next 17 games to clinch the win. The match at #4 was halted with Columbia's Ashok Narayana leading 3-2 in the 3rd set.  

OU recap

"Dane did a terrific job for us, Roddick said. "He turned his match around and did a terrific job of clinching the match for us. Columbia really made us work hard today.

"Andrew did a great job not letting Lin into the match," Roddick said. "Axel and Spencer also did a great job of capitalizing on their opportunities."

#1 Oklahoma 4, #29 Columbia 2
Mar 21, 2015 at Indian Wells, California
Singles competition
1. #19 Andrew Harris (OU 14.78) def. #16 Winston Lin (COL 14.23) 6-2, 6-2
2. #7 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.47) def. #83 Dragos Ignat (COL 13.63) 6-4, 6-1
3. #26 Dane Webb (OU 14.29) def. Max Schnur (COL 13.13) 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-3
4. #53 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.13) vs. Ashok Narayana (COL 13.35) 4-6, 6-4, 2-3, unf
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.76) def. Shawn Hadavi (COL 13.32) 6-1, 6-3
6. Mike Vermeer (COL 13.38) def. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.59) 6-2, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #5 Dane Webb/Axel Alvarez (OU) def. #20 Max Schnur/Ashok Narayana (COL) 6-4
2. #57 Winston Lin/Mike Vermeer (COL) def. #69 Alex Ghilea/Andrew Harris (OU) 7-6 (7-2)
3. Dragos Ignat/Bert Vancura (COL) def. Spencer Papa/Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-4
Match Notes:
Columbia 7-3; National ranking #29
Oklahoma 15-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,2,5,6,3)

BNP Paribas Collegiate Challange Semifinals

San Diego won the tournament it co-hosted with San Diego State by knocking off #33 Drake 4-2. The Toreros took the doubles point and picked up straight sets wins by Uros Petronijevic, Filip Vittek, and Jordan Angus at 1, 2, and 3 singles.

San Diego recap

"It's a team goal to go undefeated throughout the year, and to be undefeated at home thus far has been huge," head coach Brett Masi noted afer the victory. "To play all three matches at home this week was a big advantage. We play our best tennis on our home courts, but playing back-to-back matches everyday against top-45 teams is not easy. In the end, it feels great to take first place in a tournament, especially hosting. We won in 2011 at the inaugural tournament, and since then we haven't been able to do so until today. It's a great tournament and we were able to turn it around even after struggling in our last couple of matches on the road. We played great tennis the past few days and I am really proud of the guys for staying focused and playing their best tennis."

Drake recap

#30 San Diego 4, #33 Drake 2
March 21, 2015 at San Diego, Calif. (Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #58 Uros Petronijevic (USD 13.96) def. #42 Alen Salibasic (DRAKE 13.87) 6-1, 6-4
2. #81 Filip Vittek (USD 13.22) def. #38 Ben Lott (DRAKE 13.70) 7-5, 6-4
3. Jordan Angus (USD 13.59) def. Matt Frost (DRAKE 13.05) 6-4, 6-3
4. Ravi Patel (DRAKE 13.55) def. Romain Kalaydjian (USD 12.97) 6-3, 6-4
5. Geoffrey Fosso (USD 12.80) vs. Calum MacGeoch (DRAKE 12.43) 4-6, 6-1, 1-2, unf
6. Ben Mullis (DRAKE 13.20) def. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD 12.68) 6-1, 6-0
Doubles competition
1. #41 Filip Vittek/Jordan Angus (USD) def. Ben Lott/Bayo Phillips (DRAKE) 6-3
2. Romain Kalaydjian/Uros Petronijevic (USD) vs. Alen Salibasic/Ben Mullis (DRAKE) 4-5, unf
3. Ciaran Fitzgerald/Geoffrey Fosso (USD) def. Matt Frost/Ravi Patel (DRAKE) 6-1
Match Notes
Drake 18-6; National ranking #33
San Diego 12-4; National ranking #30
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,1,3,4,2)

Final round of Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Spring Classic

Princeton capped off the weekend in San Diego by taking 3rd place in the San Diego Classic with a 4-3 win over Ivy League rival Harvard.  With the match deadlocked at 3-3 it came down to a 3rd set at #6 and it was Princeton's Luke Gamble who was the hero as he broke Shaun Chaudhuri to go up 4-3 and then he held serve two more times to take it 6-4 in the 3rd.  

Princeton recap

Coach Billy Pate on the matches:
While some conferences are already half way through their schedules others are just beginning. Both the Big 12 and Pac 12 kickoff conference play on Friday while the ACC, SEC, and Big 10 are nearing or have already passed its half way point.  Below are the 4 biggest matches of the day so make sure you keep an eye on these.

#14 North Carolina (14-6) at #8 Virginia (12-3) - 3pm est - North Carolina's biggest problem this year has been fielding a healthy starting 6 and there's a chance that its best 6 players may be on the court on Friday.  UNC's #1 Brayden Schnur has now missed the last 5 matches but the Tar Heels hope that he'll be able to go on Friday. Virginia has battled some injuries as well but they still haven't missed a beat in conference play with its current ACC winning streak at 129.  UNC is 15-5 in doubles while Virginia is 13-2.  These teams met earlier this year in Chicago, in the consolation draw, at the National Indoors with Virginia cruising to a 4-0 win.  This one might be a little closer but Virginia will still win comfortably. I like UVA in doubles and see singles wins from Frank, Shane, Altamirano, Kwiatkowski, and Aragone.  Prediction: Virginia 6-1

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 26th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Projected Lineups:
1. #12 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.48) vs. #29 Mitchell Frank (UVA 14.89)
2. #24 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.20) vs. #6 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54)
3. #69 Brett Clark (UNC 13.74) vs. #55 Collin Altamirano (UVA 14.80)
4. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC 13.03) vs. #10 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVA 14.76)
5. Jack Murray (UNC 13.95) vs. Alexander Ritschard (UVA 13.89)
6. #99 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.59) vs. J.C. Aragone (UVA 13.94)

Others who could play: Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.43), #112 Mac Styslinger (UVA 13.93)

#17 Vanderbilt (15-5) at #5 Georgia (15-2) - 5pm est - The last time these two met came in the quarterfinals of last year's SEC Tournament which happened to be in Nashville.  Vandy pulled off the upset of the #1 seeded Bulldogs winning 4-2 but so far this year Georgia has been rolling in conference play.  Georgia is 12-5 in doubles while Vanderbilt is 14-6.  Both teams have really strong #1s with Georgia's Austin Smith and Ben Wagland the new ITA #1 and Vandy's Gonzales Austin and Rhys Johnson ranked #4 though they were #1 just 2 weeks ago.

Georgia will be a pretty heavy favorite at 2, 5, and 6 singles but the other 3 courts should all be close. Gonzales Austin and Daniel Valent have been the Dores stalwarts going 32-3 in dual match play while their opponents Wayne Montgomery and Nathan Pasha are a combined 20-5.  Both teams #4 players have been up and down with Wagland currently up and Yee currently down.  Wagland has won 3 straight after dropping 4 of 5 while Yee has lost 2 straight and 6 of 8.  I like Georgia in doubles and see them picking up wins from Smith, Wood, and Oosterbaan.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0

Projected Lineups:
1. #7 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.47) vs. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.59)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.51) vs. #31 Austin Smith (UGA 14.17)
3. Daniel Valent (VU 13.88) vs. #18 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.36)
4. Kris Yee (VU 13.59) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.25)
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.86) vs. Nick Wood (UGA 13.83)
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.90) vs. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.63)

Others who could play: Jeff Offerdahl (VU 12.60)

#11 Ohio State (15-6) at #19 Northwestern (12-6) - 6pm est - This matchup lost a little steam when Northwestern got upset Wednesday night by Rice which snapped the Wildcats 6 match winning streak. Ohio State has won 96 straight regular season Big 10 matches dating back to 2005 which happened to be the last time that Northwestern beat Ohio State.  The Buckeyes have won 12 straight in the series but this hasn't been the best year for Ohio State and its streaks because so far this year the Buckeyes 200-match home court winning streak and its 294-match top 10 streak have both been snapped.  I think the doubles point will be a key in this one because right now I see the singles courts split.  I like Torpegaard, Steinbach, and Metka at 1, 5, and 6 and Kirchheimer, Zieba, and Staggs at 2, 3, and 4.

Ohio State is a stout 17-4 in doubles though the Buckeyes have dropped the point 2 of the last 3 times out.  Northwestern is 10-8 in doubles but just 4-7 against ranked opponents.  I'll take Ohio State in doubles and therefore the match.  Prediction: Ohio State 4-3

Projected Lineups:
1. #32 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 14.03) vs. #92 Sam Shropshire (NW 13.85)
2. #44 Chris Diaz (OSU 14.01) vs. #124 Strong Kirchheimer (NW 13.75)
3. Hunter Callahan (OSU 13.88) vs. Konrad Zieba (NW 13.70)
4. #116 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.49) vs. Logan Staggs (NW 13.26)
5. #83 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.84) vs. Mihir Kumar (NW 12.93)
6. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.79) vs. Fedor Baev (NW 12.97)

Others who could play: Alp Horoz (NW 12.87)

#10 TCU (14-5) at #1 Oklahoma (17-1) - 6:30pm est - TCU brings a 5-match winning streak into this one while Oklahoma has won 7 straight.  Neither team has been too hot in doubles with Oklahoma 9-9 and TCU 10-7.  Oklahoma's strength has been its top 3 with Alvarez, Harris, and Webb a combined 37-5 in dual match play while TCU's top 3 of Chappell, Norrie, and Nunez is a combined 31-8.  Axel Alvarez has a team best 15-0 record for OU while Guillermo Nunez leads the way for TCU with a 14-0 record.  TCU has the talent to keep this one close but Oklahoma is still stronger top to bottom.  I like OU in doubles and Alvarez, Harris, and Papa in singles.  Prediction: Oklahoma 4-1

Projected Lineups:
1.  #36 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.82) vs. #2 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.59)
2.  #37 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.30)  vs. #13 Andrew Harris (OU 14.74)
3.  #76 Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.72) vs. #23 Dane Webb (OU 14.32)
4.  Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.91) vs. #65 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.15)
5.  Will Stein (TCU 13.30) vs. Spencer Papa (OU 13.81)
6.  Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.64) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.51)

Others who could play: Trevor Johnson (TCU 13.36), Jose Salazar (OU 13.72)

Other Friday storylines:

Can #23 Louisville follow up its big win over #14 North Carolina by winning in Atlanta against an upstart #73 Georgia Tech team?

Can #13 Ole Miss rebound from its loss to #34 Mississippi State by winning in Baton Rouge or does #24 LSU make it 3 conference wins in a row?

Will #3 Illinois show any mercy on #50 Penn State or will the Illini put the hammer down to make sure Penn State can't challenge anything this year?

#22 Oklahoma State has had some decent wins this year but they've yet to beat anybody in the top 25 - do they get over the hump against #7 Texas or do the Horns take it to them?

Published in Blogs
Oklahoma got pushed by TCU in singles but ultimately the Sooners had too much depth and outlasted TCU 4-1.  After OU took the doubles point they picked up 4 1st sets and ended up getting wins from Andrew Harris, Alex Ghilea, and Spencer Papa at 1, 4, and 5.  TCU's lone point came from freshman Guillermo Nunez as he hammered Dane Webb 6-3, 6-2 at #3.  The 2 remaining matches were abandoned with each early in the 3rd set.  

Oklahoma recap

"It was a good match, head coach John Roddick said. "TCU played very well and they played hard.  We got a pretty good lead on them and they forced us into third sets. Our guys competed well. Doubles was a lot better. We are really coming around there. All in all it's a good day.

Head Coach John Roddick
"Spencer did a great job getting off the court in straight sets like that, Roddick said. "I won't say that it was easy but he did a great job of taking care of business and getting us a 2-1 lead. That really put us in a good spot because we had other first sets. That gives them very little wiggle room and that was probably the biggest key to winning today.

"I think we were in good position on two courts and I'll never doubt Axel until he loses the last point, Roddick said. "We have been good at putting teams in position where they have very little margin for error. When you do that you will come out on top more often than not. We don't have a clock so you have to close them out and our guys did that.

TCU recap

"That was a good college match," head coach David Roditi said. "We played well in all our matches. When we play the No. 1 team on the road, we must capitalize on our opportunities. We lost eight games at deuce at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and we will learn from that and it will make us a better team next time out. Maybe it's the fact Oklahoma has forgotten how to lose that helped them in those situations, so they deserve credit for that.

"I thought Guillermo and Nick (Chappell) were competing exceptionally well. We have never beaten Dane Webb in a dual match and Guillermo was able to give us that point to even the match at 1-1. Now we must prepare for a tough Oklahoma State on Sunday."

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of March 26th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

#1 Oklahoma 4, #10 TCU 1
March 27, 2015 at Norman, OK
Singles competition
1. #19 Andrew Harris (OU 14.74) def. #37 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.30) 7-6(5), 6-4
2. #7 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.59) vs. #36 Nick Chappell (TCU 13.82)  5-7, 6-4, 2-3 DNF
3. #76 Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.72) def. #26 Dane Webb (OU 14.32) 6-3, 6-2
4. #65 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.15) def. Arnau Dachs (TCU 13.91) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.81) def. Will Stein (TCU 13.30)  6-4, 6-3
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.51) vs. Facundo Lugones (TCU 13.64) 6-3, 6-7(5), 3-2 DNF

Order of finish: 3, 5, 1, 4
Doubles competition
1. #6 Webb/Alvarez (OU) def. #19 Chappell/Stein (TCU)  6-1
2. Harris/Ghilea (OU) def. Norrie/Johnson (TCU)  6-3
3. Papa/Bragusi (OU) vs. Blake/Lugones (TCU) 3-4 DNF
Order of finish: 1, 2

Athens, GA:  Georgia stayed unbeaten in SEC play with a 4-1 win over Vanderbilt. Georgia took the doubles point when its #2 team of Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha snapped a 5-match losing streak with a 6-3 win and then the Bulldogs picked up singles from Austin Smith, Paul Oosterbaan, and Nick Wood with Wood providing the clincher.  Vanderbilt's Daniel Valent picked up his first career win over a top 20 opponent when he rallied from a set down to win 12 of the final 13 games to knock off #18 Nathan Pasha 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.  Valent got off the court just moments before the Wood clinch.  All other matches were abandoned with #1 singles on serve in the 3rd and #4 just splitting sets.  

The big doubles match at #1 also went unfinished.  

Georgia recap

"We faced windy conditions today, but I told the guys coming in that it was an equalizer and we needed to be tough," said Georgia coach Manuel Diaz. "I thought we did a super job out there. We played great doubles, especially at No. 3, and it was wonderful to see our No. 2 team clinch for us. The singles matches were all competitive, and I'm proud of the effort everywhere."

Said Diaz: "Austin gave us a quick point, and Paul gave us the third point to set up Nick, who lost the first set and turned that around in such a quick manner. He won the second set and got ahead 3-0 in no time, and that was tremendous and showed a lot of composure, tenacity and maturity on his part. He went on to clinch and now we'll have a day or two off before we get ready for a big road trip next week."

Vanderbilt recap

#5 Georgia 4, #17 Vanderbilt 1
March 27, 2015 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
Singles competition
1. #28 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 14.59) vs. #7 Gonzales Austin (VAN 14.47) 4-6, 7-5, 0-1, unf
2. #31 Austin Smith (UGA 14.17) def. Rhys Johnson (VAN 13.51) 6-4, 6-3
3. Daniel Valent (VAN 13.88) def. #18 Nathan Pasha (UGA 14.36) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
4. Ben Wagland (UGA 13.25) vs. Kris Yee (VAN 13.59) 3-6, 6-3, unf
5. Nick Wood (UGA 13.83) def. Suresh Eswaran (VAN 12.86) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
6. Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 13.63) def. Baker Newman (VAN 12.90) 6-1, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. #1 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) vs. #4 Gonzales Austin/Rhys Johnson (VAN) 3-4, unf
2. Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. #71 Pen Binet/Baker Newman (VAN) 6-3
3. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Suresh Eswaran/Daniel Valent (VAN) 6-1
Match Notes:
Vanderbilt 15-6 (5-4); National ranking #17
Georgia 16-2 (8-0); National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,6,3,5)

Official: Clark Weaver T-2:08 A-587

Virginia extended its ACC record winning streak to 130 with a 6-1 win over #14 North Carolina in a match that was played indoors with just 3 courts available due to a women's match being played at the same time.  Virginia took the doubles point and picked up singles wins from Ryan Shane and Mitchell Frank to lead 3-0 before North Carolina made a small push.  UNC's Jack Murray was up 2-1 in the 3rd on 3, Robert Kelly was serving for the first set on 4, and Oystein Steiro was a break up early on 5. Unfortunately for North Carolina, Virginia would respond with Collin Altamirano taking the final 5 games at #3 and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski taking 10 of the final 12 games to win on 4. UNC's lone point would come from Steiro at 5.  

Virginia recap

"In a difficult situation, playing on only three courts, the guys handled it well," said head coach Brian Boland. "I was really impressed with North Carolina. They played some great doubles. Luca Corinteli carried the day for us in the doubles and that was a big point at the start of the match. We played well from top to bottom of the lineup and we continue to improve with each match. We look forward to the next challenge, which is Sunday against a great Duke team."

North Carolina recap

#8 Virginia 6, #14 North Carolina 1                    
Doubles Competition
1. #8 Shane/Corinteli (UVA) def. #27 Steiro/Hess-Olesen (UNC) 8-6                     
2. #54 Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVa) def. Murray/Schneider (UNC) 8-2               
3. Frank/Altamirano (UVa) vs. Clark/Kelly (UNC) 6-7 DNF
Singles Competition
1. #6 Ryan Shane (UVA 14.54) def. #24 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.20) 7-5, 6-3 
2. #29 Mitchell Frank (UVa 14.89) def. #69 Brett Clark (UNC 13.74) 6-0, 6-1               
3. #55 Collin Altamirano (UVa 14.80) def. Jack Murray (UNC 13.95) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2      
4. #10 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVa 14.76) def. #99 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.59) 7-5, 6-2   
5. Oystein Steiro (UNC 13.43) def. Henrik Wiersholm (UVa 13.55) 6-3, 6-4                 
6. J.C. Aragone (UVa 13.94) def. Stuart DePaolo (UNC 12.49) 7-5, 6-1  
Match Notes:
North Carolina 14-7, 3-2; National ranking #14
Virginia 13-3, 6-0; National ranking #8
Get your dinner done early because there's some big time tennis tonight in Waco as #2 Baylor hosts #1 Oklahoma.  Baylor will have a blog running in addition to providing live scoring and streaming video so if you're around a computer check it out.  All the scoring, video, blog, twitter links are done below at the bottom of this post.

#1 Oklahoma (20-1) at #2 Baylor (17-3) - 7pm est - Oklahoma has already beat Baylor twice this year, once indoors in Chicago and once outdoors in California (box scores below), so you'd think it'd be tough to beat them again.  Since the 2nd meeting Oklahoma has played and beat #10 TCU, #9 Texas, and #29 Tulsa while Baylor hasn't played anyone substantial.  It'll be interesting to see if that lack of competition over these last 3 weeks will hurt Baylor.  The Bears will have the home court advantage with a loud, rowdy crowd cheering on every point so we'll get to see how Oklahoma handles it though they managed just fine in Columbus against Ohio State.  The teams have split the doubles point in the previous 2 meetings but I like Baylor to take the point this time around because of the influence of the crowd.

Prematch comments via Baylor:

"It's going to be a blast," head coach Matt Knoll said. "I've been here a long time and this is only going to be the second time we've ever had this situation. On top of that we'll have a No.1 vs. No. 2 match in singles as well, so it's going to be a special day. It's a big day for the program and something that we're very excited about. It's going to bring out the best in us."

"I think they're super good," Knoll said. "I think the margins are small when you go against the best teams like this. We have to focus. We have to have fight. We have to do the intangible things, and I think we're going to have a chance. Having the chance to play in front of a big crowd here is going to be a special event for our guys and build a lot of enthusiasm and momentum going into the NCAA Championships."

Baylor's preview video below

Doubles Records:
Baylor: 18-1 overall & 40-7 on all courts
Oklahoma: 12-9 overall & 33-22 on all courts

Projected Doubles Lineup with records in ( ):
1. #8 Alvarez/Webb (OU 15-4) vs. #51 Zsiga/Lupieri (BU 5-4)
2. #52 Ghilea/Harris (OU 6-5) vs. #54 Lenz/Galeano (BU 14-1)
3. Papa/Bragusi (OU 2-3) vs. Schneider/Rios (BU 12-2)

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. #2 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.76) vs. #1 Julian Lenz (BU 14.77)
2. #7 Andrew Harris (OU 14.85) vs. #31 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.12)
3. #30 Dane Webb (OU 14.24) vs. #61 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.33)
4. #70 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.19) vs. Diego Galeano (BU 13.63)
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.86) vs. #117 Mate Zsiga (BU 13.86)
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.58) vs. Felipe Rios (BU 13.83)
Also could play: Jose Salazar (OU 13.73), Vince Schneider (BU 13.51)

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of April 9th.  For more details about UTR check out their website. 

Dual-Match Singles Records:
1. Alvarez 17-0 vs. Lenz 11-2
2. Harris 12-4 vs. Lupieri 9-5
3. Webb 13-3 vs. Tchoutakian 12-5
4. Ghilea 13-2 vs. Galeano 7-3
5. Papa 9-5 vs. Zsiga 8-2
6. Bragusi 7-1 vs. Rios 12-2

Others: Salazar (7-4), Schneider (10-3)

It seems that Diego Galeano may have worked his way back into the singles lineup while Vince Schneider has sat the last few out.  It's possible that they could both play but more than likely just 1 will play.  If Axel Alvarez plays at #1 singles (Matt Knoll's comments above allude to that) we'll have a matchup between the ITA #1 and #2 players with Julian Lenz the current #1.

#1 singles - Alvarez played at #2 in both the previous matches winning fairly convincingly each time while Lenz beat Harris once and had the other match get halted by the clinch.  Alvarez has won 17 in a row and has only dropped 1 set in his last 9 matches and that's against 7 ranked opponents.  Lenz has won 4 in a row with wins over #6 Yannick Hanfmann, #7 Andrew Harris, and JUCO #1 Guy Iradukunda. Prediction: Alvarez (OU) in 3

#2 singles - Harris played at #1 in both the previous matches losing once with another not finishing while Lupieri has played at both #2 and #3 and lost badly both times. Lupieri has won 3 of his last 5 though the last 3 were against light competition.  Harris has won 4 of 5 with wins over #5 Soren Hess-Olesen, #21 Winston Lin, #22 Mitchell Frank, and #50 Cameron Norrie with the lone loss to Lenz.  Prediction: Harris (OU) in 2

#3 singles - Webb beat Lupieri in the 1st match at #3 singles and was up early in the 3rd set against Tchoutakian in the 2nd meeting while Tchoutakian dropped the 1st match at #2 against Alvarez. Webb put a stop to a 2-match slide by beating Tulsa's Matthew Kirby a week ago. Tchoutakian has won 7 of his last 8 though just 1 was against a ranked opponent (Memphis #62 Andrew Watson) while the loss was to USC's Eric Johnson. Prediction: Tchoutakian (BU) in 3

#4 singles - Ghilea roughed up Vince Schneider in the last meeting and had the huge comeback against Mate Zsiga in the 1st while Galeano sat out the last match and dropped the 1st one in 3 sets to Spencer Papa. Ghilea has won 4 straight and 6 of his last 7 and also had big leads in 2 others that went unfinished while Galeano has won 5 straight since his loss to Papa in Chicago.  Prediction: Ghilea (OU) in 2

#5 singles -  Papa beat Galeano at #4 in the 1st meeting but was trailing Zsiga in the 2nd meeting while Zsiga of course had the tough loss in the 1st meeting to Ghilea. Papa has won 4 straight with quality wins over Nick Naumann, Will Stein, and Shawn Hadavi while Zsiga won 6 in a row since his loss to Ghilea and he also led in 4 others that went unfinished.  Zsiga may be playing the best tennis on the team right now.  Prediction: Zsiga (BU) in 2

#6 singles - Bragusi knocked off Rios in the last meeting but didn't play the first while Rios did play the first and beat Jose Salazar.  Since the last meeting all 3 of Bragusi's matches have gone unfinished though he had small leads in all 3 while Rios has won his last 2 though both were against light competition.  Rios has rolled in just about all his matches this year with the exceptions being his first collegiate dual match against Ross Guignon and his matches against Oklahoma.  I think the crowd and the familiarity with the courts will push him past Bragusi this time around. Prediction: Rios (BU) in 3

I feel reasonably confident about 2, 4, and 5 but the matches at 1, 3, and 6 could all potentially swing the other way.  Oklahoma could certainly win this match but I think enough courts will fall Baylor's way to get them the upset win. Prediction: Baylor 4-3

Previous Meetings This Year:

#1 Oklahoma 4, #3 Baylor 1
Mar 22, 2015 at Indian Wells, California (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
1. #5 Dane Webb/Axel Alvarez (OU 13-2) def. #40 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU 2-4) 6-4
2. #77 Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU 12-1) def. #69 Alex Ghilea/Andrew Harris (OU 3-4) 6-2
3. Spencer Papa/Florin Bragusi (OU 1-2) def.  Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU 11-2) 6-4
1. #4 Julian Lenz (BU 14.63) def. #19 Andrew Harris (OU 14.78) 6-3, 6-2
2.  #7 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.47) def. #29 Tony Lupieri (BU 14.21) 6-1, 6-2
3. #36 Max Tchoutakian (BU 14.15) vs. #26 Dane Webb (OU 14.29) 6-3, 5-7, 0-1
4. #53 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.13) def. Vince Schneider (BU 13.50) 6-2, 6-3
5. Mate Zsiga (BU 13.86) vs. Spencer Papa (OU 13.76) 7-5, 4-2
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.59) def. Felipe Rios (BU 13.73) 7-5, 6-4
Match Notes:
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1,3)   Singles (2,4,1,6)

#2 Oklahoma 4, #10 Baylor 2
National Indoors Semifinals - Chicago, IL - February 15th, 2015
1. #40 Zsiga/Lupieri (BU) vs. #5 Alvarez/Webb (OU) 4-2
2. Lenz/Galeano (BU) def. 
Papa/Harris (OU) 6-2
3. Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. 
Salazar/Ghilea (OU) 6-1
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OU) vs. #10 Julian Lenz (BU) 6-1, 4-6, 5-5 DNF
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OU) def. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 6-4, 6-4
3. #31 Dane Webb (OU) def. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-4, 6-0
4. Spencer Papa (OU) def. Diego Galeano (BU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5. #63 Alex Ghilea (OU) def. Mate Zsiga (BU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
6. Felipe Rios (BU) def. Jose Salazar (OU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Match Notes:
Order of Finish - Doubles (3,2)  Singles (3,2,4,6,5)

#5 USC (18-3) at #27 Cal (16-5) - 6pm est/3pm pst - Both teams have cruised past Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Utah over the last 2 weeks so this one should be each's biggest test since Indian Wells.  Cal may grab the doubles point but I think USC rolls in singles.  Prediction: USC 6-1

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC 14.85) vs. #59 Andre Goransson (CAL 13.95)
2. #123 Eric Johnson (USC 14.30) vs. #74 Filip Bergevi (CAL 13.85)
3. #19 Roberto Quiroz (USC 14.47) vs. Billy Griffith (CAL 13.57)
4. #75 Max De Vroome (USC 14.06) vs. Grey Bayane (CAL 13.41) 
5. #33 Jonny Wang (USC 14.19) vs. Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.38)
6. #86 Nick Crystal (USC 13.98) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.63)

Others who could play: Mads Engsted (CAL 13.45)

#15 UCLA (13-6) at #36 Stanford (13-4) - 7pm est/4pm pst - The Pac 12 rivals will meet for the 2nd time this year after UCLA won the 1st meeting 5-2 (box score below).  UCLA has been playing much better tennis recently while Stanford is still trying to find the right lineup.  While UCLA blew out out Washington and Oregon two weeks ago, Stanford was pushed to the brink by Oregon before pulling out a 4-3 win.  I could see Stanford grabbing a court here or there but it won't be enough.  Prediction: UCLA 5-2

Projected Singles Lineup:
1. #4 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.99) vs. #41 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.32)
2. #29 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 13.91) vs. #100 John Morrissey (ST 13.95)
3. #119 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.38) vs. David Wilczynski (ST 13.84)
4. Karue Sell (UCLA 13.98) vs. Nolan Paige (ST 13.32)
5. Gage Brymer (UCLA 13.78) vs. Robert Stineman (ST 13.18)
6. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.37) vs. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.21)

Others who could play: Austin Rapp (UCLA 12.95), David Hsu (ST 13.81) 

Results of 1st Meeting:

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

#20 Mississippi State (17-5) at #21 Vanderbilt (16-6) - 6pm est/5pm cst -  Mississippi State has won 5 straight and 6 of its last 7 while Vandy has split its last 6.  Vandy has dropped the doubles point in 3 of the last 4 matches and is 15-7 overall while State has split the point the last 4 times out and is 17-4 overall.  I think Vanderbilt finds a way to take the doubles point and get singles wins from Austin, Valent, and Eswaran while State gets wins from Estevarena, Agarwal, and Cash.  Prediction: Vanderbilt 4-3

Projected Singles Lineups:
1. #73 Florian Lakat (MSU 13.89) vs. #9 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.58)
2. Juan Cruz Estevarena (MSU 13.76) vs. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.54)
3. #96 Mate Cutura (MSU 13.76) vs. #83 Daniel Valent (VU 14.00)
4. Rishab Agarwal (MSU 13.76) vs. Kris Yee (VU 13.59)
5. Tassilo Schmid (MSU 12.78) vs. Suresh Eswaran (VU 12.94)
6. Julian Cash (MSU 13.43) vs. Baker Newman (VU 12.91)

Friday Daily Schedule:
Virginia Tech at VCU - 11am est - Live Scoring
San Diego at Portland - 1pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming
Oregon at Arizona - 2:30pm est - Live Scoring
Memphis at South Florida - 3pm est - Live Scoring
Boise State at Nevada - 3pm est - Live Scoring
Georgia Tech at Virginia - 3pm est - Live Scoring & Streaming
Clemson at Notre Dame - 3:30pm est - Live Scoring
Purdue at Penn State - 4pm est - Live Scoring
Miami at Wake Forest - 4pm est - Live Scoring & Video
Florida State at NC State - 4pm est - Live Scoring & Video
Auburn at Tennessee - 4pm est - Live Scoring & UT Blog
Florida at Kentucky - 5pm est - Live Scoring
Louisville at Boston College - 5pm est - Louisville Twitter
Mississippi State at Vanderbilt - 6pm est - Live Scoring
Indiana at Ohio State - 6pm est - Live Scoring
USC at Cal - 6pm est - Cal Twitter & Streaming Video
Washington at Utah - 6pm est - Live Scoring
Oklahoma at Baylor - 7pm est - Live Scoring & Video (if outdoors) & 
The match between #1 Oklahoma and #2 Baylor had a ton of hype coming in and boy did those 2 teams deliver a classic. A huge crowd of just under 1500 was on hand in Waco along with many more following along at home via the Baylor blog and live scoreboard.

The first surprise of the day came when the doubles lineups were announced. According to Kim Gorum, who was running Baylor's terrific blog, Baylor's doubles lineups were challenged earlier in the week by the opposing coaches in the Big 12. The coaches didn't like the fact that Baylor's #1 team had a record of 5-4 while it's #2 and #3 teams were a combined 26-3.  The challenge was upheld so Baylor had to move its #2 to #1, its #3 to #2, and while they could have kept the Zsiga/Lupieri duo together at #3 they decided to switch it up and pair Max Tchoutakian with Mate Zsiga at #3.  

Despite the shuffle, Baylor still came out strong and took the doubles point with wins at 1 and 3.  The clinching win at #1 was a little harder than it could have been because Diego Galeano got broke at love when he was serving for it up 5-3 but Baylor would come back and take it in a tiebreak.

Once singles got underway, the Sooner Schooner made a lap around the complex and deposited 4 first sets in OU's bank and then it gave Axel Alvarez and Dane Webb a little extra gas to get those 2 back in their respective matches.

While 4 of the singles matches were tightly contested there were 2 that were never in doubt.  Andrew Harris would be the first to finish at #2 singles as he nearly led wire to wire in his 6-2, 7-5 win over Tony Lupieri.  Alex Ghilea would be off next as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 win at #4 over Diego Galeano.  The wins by Harris and Ghilea put Oklahoma ahead 2-1.

It looked like Baylor would tie it back up at 2 when Max Tchoutakian opened up a 5-2 lead in the 3rd set over Dane Webb at #3 singles.  Webb would hold at love to make it 5-3 then Tchoutakian went up 40-30 on his serve to give himself 2 match points.  On the first match point Tchoutakian was overruled by the chair on a baseline call and then on the second match point Tchoutakian would get overruled again this time on a shot on the opposite side of the court (per the BU blog).  I figured after getting broke under those circumstances that Tchoutakian would pack it in but he kept himself in the match and got it to a tiebreak.  Webb would fall behind 1-0 in the tiebreak but he wouldn't trail again and would take it 7-4.  The Webb victory put Oklahoma up 3-1 meaning they just needed 1 of the remaining 3 courts.

This result reminded me of Dane's come from behind win over Virginia's Thai-Son Kwiatkowski when Dane trailed 6-3, 5-3 and faced a match point on TSK's serve yet came back to win in 3.

Baylor's Felipe Rios would pull Baylor to within 3-2 when he avenged his loss to Florin Bragui by winning 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.  After Bragusi took the opening set, he would have a break lead in the second set 4 times but Rios kept breaking back before finally holding for a 5-4 lead.  Bragusi would end up going 1 for 6 on his service game in the second set because Rios would break him one more time to take the set 7-5.  Rios jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the 3rd set before Bragusi tied it up at 4 but Rios would hold and break 1 more time to take the match 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.

The matchup at #1 singles between the ITA #1 Julian Lenz and ITA #2 Axel Alvarez was everything it was built up to be.  Lenz jumped out to a double break lead in the 1st set and was serving up 4-1 but Alvarez charged back to force a tiebreak.  Alvarez would go up 4-1 in the tiebreak before Lenz himself made a comeback to win 6 straight points to take the tiebreak 7-4.  Alvarez jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the 2nd but Lenz would break back and knot it at 3.  Alvarez would break again, hold, and break yet again to take the final 3 games of the 2nd set and take it 6-3.  After Alvarez held to go up 1-0 in the 3rd, Lenz called a medical timeout to have his knee looked at before the 30-40 point.  Lenz would get broke following the timeout and then Alvarez held for 3-0. After 3 straight holds, Lenz would break Alvarez to get the match back on serve but Alvarez would then break back to go up 5-3. Lenz would then break Alvarez, who was serving for the match, but Axel finally said enough is enough and broke back to win the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 and with that Oklahoma had the win.

Seconds after the clinch, Baylor's Mate Zsiga would close out his tiebreak at #5 but it was too little too late for BU.

Sometimes my predictions may not be the best but I came about as close as possible to nailing this one on the head.  The only singles match I missed was Webb/Tchoutakain with my prediction of Tchoutakian in 3 coming up short thanks to Dane's tremendous comeback.

If this were a boxing match, somebody would be asking for a rematch.  I think we'll probably get at least 1 more from these 2 in the coming weeks.

I thought this was a cool pic that Tom Perrotta posted on twitter:

Short video clip below from Baylor:

Oklahoma recap

"It was an exciting match in a tough environment," head coach John Roddick said. "I am just glad we got out of there with a win. It was an unbelievable effort by our guys. All-in-all our mentality and our competitiveness was fantastic."

"Harris and Ghilea going through and winning and giving us two points on the board with straight-sets wins was really nice," Roddick said.

"Dane fighting off two match points is just Dane being Dane," Roddick said. "You always get that effort win or lose from Dane and 99 percent of the time he seems to come out on top in those matches. I couldn't be more proud."

"Florin had a chance to win there and he played some really good tennis," Roddick said. "He played well enough to win. Two good players played a great match and someone had to lose."

Ohio State Regional
OSU Varsity Tennis Center - Columbus, OH

[11] Ohio State (25-8) vs. [49-64] Buffalo (12-10) - Friday 1pm - #11 Ohio State got an at-large bid after losing to Illinois 4-0 in the Big 10 Championship Finals while Buffalo earned its first ever NCAA bid after beating Binghamton 4-2 in the MAC Championship. Buffalo went 0-4 on the year against ranked opponents. 

Doubles Records: Ohio State 26-7, Buffalo 11-11
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Ohio State 84, Buffalo 74

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

The UTR Power 6 is the combined UTRs of the starting 6 (rounded to a whole #).  An individual win/loss to anyone with a UTR difference of 1.0 or greater would be considered an upset.   

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #47 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 13.92) vs. Damien David (UB 12.95)
2. #49 Chris Diaz (OSU 14.27) vs. Pablo Alvarez (UB 12.46)
3. Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.56) vs. Sebastian Ionescu (UB 12.61)
4. Hunter Callahan (OSU 14.10) vs. Jonathan Hannestad (UB 12.27)
5. Kevin Metka (OSU 13.82) vs. Amar Hromic (UB 11.91)
6. #97 Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.90) vs. Sergio Arevalillo (UB 11.78)
Others who could play Matt Mendez (OSU 13.03) 

Buckeyes take the doubles point and then pick up wins from Diaz, Callahan, and Steinbach. Prediction: Ohio State 4-0

[17-32] Vanderbilt (19-7) vs. [33-48] Notre Dame (14-11) - Friday 10am - Both teams got at-large bids with #24 Vanderbilt dropping its finale 4-1 to #14 Ole Miss in the SEC quarters while #35 Notre Dame lost to #42 Georgia Tech 4-0 in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. 

Doubles Records: Vanderbilt 15-11, Notre Dame 18-7
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Vanderbilt 82, Notre Dame 81

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #10 Gonzales Austin (VU 14.58) vs. #9 Quentin Monaghan (ND 14.67)
2. Rhys Johnson (VU 13.58) vs. Josh Hagar (ND 13.57) 
3. #88 Daniel Valent (VU 14.08) vs. Eddy Covalschi (ND 12.90)
4. Kris Yee (VU 13.63) vs. Billy Pecor (ND 13.05)
5. Suresh Eswaran (VU 13.12) vs. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND 13.27)
6. Baker Newman (VU 12.90) vs. Alex Lawson (ND 13.20) 
Others who could play Kenny Sabacinski (ND 12.72) 

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) is W-L vs. ranked:
1. Austin 20-2 (12-2) vs. Monaghan 20-3 (13-3)
2. Johnson 8-10 (1-5) vs. Hager 10-12 (2-10)
3. Valent 19-3 (2-1) vs. Covalschi 6-16 (1-8)
4. Yee 7-11 vs. Pecor 7-11 (0-3)
5. Eswaran 12-9 (0-1) vs. Schnurrenberger 5-5 (0-1)
6. Newman 7-7 vs. Lawson 8-11 (0-1)

#1 singles - Austin won 9 of his last 10 while Monaghan won 12 of his last 13. Prediction: Austin (VU) in 3
#2 singles - Johnson split his last 6 while Hagar won 5 of his last 8.  Prediction: Hagar (ND) in 2.
#3 singles - Valent won 6 of his final 7 while Covalschi dropped his last 7. Prediction: Valent (VU) in 2
#4 singles - Yee splits his last 4 while Pecor lost 6 of his last 7. Prediction: Yee (VU) in 3
#5 singles - Eswaran won his last 4 while Schnurrenberger lost his last 5. Prediction: Eswaran (VU) in 3
#6 singles - 4 of Newman's last 5 matches didn't finish though he won 3 of his last 4 that did finish while Lawson lost his last 2 after winning his 3 prior. Prediction: DNF with Lawson (ND) leading.

I'll take Notre Dame in doubles and Hager in singles but I like Austin, Valent, Yee, and Eswaran for Vandy. Prediction: Vanderbilt 4-2

Texas A&M Regional
Mitchell Tennis Center - College Station, TX

[6] Texas A&M (21-4) vs. [49-64] Eastern Kentucky (18-7) - Friday 3pm - #5 Texas A&M got an automatic by beating #7 Georgia 4-2 to win the SEC Championship while Eastern Kentucky got an automatic bid for defeating Austin Peay 4-2 in the Ohio Valley Championship. Eastern Kentucky went 0-1 against ranked opponents losing to #32 Louisville 6-1.

Doubles Records: Texas A&M 21-4, Eastern Kentucky 14-9
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Texas A&M 85, Eastern Kentucky 72

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #47 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU 14.39) vs. Alex Alvaro (EKU 12.47)
2. #80 Shane Vinsant (TAMU 14.20) vs. Ramon Van Flymen (EKU 12.29)
3. #84 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU 14.38) vs. Daridge Saidi (EKU 11.70)
4. #78 Harrison Adams (TAMU 13.65) vs. Sebastian Mueller (EKU 11.91)
5. #92 AJ Catanzariti (TAMU 14.35) vs. Diogo Soares (EKU 12.13)
6. Jordi Arconada (TAMU 13.63) vs. Juanjo De La Llera (EKU 11.52)

The Colonels had a nice year but it'll come to an end in College Station as Texas A&M picks up the doubles point and wins from Efferding, Rinderknech, and Catanzariti. Prediction: Texas A&M 4-0

[17-32] Oklahoma State (16-9) vs. [33-48] New Mexico (20-10) - Friday 12pm - Both teams got at-large selections with #32 Oklahoma State getting one despite dropping 4 straight and 6 of 7 while #38 New Mexico had won 9 of 10 until being upset at home by #63 Boise State in the Mountain West semifinals.  

Doubles Records: Oklahoma State 12-11, New Mexico 17-7
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Oklahoma State 82, New Mexico 78

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #32 Jakob Sude (OKST 13.78) vs. Hayden Sabatka (NM 13.32)
2. #115 Lucas Gerch (OKST 13.68) vs. #89 Samir Iftikhar (NM 13.40)
3. #122 Arjun Kadhe (OKST 13.40) vs. Mitch McDaniels (NM 13.07)
4. Tristan Meraut (OKST 13.64) vs. Bart Van Leijsen (NM 12.85)
5. Lukas Finzelberg (OKST 13.81) vs. Augie Ge (NM 12.19)
6. Nicolai Ferrigno (OKST 13.58) vs. James Hignett (NM 12.81)
Others who could play: Jurence Mendoza (OKST 13.12), Jorge Escutia (NM 12.92)

Dual-Match Singles Records - # in ( ) is W-L vs. ranked:
1. Sude 9-8 (4-7) vs. Sabatka 15-12 (1-6)
2. Gerch 14-4 (3-2) vs. Iftikhar 7-7 (1-2)
3. Kadhe 10-9 (2-6) vs. McDaniels 15-6 (1-2)
4. Meraut 8-3 (0-1) vs. Van Leijsen 11-8 (1-0)
5. Finzelberg 9-7 (1-2) vs. Ge 7-2
6. Ferrigno 11-3 vs. Hignet 10-10

#1 singles - 4 of Sude's final 5 matches went unfinished though he has wins on the year over Notre Dame's #9 Quentin Monaghan, Texas #4 Soren Hess-Olesen, and TCU's #39 Cameron Norrie. Sabatka won 4 of his final 6 with his only ranked win coming over San Diego State's #121 Freddy Gelbrich. Prediction: Sude (OSU) in 2

#2 singles - Gerch dropped his final 3 though the opponents were #7 Andrew Harris, #49 Nick Chappell, and Hugo Dojas. Gerch has wins on the year over Texas's #42 Lloyd Glasspool and Memphis's #98 Andrew Watson.  Iftikhar split his last 8 and his best win came in his match of the year when he beat Texas Tech's #37 Felipe Soares. Prediction: Gerch (OSU) in 2.

#3 singles - Kadhe dropped his final 4 though all his opponents were ranked while McDaniels won 5 of his last 6. McDaniels spent some time at #1 earlier in the season and he beat Arkansas's #79 Giammarco Micolani and took TCU's #49 Nick Chappell to a 3rd set. Prediction: McDaniels (NM) in 2.

#4 singles - Meraut dropped his final 3 and missed most of April with an injury while Van Leijsen won 6 of his last 7 and beat Texas Tech's #117 Alex Sendegeya earlier in the year. Prediction: DNF with Meraut (OSU) leading.

#5 singles - Finzelberg dropped his final 3 but had won 5 of 6 prior while Ge played 4 matches in April going 1-0 with 3 others that didn't finish. Prediction: Finzelberg (OSU) in 2.

#6 singles - Ferrigno won 3 of his last 4 though he took a bad beating in his final match against TCU's Will Stein losing 6-0, 6-1 while Hignet lost his last 4 though he'd won the 5 prior. Prediction: Ferrigno (OSU) in 2.

I'll take New Mexico in doubles and I like McDaniels at 3 for the Lobos but it's all Okie State everywhere else with Sude, Gerch, Finzelberg, and Ferrigno all rolling in straight sets. Prediction: Oklahoma State 4-2
Published in Blogs
Thursday, 04 February 2016 15:13

ITA Women's National Team Indoor Preview

The second-largest team tournament in collegiate tennis behind the NCAAs is the ITA National Team Indoor event. 15 schools advanced in Kick-Off Regionals to join host Wisconsin in Madison in the prestigious event that lasts from Friday through Monday. Last year, North Carolina dropped only 2 points in its 4 matches to clinch its 2nd title in 3 years. Lots of questions come into the tournament - can UNC match its title run after two of its three stars left? Can Vanderbilt show the world that its NCAA title isn't a fluke? Will UGA turn its consistency into a national title? Will a new team emerge from Madison as a top-tier team?

Round of 16 Preview

(1)#1 Vanderbilt vs. #15 Duke
Vanderbilt got one of the worst first-round matchups in the entire tournament, playing a Duke team that won this event most recently in 2014. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Duke pull off the stunner. The (obvious) key to this match is doubles, which can go either way with the quicker format. In singles, Capra and Sharma are near locks for Duke and Vanderbilt, respectively. Francis Altick has had an incredible past 8 months and is considered the favorite against a tough Kaitlyn McCarthy. The match can be decided at the bottom three and the No.4 line is basically a coin flip and at No.5, Georgina Sellyn is due for a huge win in her comeback from injury.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 4-3; Both teams are so close in ability, I'm very excited to see how this one progresses. The reigning NCAA champions may have just enough confidence to squeak by in a very tight encounter.

Vanderbilt vs. Duke
1. #11 Colton/Campbell vs. #26 Capra/Hamlin
2. Sharma/Yates vs. Harris/McCarthy
3. Altick/Contreras vs. Scholl/Smith

1. #24 Sydney Campbell (11.14 UTR)  vs. #28 Beatrice Capra (11.51 UTR)
2. #15 Frances Altick (11.65 UTR) vs. #29 Kaitlyn McCarthy (11.58 UTR)
3. #33 Astra Sharma (11.25 UTR)  vs. #79 Chalena Scholl (10.58 UTR)
4. Courtney Colton (11.06 UTR) vs. Samantha Harris (10.93 UTR)
5. Georgina Sellyn (9.79 UTR) vs. #70 Ellyse Hamlin (11.26 UTR)
6. Fernanda Contreras (10.99 UTR) vs. Jessica Ho (10.27 UTR) 

(8)#16 Ohio State vs. #30 Fresno State
Both teams advanced to Madison in Regionals they traveled to, but Fresno State was the lone No.3 seed and they stunned #9 UCLA en route to victory. Ohio State went to TCU as the highest-ranked team in their Regional, but was awarded the No.2 seed. Fresno State vaulted to #30 from #54 in the latest ITA poll thanks to their win, while OSU hit a program-best #16. The Buckeyes recently traveled to Michigan and defeated their rival 4-2 indoors for an extra confidence boost. The No.1 singles match between DiLorenzo and M.Sherif Ahmed is the highlight of the entire match and the Bulldogs could sneak a surprise win at No.2 singles

Prediction: Ohio State
 4-0; The Buckeyes are on fire and running on the highest confidence and will be no match for Fresno State. OSU is extremely well-trained indoors and will snag the win before the Bulldogs can sink their teeth.

Ohio State vs. Fresno State
1. #6 Sanford/Kowase vs. Sherif Ahmed/Sherif Ahmed
2. DeSantis/Angeles Paz vs. #58 Watts/Watts
3. Sneed/DiLorenzo vs. Malysheva/Noble

1. #2 Francesca DiLorenzo (12.03 UTR) vs. #26 Maiar Sherif Ahmed (10.56 UTR)
2. Gabriella DeSantis (10.28 UTR) vs. Sophie Watts (10.17 UTR)
3. Anna Sanford (10.59 UTR) vs. Rana Sherif Ahmed (9.66 UTR)
4. Miho Kowase (10.34 UTR) vs. Galina Bykova (9.86 UTR)
5. Ferny Angeles Paz (10.53 UTR) vs. Emma Wilson (9.38 UTR)
6. Olivia Sneed (9.83 UTR) vs. Sofya Malysheva (8.45 UTR) 

(4)#6 California vs. #NR Wisconsin
California's lineup is one of the highest-quality in the country, especially with the addition of Maria Smith in January. The Bears won their rain-delayed Regional, while Wisconsin gets in as the host wildcard. Lauren Chypyha has evolved greatly as a player throughout her time in Madison, but Cal's depth is extraordinary deep compared to Wisconsin. I think the Badgers will improve from their last season or two and the experience they get by playing 3 matches against Top 20 teams will be influential in that.

Prediction: California
 4-0; Cal is on another level compared to Wisconsin and should cruise into the quarterfinals.

California vs. Wisconsin
1. #3 Manasse/Starr vs. Chypyha/Kirsch
2. #43 Fabikova/Hauger vs. Rider/Stepanova
3. Chi/Smith vs. Burich/Grambeau

1. #5 Maegan Manasse (11.63 UTR) vs. #66 Lauren Chypyha (10.65 UTR)
2. #10 Klara Fabikova (11.37 UTR) vs. Ekaterina Stepanova (9.95 UTR)
3. Lynn Chi (11.21 UTR) vs. Kendall Kirsch (9.86 UTR)
4. Denise Starr (11.19 UTR) vs. Maria Avgerinos (9.70 UTR)
5. #81 Olivia Hauger (10.99 UTR) vs. Kelsey Grambeau (9.01 UTR)
6. Karla Popovic (10.57 UTR) vs. Sydney Rider (8.98 UTR) 

(5)#7 Texas A&M vs. #9 Virginia
The biggest news of the last week was the announcement that five players from Virginia's squad were suspended for violation of team rules. It was said that players left their hotel room for a snowball fight as a winter storm approached, but there have been rumblings that things were deeper for the decision. After an upset loss to South Carolina with only 5 players, UVA inserted a lineup with everyone minus Skylar Morton and Cassie Mercer, which could've make the Cavalier lineup even stronger. Texas A&M can push Virginia, but have to cause some upsets to have a fighting chance to upset, even though they're the favorites on paper.

Prediction: Virginia
 4-1; This match is on Virginia's racquet. If the players suspended are reinstated, UVA will have enough depth to conquer the Aggies.

Texas A&M vs. Virginia
1. Pierson/Paalma vs. #19 Collins/Kelley
2. Bhosale/Mamalat vs. Elbaba/Nauta 
3. Gavrilovska/Gonzalez vs. Olivarez/Susi 

1. #53 Saska Gavrilovska (11.12 UTR) vs. #4 Danielle Collins (12.04 UTR)
2. #58 Rachel Pierson (10.81 UTR) vs. #8 Julia Elbaba (11.83 UTR)
3. #106 Rutuja Bhosale (10.72 UTR) vs. #30 Stephanie Nauta (10.88 UTR)
4. Eva Paalma (10.08 UTR) vs. Victoria Olivarez (10.04 UTR)
5. Domenica Gonzalez (10.69 UTR) vs. Maci Epstein (10.39 UTR)
6. Ines Deheza (10.65 UTR) vs. Meghan Kelley (10.20 UTR)

(3)#5 North Carolina vs. #13 Alabama

North Carolina always brings their best team for the Indoor tournament, but this will be their first big test without Jamie Loeb and Caroline Price. Alabama is a good first test for the Tar Heels, as they play strong doubles and can push in singles. 2-time reigning NCAA doubles champ Maya Jansen has been sitting out (with an injury, I presume) and not having her in the lineup works extremely well in UNC's favor. Look for Hayley Carter and Andie Daniell to have a strong tournament individually. I'm also looking at Kate Vialle, who has quietly moved up the Tar Heel lineup and contributed greatly in her time.

Prediction: North Carolina
 4-0; Looking at their lineup, I just realized how stacked North Carolina is. They have another ranked player at No.7 and then Ashley Dai at No.8. The loss of Jansen is a costly one for the Crimson Tide, but they could give some teams a freight in the backdraw.

North Carolina vs. Alabama
1. #2 Carter/Kay vs. #48 Routliffe/Daniell
2. #16 Aney/Vialle vs. Spielmann/Savva
3. Dai/Ouellet-Pizer vs. Dunn/Greene

1. #6 Hayley Carter (11.73 UTR) #vs. 63 Erin Routliffe (10.83 UTR)
2. #88 Whitney Kay (10.76 UTR) vs. #41 Andie Daniell (11.31 UTR)
3. Kate Vialle (10.54 UTR) vs. Joanna Savva (9.65 UTR)
4. #68 Jessie Aney (11.20 UTR) vs. Danielle Spielmann (10.56 UTR)
5. Marika Akkerman (10.81 UTR) vs. Natalia Maynetto (10.02 UTR)
6. #112 Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (10.58 UTR) vs. Aryn Greene (8.89 UTR)

(6)#10 Oklahoma State vs. #T-18 LSU
Chris Young's OSU Cowgirls have constantly improved every year and it's nice to see them utilize their talent into a Top 10 program. It's also nice to see Julia Sell bring the LSU Tigers back into the Top 20. She brings the No.1 recruiting class for next fall with star signing Raveena Kingsley still committed. LSU will need to capture the doubles points to and probable wins in singles at Nos. 1, 5 and 6. I don't see Lushkova and Laurente dropping their matches, while the No.2 match looks to be the tipping point. Not much separates the two teams, but OSU and their talent in the middle of the lineup is a hair stronger.

Prediction: Oklahoma State
 4-1; OSU is incredibly consistent throughout their lineup with possibly their No.6 spot a "weakness." LSU will grit out a point (or two), but the Cowgirls will march on in a close encounter.

Oklahoma State vs. LSU
1. #27 Katarina Adamovic (10.60 UTR) vs. #23 Joana Vale Costa (11.20 UTR)
2. #38 Vladica Babic (10.94 UTR) vs. #52 Jessica Golovin (10.93 UTR)
3. #46 Viktoriya Lushkova (10.69 UTR) vs. #93 Skylar Kuykendall (10.59 UTR)
4. #89 Kelsey Laurente (10.73 UTR) vs. Ryann Foster (10.30 UTR)
5. Katarina Stresnakova (10.60 UTR) vs. Abby Owens (10.66 UTR)
6. Carla Tur Mari (10.24 UTR) vs. Ella Taylor (10.39 UTR)

1. #9 Laurente/Alavarez vs. Vale Costa/Foster
2. #23 Lushkova/Tur Mari vs. Kuykendall/Owens
3. Adamovic/Babic vs. Holloway/Taylor

(7)#11 Miami vs. #12 Michigan
If I were a betting man, I'd put good money down that this could be one of the longer matches of this first round. Miami's team is full of claycourt-style players who will outgrind and extend rallies to debilitate their opponents. Unfortunately, they play a Michigan team who plays indoors nearly year-round. It's a nice matchup for both teams and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of my picks turn out to favor the other side. This is another match where the doubles point is crucial and will affect the winner of this match.

Prediction: Miami 
4-3; The 1-2 duo of Lohan and Wagner are too strong this year and they will power the Hurricanes into the quarterfinals

Miami vs. Michigan
1. #7 Sinead Lohan (11.86 UTR) vs. #17 Ronit Yurovsky (11.24 UTR)
2. #9 Stephanie Wagner (11.71 UTR) vs. #19 Brienne Minor (11.37 UTR)
3. Clementina Riobueno (10.60 UTR) vs. #107 Kate Fahey (10.96 UTR)
4. #80 Wendy Zhang (10.82 UTR) vs. Mira Ruder-Hook (10.04 UTR)
5. Clara Taniellian (10.15 UTR) vs. Alex Najarian (10.42 UTR)
6. Ana Madcur (10.39 UTR) vs. Sara Remynse (9.92 UTR)

1. Wagner/Zhang vs. Ruder-Hook/Minor
2. Lohan/Madcur vs. Yurovsky/Fahey
3. Fuentes/Riobueno vs. Remynse/Najarian

(2)#2 Georgia vs. #17 Texas Tech
Although they're a championship-calibre team from the South, UGA is a strong indoor squad. As the 8th seed last year, they battled their way to a tight runner-up finish. I'm very impressed with the year Ellen Perez has had, as well as the strong rise of Caroline Brinson. While they proud a solid Top 2 for the Dawgs, I think the key for a big run sits on Silvia Garcia. The Spaniard has had such a great career in Athens, but last year hit a down point at the NTI, going winless in singles. Alex Valenstein could grab a W for Texas Tech at No.5, but I'm having trouble finding two other points for the Red Raiders to score the upset. Should UGA remain healthy and armor themselves with the right mindset, they have a very strong chance to return to the NTI final.

Prediction: Georgia 
4-0; Georgia's consistency guides them to many Final Fours and other deep runs and they'll be too strong for the Red Raiders.

Georgia vs. Texas Tech
1. #12 Ellen Perez (11.61 UTR) vs. #77 Gabriela Talaba (11.09 UTR)
2. #22 Caroline Brinson (11.26 UTR) vs. Lynn Kiro (10.50 UTR)
3. #82 Silvia Garcia (10.98 UTR) vs. Sarah Dvorak (10.86 UTR)
4. #109 Kennedy Shaffer (11.23 UTR) vs. Sabrina Federici (10.55 UTR)
5. Mariana Gould (10.46 UTR) vs. Alex Valenstein (10.28 UTR)
6. Laura Patterson (9.79 UTR) vs. Felicity Maltby (10.81 UTR)

1. #14 Perez/Gould vs. Kiro/Talaba
2. Garcia/Brinson vs. Dvorak/Valenstein
3. Patterson/Shaffer vs. Federici/Maltby

You can visit Wisconsin's home page for the National Team Indoors here.

Published in Blogs
Going into last night's match Memphis had dropped 14 of its last 15 against Vanderbilt with its last win over Vandy coming back in 2012. Now they can say they've taken split the last four meetings after coming away with a 5-2 win on Thursday night.

Memphis took the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3 and then took three opening sets in singles with five singles matches in progress at the five court indoor facility. Ryan Peniston was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-2 win at #2 and then Kai Lemke made it 3-0 Tigers with a 6-2, 7-6 win at #4. Vandy's Daniel Valent put the Commodores on the board with a 7-6, 6-1 win at #1 but a short while later Felix Rauch clinched it with a 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 win at #5.

They played the remaining matches out with Vanderbilt's Baker Newman winning at #3 and Memphis's Shakeel Maji winning at #6.

#37 Memphis 5, #27 Vanderbilt 2
February 4, 2016 at Nashville, TN (Currey Tennis Center)
1. Cameron Klinger/Rhys Johnson (Vanderbilt) def. Kai Lemke/Louis Asser (Memphis), 6-4
2. Ryan Peniston/Felix Rauch (Memphis) def. Pen Binet/Ryan Smith (Vanderbilt), 6-4
3. Andrew Watson/Shakeel Manji (Memphis) def. Baker Newman/Daniel Valent (Vanderbilt), 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2 *
1. #64 Daniel Valent (Vanderbilt 14.03) def. #87 Andrew Watson (Memphis 13.84), 7-6 (1), 6-1
2. Ryan Peniston (Memphis 14.00) def. Rhys Johnson (Vanderbilt 13.17), 6-2, 6-2
3. Baker Newman (Vanderbilt 13.29) def. Chris Patzanovsky (Memphis 12.90), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Kai Lemke (Memphis 13.40) def. Cameron Klinger (Vanderbilt 13.75), 6-2, 7-6 (4)
5. Felix Rauch (Memphis 12.57) def. Kris Yee (Vanderbilt 13.18), 0-6, 6-1, 6-2
6. Shakeel Manji (Memphis 12.40) def. Ryan Smith (Vanderbilt 12.66), 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
Order of finish: 2, 4, 1, 5*, 3, 6

SMU overcame the loss of the doubles point by winning all 10 completed sets in singles to knock off Texas A&M Corpus Christi 4-1. Hunter Johnson, Samm Butler, Nate Lammons, and Markus Kerner won at 1, 2, 3, and 4 for the Mustangs in a match that was moved indoors due to weather.

#51 SMU 4, #65 Texas A&M Corpus Christi 1
Feb 04, 2016 at Dallas, Texas 
Singles competition
1. Hunter Johnson (SMU 13.31) def. Kevin Bettendroffer (TAMCC 13.19) 6-3, 6-1
2. Samm Butler (SMU 13.73) def. Ricardo Mayagoitia (TAMCC 13.14) 6-2, 6-2
3. Nate Lammons (SMU 13.88) def. Guillaume Rauseo (TAMCC 12.73) 6-3, 6-2
4. Markus Kerner (SMU 12.98) def. Javier Pujol (TAMCC 12.34) 6-2, 6-0
5. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU 13.82) vs. Arthur Bedel (TAMCC 12.24) 7-5, 5-1, unf
6. Yates Johnson (SMU 13.16) vs. Paul Cook (TAMCC 12.21) 7-5, 3-2, unf
Doubles competition
1. Kevin Bettendroffer/Arthur Bedel (TAMCC) def. Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-4
2. Yates Johnson/Hunter Johnson (SMU) def. Ricardo Mayagoitia/Guillaume Rauseo (TAMCC) 6-0
3. Mitchell Cook/Paul Cook (TAMCC) def. Arkadijs Slobodkins/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) 6-3
Match Notes
Texas A&M Corpus Christi 5-1; National ranking #65
SMU 4-2; National ranking #51
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,3,2,1)

Post-Match Quotes from SMU's recap
"It was a really hard fought match and Corpus Christi has won their conference tournament nine years in a row and they've consistently ranked in the top 60 over those nine years and they came out firing today, said Head Coach Carl Neufeld. "I thought we actually played pretty good doubles but in a six game set anything can happen, we lost a couple of no-ad points and next thing you know we're down a doubles point which we aren't used to.

"I told the guys that it was a blessing, last year we lost a couple of doubles point and when it happened it's such a big shock because we aren't used to it, said Neufeld. "We came back and fought so well and I thought all the guys played well and I'm really proud of the team with their fantastic effort and a great win.

Post-Match Quotes from aTm CC's recap
Head Coach Steve Moore - On taking the doubles point
"We got off to a great start by winning the doubles point. I thought we brought tremendous spirit and tenacity at the beginning of the match." 

On the turning point - "We lost some momentum by letting sets slip away at 5 and 6. The key indoors against a team like that was going to be keeping it close so they weren't playing their 'A'-game with freedom. " 

On growing from first loss - "Give SMU credit, they are extremely tough and physical indoors. They say you're either winning or you're learning. We definitely learned a lot about things we need to improve to beat team of this caliber. We'll see this level of team over and over this season. This is tough group of guys and a high character group that I really believe in. I know they are going to fight through this and be better for it. Tonight presents a great opportunity to get better." 

On getting back to the courts tomorrow - "College tennis is about every player playing every point with intensity. Once you get to a certain level, it's about who can get all six guys to play each point with intensity. We look forward to a renewed challenge tomorrow at St. Edward's and the opportunity maxing out everything we can."

Published in Blogs
Saturday, 06 February 2016 03:42

Women's NTI Day 1: Top 4 Seeds Blank Out Opponents

I'll gladly take a solid 6/8 correct on Day 1 with one match going 4-3 and the other a match I thought would be as tight as it could get.

I think the story of the day was how competitive doubles was for nearly every match. Three of the eight doubles points were decided by a tiebreaker (Vanderbilt/Duke, Ohio State/Fresno State and Virginia/Texas A&M). With the 6-game, no-ad scoring format, does doubles have the same psychological effect on teams after a close point? Jonathan Kelley from On The Rise is covering the event for ZooTennis and you can read his recap with quotes here.

Someone in the comments pointed out how Florida, Stanford, USC and Baylor elected to skip the NTI to schedule their own tough matches and prepare differently for the off-season. Should teams who skip be penalized come NCAA seeding time and does it put an asterisk next to the champion's name? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

(1)#1 Vanderbilt def. #15 Duke 4-0
I'm a little surprised that Vanderbilt put a clinic on Duke in singles. After a tight doubles point, Vanderbilt took 5 opening sets and took it to another level. Sydney Campbell's win over Beatrice Capra wasn't an upset on paper, but it's a statement win for the Commodore seeking to be among the nation's best. Chalena Scholl was a point from a UTR upset against Frances Altick, who was swapped with Astra Sharma in the lineup, but the match was called before the junior could grab one of the biggest wins of her collegiate career. Vanderbilt will need another quick start against Ohio State to push them forward in the tournament.

Vanderbilt vs. Duke 
1. #11 Colton/Campbell (VAN) vs. #26 Capra/Hamlin (DUKE), 6-1
2. Sharma/Yates (VAN) def. Harris/McCarthy (DUKE), 7-6(7-1)
3. Scholl/Smith (DUKE) def. Altick/Sellyn (VAN), 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*

1. #24 Sydney Campbell (VAN, 11.21 UTR) def. #28 Beatrice Capra (DUKE, 11.53 UTR) 6-3, 6-1
2. #33 Astra Sharma (VAN, 11.26 UTR) def. #29 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE, 11.66 UTR), 6-4, 6-2
3. #79 Chalena Scholl (DUKE, 10.56 UTR) #15 Frances Altick (VAN, 11.68 UTR), 6-3, 5-3, unfinished
4. Courtney Colton (VAN, 11.07 UTR) def. Samantha Harris (DUKE, 10.87 UTR), 6-4, 6-4
5. Georgina Sellyn (VAN, 10.05 UTR) vs. #70 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE, 11.21 UTR), 6-2, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
6. Ellie Yates (VAN, 10.17 UTR) vs. Jessica Ho (DUKE, 10.26 UTR), 6-4, 4-4, unfinished
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 4*

(8)#16 Ohio State def. #30 Fresno State 4-2
The doubles point of the day by far goes to the Fresno State Bulldogs, who saved a combined 9 match points in the Top 2 positions to claim the first get of the match. Unfortunately, Ohio State stormed back by taking 5 of the 6 first sets and quickly went up 3-1 before Sophie Watts took the match at No.2 singles. Anna Sanford, whose younger sister had a stellar run at the $100k ITF event in Midland this week, clinched the match at No.3. Miho Kowase was a game from clinching as well when play was called off. For the Buckeyes to have any chance against Vanderbilt, a positive start with the doubles point is crucial.

Ohio State vs. Fresno State
1. Sherif Ahmed/Sherif Ahmed (FSU) def. #6 Sanford/Kowase (OSU), 7-6(11-9)
2. #58 Watts/Watts (FSU) def. DeSantis/Angeles Paz (OSU), 7-5
3. Sneed/DiLorenzo (FSU) def. Malysheva/Noble (FSU), 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1*

1. #2 Francesca DiLorenzo (OSU, 12.05 UTR) def. #26 Maiar Sherif Ahmed (FSU, 10.64 UTR), 6-2, 6-1
2. Sophie Watts (FSU, 10.18 UTR) def. Gabriella DeSantis (OSU, 10.31 UTR), 6-3, 6-3
3. Anna Sanford (OSU, 10.62 UTR) def. Rana Sherif Ahmed (FSU, 9.69 UTR), 7-6(7-2), 6-1
4. Miho Kowase (OSU, 10.37 UTR) vs. Galina Bykova (FSU, 9.92 UTR), 6-2, 5-4, unfinished
5. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU, 10.61 UTR) def. Emma Wilson (FSU, 9.34 UTR), 6-3, 6-0
6. Olivia Sneed (OSU, 9.85 UTR) def. Anneka Watts (FSU, 9.35 UTR), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 1, 2, 3*

(4)#6 California def. #NR Wisconsin 4-0
I assumed that this match would be one of the least competitive of the Round of 16, but I was pleasantly surprised with how Wisconsin competed. Lauren Chypyha rose to the occasion and was leading #5 Manasse before play was called. Stepanova also battled hard in her second set after getting blown out in the first. Unfortunately, that was all that highlighted the Badger's first NTI outing in front of their home crowd as Cal steamrolled in the middle of the singles lineup. Tomorrow's match vs. Virginia will be a tall task for the Bears and their hunt towards a National title.

California vs. Wisconsin
1. #3 Manasse/Starr (CAL) def. Chypyha/Kirsch (WIS), 6-2
2. #43 Fabikova/Hauger (CAL) def. Rider/Stepanova (WIS), 6-3
3. Chi/Smith (CAL) def. Burich/Grambeau (WIS), 5-3, unfinished
Order of Finish: 1, 2*

1. #66 Lauren Chypyha (WIS, 10.67 UTR) vs. #5 Maegan Manasse (CAL, 11.65 UTR), 7-5, 1-1, unfinished
2. #10 Klara Fabikova (CAL, 11.40 UTR) vs. Ekaterina Stepanova (WIS, 10.01 UTR), 6-0, 4-5, unfinished
3. Lynn Chi (CAL, 11.25 UTR) def. Kendall Kirsch (WIS, 9.87 UTR), 6-3, 6-1
4. Denise Starr (CAL, 11.23 UTR) def. Maria Avgerinos (WIS, 9.77 UTR), 6-1, 6-1
5. #81 Olivia Hauger (CAL, 11.01 UTR) def. Sydney Rider (WIS, 8.96 UTR), 6-1, 6-1
6. Karla Popovic (CAL, 10.60 UTR) vs. Lauren Burich (WIS, 8.92 UTR), 6-1, 4-1, unfinished
Order of Finish: 4, 5, 3*

#7 Virginia def. (5)#9 Texas A&M 4-1
Virginia put up a surprisingly solid test against Texas A&M, who can surprise any team on any day. Although they're missing two key players due to suspension, the Cavaliers still managed to snatch five of the opening sets in singles and storm away with the win. It's worth noting that Danielle Collins, someone who struggles indoors, battled back from 6-1, 3-0 down to win the second set and force a third until play was called. Julia Elbaba handled the awkward situation of playing a former teammate well and pushed out Rachel Pierson to claim the first singles point. Meghan Kelley announced her return to the lineup by clinching the win at No.5 and putting UVA in the quarterfinals against Cal.

Texas A&M vs. Virginia
1.#19 Collins/Kelley (UVA) def. Pierson/Paalma (TAMU), 6-3
2. Elbaba/Nauta (UVA) def. Bhosale/Mamalat (TAMU), 7-6(7-5)
3. Gavrilovska/Gonzalez def. Olivarez/Wingo (UVA), 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*

1. #4 Danielle Collins (UVA, 12.10 UTR) vs. #53 Saska Gavrilovska (TAMU, 11.15 UTR), 1-6, 7-5, 1-0, unfinished
2. #8 Julia Elbaba (UVA, 11.78 UTR) def. #58 Rachel Pierson (TAMU, 10.77 UTR), 6-2, 6-4
3. #30 Stephanie Nauta (UVA, 10.94 UTR)  def. #106 Rutuja Bhosale (TAMU, 10.72 UTR), 6-4, 6-1
4. Eva Paalma (TAMU, 10.21 UTR) def. Victoria Olivarez (UVA, 10.06 UTR), 6-3, 6-3
5. Meghan Kelley (UVA, 10.22 UTR) vs. Domenica Gonzalez (TAMU, 10.54 UTR), 7-5, 6-2
6. Erica Susi (UVA, 10.10 UTR) def. Ines Deheza (TAMU, 10.55 UTR), 7-6(7-4), 1-3, unfinished
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 3, 5*

(3)#5 North Carolina def. #13 Alabama 4-0

As I mentioned in yesterday's preview, the lineup of North Caroline is just too strong for a team like Alabama. UNC's doubles, one of the nation's best, shined against the Crimson Tide and led to a strong finish in singles. Hayley Carter was the player of the match, clinching both doubles and singles points and dropping only 6 games total. Whitney Kay also had a strong match in singles, leading Andie Daniell before UNC captured the victory. The Tar Heels are looking very good to at least make the championship match and their quarterfinal against LSU will have a few hiccups, but they will march on.

North Carolina vs. Alabama
1. #2 Carter/Kay (UNC) def. #48 Routliffe/Daniell (BAMA), 6-2
2. #16 Aney/Vialle (UNC) def. Spielmann/Savva (BAMA), 6-0
3. Dai/Ouellet-Pizer (UNC) vs. Dunn/Greene (BAMA), 5-3, unfinished
Order of Finish: 2, 1*

1. #6 Hayley Carter (UNC, 11.73 UTR) def. #63 Erin Routliffe (BAMA, 10.85 UTR), 6-1, 6-3
2. #88 Whitney Kay (UNC, 10.76 UTR) vs. #41 Andie Daniell (BAMA, 11.34 UTR), 6-2, 3-4, unfinished
3. Kate Vialle (UNC, 10.54 UTR) vs. Joanna Savva (BAMA, 9.69 UTR), 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
4. #68 Jessie Aney (UNC, 11.20 UTR) def. Danielle Spielmann (BAMA, 10.58 UTR), 6-0, 6-3
5. Marika Akkerman (UNC, 10.81 UTR) vs. Natalia Maynetto (BAMA, 10.03 UTR), 6-6, unfinished
6. #112 Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (UNC, 10.58 UTR) def. Aryn Greene (BAMA, 8.89 UTR), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 1*

#T-18 LSU def. (6)#10 Oklahoma State 4-3
The first match of the day was the only one to go to the complete distance and ended in the first upset of the tournament. Oklahoma State unsurprisingly took the doubles point, but LSU retaliated by snagging five opening sets. The match that ultimately decided the match was Ryann Foster's win over Kelsey Laurente, which completed first. The rest of the match remained in tight contention and it began to be known that it would be decided at No.6 singles. Tur Mari served for the second set, but Taylor bounced back by breaking the Cowgirl serve consecutively to put the Tigers into a surprise quarterfinal. 

Oklahoma State vs. LSU
1. #9 Laurente/Alavarez (OSU) vs. Vale Costa/Foster (LSU), 4-4, unfinished
2. #23 Lushkova/Tur Mari (OSU) def. Kuykendall/Owens (LSU), 6-1
3. Adamovic/Babic (OSU) def. Holloway/Taylor (LSU), 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3*

1. #23 Joana Vale Costa (LSU, 11.20 UTR) def. #27 Katarina Adamovic (OSU, 10.60 UTR), 7-5, 6-4
2. #38 Vladica Babic (OSU, 10.94 UTR) def. #52 Jessica Golovin (10.93 UTR), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. #46 Viktoriya Lushkova (OSU, 10.69 UTR) def. #93 Skylar Kuykendall (10.59 UTR), 6-3, 6-4
4. Ryann Foster (LSU, 10.30 UTR) def. #89 Kelsey Laurente (OSU, 10.73 UTR), 6-1, 6-3
5. Abby Owens (LSU, 10.66 UTR) def. Katarina Stresnakova (OSU, 10.60 UTR), 6-1, 7-6(7-5)
6. Ella Taylor (LSU, 10.39 UTR) def. Carla Tur Mari (OSU, 10.24 UTR), 7-5, 7-5 
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 5, 2, 1, 6*

#12 Michigan def. (7) #11 Miami 4-2
While the doubles point went down to the wire, all three matches were whitewashes for the winner. However, the opposite could be said for the singles matches. Miami took the momentum when they captured 3 opening sets and the first two singles points. Freshman Brienne Minor stunned Stephanie Wagner to tie things at 2-2. Ronit Yurovsky battled back from a set down to upset Sinead Lohan and clinch the win for the Wolverines, who clearly clearly showed how seasoned they are indoors compared to a team like Miami. Michigan's quarterfinal against Georgia could be just as close and exciting as their match against the Hurricanes. The big question mark is the bottom of the lineup (for both teams), as well as who can manage their doubles better.

Miami vs. Michigan
1. Ruder-Hook/Minor (MICH) def. Wagner/Zhang (MIA), 6-2
2. Yurovsky/Fahey (MICH) def. Lohan/Madcur (MIA), 6-1
3. Fuentes/Riobueno (MIA) def. Remynse/Najarian (MICH), 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*

1. #17 Ronit Yurovsky (MICH, 11.25 UTR) def. #7 Sinead Lohan (MIA, 11.86 UTR), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #19 Brienne Minor (MICH, 11.39 UTR) def. #9 Stephanie Wagner (MIA, 11.65 UTR), 6-2, 6-4
3. #107 Kate Fahey (MICH, 10.98 UTR) def. Clementina Riobueno (MIA, 10.70 UTR), 7-5, 6-3
4. Mira Ruder-Hook (MICH, 10.07 UTR) vs. #80 Wendy Zhang (MIA, 10.92 UTR), 6-4, 4-6, 3-1, unfinished
5. Clara Taniellian (MIA, 10.30 UTR) def. Alex Najarian (MICH, 10.43 UTR), 6-4, 6-2
6. Ana Madcur (MIA, 10.55 UTR) def. Teona Velehorschi (MICH, 10.16 UTR), 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 2, 3, 1*

(2)#2 Georgia def. #17 Texas Tech 4-0
One reader mentioned that Hannah King, who adds a great deal of depth, will be out of UGA's lineup for a few months. After a slight test in doubles, Georgia was able to clinch the match before Texas Tech could grab a point at Nos. 5 and 6, two weak spots for the doubles. Caroline Brinson had the match of the day in my opinion, double bageling Lynn Kiro, who is extremely underrated. If UGA wants any shot at a title, the trio of Brinson, Ellen Perez and Kennedy Shaffer will be instrumental in keeping the Bulldogs afloat this season. The match against Michigan will give them plenty of tests to gauge their depth and consistency.

Georgia vs. Texas Tech
1. #14 Perez/Gould (UGA) vs. Kiro/Talaba (TT), 6-5, unfinished
2. Garcia/Brinson (UGA) def. Dvorak/Valenstein (TT), 6-3
3. Patterson/Shaffer (UGA) def. Federici/Maltby (TT), 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3*

1. #12 Ellen Perez (UGA, 11.57 UTR) vs. #77 Gabriela Talaba (TT, 11.06 UTR), 6-1, 6-2
2. #22 Caroline Brinson (UGA, 11.32 UTR) vs. Lynn Kiro (TT, 10.60 UTR), 6-0, 6-0
3. #82 Silvia Garcia (UGA, 11.10 UTR) vs. Sarah Dvorak (TT, 10.85 UTR), 6-2, 2-5, unfinished
4. #109 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA, 11.33 UTR) vs. Sabrina Federici (TT, 10.65 UTR), 6-2, 6-3
5. Alex Valenstein (TT, 10.31 UTR) vs. Mariana Gould (UGA, 10.50 UTR), 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
6. Felicity Maltby (TT, 10.78 UTR) vs. Laura Patterson (UGA, 10.05 UTR), 6-2, 5-5, unfinished
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 4*

Day 2 Predictions
No. 1 Vanderbilt def. No. 8 Ohio State 4-2
No. 2 Georgia def. Michigan, 4-0
No. 3 North Carolina def. LSU 4-0
Virginia def. No. 4 California 4-3

I think Vanderbilt will struggle against Ohio State and possibly lose the doubles point, but their lineup is just a shade stronger than the Buckeyes and that'll be the difference. Georgia will have trouble against Michigan, but I think they will grab a shutout before the Wolverines can claw their way back. UNC is looking extremely good in this tournament, while LSU may not have enough firepower to overcome the Tar Heels. My upset of the day will go to Virginia, who will need to shine in doubles and the Top 3 singles positions. The key in that match is No.2 between the powerful Fabikova and the consistent Julia Elbaba.

Consolation Draw
No. 5 Texas A&M def. Wisconsin 4-1
No. 6 Oklahoma State def. Alabama 4-0
No. 7 Miami (FL) def. Texas Tech 4-1
Duke def. Fresno State 4-0

The consolation matches will be more straightforward tomorrow. I'll call Chypyha to steal a point in singles, but Texas A&M will cruise otherwise. Oklahoma State's doubles and Top 4 singles players will be too much for Alabama to power down. Texas Tech will throw a lot at Miami (possibly the doubles point and maybe a singles win as well), but the Hurricanes are solid enough to grab the W. Duke had the worst draw of the tournament and had the potential to upset Vanderbilt and they should cruise through Fresno State.

You can visit Wisconsin's home page for the National Team Indoors here.
Published in Blogs
Sunday, 14 February 2016 10:27

Women: #6 Ohio State Outlasts #5 Vanderbilt

I was fortunate enough to return to the Varsity Tennis Center to watch The Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in an all-Top 6 matchup.

The Buckeyes, coming off of their stellar ITA Indoor debut, hosted a rematch against reigning NCAA champions Vanderbilt. OSU, then-#16, upset the top-ranked Commodores 4-3 in the NTI quarterfinals with Miho Kowase defeating Courtney Colton 6-4 in the third set. The Buckeyes moved to another program-high (No.6) ranking this week, while VU dropped to No.5. Another tight encounter was expected and the match was a 3.5 hour battle between two teams that could vie for the NCAA title.

Doubles: Vanderbilt captured the doubles point last week, but it was the Buckeyes who were able to strike first. On court 1, Anna Sanford and Kowase got revenge for their lost match points against Colton and Sydney Campbell and took their set, 6-3. Sanford's power and Kowase's variety to follow through at the net really showed in this match and there were some good points from both teams that ended with some great volleys. Olivia Sneed and Francesca DiLorenzo, named to the ITA NTI All-Tournament Team, clinched the doubles point and improved to 8-0 as a duo with a 6-4 win over Frances Altick and Francesca Contreras on court 3. Gaby DeSantis and Ferny Angeles Paz went up a quick 4-1 against Astra Sharma and Ellie Yates on court 2, but the Commodores held match point before play was called.

6. Olivia Sneed (OSU, 10.05 UTR) def. Fernanda Contreras (VAN, 11.01 UTR), 6-1, 6-1
In my opinion, Olivia Sneed is one of the more underrated players on the team and one of the best No.6 players in the country. A player on court 6 usually has a backboard style of player, wearing down their opponent. Sneed powers through the ball and that's what she did against Contreras, who was having an off day. I wasn't able to see much of the match and Sneed didn't help by cruising through her match without any trouble. The only glimmer of hope Contreras had today was when she broke to open the match, but Sneed settled down not too long after to score a near-UTR upset and put the Buckeyes up 2-0.

4. Miho Kowase (OSU, 10.46 UTR) vs. Georgina Sellyn (VAN, 10.28 UTR), 6-2, 6-2
A phrase to describe Kowase is "small, but mighty." The 5'1 junior from Japan was the hero in the win over Vanderbilt and faced a different opponent in Georgina Sellyn. Sellyn was the No.1 player for Vanderbilt two years ago, but an ankle injury required surgery and her return was halted by a wrist injury that unfortunately resulted in a surgery as well. Sellyn came back last month and won her first 5 matches before falling to Ferny Angeles Paz in a titanic second set. After a tight first few games, Kowase kept Sellyn on her back feet and would move forward into the net. I don't think Kowase lost any of the no-ad sudden death points, but her win put Ohio State one point from victory.

3. #16 Frances Altick (VAN, 11.61 UTR) def. Gabriella DeSantis (OSU, 10.33 UTR), 6-3, 6-3
This match was tighter than the score indicated and was another rematch, but both players pushed down to the No.3 slot. Last week, DeSantis stole the first set before Altick dialed in to take the match in 3. Altick broke to open the match, but DeSantis powered through the next three games. Altick, Vanderbilt's highest-ranked player, swept DeSantis to take a set and a 3-0 lead in the second. Although DeSantis battled, the majority of the sudden death points went in favor of Altick and the Commodores took their first point.

2. #22 Astra Sharma (VAN, 11.31 UTR) def. Anna Sanford (OSU, 10.81 UTR), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Astra Sharma, who was named the No.3 singles player to the ITA NTI All-Tournament Team, routed Sanford, 6-2, 6-2 last week but Sanford's aggressive game overpowered the Aussie in the first set. Once Sharma calmed down, she started to open up the court to keep Sanford out of her comfort zone. Sharma took the second set and cruised to a 5-1 lead in the third set before Sanford stopped the bleeding. There's a reason why Sharma was the MVP at last year's NCAA Championships and it's her ability to find a Plan B and chip at her opponents. Her three-set win kept Vanderbilt alive and put pressure on OSU's remaining court.

5. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU, 10.64 UTR) def. Courtney Colton (VAN, 10.99 UTR), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-2)
If there was any player looking to gain revenge against OSU, it was definitely Colton. She moved down to the No.5 spot and used an early break to take the first set. Angeles Paz took Colton's first service game, which was enough to steal set two and put momentum back in the Buckeye's favor. Angeles Paz went up *5-2 in the third set at the same time Vanderbilt tied the second set 5-5 on court 1. All eyes moved to court 5 and Angeles Paz had a match point at sudden death, but pushed her first groundstroke wide to give Colton the break. Colton easily held to give Angeles Paz another chance to serve for the win at *5-4. Again, the game went to sudden death and a long, 14-stroke rally ended with a gutsy overhead from Colton to tie things up. Angeles Paz then broke again to serve for the match a third time, but was broken to move things into a third set tiebreaker. Angeles Paz went up 4-0 in the tiebreaker before Colton took her first point. At 6-1*, Colton threw in an aggressive 1-2 punch to save her third match point, but fourth time was the charm for Angeles Paz to seal the team win on a Colton backhand error. I feel for Colton who battled hard when the match was basically on her shoulders in an episode of deja vu. She fought extraordinary and was a class act given the circumstances.

1. #20 Sydney Campbell (VAN, 11.30 UTR) vs. #1 Francesca DiLorenzo (OSU, 11.98 UTR) 6-7(4-7), 7-5, 4-3, unfinished
By far, this was the match of the day and it was a shame the match couldn't finish. This was the first match for DiLorenzo since she took over the No.1 ranking, the first in Ohio State (women's) history. This match had the biggest difference in game styles and the crowd (and both players) really got into it. DiLorenzo plays a counterpunching style, sliding on the court and making the other player finish the points most of the time. Campbell, on the other hand, was the most aggressive player from Vanderbilt today. There were no breaks of serve in the first set, but DiLorenzo had to save a set point at *4-5 deuce before taking the tiebreaker. DiLorenzo then went up *5-2 in the second set and held a match point the next game at deuce, but Campbell played a perfect aggressive point, ending with a forehand winner to save. Campbell rallied to take the second set 7-5, but the first three games of the third were breaks. Campbell then held for 3-1 before DiLorenzo took the next two games to tie things up. When the match was clinched, Campbell had just broken for a *4-3 lead and the match was suspended. 

Takeaways: It's no surprise to see Vanderbilt take the Nos. 2 and 3 wins, but I was very impressed with Campbell. While DiLorenzo is probably the frontrunner for the NCAA singles title, Campbell showed she can be included in the race if she plays like she did today. The Top 3 from Vanderbilt are incredibly stacked and although their two losses are to Ohio State, I think they're the one of the favorites to win the SEC along with Florida and possibly Georgia. Ohio State looks pretty good to win the rest of their schedule and set up a Big Ten Championship bid vs. Michigan. The Buckeyes have a tight-knit team chemistry and the makeup of a championship-calibre team. Their doubles is strong and a win from DiLorenzo is near-guaranteed. While their lower half of the lineup is strong, they'll need consistency from Sanford and DeSantis, who can beat nearly anyone on their good day. 
The match was a good match for the fans and was highly entertaining. Unfortunately, I think the quality could've been higher with regular advantage scoring for singles. I think sudden death does bring on another dramatic factor and forces the player to really keep their eyes on the prize, but there was so much good tennis today that it felt like the winning player escaped the game lucky. I expect both of these teams to reach the NCAA quarterfinals and with the right draw (and the right magic), could really shock some teams. 

#6 Ohio State def. #5 Vanderbilt 4-2
1. #8 Sanford/Kowase (OSU) def. #6 Colton/Campbell (VAN), 6-3
2. Sharma/Yates (VAN) vs. DeSantis/Angeles Paz (OSU), 5-4, unfinished
3. Sneed/DiLorenzo (FSU) def. Altick/Contreras (VAN), 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 1*

1. #20 Sydney Campbell (VAN, 11.30 UTR) vs. #1 Francesca DiLorenzo (OSU, 11.98 UTR) 6-7(4-7), 7-5, 4-3, unfinished
2. #22 Astra Sharma (VAN, 11.31 UTR) def. Anna Sanford (OSU, 10.81 UTR), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. #16 Frances Altick (VAN, 11.61 UTR) def. Gabriella DeSantis (OSU, 10.33 UTR), 6-3, 6-3
4. Miho Kowase (OSU, 10.46 UTR) vs. Georgina Sellyn (VAN, 10.28 UTR), 6-2, 6-2
5. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU, 10.64 UTR) def. Courtney Colton (VAN, 10.99 UTR), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-2)
6. Olivia Sneed (OSU, 10.05 UTR) def. Fernanda Contreras (VAN, 11.01 UTR), 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 3, 2, 5*

Up next:
Ohio State: vs. #24 Georgia Tech, February 14th at 12:00pm EST
Vanderbilt: at #25 Northwestern, February 14th at 12:00pm EST
Published in Blogs
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