Displaying items by tag: Virginia

What a crazy day it was on Sunday with not one, not two, but three regional hosts going down. The day started off in College Station with the resumption of Saturday's match between Texas A&M and Texas and it finished in Lubbock with SMU kicking the door down and stunning Texas Tech.

When the season started if you told me that Texas would be in Tulsa for the NCAA Round of 16 I would have told you to go see a doctor. Well Texas made a believer of me and many today after going into enemy territory and knocking off Texas A&M in a 4-3 thriller.

The match originally began on Saturday but after Texas A&M took the doubles point the match was stopped early in singles due to rain. Play resumed Sunday morning at 11am central and within a matter of minutes Texas had five first sets in the bag after Rodrigo Banzer, Adrian Ortiz, and George Goldhoff closed out sets on 4, 2, and 1.

Texas senior Michael Riechmann put the first point on the board for the Longhorns after he defeated Jackson Withrow at No. 5. Riechmann took the opening set on Saturday but it looked like Withrow was going to get an early break in the second. Withrow had three break points on Riechmann's 1-2 service game but Riechmann fought all of them off to hold for 2-2. Riechmann would then break Withrow on the deciding point to go up 4-3 and then three games later he'd close it out with an ace down the T from 40-15 to win it 6-4, 6-4.

Texas sophomore Adrian Ortiz would make it 2-1 after he pulled away from A&M senior Shane Vinsant at No. 2. When play began Vinsant was serving at 4-5 and he'd fight off a set point on the deciding point to even it at 5-5. Ortiz held for 6-5 and then broke Vinsant at love to take the opening set 7-5. Ortiz put the hammer down in the second set and raced out to a 5-0 lead and would hit a service winner on match point to take it 7-5, 6-1.

Texas freshman Harrison Scott would make it 3-1 Horns after he defeated A&M sophomore Jordi Arconada at No. 3. Scott took the opening set 6-3 and then he broke Arconada to go up 2-1 in the second. Arconada would reel off five in a row to take the second set 6-2 but he'd get broke to start the third set. Scott would add a second break to go up 5-2 and then he'd serve it out to win it 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

So Texas had a 3-1 lead but things were getting tense elsewhere. A&M's Arthur Rinderknech was serving 3-3, 40-40 in the third at 1, A&M's Harrison Adams was serving 4-1 in the third at 4, and A&M's Max Lunkin was serving for the match up 5-4 in the third at 6. It looked like A&M might come back and steal it and they would come oh so close.

Harrison Adams would hold serve two more times from 4-1 to close out Rodrigo Banzer at No. 4 to make it 3-2. Banzer looked like he might get off the court in straight sets when he led 6-2, 2-0 but Adams won four straight games to go up 4-2 and would end up getting the split by taking the set 6-4. Adams broke Banzer to start the third set but Banzer would break back to even it at 1-1. Adams broke again, this time on the deciding point, to go up 2-1 and then he'd break again to go up 4-1

Max Lunkin was serving 5-4, 40-30 in the third against Julian Zlobinsky at No. 6 but the Texas sophomore managed to break to knot it at 5-5. Lunkin quickly broke back and then he'd finally close the door on Zlobinsky to win it 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

As Lunkin was closing out Zlobinsky, Texas junior George Goldhoff was serving for the match at No. 1. Just 25 minutes earlier Goldhoff trailed Arthur Rinderknech 3-0 in the final set but Goldhoff managed to win five straight to go up 5-3. On the pivotal 3-3, 40-40 point that I mentioned above Rinderknech double faulted to put Goldhoff up 4-3. Rinderknech stopped the bleeding and held for 4-5 but Goldhoff quickly went up 30-0 on his next service game. Rinderknech was able to push it to the deciding point and then he'd get the break after Goldhoff couldn't handle a second overhead. Rinderknech would hold from 40-30 to go up 6-5 but Goldhoff would hold at love to send it to a match deciding tiebreak.

Goldhoff went up a mini-break at 1-0 but Rinderknech took the next four to go up 4-1. Goldhoff would then take the next five to go up 6-4 but a loose forehand error put it back on serve at 6-5. I'll let the video clip show you how it finish:


Texas is back in the Round of 16 for the third consecutive year and will next face Ohio State on Friday afternoon at 10am eastern.

#18 Texas 4, #12 Texas A&M 3
May 15, 2016 at College Station, TX (Mitchell Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #68 George Goldhoff (UT) def. #18 Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5) 
2. Adrian Ortiz (UT) def. #52 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 7-5, 6-1 
3. Harrison Scott (UT) def. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
4. Harrison Adams (TAMU) def. Rodrigo Banzer (UT) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 
5. Michael Riechmann (UT) def. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Max Lunkin (TAMU) def. Julian Zlobinsky (UT) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
Doubles competition
1. #89 Aleksandre Bakshi/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. G Goldhoff/M Riechmann (UT) 7-6 (7-3)
2. Adrian Ortiz/Julian Zlobinsky (UT) def. Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) 6-4
3. Max Lunkin/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. John Mee/Harrison Scott (UT) 6-4
Match Notes:
Texas 19-11; National ranking #18
Texas A&M 27-10; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,2,3,4,6,1)
NCAA Second Round, College Station Regional
Match postponed to Sunday due to weather

Post-Match Quotes from A&M's recap

Texas A&M Head Coach Steve Denton on the match
"It was a rollercoaster ride, it looked like after we won the doubles point yesterday like we had some momentum and then the rain delay. After the delay they came out and hit us in the mouth and got way ahead and we were able to battle our way back into the match today. They just came up with the shots at the end, I thought George [Goldhoff] was a little bit more aggressive, certainly at the end of the tiebreaker than Arthur was and that was the difference."

On coming back to tie the match at three-all
"We got down 3-1 and Harry came through for us. He got on top and started winning some off the key points in second and third sets. He won some three-all points which he was not doing in the first set and then Max hung in there and stayed the course. I knew it was going to be a close match it didn't shock me it was a 7-6 in the third last match on. That seems to be how we play these matches against a lot of teams especially when so much is on the line and the fact that we are playing to go to Tulsa. Everything was heightened and our guys gave their best effort, Texas just played a little bit better today."

Post-Match Quotes from Texas's recap:

Head Coach Michael Center on today's win
We beat a very good Texas A&M team who had an outstanding season on its home courts today. I'm so proud of how our guys stuck together and fought so hard. All we have talked about throughout this season has been 'Let's be a great team.' We repeated that phrase again in our preparation for today's match, and we really kept our focus on competing hard and being resilient. We didn't focus on winning certain matches and having to get results from certain people in our lineup. We kept our mindset on competing during every point, and we're obviously very excited for this victory.

On George Goldhoff's play to seal the victory
You have to give George a ton of credit for hanging in there when there were so many momentum swings in his match. He actually got down 3-0 to start the third set and battled back to win five straight to go up 5-3. He served for the match at 5-4 and was up 30-love, and he also had a match point in that game. Even when it was 5-5 and he was receiving serve, he was in control of some points. All of a sudden he's down 6-5, and I was so proud of the way he came back and served out the next game to force the tiebreak. Then you go to the tiebreak and he gets down 4-1 and it doesn't look good. But again, George fights back to go up 6-4. He played a little tentative on the next point, but to see him come back and hit the winner at 6-5 was a great moment.

On the play of the entire lineup today
We first have to give credit to Michael Riechmann and his win (at 5 singles) that got us off to a great start in singles. He was able to get a victory against probably the best player in the A&M lineup at his position and a sixth-year senior (Jackson Withrow) who held a 17-3 record entering the match. To see that score go up early today gave us a much-needed spark. Adrian Ortiz (at 2 singles) and Harrison Scott (at 3 singles) also gave us huge wins, and both Rodrigo (Banzer) and Julian (Zlobinsky) really fought hard in their three-set matches. We did not give A&M anything easy. I also want to give a shout-out to the Texas women's tennis team and their win at Duke on Saturday. We definitely discussed their win in getting ready for today and how we needed to join them in Tulsa, so they provided our group with some great inspiration.

On watching the team celebrate on the court after the win
That celebration is the culmination of an entire season of hard work by our players and staff. We lost five guys from our lineup after last year, and this young team has grown up so much over the course of the season. We've learned a lot from some of the close losses that we had, and we've grown from our wins as well. To know where we started this year and to see the emotion of our players here today after this win, it's a great feeling.

George Goldhoff on the final points of the tiebreaker
That might have been the craziest moment of my life. I was down 4-1 and my opponent (Rinderknech) had a pretty big serve, so there was only so much I could do. I just had to fight for every point. That's all you can do. I took it one point at a time and just tried to execute the best I could.  He double-faulted at four-all, and it all happened really fast after that. I was up 5-4 and then 6-4, and it hit me all at once that the next point was for the entire match. On that point, I had a pretty easy forehand at mid court but I netted it. On the last point, he got his serve in, and I got the return back. I mishit a ball and hit it a little deep, but he hit it back short. I had a backhand and I put it away. It was just surreal.

George Goldhoff on reaching the Round of 16
Everybody was counting us out. We had lost five of six (singles) starters and people didn't think we were even going to make the NCAAs. This group of guys took that personally. We worked really hard to come back and prove everyone wrong.  I just can't put it into words what this group of guys has done.  The team stepped up, and we weren't going to rebuild. We wanted to get back to where we were last year. We're keeping it one match at a time, but it's huge to beat one of your biggest rivals on their courts. It's an incredible feeling. I can't put it into words how much this means to me.

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Stanford had been knocking on the door all year only to be turned away time after time but on Sunday afternoon they finally got someone to answer and pulled off a surprising 4-3 win over Northwestern.

Stanford dropped the doubles point for only the sixth time this year after Northwestern picked up a 7-5 win at No. 1 and a 6-2 win at No. 2. Each team picked up three first sets in singles and all but one of them would finish in straight sets.

Stanford took a 2-1 lead after wins from Sameer Kumar and Maciek Romanowicz at No. 5 and No. 6 but Northwestern went ahead 3-2 after both Sam Shropshire and Strong Kirchheimer won at No. 2 and No. 3.

Stanford's Nolan Paige tied the match at 3-3 with a win at No. 4 so it'd all come down to No. 1 to decide it.

Stanford's Tom Fawcett appeared to have the opening set in control when he led Konrad Zieba 5-1 but Zieba reeled off six straight games to steal the set 7-5. Fawcett dominated the second set and took it 6-0 and then went ahead 2-0 in the third. Zieba held for 1-2 then Fawcett held and broke to go up a double break at 4-1. Zieba broke back and then came back from 0-40 down to hold for 3-4. It'd be all holds from there as Fawcett held to win it 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.

Stanford will be making its first Round of 16 appearance since 2012 and will face UCLA for the fourth time this season on Friday night at 8pm eastern.


Jonathan Kelley was in Evanston and will most likely have a report on his site On The Rise so make sure you keep an eye out for it.

#29 Stanford 4, #14 Northwestern 3
May 15, 2016 at Evanston, Ill. (Vandy Christie Tennis Center)
Singles Competition
1. #15 Tom Fawcett (STAN) def. #20 Konrad Zieba (NU) 5-7, 6-0, 6-4
2. #40 Sam Shropshire (NU) def. Michael Genender (STAN) 6-3, 6-4
3. #57 Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. #87 David Wilczynski (STAN) 6-0, 6-4 
4. Nolan Paige (STAN) def. Fedor Baev (NU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Sameer Kumar (STAN) def. Ben Vandixhorn (NU) 6-1, 7-5
6. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) def. Alp Horoz (NU) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles Competition
1. Fedor Baev/Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. #23 Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) 7-5 
2. Konrad Zieba/Sam Shropshire (NU) def. David Wilczynski/Nolan Paige (STAN) 6-2
3. Sameer Kumar/Yale Goldberg (STAN) def. Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar (NU) 6-4
Match Notes:
Stanford 16-10; National ranking #29
Northwestern 26-5; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,5,3,2,6,1) 
NCAA Tournament Regional Final
Stanford Advances to Round of 16 in Tulsa, Okla. 
Official: John Coleman 
T-3:12 A-414

Post-Match Quotes from NU's recap
"We had a great year," head coach Arvid Swan said. "We will let this one sting a little, but we are going to be back next year ready to go."

"Great group of guys," Swan said. "I feel real excited for what the future holds for our program."
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SMU pulled off the biggest surprise of the day when the 30th ranked Mustangs went to Lubbock and beat No. 8 Texas Tech 4-2. SMU took the doubles point for the 22nd time in 30 tries with a 6-3 win at No. 1 and a 7-5 win at No. 3.

SMU took four opening sets in singles and Hunter Johnson and Samm Butler would win in straight sets to make it 3-0. Texas Tech got a straight set win from Bjorn Thomson at No. 6 and Jolan Cailleau would win in three sets at No. 4 to cut the deficit to 3-2.

SMU redshirt senior Nate Lammons shook off a rough second set and pulled away from Hugo Dojas in the third set to clinch the match with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win.

The Mustangs are back in the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 and will face Florida on Friday at 1 p.m. eastern. 


#30 SMU 4, #8 Texas Tech 2
05/15/16 at Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center)
Singles Competition
1. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU) def. #19 Felipe Soares (TT) 6-4, 6-2
2. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU) def. #98 Hugo Dojas (TT) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
3. Samm Butler (SMU) def. Alex Sendegeya (TT) 6-1, 6-3
4. Jolan Cailleau (TT) def. Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
5. Connor Curry (TT) vs. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) 4-6, 6-2, 3-4, unfinished
6. Bjorn Thomson (TT) def. Yates Johnson (SMU) 6-4, 6-4
Doubles Competition
1. #31 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU) def. Alex Sendegeya/Bjorn Thomson (TT) 6-3
2. Connor Curry/Felipe Soares (TT) vs. #54 Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) 6-6 (0-1), unf.
3. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU) def. Carlos DiLaura/Hugo Dojas (TT) 7-5
Match Notes:
SMU 22-8; National ranking #30
Texas Tech 28-6; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,3,6,4,2)
2016 NCAA Lubbock Regional - Second Round
T-2:35 A-220

Post-Match Quotes from SMU's recap
"This was a tremendous all-around team win for us," said Head Coach Carl Neufeld. "It's only fitting that our 5th-year senior Nate Lammons sealed the win for us. There is too much to say about him, having graduated with his undergrad and master's in Engineering, missing his commencement because of the tournament and advancing us to the Sweet 16 is fantastic."

"This match had all the drama, including a four and a half hour rain delay, them being the co-Big 12 champions and only have lost one home match in two years coming into today," said Neufeld. In singles, to beat a team like this at the top three spots and two of those players being ranked is an incredible feat and I couldn't be happier and proud for guys."

Post-Match Quotes from Texas Tech's recap
"Definitely not the way we wanted to end our season, Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. "It's very disappointing. I'm at a loss for words right now. We didn't play at the level we've played at all year. We broke down mentally in a lot of ways and weren't there for the fight that SMU gave us. Give credit to them they stepped up and took it to us. We just weren't ready to counter them in a few spots. Credit to SMU and congratulations to them.

"When you're getting beat down, I hope you can show some toughness, Masi said. "Bjorn and Jolan have been tough all year. They've stayed out there the whole time and given us their all. Bjorn has had a great first season. You're going to see a lot of great things from this kid for years to come. The future is bright which is a huge positive for our program.

"Today obviously wasn't our best, Thomson said. "I just want to say thank you to the whole team for making me part of the family, and a thank you to my coaches. My first season was so much better than I expected it to be. We lost today, but we've made some memories this season. We've got to push forward from here.

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Florida's hot streak continued as the Gators rode the momentum from the doubles point to pick up three straight set wins to defeat South Florida 4-0.

Florida's Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson picked up a 6-4 win at No. 1 but USF's Dominic Cotrone and Peter Bertran won 6-4 at No. 2. USF's Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz served for the match at No. 3 up 5-4, 40-30 but Florida's Alfredo Perez and Chase Perez-Blanco broke for 5-5 and then held to go up 6-5. Florida would break Roberto Cid's serve to win it 7-5.

Florida took four opening sets in singles and Gordon Watson, Alfredo Perez, and McClain Kessler each won in straight sets with Kessler clinching the match at No. 6. Below are some video highlights from Florida (if you don't see anything change my site address from https to http)


Florida will now face SMU in the Round of 16 in Tulsa on Friday afternoon at 1pm eastern. This will be Florida's fifth NCAA Round of 16 appearance in the last seven years.

#9 Florida  4, #17 South Florida 0
May 15, 2016 at Ring Tennis Complex (Linder Stadium)
Singles Competition
1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (FLA) vs. #2 Roberto Cid (USF) 6-4, 3-3, unfinished
2. #53 Alfredo Perez (FLA) def. Sasha Gozun (USF) 7-5, 6-1
3. #47 Dominic Cotrone (USF) vs. #37 Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
4. Peter Bertran (USF) vs. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished
5. Gordon Watson (FLA) def. Ignacio Gonzalez Mun (USF) 6-2, 6-4
6. McClain Kessler (FLA) def. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) 6-3, 7-5
Doubles Competition
1. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (FLA) def. #28 Vadym Kalyuzhnyy/Sasha Gozun (USF) 6-4 
2. Dominic Cotrone/Peter Bertran (USF) def. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-4
3. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) def. Roberto Cid/Ignacio Gonzalez Muniz (USF) 7-5
Match Notes:
South Florida 21-9; National ranking #17 
Florida 20-6; National ranking #9 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,6) 
NCAA Second Round

Post-Match Quotes from Bryan Shelton via Florida's recap
"I saw a confident group. First off, I would just like to say that South Florida came out and played some really good tennis and had a great season. It was a tough draw to face them in the second round. We knew that it was going to be a tough test. Our guys just came in with a lot of confidence. I think throughout these past five or six weeks we have gathered some momentum. It is definitely showing in our doubles play. Our guys are having fun playing and if we get down a little bit, our guys don't flinch. We just keep playing. I think that is the belief and the trust between these guys and in one another.

Our seniors at one are just leading the way in doubles and in singles as well. I think Diego and Gordon are playing about as well as you can in your senior campaign. That is really special. Our freshman core, McClain and Alfredo, they just keep producing for us. They compete and they work and they do all the little things out there that give us a change to be successful. Elliott and Chase, as well, were just out there battling today. So, it was a team win and victory.

I am really proud of our guys and really happy for all those that have been supporting us all year and our support staff. I am fortunate to be working with great coaches in Scott Perelman and Mark Merklein, just really thankful for the opportunity and to be able to move on."

Post-Match Quotes from South Florida's recap
"We knew it was going to be a tough match today, have to give it to Florida for hanging around when their backs were against the wall in doubles and it paid off big, said head coach Matt Hill. "We had two match points in doubles at three, right after winning at two and they saved those two points, that was really the turning point in doubles.

"We were up in some of the matches but Florida was too good today, said Hill. "We know they are a good team, they are SEC champions and we have a lot of respect for them.

"They (senior class of Cid, Cotrone, Gonzalez-Muniz, Dzib) changed the image and the brand of this program in college tennis, said Hill. "Now people have a lot of respect for our program, especially now that we have been in the mix. We've done some really good things over the last few years because of these guys, so all the credit goes to them.
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Virginia advanced to the Round of 16 for the 13th consecutive year with a tough 4-1 win over No. 37 Penn State. The Hoos took the doubles point for the 26th time in 30 tries with 6-3 wins at No. 1 and No. 3 while the match at No. 2 was on serve at the time of the clinch.

Virginia won all six first sets in singles and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Alexander Ritschard, and J.C. Aragone would each win in straight sets with Aragone clinching at No. 5.

Penn State's Leo Stakhovsky, brother of ATP professional Sergiy, defeated the reigning NCAA Champion Ryan Shane 7-5, 7-6(6).

Both of the other matches were abandoned with each in a second set tiebreak.  Below are some video highlights from NBC29 in Cville (if you don't see anything change my site address from https to http)

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Virginia will next face No. 16 Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. eastern on Friday afternoon.

#1 Virginia 4, #37 Penn State 1
May 15, 2016 at Charlottesville, Va. (Snyder Tennis Center) 
Singles competition
1. Leo Stakhovsky (PSU) def. #8 Ryan Shane (VA) 7-5, 7-6(6)
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA) vs. C. De La Bassetiere (PSU) 6-4, 6-6 (2-1*), unf.
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. Matt Barry (PSU) 6-1, 6-0
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) 6-1, 6-3
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Aws Laaribi (PSU) 6-4, 7-6(6)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) vs. Marc Collado (PSU) 6-4, 6-6 (5-5), unf.
Doubles competition
1. #4 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) def. David Kohan/C. Lutschaunig (PSU) 6-3
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) vs. Matt Barry/Leo Stakhovsky (PSU) 4-5, unf
3. J.C. Aragone/Collin Altamirano (VA) def. Matt Galush/Aws Laaribi (PSU) 6-3
Match Notes
Penn State 22-9; National ranking #37
Virginia 26-4; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (3,4,1,5)
NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Second Round
T-2:30 A-284

Post-Match Quotes from UVA's recap
"I am happy for the guys to advance as I think this is certainly an exciting team," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "When we go to Tulsa, we are going to need to play a little better than we did today and make sure we finish matches. We made it a little bit harder for ourselves today than I thought we needed to, but at the same time, I like how we played the first half of the match. For whatever reason, we struggled to finish and were out there a little bit longer. Credit to Penn State for the great job they did, the great season they had and how hard they fought. They kept battling and made it hard for us. We are going to have to continue to get better over the next five days and play at a more-intense, focused level, but I know we will be ready come Friday."

Post-Match Quotes from Penn State's recap
"I am really proud of our team today, said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "We played hard against the defending National Champions in Virginia. Ending the season is never easy but I end it being proud in Penn State and these men.

"This match was crazy close, you really had to be here to see it, said Coach Zinn. "There were multiple courts that went to close tiebreaks. The last three courts went to second-set tiebreaks that could have easily gone our way to push into a third set. A lot of it came down to the matches in doubles. We were close but couldn't hold on.

"Leo had the best win of his career today and what a way to end it, said Coach Zinn. "He beat the reigning National Champion in Ryan Shane. Overall, our singles players played well against a stacked Virginia team."

"Congratulations to Virginia on a well played match, said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. "We had chances in singles but the defending National Champs were there to fight us the entire way. It has been an incredible year with this team. We were fortunate enough to have four incredible seniors who will leave a legacy with this team. The 2016 Penn State men's tennis team will be missed as a group.

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Ohio State ran its record to 32-2 and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 11th consecutive year with a tough 4-2 win over No. 33 Virginia Tech.  The Buckeyes won the doubles point for the 30th time in 34 tries with 6-3 win at No. 1 and No. 3.

Each team took three first sets in singles and Ohio State's Herkko Pollanen would be the first off the court with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mitch Harper at No. 5. VT's Edoardo Tessaro countered with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Ralf Steinbach at No. 4 and then Andreas Bjerrehus tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Chris Diaz at No. 2.

Ohio State freshman Martin Joyce ran his dual-match record to 19-0 with a 6-4, 7-6(2) when over Jai Corbett at No. 6 in a match that finished within seconds of the Bjerrehus/Diaz match at No. 2.

Ohio State redshirt freshman Hugo Di Feo would get the clincher at No. 3 with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 win over Amerigo Contini. The match at No. 1 was abandoned with Mikael Torpegaard and Joao Monteiro just splitting sets though in the video below Ty Tucker said that Torp was cramping late in the second set.


Ohio State will face Texas for the second time this season on Friday morning at 10 a.m eastern. The Buckeyes blanked Texas 4-0 back on January 31 though Texas got the best of Ohio State the last time they met in Tulsa which came in the quarterfinals of the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Ohio State recap
Virginia Tech recap

#5 Ohio State 4, #33 Virginia Tech 2
May 15, 2016 at Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center)
Singles competition 
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) vs. #14 Joao Monteiro (VT) 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, unfinished
2. #72 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. #88 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-2, 7-5
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. #107 Amerigo Contini (VT) 5-7, 6-1, 6-2
4. #77 Edoardo Tessaro (VT) def. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 7-5, 6-4
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. Mitch Harper (VT) 6-3, 6-4
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Jai Corbett (VT) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
Doubles competition 
1. #22 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) def. #21 A Bjerrehus/Joao Monteiro (VT) 6-3
2. #44 Ralf Steinbach/Martin Joyce (OSU) vs. Amerigo Contini/Edoardo Tessaro (VT) 4-4, unf
3. Matt Mendez/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Jai Corbett/Mitch Harper (VT) 6-3
Match Notes: 
Virginia Tech 18-9; National ranking #33
Ohio State 32-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,4,2,6,3) 
NCAA Tournament Second Round
Official: Jerii Banks  T-2:29  A-254

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Georgia advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 13th consecutive year with a 4-1 win over Baylor. The Bulldogs won the doubles point for the 18th time in 25 matches with at 6-2 win at No. 1 and a 6-4 win at No. 2.

Georgia took four of six first sets though the first match to finish was at No. 1 where Baylor's Julian Lenz defeated Austin Smith 6-2, 1-0 ret. (right shoulder).

Georgia quickly finished the match off with Jan Zielinski, Nick Wood, and Paul Oosterbaan each only dropping three games in route to straight sets wins with Oosterbaan getting the clinch.

Georgia will now face USC on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. eastern. The teams were supposed to meet earlier this season in LA at the Pac-12/SEC Challenge but the match was cancelled due to rain.

Below are some video highlights from Georgia and Baylor (if you don't see anything change my site address from https to http).




#7 Georgia 4, #35 Baylor 1
May 15, 2016 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis complex)
Singles Results
1. #12 Julian Lenz (BU) def. #17 Austin Smith (UGA) 6-2, 1-0, retired
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) vs. #94 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 3-6, 4-4, unf
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Felipe Rios (BU) 6-1, 6-2
4. #123 Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Jimmy Bendeck (BU) 6-4, 3-2, unf
5. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Tommy Podvinski (BU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Nick Wood (UGA) def. Tyler Stayer (BU) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles Results
1. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA) def. #86 Max Tchoutakian/Tommy Podvinski (BU) 6-2
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Felipe Rios/Jimmy Bendeck (BU) 6-4
3. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA) vs. Julian Lenz/Tyler Stayer (BU) 5-4, unfinished
Match Notes:
Baylor 16-14; National ranking #35
Georgia 22-4; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,5,6,3)
NCAA Second Round - Athens Regional
Official: Richard Rogers  T-1:55  A-841

Post-Match Quotes from Georgia's recap
"I thought we were a little tight in doubles at the beginning," head coach Manuel Diaz said. "Our guys competed well and were able to get through some things there early on, but what a tremendous performance overall. I remember myself as a player here your last home match is a little overwhelming, but I thought we were terrific in singles and played very well today." 

Post-Match Quotes from Baylor's recap
"Losing is awful. That's my overall thought. There's a finality when you lose in the NCAAs. You're always thinking about what's next as a coach. Now, there's nothing next for us for a while and that's tough. I thought our guys fought like little dogs and overcame a ton of adversity this year. It put us in the position to finish strong. We just didn't have enough today. I'm proud of the guys today. They fought hard." --head coach Matt Knoll on the season-ending loss

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Oklahoma State is heading back to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2008, which coincidentally was the last time Tulsa hosted, after the Cowboys rolled over Arkansas 4-0. The Pokes won the doubles point for the 18th time in 26 tries. OSU's Lukas Finzelberg and Tristan Meraut trailed 4-2 but won the final four games to win 6-4 at No. 3. OSU's Lucas Gerch and Jurence Mendoza clinched the point with a 6-4 win at No. 2 in a match they lead the whole way.

While Arkansas had the upper hand at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, Oklahoma State had comfortable leads everywhere else. Lucas Gerch, Tristan Meraut, and Jurence Mendoza each won in straight sets with Meraut clinching the match at No. 4.

Oklahoma State will now face the top seed Virginia on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. eastern.



#16 Oklahoma State 4, #19 Arkansas 0
May 15, 2016 at Stillwater, Okla.(Greenwood Tennis Center)
Singles competition
1. #21 Mike Redlicki (AR) vs. #56 Julian Cash (OSU) 7-5, 4-2, unfinished
2. #62 Jose Salazar (AR) vs Arjun Kadhe (OSU) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
3. Lucas Gerch (OSU) def. Santiago Munoz (AR) 6-4, 6-0
4. Tristan Meraut (OSU) def. Giammarco Micolani (AR) 6-1, 6-4
5. Lukas Finzelberg (OSU) vs. Adam Sanjurjo (AR) 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
6. Jurence Mendoza (OSU) def. William Albanese (AR) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. #19 Giammarco Micolani/Mike Redlicki (AR) def. #10 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU) 6-4
2. Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU) def. Santiago Munoz/Adam Sanjurjo (AR) 6-4
3. Lukas Finzelberg/Tristan Meraut (OSU) def. Jose Salazar/Johan den Toom (AR) 6-4
Match Notes:
Arkansas 20-8; National ranking #19
Oklahoma State 19-7; National ranking #16
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,6,4)
2016 NCAA Tournament - Second Round
T-1:50

Post-Match Quotes from Oklahoma State's recap
"We've got a special group of guys," coach Jay Udwadia said. "Every team is going though ups and down every season and this team has been through a lot. The sweet isn't as sweet without the bitter and to make the Sweet 16 is a great accomplishment for our team."

"I knew they were going to come out strong after losing the doubles point and we just needed to stay the course," Udwadia said. "I told the guys to relax and I think playing in the second round for the third-straight year really helped us too."

"It was great, I feel awesome," Gerch said. "There was such a great crowd and I think everyone played well, especially in doubles."

"When you're in the Sweet 16 everyone can play," Udwadia said. "We respect all opponents, but our job is to go out there and win matches and we are going to be prepared to battle."

Post-Match Quotes from Arkansas's recap
"Congratulations to Oklahoma State, they were better than us today and that was the biggest factor in the match, head coach Andy Jackson said. "We weren't able to physically match what they had on the second day and that was another factor.

Arkansas finished the 2016 season with a 20-9 overall record, including a 7-5 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Razorbacks reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1986, and for only the third time in program history. Their NCAA first round victory over Wichita State was the Hogs' first since 2006.

"On the season, we came from No. 69 to finish top 20 and win a round in the NCAA Tournament, Jackson said. "We feel really good about the direction we're going in. But I know what it takes to go further and we'll try to do that next year.

__________________________________________________________

Cal advanced to the Round of 16 for the fifth time in the last six years with a 4-0 shutout over Ole Miss. The Bears won the doubles point for the 17th time in 23 matches with wins at No. 1 and No. 3.

Cal took five of six first sets and picked up wins from Andre Goransson and Filip Bergevi at No. 2 and No. 4 and J.T. Nishimura provided the clincher at No. 6 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Zvonimir Babic.

Cal will now face TCU on Friday morning at 7 a.m. pacific time. Cal defeated TCU 4-2 back in February in a neutral site match in Austin.

#13 California 4, #27 Ole Miss 0
May 15, 2016 at Berkeley, California (Hellman Tennis Complex) 
Singles competition
1. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. #39 Gustav Hansson (OM) 6-2, 4-4, unfinished
2. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL) def. #59 Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-3, 6-1
3. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL) vs. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
4. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. Fabian Fallert (OM) 6-2, 6-3
5. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. Grey Hamilton (OM) 3-6, 6-1, 2-1, unfinished
6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #9 Florian Lakat/Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. Fabian Fallert/Grey Hamilton (OM) 6-4
2. Gustav Hansson/Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-3
3. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Zvonimir Babic/Ricardo Jorge (OM) 6-2
Match Notes
Ole Miss 16-11; National ranking #27
California 19-6; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,4,6)
Cal advances to the NCAA Round of 16

Post-Match Quotes from Cal's recap
"We came up against a very solid Mississippi team today, and I'm pleased with how we handled ourselves, Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "The doubles point was a battle, and it ended up being critical for setting the tone for the match. When our guys faced adversity, they stayed calm and stuck to their game plans. It was a physical match today, and we were ready.

"This past week our team did an amazing job of balancing their academic lives and their athletic lives. We finished finals on Friday and started the NCAA championships on Saturday, so it's great to see the resiliency this group brings every day. We're looking forward to playing in Tulsa on Friday, and we know our next opponent, TCU, will be tough. We've played them once already this year, and we know they're a talented team.

"It's a great win, Nishimura added. "We're all excited and ready to go to Tulsa.

"We had a rough one in the first match of the year at Tulsa, Nishimura said. "But we bounced back and had a pretty good season, so we're excited to go back.

Post-Match Quotes from Toby Hansson via Ole Miss's recap

"We are proud of the guys' effort, but give Cal credit. They played better than we did today. Doubles was close again, but we just couldn't seem to get in the match in singles. We have a great group of young guys who kept battling throughout the season to get us to this point, and we are looking forward to helping them get better next year. The future looks bright.
__________________________________________________________

North Carolina booked its third straight trip to the Round of 16 with a 4-0 win over No. 31 Tulane. The Tar Heels won the doubles point for the 24th time this season with wins at No. 1 and No. 3.

UNC took five of six first sets in singles and would get straight set wins from Brett Clark, Robert Kelly, and Anu Kodali with Kelly clinching at No. 5.

North Carolina will now face Mississippi State on Friday at 5 p.m. eastern. North Carolina defeated Mississippi State in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament though State's roster is vastly different this year.

Below are some video highlights from North Carolina (if you don't see anything change my site address from https to http).

Video

#3 North Carolina 4, #31 Tulane 0
May 15, 2016 at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center) 
Singles competition
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (NC) vs. #3 Dominik Koepfer (TLN) 4-6, 6-3, unfinished
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (NC) vs. #99 Constantin Schmitz (TLN) 7-6 (7-2), 3-3, unf
3. #46 Brett Clark (NC) def. Sebastian Rey (TLN) 6-1, 6-4
4. Jack Murray (NC) vs. Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) 6-3, 3-5, unfinished
5. #117 Robert Kelly (NC) def. Ian Van Cott (TLN) 7-6 (9-7), 6-0
6. Anudeep Kodali (NC) def. Tyler Schick (TLN) 6-1, 6-2
Doubles competition
1. #3 Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (NC) def. #18 Dominik Koepfer/Chi-Shan Jao (TLN) 6-4
2. #27 Brayden Schnur/Jack Murray (NC) vs. Constantin Schmitz/Tyler Schick (TLN) 4-3, unf
3. Ronnie Schneider/Anudeep Kodali (NC) def. Sebastian Rey/Ian Van Cott (TLN) 6-2
Match Notes
Tulane 16-9; National ranking #31
North Carolina 27-4`; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,3,5)
T-1:54



Post-Match Quotes from UNC's recap
"Tulane's got a heck of a team, UNC coach Sam Paul said. "This round is always tough across the country this is a tough match to play. Congratulations to my team. We don't take this for granted.

Kodali, playing at No. 6, was the first to wrap up his singles match, beating Tyler Schick 6-1, 6-2 in less than an hour.  "Anu played well today in singles and doubles, Paul said. "I think that's the best match he's played.

"This is a special group third year in the sweet 16, Paul said. "I thought we played really well today I was really pleased with how we played in doubles and some starts we got singles. We still could get better we always say that. We're looking forward to the next round.

"It's been a fun year. Any time you're sitting at 20-plus wins, it's been a heck of a year. It's a very special group, but we've got more to do.


Post-Match Quotes from Tulane's recap
"UNC really brought it and showed why they were No. 1 for most of the year, Tulane head coach Mark Booras stated. "Our guys performed well but we got a slow start and probably respected them too much in the beginning. Once we got our feet in the water and got used to the temperature, we started to play well in doubles and had chances to come back. Same thing happened in singles. Our guys fought for Tulane and what they've done for the whole year is a great body of work.
__________________________________________________________

2nd Round Match Times/Attendance Figures






Friday Round of 16 Schedule - Tulsa, Oklahoma

[5] Ohio State vs. [17-32] Texas - 10am ET
[4] TCU vs. [13] Cal  - 10am ET
[1] Virginia vs. [16] Oklahoma State - 1pm ET
[9] Florida vs. [17-32] SMU - 1pm ET
[7] Georgia vs. [10] USC - 5pm ET
[2] North Carolina vs. [17-32] Mississippi State - 5pm ET
[3] UCLA vs. [17-32] Stanford - 8pm ET
[6] Wake Forest vs. [11] Oklahoma - 8pm ET


Published in Blogs
[1] Virginia Cavaliers (26-4) vs. [16] Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-7) - 1pm ET - Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 4-0 win over Monmouth and a 4-1 win over Penn State while Oklahoma State beat Bryant and Arkansas 4-0. Oklahoma State will only be playing 75 miles from its Stillwater campus so it should have a good amount of fan support but it'll take a Herculean effort to get past Virginia. 

Doubles Records: Virginia 26-4, Oklahoma State 18-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Oklahoma State 82

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 16th. 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. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.39) vs. #56 Julian Cash (OSU 13.84)
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.25) vs. Arjun Kadhe (OSU 13.97)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.50) vs. Lucas Gerch (OSU 13.97)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.37) vs. Tristan Meraut (OSU 13.61)
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.90) vs. Lukas Finzelberg (OSU 13.86)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.53)  vs. Jurence Mendoza (OSU 13.30)
O: Luca Corinteli (VA 13.68) 

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-11 vs. Cash 11-8
2. Altamirano 23-4 vs. Kadhe 14-7
3. Kwiatkowski 21-6 vs. Gerch 16-2
4. Ritschard 2-0 vs. Meraut 11-7
5. Aragone 23-3 vs. Finzelberg 12-3
6. Wiersholm 22-2 vs. Mendoza 10-1
Bench: Corinteli 10-3/Roper 2-4

Virginia is definitely the stronger team but I think Oklahoma State will keep it fairly close in its first Round of 16 appearance since 2008. I'm going to take Virginia in doubles and Altamirano, Ritschard, and Wiersholm in singles. Oklahoma State's best chance at pulling off the stunner would be to take the doubles point and to get wins from Cash, Kadhe, and Finzelberg. Prediction: Virginia 4-0. 



[9] Florida Gators (20-6) vs. [17-32] SMU Mustangs (22-8) - Saturday 1pm ET - Florida has now won eight in a row after shutting out North Florida and South Florida in the first two rounds while SMU is into the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 after beating Washington 5-0 and Texas Tech 4-2. 

Doubles Records: Florida 21-5, SMU 22-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Florida 84, SMU 81

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.64) vs. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU 13.60)
2. #53 Alfredo Perez (UF 14.39) vs. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU 13.91)
3. #37 Elliott Orkin (UF 14.10) vs. Samm Butler (SMU 13.82)
4. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 14.03) vs. Markus Kerner (SMU 12.83)
5. Gordon Watson (UF 13.54) vs. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU 13.38)
6. McClain Kessler (UF 13.73) vs. Yates Johnson (SMU 13.23)

Dual-Match Records
1. Hidalgo 17-5 vs. H Johnson 12-6
2. Perez 19-4 vs. Lammons 19-4
3. Orkin 16-7 vs. Butler 19-4
4. Perez-Blanco 14-7 vs. Kerner 11-12
5. Watson 16-5 vs. Slobodchikov 16-3
6. Kessler 13-5 vs. Y Johnson 12-5

Florida seems to be playing with a swagger and while SMU is playing well I don't think they are playing well enough to pull off the upset. I like Florida in doubles and Hidalgo, Perez-Blanco, and Kessler in singles. SMU's best chances are in doubles and at 2, 3, and 5.  Prediction: Florida 4-0. 



[5] Ohio State Buckeyes (32-2) vs. [17-32] Texas Longhorns (19-11) - 10am ET - Ohio State punched its ticket to the Round of 16 for the 11th year in a row with a 5-0 win over Tennessee Tech and a 4-2 win over Virginia Tech. Texas is back in the Round of 16 for the third year in a row after defeating Lamar 4-0 and Texas A&M 4-3. Ohio State won the regular season meeting 4-0 though as you can see from the box score below it was a much closer match than the score indicates. 

Regular Season Meeting: 

#8 Ohio State 4, #26 Texas 0 
Jan 31, 2016 at Columbus, Ohio (Varsity Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #7 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 14.43) def. George Goldhoff (UT 13.69) 6-4, 7-6 (1) 
2. #10 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.20) vs. #94 Harrison Scott (UT 13.49) 6-2, 5-7, 1-2, unf 
3. Rodrigo Banzer (UT 13.53) vs. #19 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.95) 4-6, 6-4, 3-1, unf 
4. #25 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.61) def. Adrian Ortiz (UT 13.73) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 
5. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 13.80) def. #114 Michael Riechmann (UT 13.05) 6-3, 6-3 
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.73) vs. Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.72) 6-3, 5-7, 4-2, unf 
Doubles competition 
1. #22 Ralf Steinbach/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Michael Riechmann/Adrian Ortiz (UT) 6-3 
2. Chris Diaz/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Julian Zlobinsky/George Goldhoff (UT) 6-4 
3. Rodrigo Banzer/Harrison Scott (UT) def. #24 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-4 
Match Notes 
Texas 4-4; National ranking #26 
Ohio State 7-0; National ranking #8 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,1,4) 
Official: Marcus Lee T-2:35 A-222


Doubles Records: Ohio State 30-4, Texas 14-14
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Ohio State 85, Texas 81

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 15.18) vs. #68 George Goldhoff (UT 13.66)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.81) vs. Adrian Ortiz (UT 13.76)
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.42) vs. Harrison Scott (UT 13.69)
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 14.05) vs. Rodrigo Banzer (UT 13.36)
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.83) vs. Michael Riechmann (UT 13.32)
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.92) vs. Julian Zlobinsky (UT 12.88)
O: Matt Mendez (OSU 13.55); John Mee (UT 13.13)

Dual-Match Records
1. Torpegaard 23-0 vs. Goldhoff 10-11
2. Diaz 7-8 vs. Ortiz 14-6
3. Di Feo 14-5 vs. Scott 14-10
4. Steinbach 24-2 vs. Banzer 7-7
5. Pollanen 13-5 vs. Riechmann 17-7
6. Joyce 19-0 vs. Zlobinsky 13-6

Ohio State is a huge favorite in doubles with the Buckeyes having the highest doubles winning % of the remaining 16 teams while Texas is 14th out of 16. Ohio State will be favored on just about every court but Texas will be playing with a lot of confidence after slaying Texas A&M. Ralf Steinbach had his 12-match winning streak snapped by Virginia Tech's Edoardo Tessaro but I think he gets back into the win column by knocking off Rodrigo Banzer at #4. I like the undefeated Martin Joyce at #6 and also look for Mikael Torpegaard to stay undefeated with a win at #1. I like Adrian Oritz and Michael Riechmann for Texas at 2 and 5 and I wouldn't be surprised if Harrison Scott is close to the finish line at 3. I'm going to take the Buckeyes but if Texas finds a way to take the doubles point it could get pretty wild. Prediction: Ohio State 4-2. 



[4] TCU Horned Frogs (26-3) vs. [13] Cal Bears (19-6) - 10am ET - TCU cruised through the first two rounds with 4-0 wins over Jackson State and LSU while Cal was equally impressive with 4-0 wins over Army and Ole Miss. Cal knocked off TCU 4-2 back on February 7th in a match that took place indoors in Austin as part of the Big 12/Pac-12 Challenge. TCU was without its #6 starter, Trevor Johnson, in that match but Cal really took it them at 2, 3, and 4. The matches at 3, 4, and 5 will all be rematches while 1, 2, and 6 will have new pairings. 

Regular Season Meeting 

#24 Cal 4, #2 TCU 2 
Feb 07, 2016 at Austin, Texas (Weller Indoor Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #4 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.52) def. #3 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.33) 6-1, 6-3 
2. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 13.88) def. Alex Rybakov (TCU 14.68) 6-2, 6-2 
3. #39 Billy Griffith (CAL 13.52) def. #24 Guillermo Nuez (TCU 14.18) 6-4, 6-4 
4. #86 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.04) def. #109 Jerry Lopez (TCU 13.64) 6-1, 6-4 
5. Eduardo Nava (TCU 13.98) vs. #54 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.57) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished 
6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.50) def. Reese Stalder (TCU 12.90) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) 
Doubles competition 
1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) def. Trevor Johnson/Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-3 
2. Hudson Blake/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-4 
3. Guillermo Nuez/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Billy Griffith/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) 7-5 
Match Notes 
Cal 4-1; National ranking #24 
TCU 3-1; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,2,4,3,6)


Doubles Records: TCU 21-8, Cal 17-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: TCU 84, Cal 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #5 Cameron Norrie (TCU 14.77) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 14.23)
2. #24 Alex Rybakov (TCU 14.44) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.26)
3. #86 Guillermo Nunez (TCU 13.91) vs. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL 14.34)
4. Jerry Lopez (TCU 13.78) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.24)
5. Eduardo Nava (TCU 13.75) vs. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.63)
6. Trevor Johnson (TCU 13.79) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.53)

Dual-Match Records
1. Norrie 17-4 vs. Lakat 9-7
2. Rybakov 18-4 vs. Goransson 11-10
3. Nunez 13-7 vs. Griffith 15-2
4. Lopez 16-5 vs. Bergevi 17-3
5. Nava 9-6 vs. Wikberg 10-4
6. Johnson 17-6 vs. Nishimura 11-2

Despite the 7am pacific start time I think Cal answers the early morning call and takes the doubles point. I look for Cameron Norrie to win his fifth match in a row at #1 and I also look for Alex Rybakov to win his ninth straight match at #2. I like Cal's Billy Griffith and Filip Bergevi to win their 6th and 7th straight matches at #3 and #4 but I think Eduardo Nava stops his three-match losing streak with a win at #5. Trevor Johnson has won 13 of his last 14 and I look for that to go to 14 of 15 with a three-set win at #6. TCU survives, barely, and moves on to the quarterfinals.  Prediction: TCU 4-3



Published in Blogs
I think we now know that nothing is going to be easy for anyone in this year's NCAA Tournament as evidenced by yesterday's women's matches and today's first three men's matches.

Ohio State and Texas were supposed to start at 9 a.m. this morning but due to the wet courts outside they got put on hold and stayed on hold for a while. It seemed like the plan was to have them play indoors after the conclusion of the TCU/Cal match but the decision was made to move them outdoors so at 12:12 p.m. central time doubles finally begin under grey skies.

Ohio State would take the all-important doubles point for the 31st time in 35 tries when Martin Joyce and Ralf Steinbach pulled out a 7-6(5) tiebreak at No. 2.


Each team three opening sets in singles though for a while it looked like Texas would get four. Adrian Ortiz led Chris Diaz 5-2 at No. 2 but Diaz fought back to take the opening set 7-6(2).

Herkko Pollanen would put the Buckeyes up 2-0 after he took it to Julian Zlobinsky 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5.

Texas senior Michael Riechmann would put the Longhorns on the board with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 win over Ralf Steinbach at No. 4.


Texas junior George Goldhoff tied the match at 2-2 with a huge 7-6(4), 6-0 win over the top-ranked Mikael Torpegaard at No. 1. Torpegaard came into the match with a perfect 23-0 dual-match record which made the result that much more surprising.


Ohio State senior Chris Diaz put the Buckeyes back in front with a 7-6(2), 6-0 win over Adrian Ortiz at No. 2.


Texas freshman Harrison Scott tied the match at 3-3 with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Ohio State redshirt freshman Hugo Di Feo. Scott led 5-2 in the third and but Di Feo held and then broke to put it back on serve at 5-4. Scott would then break back to seal it (sorry no video).

The match would be decided at No. 6 between Ohio State freshman Martin Joyce and Texas sophomore John Mee. Joyce came into the match with a perfect 19-0 dual-match record while Mee was playing in just his 10th dual match this year due to Rodrigo Banzer's injury.

Mee took the opening set 6-3 with Joyce countering with a 6-3 second set. Joyce broke Mee to go up 3-2 in the third and then he'd hold at love to go up 5-3. Mee fought off a match point serving at 3-5, 40-40 when Joyce pushed his second serve return long (clip below)


Mee would then break Joyce at love to even it at 5-5 but Joyce broke back on the deciding point to go up 6-5. Mee would break Joyce at love, for a second time, to send it to a match deciding tiebreak. Joyce jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak before Mee won two in a row to make it 6-3. Joyce would close it out on the next point to win it 7-3 and send Ohio State back to the quarterfinals.


Here is the full tiebreak starting with Mee serving at 0-0



#5 Ohio State (33-2) def. #17-32 Texas (19-12), 4-3
May 20, 2016 at Tulsa, OK (Michael D. Case Tennis Center  Indoors)
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Michael Center (Texas) 
Doubles
1. Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. George Goldhoff/Michael Riechmann (UT), 6-4
2. Martin Joyce/Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Adrian Ortiz/Julian Zlobinsky (Texas), 7-6 (5)
3. John Mee/Harrison Scott (Texas) vs. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (OSU), 6-5 DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 2
Singles
1. #68 George Goldhoff (Texas) def. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State), 7-6 (4), 6-0
2. #88 Chris Diaz (Ohio State) def. Adrian Ortiz (Texas), 7-6 (2), 6-0
3. Harrison Scott (Texas) def. #45 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State), 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
4. Michael Riechmann (Texas) def. Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-4
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State) def. Julian Zlobinsky (Texas), 6-2, 6-0
6. Martin Joyce (Ohio State) def. John Mee (Texas), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 1, 2, 3, 6 



Ohio State Head Coach Ty Tucker
Opening Statement...
"First thing, I want to give a lot of credit to Coach Center and Texas. They (Texas) have done an amazing job of having a group of young guys ready to play. I was shocked a little bit today, and I spent the first hour of the singles point thinking that we were getting out-competed in a couple of spots, and usually that is unlike the Buckeyes. We played Texas earlier this year and they fought hard then, and it was a great college tennis match today.

On how you prepare for the delay
"You can't prepare for it. You just have to have good guys that know that they are in the final 16 of the tournament. They are going to crown a winner and you want to keep surviving and advancing, and that's pretty much what it was. We got out here at 6:30 this morning and everybody was up at 5:45 a.m. and eating breakfast by 6:15 a.m. We finally took the court for play at 12:05 p.m. It's not going to be easy for anybody. It wasn't easy for us, Texas or our girls last night who got sent to Oklahoma State at 11:00 p.m. It was nice to win a match when we didn't compete at our best in my opinion.

On Martin's performance in clinching the winning point
"Poor Martin, he didn't know what was going on. All he knew was that he had three Ohio State coaches in his face every point, and so we didn't give him any time to think for himself. Martin and Torpegaard have been horses for us all year. Torpegaard got beat who's the No. 1 ranked player in the country. To us it is a tough day. It is probably the hottest day weather-wise that we have played in all year.

Martin Joyce, Ohio State (#6 singles)
On his match
"It was tough for sure, and I feel like in the first set he (John Mee) definitely out-competed me. I got a couple lucky breaks in the second, and was able to get a lead and get to the third. I also felt some of that momentum from the second set carried over to the third set for sure.

On what he was thinking knowing the match depended on him
"It's tough when you start seeing everybody come over to your court, especially when there was only a couple of people there in the beginning. I just tried to think about it as little as possible, and just focused on what I was doing out there.

Texas Head Coach Michael Center
Opening Statement...
"It was a great match. Ohio State is one of the favorites to win the national championship and we're a tiebreaker in the third set, last match on to win the match. We came a long way this year. Couldn't be prouder of these guys, what they did, the commitment they made to each other, the commitment they made to their tennis. It was just a phenomenal, phenomenal effort today and we just came up a little bit short at the end.
_________________________________________________________

Top-seeded Virginia got all it wanted from Oklahoma State but in the end the Cavaliers were just a little too strong and pulled out a 4-2 win. Virginia won the doubles point for the 27th time in 31 matches by picking up a 6-2 at No. 1 and a 6-1 win at No. 2.

Virginia took four of six first sets and both Alex Ritschard and Henrik Wiersholm would win in straight sets at No. 4 and No. 6 to put Virginia up 3-0.

Oklahoma State's Lukas Finzelberg put the Cowboys on the board with a three-set win over J.C. Aragone at No. 5 and then Julian Cash won in three-sets over Ryan Shane at No. 1 to make it 3-2.

Oklahoma State's Lucas Gerch opened up a 5-2 lead in the third set at No. 3 but Thai-Son Kwiatkowski would fight off a few match points to put it back on serve at 4-5.

Meanwhile at No. 2, Virginia's Collin Altamirano was starting to pull away from Arjun Kadhe in the third set. Altamirano broke Kadhe at love to go up 2-1 and then he'd hold on the deciding point to go up 3-1. Altamirano would break again for 4-1 and then hold for 5-1. Kadhe would hold for 2-5 but Altamirano served it out from 40-30 to clinch a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2 win and send Virginia back to the quarterfinals.


Here are some highlights from Virginia


#1 Virginia (27-4) def. #16 Oklahoma State (20-8), 4-2
May 20, 2016 at Tulsa, OK (Michael D. Case Tennis Center)
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and Jay Udwadia (Oklahoma State)
Doubles
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (VA) def. #10 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU), 6-2
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) def. Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU), 6-1
3. Lukas Finzelberg/Tristan Meraut (OSU) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA), 4-3 DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1
Singles
1. #56 Julian Cash (Oklahoma State) def. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia) def. Arjun Kadhe (Oklahoma State), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) vs. Lucas Gerch (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (3), 4-6, 5-5 DNF
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia) def. Tristan Meraut (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (1), 6-1
5. Lukas Finzelberg (Oklahoma State) def. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. Jurence Mendoza (Oklahoma State), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 4, 2



Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
Opening Statement...
"We came out and played really well in doubles. I thought our energy and execution was great. Credit to Oklahoma State as they hung in there during singles and made it really challenging for us, but in the end we were able to finish the match. We would expect nothing less from a team as strong as Oklahoma State as they have had an incredible year and they are able to compete with anyone in the country. They (Oklahoma State) made it a tough match, and it certainly was a bit challenging for us. Survive and advance. We are happy to be moving on to the quarterfinals.

On playing at a venue where Oklahoma State presence was heavy...
"This team has a tremendous amount of experience, and as you know at this time of the year that is invaluable. Every match is going to be a chal- lenge and you can see that throughout the tournament so far. There are great matches and there is a tremendous amount of parody. We will just continue to focus on what we can control, and we are looking forward to moving on. It is all about just staying composed in those big moments.

Luca Corintelli, Virginia (#1 doubles)
On how important it was to get the doubles point...
"We knew coming in that Oklahoma State was really good in doubles, and they are really good up and down the line. It was crucial for us to come out with a lot of energy after waiting an extra hour to play. I thought that our warm-up was really good. We respected our opponents and executed our game plans really well. Doubles is always some what of a toss up, but we gave ourselves the best chance today with our energy and preparation.

On a turning point in his match...
"To be honest I thought that we came out of the gates really hot, and Ryan was serving really well. I felt like we were really playing our game, and it all happened so fast. I don't know if there was a specific turning point, but we played on our terms and things went our way. We are fortunate to get the win.

Oklahoma State Head Coach Jay Udwadia
Opening Statement...
"Yeah, I'm still kind of in match mode. That was a very close match there. The guys fought extremely hard. I think this was kind of a depiction of how we've played all season. We were just battling. It was no different today. The overall season, I think I told someone once we're done you can look back and see what we did. We did some good, special things and I like the direction of our program, where we're going. As a coach you want to keep on building and that's going to continue to be our goal. But, I want to say a huge thank you for our whole staff here, Nate, my assistant, Nick, our strength coach, our trainers, everyone, its the athletic department that really helps us out as well. I want to send a huge thank you to them and the team, for every match, being there and making a special season for the Pokes.



Published in Blogs
[1] Virginia Cavaliers (27-4) vs. [9] Florida Gators (21-6) - Noon CT - Virginia moved into the quarterfinals after pulling out a hard fought 4-2 win over Oklahoma State while Florida's bottom of the lineup help propel them to a 4-0 win over SMU. Virginia won the regular season meeting in Gainesville 5-2 and it looks like the top three spots in the lineup will all be rematches. Virginia is trying to make it back to the NCAA semifinals for the seventh year in a row while Florida last made the semis in 2005. Florida has won its last nine matches while Virginia has won its last three. 

Doubles Records: Virginia 27-4, Florida 22-5
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Florida 84

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 16th. 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.   

Regular Season Meeting 

#3 Virginia 5, #14 Florida 2 
Apr 06, 2016 at Ring Tennis Complex (Gainesville, Fla.) 
Singles competition 
1. #17 Diego Hidalgo (FLA) def. #7 Ryan Shane (VA) 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 
2. #6 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #33 Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-2, 6-4 
3. #38 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #109 Alfredo Perez (FLA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 
4. J.C. Aragone (VA) def. #84 Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) 6-4, 6-3 
5. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Gordon Watson (FLA) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) 
6. Luca Corinteli (VA) def. McClain Kessler (FLA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 
Doubles competition 
1. #3 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (FLA) def. #2 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) 6-4 
2. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) def. #58 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (FLA) 6-4 
3. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) 6-4 
Match Notes 
Virginia 18-3; National ranking #3 
Florida 12-5; National ranking #14 
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,4,6,5,1,3) 
A-459

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.39) vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.64) 
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.25) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (UF 14.39)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.50) vs. #37 Elliott Orkin (UF 14.10)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.37) vs. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 14.03) 
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.90) vs. Gordon Watson (UF 13.54)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.53)  vs. McClain Kessler (UF 13.73)
O: Luca Corinteli (VA 13.68) 

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-12 vs. Hidalgo 17-5 
2. Altamirano 24-4 vs. Perez 19-4
3. Kwiatkowski 21-6 vs. Orkin 16-7
4. Ritschard 3-0 vs. Perez-Blanco 15-7
5. Aragone 23-4 vs. Watson 17-5
6. Wiersholm 23-2 vs. Kessler 14-5 
Bench: Corinteli 10-3

When the bracket first came out I had this penciled in as a Virginia win but I really like the way Florida has been playing these last three matches. Florida hasn't made it this far in over a decade so they're playing with house money while Virginia is still carrying the banner as defending national champs and has the weight of the number one seed hanging on them. 

Florida won the doubles point in the first meeting and I think they'll take it again in this one. Virginia will be favored on just about every court but I think Florida is going to find a way to pull off a couple of big upsets. In my opinion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski is Virginia's biggest lock and I expect him, Henrik Wiersholm, and Alex Ritschard to each pull through to put Virginia on the verge of clinching it. However I think Diego Hidalgo gets past Ryan Shane for the second time this year, Gordon Watson pulls off a mild upset over J.C. Aragone, and Alfredo Perez upsets Collin Altamirano to give Florida a stunning win.  Upset Prediction: Florida 4-3  




[5] Ohio State Buckeyes (33-2) vs. [13] Cal Bears (20-6) - Noon CT - Ohio State is coming off a really tough 4-3 win over Texas while Cal pulled off a nice surprise with a 4-3 win over TCU. Both teams had grueling matches on Friday but they should be well rested for this one after having a full day off in between. It'll be interesting to see how Mikael Torpegaard responds after suffering his first dual-match loss while both Billy Griffith and J.T. Nishimura will try to rebound after losing for only the third time this year.

Doubles Records: Ohio State 31-4, Cal 17-7
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Ohio State 85, Cal 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU 15.18) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 14.23)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (OSU 13.81) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.26)
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (OSU 14.42) vs. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL 14.34)
4. Ralf Steinbach (OSU 14.05) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.24)
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (OSU 13.83) vs. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.63)
6. Martin Joyce (OSU 13.92) vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.53)

Dual-Match Records
1. Torpegaard 23-1 vs. Lakat 9-8
2. Diaz 8-8 vs. Goransson 12-10
3. Di Feo 14-6 vs. Griffith 15-3
4. Steinbach 24-3 vs. Bergevi 18-3
5. Pollanen 14-5 vs. Wikberg 11-4
6. Joyce 20-0 vs. Nishimura 11-3

Ohio State will be the favorite in doubles and I'd be really surprised if they dropped the point. I'm expecting Mikael Torpegaard to bounce back and win at No. 1 and I think Martin Joyce will remain undefeated at No. 6. I like Cal's Andre Goransson and Filip Bergevi at No. 2 and No. 4 but Herkko Pollanen gets it done again at No. 5 to send the Buckeyes back to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. Prediction: Ohio State 4-2. 




[3] UCLA Bruins (25-2) vs. [11] Oklahoma Sooners (18-10)  - Sunday 4pm CT - UCLA is coming off a 4-2 win over Stanford while Oklahoma hammered Wake Forest 4-0. These two last met in the last year's NCAA Round of 16 with Oklahoma winning a 4-3 thriller in a match that started outdoors and was moved indoors due to rain.  

2015 NCAA Round of 16 

[1] Oklahoma def. [16] UCLA 4-3 
May 14, 2015 - Waco, TX (Hurd Tennis Center Grandstand Courts) 
Doubles Competition 
1. #57 Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #12 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) 8-4 
2. Dane Webb/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #86 Joseph De Guilio/Karue Sell (UCLA) 8-4 
3. Axel Alvarez/Jose Salazar (OU) vs. Dennis Mkrtchian/Austin Rapp (UCLA) 6-4, unf 
Singles Competition 
1. #3 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 15.20) def. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU 15.19) 6-4, 6-4 
2. #36 Dennis Mkrtchian (UCLA 14.09) def. #7 Andrew Harris (OU 15.05) 7-6(5), 7-6(3) 
3. #118 MartinRedlicki (UCLA 14.44) def. #44 Dane Webb (OU 14.22) 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4 
4. #103 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.41) def. Karue Sell (UCLA 14.00) 6-3, 6-4 
5. Spencer Papa (OU 13.89) def. Austin Rapp (UCLA 13.04) 6-3, 6-4 
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.64) def. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA 13.44) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 
Match Notes: 
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 2); Singles (5, 4, 1, 3, 2, 6) 
Oklahoma 27-2 UCLA 17-10

Doubles Records: UCLA 20-7, Oklahoma 15-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: UCLA 85, Oklahoma 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #6 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.95) vs. #97 Andrew Harris (OU 14.76)
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.03) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.29)
3. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA 14.14) vs. #82 Spencer Papa (OU 13.96)
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA 14.50) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.02)
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA 13.57) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.70) vs. Andre Biro (OU 13.74)
O: Austin Rapp (UCLA 13.22); Maxime Mora (OU 13.68)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. McDonald 15-1 vs. Harris 6-1
2. Redlicki 18-3 vs. Alvarez 11-8
3. Brymer 14-5 vs. Papa 10-9
4. Sell 20-2 vs. Ghilea 11-6
5. Staggs 14-6 vs. Bragusi 9-6
6. Di Giulio 17-5 vs. Biro 16-5

Oklahoma will definitely be the crowd favorite with a large contingent of OU fans expected to turn Tulsa into Norman East. Oklahoma played really well in doubles against Wake Forest but I think UCLA will play a little better and take the early 1-0 lead. The matchup at No. 1 should between Mackenzie McDonald and Andrew Harris will be well worth the price of admission and I like McDonald to come away with the win. I'm going to take Alvarez, Papa, and Ghilea for OU while I like Staggs and Di Giulio for UCLA. Bruins pull it out with the doubles point being the difference. Prediction: UCLA 4-3. 



[2] North Carolina Tar Heels (28-4) vs. [7] Georgia Bulldogs (23-4) - Sunday 4pm CT - North Carolina is coming off a 4-0 win over Mississippi State while Georgia came back from 3-1 down to defeat USC 4-3. The last time these teams met was in the 2014 NCAA Tournament in Athens with North Carolina coming away with a 4-2 win. The biggest question marks for North Carolina is whether or not Robert Kelly will play after he sat out Friday's match against Mississippi State with a minor injury plus can Jack Murray play that well two matches in a row. For Georgia you have to wonder if Austin Smith will be fully recharged after his match against Max de Vroome and will Jan Zielinski play better on Sunday or will we possibly see a change in the lineup with Nick Wood moving up to 5 with Emil Reinberg coming up to 6. 

Doubles Records: North Carolina 25-7, Georgia 18-8
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: North Carolina 84, Georgia 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.06) vs. #17 Austin Smith (UGA 14.52)
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.14) vs. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 13.98)
3. #46 Brett Clark (UNC 14.22) vs. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 14.01)
4. Jack Murray (UNC 13.94) vs. #123 Walker Duncan (UGA 13.62)
5. #117 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.98) vs. Jan Zielinski (UGA 13.76)
6. Anu Kodali (UNC 13.29) vs. Nick Wood (UGA 13.80)
O: Bo Boyden (UNC 13.22); Emil Reinberg (UGA 13.42)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Schnur 9-10 vs. Smith 20-5
2. Schneider 21-5 vs. Montgomery 14-10
3. Clark 23-5 vs. Oosterbaan 16-7
4. Murray 20-5 vs. Duncan 14-5
5. Kelly 25-4 vs. Zielinski 9-7
6. Kodali 13-5 vs. Wood 15-2

I'll make these predictions based off UNC having the services of Robert Kelly on Sunday. 

I'll take North Carolina to win the doubles point though I think Georgia will play much better than they did against USC. North Carolina will get it done in the middle of the singles lineup with Clark, Murray, and Kelly each winning while Smith, Montgomery, and Wood will either win or have the lead  Prediction: North Carolina 4-2. 

Note: if Kelly can't play I think Georgia wins the doubles point and also wins at No. 5 to steal it 4-3.

Published in Blogs
Sunday was unbelievable day to be in Tulsa with two heart-pounding 4-3 thrillers with the Cal and Ohio State match coming down to a third set tiebreak to decide the winner. The crowds were a little light around noon central but by 1 p.m. the stands were filling up and by the time the Cal/Ohio State match came to a conclusion it was standing room only. The actual paid attendance was just over 1100 but by the time you added in coaches, players, volunteers, and media you probably had close to 1400 people crammed in there which made for a great environment.


Ohio State came into this match with a staunch 31-4 doubles record while Cal had won the point a very respectable 18 times in 24 matches. Ohio State jumped out to early break leads at No. 1 and No. 2 while Cal took the early lead at No. 3.

Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen opened up their match at No. 1 by winning the first five games and they had a match point on the deciding point to win it 6-0 but Filip Bergevi managed to get the hold. Pollanen would serve it out to give Ohio State the quick 6-1 win.

Cal's Mads Engsted and J.T. Nishimura got off to the quick start at No. 3 as they led 4-1 but they faced a big point when Nishimura served at 4-2, 40-40. Engsted was able to use some quick reflexes and a little luck to hit a volley winner to give Cal the hold for 5-2 (clip below). Two games later Engsted would serve it out to give Cal the 6-3 win.


Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Ralf Steinbach broke Cal to go up 3-2 at No. 2 but Cal went up 30-40 on Joyce's serve. Joyce hammered an ace down the T to get it to the deciding point and it looked like Joyce would get the hold but Ohio State wasn't able to put away - I'll let the video show you what happened (this is the point that Ty Tucker was talking about in his post-match interview).


Cal's Oskar Wikberg would hold for 4-3, they'd break Steinbach on the deciding point for 5-3, and then Andre Goransson would serve it out to give Cal the 6-3.


It was the first time in 18 matches that Ohio State had dropped the doubles point and it would also set the tone for singles. Ohio State's Chris Diaz, Ralf Steinbach, Herkko Pollanen, and Martin Joyce would each go up breaks in the first set but Joyce would be the only Buckeye to actually win the set.

Steinbach broke Filip Bergevi to start the match but Bergevi would get it back on serve at 2-2. Steinbach would break again to go up 4-3 but Bergevi would break back on the deciding point to even it at 4-4. Bergevi would hold for 5-4 and then he'd break Steinbach again on the deciding point to take the opening set 6-4. The second set was pretty similar to the first because time and time again Bergevi won the big points. Bergevi broke Steinbach on the deciding point to go up 3-1 and then he'd break him again on a deciding point to close out the match 6-4, 6-2.


Less than a minute after Bergevi's win, Ohio State freshman Martin Joyce would put the Buckeyes on the board with a straight set win over J.T. Nishimura at No. 6. Joyce broke Nishimura to go up 4-2 in the first and he'd close out the opening set 6-3. Joyce opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set and cruised to the finish line with a 6-3, 6-2 win to up his dual-match record to 21-0.


Cal senior Oskar Wikberg would put the Bears within a point of the the clinch with a straight set win over Herkko Pollanen at No. 5. Pollanen broke Wikberg to start the match and held for 2-0 but Wikberg would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-2. Pollanen held and then broke on the deciding point to go up 4-3 but Wikberg would break, hold, and break to take the opening set 6-4. The second started off just like the first with Pollanen breaking then holding for a 2-0 lead. Wikberg held, broke, and then held on the deciding point with a little serve and volley action to go up 3-2. Wikberg broke and then held for 5-2 before Pollanen finally got a hold for 3-5. Wikberg went up 40-15 but Pollanen got it back to the deciding point. Wikberg landed his first serve and then hit a low volley that Pollanen couldn't return and that was it.


Cal's lead was now 3-1 but Ohio State was starting to make its move on each of the three remaining courts.

Ohio State redshirt freshman Hugo Di Feo dropped the opening set to Billy Griffith at No. 3 but then he jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second. Di Feo got broke serving for the set not once but twice and all of a sudden it was back on serve at 5-4. Griffith fell behind 15-40 on his serve and then he double faulted the break to give Di Feo the 6-4 set. Di Feo went up 3-1 in the third but Griffith would break and then hold to even it at 3-3. Di Feo would hold at love for 4-3 and then he'd break Griffith on the deciding point to go up 5-3. Di Feo would serve it out at love to take it 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.


Both Mikael Torpegaard and Chris Diaz had come back from a set down and now both had break leads in the third set so it seemed like Ohio State just might pull this one out after all.

Diaz and Cal's Andre Goransson exchanged breaks virtually the entire match with service holds extremely hard to come by. Diaz jumped out to the early 2-0 lead but Goransson would hold, break, and hold to go up 3-2. Goransson broke again to go up 4-2 but Diaz would break back and then hold from 40-30 to even it at 4-4. After three straight holds, Goransson would break Diaz one more time to close out the first set 7-5. Diaz broke Goransson to start the second set but Goransson would immediately break back to even it at 1-1. Diaz would break for 4-3 and then he'd fight off four break points to hold for 5-3. Diaz broke Goransson to take the second set 6-3 and then it seemed like Goransson's body really started to fade as the third set went on - watch the clip to see how badly he was moving


As Diaz started to pull away in the third set, Ohio State sophomore and ITA #1 Mikael Torpegaard was seemingly nearing the finish line at No. 1.

Cal junior Florian Lakat took the opening set 6-3 and then went up an early break in the second before Torpegaard got it together and won the next six games to take the second set 6-2. The third set stayed on serve until Torpegaard broke Lakat from 30-40 to go up 5-3. Torpegaard was serving for the match but unbelievably he would double fault at 30-all and 30-40 to gift wrap the break to Lakat. Lakat would hold at love for 5-5 and then he'd break Torpegaard from 30-40 to go up 6-5. Lakat went up 40-15 and had three match points but he hammered a forehand long to make it 40-30, he hit a double fault that landed two courts over to make it 40-40, and then a forehand went just long on a point that lasted just short of a minute so off to a tiebreak they went.

As the tiebreak was starting up Chris Diaz did manage to close out Andre Goransson 6-2 in the third so it truly was going to be a winner take all tiebreak.

Lakat went up a mini-break to start the tiebreak and then won both points on his serve to go up 3-0. Torpegaard won the next three before Lakat held for 4-3. Lakat went up a mini-break at 5-4 but Torpegaard evened it at 5-5. Lakat held for 6-5 and then Torpegaard fought off a match point with a gutsy drop shot to even it at 6-6. Lakat went up 7-6 after Torpegaard put a pretty tight backhand into the net and then he won it on the next point when Torpegaard pushed a forehand into the alley. The clip below starts with Lakat serving at 1-0 the tiebreak and goes all the way to the celebration.



#13 California (21-6) def. #5 Ohio State (33-2), 4-3
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 12 noon
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Peter Wright (California)
Doubles
1. Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State) def. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal), 6-1
2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal) def. Martin Joyce/Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-3
3. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (Ohio State), 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
Singles
1. #30 Florian Lakat (California) def. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State), 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (6)
2. #88 Chris Diaz (Ohio State) def. #31 Andre Goransson (California), 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
3. #45 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State) def. #85 Billy Griffith (California), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. #119 Filip Bergevi (California) def. Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-2
5. #124 Oskar Wikberg (California) def. #103 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-3
6. Martin Joyce (Ohio State) def. J.T. Nishimura (California), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1


California Head Coach Peter Wright
On his team's win
"Ohio State is an incredible team and they battle so well. They really brought that match back. We were on top of them early and they kept fighting.
It was just an incredible college match at the end. They had chances to win the match, we had chances to win the match. Up and down, back and forth. It's college tennis at its finest. We've had a couple of nail biters here so far. I just have to say I'm super proud of my guys, coming through when it counts. I'm incredibly proud. The Tulsa fans were amazing.

On the importance of the doubles point
"Today we weren't the favorite going into the doubles point. Ohio State has been very strong in doubles all year. We've played incredibly well at #2 and #3 doubles. It gave us the opportunity to get out in front of Ohio State and build the lead that we did. Ohio State was great at pulling it back.

On making it to the semifinals
"It's been a while. It's really exciting for us. We've been building to this. We have two seniors in our lineup one in doubles and one in singles., but these guys have had this in their sights. It's not just the semifinals. This tournament and coming to Tulsa has been a big part of how we prepared this season and what we want to accomplish. Certainly, every match is on a razor's edge. We feel fortunate to be in the semifinals, but we feel we've earned it too.

On how the Pac-12 prepares a team for this tournament
"Every conference is a little different, but we have a tough conference. We have one team now in the semifinals, but we have solid teams on the men's and women's sides. It's great. I think the guys being able to compete against the best players in the country on a weekly basis just really helps them in preparation for the NCAA Championships. Our Pac-12 tournament is incredible. The Pac-12 is a great tennis conference, and I think what you see at the NCAA Championships year in and year out is a reflection of that.

On what it means for both the men's and women's teams to advance to the semifinals
"It's incredible. We did a facility renovation that opened last year, and we had a lot of our friends and family, the Cal family, come together and raise almost $4 million. That has been transformational to our program. As our women's team plays and as our men's team plays, we have a lot of pride in what we do in representing the school. Having both of our teams there, I think you'll notice that we've been at every one of the women's matches, they've been at every one of our matches, and that really makes a difference. Having that support that's one of the great things about this champi- onship. It's a coed championship, and you'll see the women cheering for the men's teams and the men cheering for the women's teams, and that's really what makes this such a special tournament.

Florian Lakat, California (#1 singles)
On his match...
"I think that my match was just a reflection of the whole match, as a whole. A lot of ups and downs and everyone across the board kept fighting and we stuck to the process. I was down 5-3, maybe 30 minutes earlier I actually looked really good for us and all of the sudden it switched and here I am down 5-3. We all stayed in there, the guys helped me a lot. I for sure would not have done it without them in the crowd, I love the guys coming and supporting me, it made the push for the team.

On if there were any crucial points for him...
"Not really, it is just point after point you know, that point view. You cannot be thinking about oh, I got to win this point here. It is all about process and just sticking to the game plan.

On what is going through his mind during the tie break...
"Same thing. Ups and downs, I am serving for it. I have three match points, huge rallies, I don't make it, it goes back to a breaker, up 3-0 back to 3-3. Lot of ups and downs all across the courts and it could have gone either way. I am glad it turned in our favor.


Ohio State Head Coach Ty Tucker
Comments on the match...
"Obviously it was a touch match, California did a good job at No. 1 singles, the guy (Florian Lakat) stepped up and hit the ball in some tight moments. He made some errors, but kept hitting it. I thought my guy (Mikael Torpegaard) got a little bit tight, served for the match at 5-3 and double faulted twice in that match. That's what you want in the NCAA Championships, a chance to go to the final four with your horse serving, 5-3, in the third set, I'd take it everyday of the week. But, we did a poor job in the start, we had a break on two doubles and gave it back on a deuce-point where there was an overhead involved inside the service line and gave that back. Then looked a little shell-shocked. Talked to the guys before the match, and I said you're going to have to face some adversity. That was the point; we didn't get back up onto the horse and start riding until about 40 minutes in the singles. But once we got going, we started to establish what we do, started putting points on the board, all the way to the end. We came back after being down for about two hours, and came back to have our opportunity to win. That's what you get when you let it slip away from you in the beginning.
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The other early afternoon quarterfinal really wasn't much off a match as No. 1 Virginia trounced No. 9 Florida 4-0. Virginia was in control of the doubles point pretty early on and would win 6-3 at both No. 1 and No. 3.

Virginia won all six first sets in singles and while Florida came back a little in the second set it wasn't nearly enough as Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Alex Ritschard, and J.C. Aragone each won in straight sets with Ritschard clinching the win at No. 4.

The Virginia and Florida highlight packages can get up caught up on the rest of the details.




#1 Virginia (28-4) def. #9 Florida (21-7), 4-0
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 12 noon
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and Bryan Shelton (Florida)
Doubles
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (UVA) def. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF), 6-3
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (UVA) vs. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF), 5-5
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (UVA) def. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3 
Order of Finish: 1, 3
Singles
1. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia) vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (Florida), 6-3, 4-6, 3-1 DNF
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (Florida), 6-4, 5-4 DNF
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) def. #37 Elliott Orkin (Florida), 7-6 (2), 6-2
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia) def. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3, 7-6 (4) 
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) vs. Gordon Watson (Florida), 7-6 (2), 4-6, 2-2 DNF
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. McClain Kessler (Florida), 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 4


Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
On his team's win...
"Congratulations to Florida on having a great season, winning the SEC Championship, and coming in here and doing as well as they did. They made it tough on us. 

"I thought we played really well today. We came out incredibly strong in doubles, executing well and moving well. We had an enormous amount of energy. I'm really pleased with how we started. We got off to an excellent start in singles as well. We used the momentum and it carried over. The guys are locked in and seem to be playing really well. Now we just need to prepare for whoever is next.

On what it says about the players and the program to advance to the semifinals for the seventh time...
"It's probably one of the things I'm most proud of. Consistency is hard to come by, and you have to keep the focus on year after year. There are so many great coaches and competitive programs out there, that it's hard to be consistent. When these guys put the orange and blue on, they have a tremendous amount of pride. I'm really proud of that. They play for something bigger than themselves, and it really shows day in and day out in practice, as well as the matches.

On whether depth has separated his team over the last two seasons...
"Depth has been a strength for us for a long time. I think you'll see that over a lot of the top programs. Certainly we believe in our depth, but I'm really pleased with how we played at the top of the lineup as well. Ryan Shane was about ready to go up two breaks in the third. He's playing some great tennis and moving well. Then we were serving for it at #2 with Collin Altamirano. I like how we were playing up and down the lineup. I thought it was a strong performance. Everyone was focused on their job and doing what they can. We left it out there and played a really complete match.

Luca Corinteli, Virginia (#1 doubles)
On his match being against two of the top ranked doubles teams...
"We played them earlier in the year in Gainesville and I was talking to Ryan about it before the match. I thought these guys were one of the best teams we've played all year. They serve really well, return well, both of them were great volleys so I knew it was going to come down to a couple of points. We won a couple deuce points at the beginning of the match and we came out with a ton of energy. Like I said before, this is how doubles points work it's whoever can get those deuce points and they went our way today so we got the job done.

"We have been very close, become best friends. We have known each other for so long and I know this is the last tournament that we can play with each other in the orange and blue so we are just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I know I am going to miss being able to play with him. We just keep it really light on the court that is how he is in singles as well. I don't know if you have gotten to see too many of his matches but that's just the kind of guy he is and it is what makes him so good.

Florida Head Coach Bryan Shelton
Comments on the match...
"I thought UVA came out and played really well today, it started in the doubles. When we played them in the season we were able to get that doubles point. They came out really strong today, serving well and really playing aggressively. I felt like they were just able to get off to a better start today and once they seized the momentum, they were able hold on to it throughout the singles. Our guys had an incredible year, I felt like we got better throughout the whole season and obviously in the postseason winning the SEC title, as well as, making a good run here (NCAA Championships) up to this point. I feel like we have a solid foundation, and solid core and looking forward to just continuing it next season with this group. Just proud of my seniors, who gave us so much throughout the season this year, Diego (Hidalgo) and Gordon (Watson). I'm really excited about the individual tournament and opportunities that lie ahead there.
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The late afternoon time slot was just like the early one with one close match and one that was never in doubt. The one that was never in doubt was this one between No. 7 Georgia and No. 2 North Carolina. North Carolina was playing without Robert Kelly (#1 dubs/#5 singles), who was unavailable due to a lower body injury, and Georgia definitely took advantage of the situation. Just as UNC had done against Mississippi State on Friday it shifted both its No. 2 and No. 3 teams up a spot while Brett Clark who normally plays with Kelly was paired up with Blaine Boyden at No. 3.

North Carolina got off to a good start at No. 3 when its makeshift team of Boyden and Clark broke Emil Reinberg on the deciding point to take a 2-0 lead. There would be five straight holds before Boyden and Clark broke Wayne Montgomery to win it 6-2.

Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan and Jan Zielinski broke Anu Kodali to start the match at No. 2 and they'd break him one more time to win it 6-3.

The doubles point would be decided at No. 1 and for the first 25 minutes North Carolina was in control. Jack Murray and Brayden Schnur broke Ben Wagland from 30-40 to go up 2-1 and then Jack Murray would hold on the deciding point for 3-1. After an Austin Smith hold, Schnur would hold from 40-30 to put UNC up 4-2. Wagland would hold for 3-4 and then Jack Murray would start off the next game serving at 0-15 after Brayden Schnur was given a point penalty for arguing with the chair over a call in the previous game. Smith and Wagland would break Murray for 4-4 and then they'd break him again to take the match 7-5.


With Kelly also out of the singles lineup that meant that Anu Kodali had to move up one spot to No. 5 while Blaine Boyden came off the bench to play at No. 6.

Georgia's got off to a quick start on four of the six courts with Wayne Montgomery, Walker Duncan, Jan Zielinski, and Nick Wood each going up early breaks while North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Brett Clark took break leads on the other two courts.

Duncan and Jack Murray exchanged early breaks at No. 4 but Duncan would break again to go up 4-2. Duncan held for 5-2 and then two games later he'd hold to take the opening set 6-3. The second set was all Duncan as he'd win all six games to close out a 6-3, 6-0 win. The first clip is an unbelievable tweener that Duncan hit in his 5-0 game and the second clip is match.



Less than seven minutes later the match would be over as both Nick Wood and Jan Zielinski won in straight sets with Zielinski clinching about 30 seconds after Wood's finish. The total match time was just 2 hours and 7 minutes.



North Carolina's Brayden Schnur and Brett Clark were both a game away from winning at the time of the clinch while Georgia's Wayne Montgomery was up a set on the other court.

Here are some additional highlights from Georgia.



#7 Georgia (24-4) def. #2 North Carolina (28-5), 4-0 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Sam Paul (North Carolina) and Manuel Diaz (Georgia)
Doubles
1. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (Georgia) def. #27 Jack Murray/Brayden Schnur (UNC), 7-5
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Anu Kodali/Ronnie Schneider (UNC), 6-3
3. Blaine Boyden/Brett Clark (UNC) def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (Georgia), 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
Singles
1. #26 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) vs. #17 Austin Smith (Georgia), 6-4, 5-3 DNF
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) vs. #28 Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina), 6-3, 3-3 DNF
3. #46 Brett Clark (North Carolina) vs. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia), 6-2, 5-3 DNF
4. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia) def. Jack Murray (North Carolina), 6-3, 6-0
5. Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Anu Kodali (North Carolina), 6-4, 6-2
6. Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Blaie Boyden (North Carolina), 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 5



Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
On his feelings going into the semifinals...
"Well, first of all I am so excited about the fact that these guys have worked so hard. We have overcome so much this year. You know, not just us,
a whole lot of teams come into this tournament and I know North Carolina was affected by not having Robert Kelly in the lineup, but honestly to see our team handle adversity, nobody knows this until this moment probably but Austin Smith pulled his bicep tendon completely out of the socket the Monday of the regional. He didn't practice at all that week, I held him out of the Saturday match in the round of 64. He played in the round of 32, he was not in good form but he got a cortisone shot on Monday. Long story short, he has practiced two hours in two weeks and to see him handle that adversity, and to see our team rally around him and everybody has really pulled together. To me that has just been the most rewarding thing to see, our team come together. We have three seniors, one of them is right here (Nick Wood), just a terrific contributor for four years and himself dislocated his ankle as a freshman and lost that year pretty much. That's been the story, these guys have shown a lot of toughness and they've shown how much they've wanted it. This year I think we have a closer team than we have had in a long time. All the credit to them.

On what he tells his players now...
"Well, there is not a whole lot of time to enjoy this victory today. You get to enjoy it for an hour or two and we have a shorter window to prepare for the semifinals match. We have had a day's break between the last two matches and we have got to be ready to bounce back a little bit quicker. We've got to try and get our minds on whomever we place next, still to be decided. We are a little bit fortunate in that sense that we maybe get a little bit of rest. We get to do what we get to do here, and hopefully get these guys some good food and get them in bed.

Nick Wood, Georgia (#6 singles)
On fighting through teammate Austin Smith's injury before regionals, and how the team responded...
"He's contributed so much for us this year. When he went down, it was the rest of the guys' time to step up, and contribute back for him. We kind of rallied around him, and we're just playing for each other right now. Like Coach (Manuel Diaz) said, we're just such a close team, and we have a special bond that has taken us this far. It's pretty special.

On his match...
"I played a good match. I felt pretty comfortable out there. Once I got that early break in the second set, I kind of just rolled. I was just playing loose and playing relaxed and just having fun out there, just trying to enjoy my last run here, and it's just been incredible.

On being a senior and working to get to the next step...
"Coach talks about all the stories of them winning the national championship. It's pretty inspiring. We're just really inspired right now, and we're look- ing to take that championship. We're not settling for anything less.

North Carolina Head Coach Sam Paul
Comments on the match...
"First of all congratulations to Georgia, they played a great a match, they just out-played us today. The doubles point was key; they got a lot mo- mentum from that. The sad thing for us, it's your last chance to coach, Brett Clark. Our seniors worked so hard. He's been to three elite eights in his career. Andrew Gores, he came back for a fifth year. I'm really proud of him, how hard he worked. I appreciate what he did coming back for his fifth year, and Stuart DePaolo. That's the sad thing about today, we don't have another day to coach those guys and work with those guys. I want to congratulate my guys on a great season. We were a little bit injured coming in and that was unfortunate for us. But again, Georgia just out-played us anyway, that's the way sports go sometimes. We weren't able to handle it. Congratulations to them. This was record-breaking year for us, our kids won a National Championship in February, and we've been highly ranked consistently all year, and looking forward to next year.
_______________________________________________________________

The other late afternoon quarterfinal matched up UCLA and Oklahoma. There wasn't any doubt who the locals were cheering for with the crowd roaring every time Oklahoma won a point.

Oklahoma got off to the hot start at both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles while UCLA was running away with the match at No. 3. UCLA's Maxime Cressy and Austin Rapp broke OU to go up 3-1 and then they'd break again for 5-1 and serve it out for a 6-1 win. OU's Axel Alvarez and Andrew Harris jumped out to a 3-0 lead at No. 1 and would upset the ITA No. 2 ranked team of Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki 6-3. The doubles point would be decided in a tiebreak at No. 2 between OU's Alex Ghilea and Spencer Papa and UCLA's Joseph Di Giulio and Karue Sell. Ghilea and Papa won the first four points of the tiebreak but Di Giulio and Sell would take four of the next five to pull within 5-4. Papa would take the next two on his serve to win it 7-6(4).

Each team took three opening sets in singles and four of the six matches would finish in straight sets. OU sophomore Spencer Papa put the Sooners ahead 2-0 with a straight set win over Gage Brymer at No. 3. Papa broke Brymer to go up 3-1 in the first and he'd make that break lead hold up for a 6-3 opening set. Papa broke Brymer to start the second set and he'd eventually lead 5-3 but Brymer would hold for 4-5. Papa had three match points on his serve after going up 40-15 but Brymer would come back to get the break for 5-5. Brymer had to start off his next game down 0-15 because of a point penalty for excessive noise (I thought I heard the chair say it was due to the noise from the UCLA bench area). Papa would break Brymer on a double fault to go up 6-5 and then he's serve it out from 40-15 to win it 6-3, 7-5.


Moments later Karue Sell would put UCLA on the board with a straight set win over Alex Ghilea at No. 4. Sell broke Ghilea to go up 6-5 in the first but Ghilea broke back to force a tiebreak. Sell would roll through the tiebreak and win it 7-3. Ghilea went up a break at 3-2 in the second but Sell won the final four games to take it 7-6, 6-3.

Florin Bragusi would put Oklahoma ahead 3-1 after he defeated Logan Staggs in straight sets at No. 5. Bragusi broke Staggs to start the match but Staggs would break back for 3-all. Braugsi would immediately break back and a few games later he would take set 6-4. Bragusi broke Staggs to go up 3-2 in the second but he would be broke serving for the match to even it at 5-5. Bragusi would break back and then he'd serve it out at love to win 6-4, 7-5.


UCLA sophomore Martin Redlicki would put the Bruins second point on the board with a straight set win over Axel Alvarez at No. 2. Redlicki won the first set 7-5 after breaking Alvarez's 5-6 service game. Alvarez would break for 2-1 in the second and he'd eventually lead 5-3. Redlicki would take the next three games to go up 6-5 and he'd have three match points after going up 15-40 on Alvarez's serve. Alvarez managed to fight each off to send it to a tiebreak. Redlicki went up 6-2 in the tiebreak but Alvarez would take three straight to pull within 6-5. Redlicki would win it on the next point when an Alvarez backhand sailed long.

Despite trailing 3-2, UCLA was in good shape because Mackenzie McDonald had a 5-2 lead in the third set at No. 1 while Joseph Di Giulio led 2-0 in the third set at No. 6.

Andrew Harris wouldn't go down quietly at No. 1 as the OU junior would take the next three games to even it at 5-5. McDonald held for 6-5 and then he broke Harris from 30-40 to win it 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.


The deciding match would be at No. 6 between UCLA junior Joseph Di Giulio and Oklahoma freshman Andre Biro. Di Giulio looked like he'd close this match out in straight sets win he led 6-4, 4-1 but Biro charged back and took six of the next seven games to take the second set 7-5. Di Giulio went up 2-0 in the second but Biro rattled off four straight games to go ahead 4-2 (Di Giulio was broke on his 2-1 service game when he called a Biro shot long at 30-40 but upon Biro's appeal the chair overruled the call). Di Giulio came back from 30-40 down to hold for 3-4. Biro would hold easily from 40-15 to go up 5-3 and then he'd break from 30-40 to clinch the win.


Video

#11 Oklahoma (19-10) def. #3 UCLA (25-3), 4-3
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
Doubles
1. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (OU) def. #2 Mackie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA), 6-3
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (OU) def. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA), 7-6 (4)
3. Maxime Cressy/Austin Rapp (UCLA) def. Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (OU), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
Singles
1. #6 Mackie McDonald (UCLA) def. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma), 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma), 7-5, 7-6 (5)
3. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA), 6-3, 7-5
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma), 7-6 (3), 6-3
5. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Logan Staggs (UCLA), 6-4, 7-5
6. Andre Biro (Oklahoma) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5, 2, 1, 6


Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
On his team's win...
"It was a great match. The doubles came down to the end. In the singles, UCLA fought incredibly hard. They just played tremendous. We've had three of those with UCLA the last three years, so we expected them to play well, and that's what they did. You have to give UCLA a lot of credit for how they competed. It was an incredible effort by both teams. I thought after they won at 1 and 2, and we were down a break at 6, it doesn't look great there, but you just keep fighting and going, and (Andre) Biro did a really nice job of stepping up and not letting the moment get to him at all, and just played rock solid tennis. It was just a great match, and too bad someone had to lose that one.

On whether they were worried about UCLA coming back after losing the doubles point (had lost 5 of 6 doubles points)...
"I didn't know. I probably should have. I didn't know. We talk about the doubles point, I'm sure other teams do too, where if you win or lose it, you just have to put it behind you. Obviously in the back of your mind when you're thinking you have to win three, it's a lot easier road. I didn't know. It's like what I said in the opening statement, UCLA all those guys competed hard. That's why they're able to do that. That's an interesting stat, and a lot of credit to them just to keep competing no matter what it's looking like out there.

On coming back from two down in singles....
"That's kind of the spot of the match where we just lost those two that I alluded to earlier. That was for us, and for everybody, a big moment in the match. For Andre (Biro) to settle down and get the break back early in that set so you're not fighting uphill the whole way, was really good for a freshman to be able to come in and settle down and execute, and get some great passing shots there and earn some points. So that was huge to
get right back in it at that particular moment. No player or coach is going to want to be down it's 3-all and then you're down 2-0 at the third break. Everybody will take being up 2-0. Right there, you have to figure out what you need to do to execute, and then you have to go do it. Andre did a great job in that moment.

On the crowd support...
"It was great. It was a great environment. That was probably by far the most people that have ever watched the Sooners play tennis. I'm sure for the guys it's fun to play in. I can speak from experience playing at Georgia in front of Georgia in the NCAA's, and it's something you never forget.

Spencer Papa, Oklahoma (#3 singles)
On the importance of doubles and his match specifically...
"I think that me and Alex were starting to play some of our best doubles and we have kind of struggled throughout the season, but we have been practicing for the last couple of weeks, just focusing on doubles, and it paid off today.

On what it is like to be here in Tulsa for the tournament...
"We're lucky we are close and have a bunch of fans that can come out. I have played on these courts for the last three or four years, so I am used to them and I think that was a little bit of an advantage for me today.

UCLA Head Coach Billy Martin
Opening Statement...
"We have had some really good matches with Oklahoma in the past three years, and we haven't been successful. The doubles point was really crucial, and I thought that we fought back really good in the No. 2 doubles position. I thought we fought pretty well in singles. Obviously, we had a chance to win that No. 6 singles position after being up a set, and that's one we probably shouldn't have let slip away but unfortunately we did. That young man (OU's Andre Biro) hung in there and played pretty well to win that match, but a great college tennis match. There were two good teams fighting their hearts out today, and unfortunately we were on the bottom side. There is nothing to be ashamed of because that is a really good team. Oklahoma has taken there lumps without Harris in their line-up, but I knew with him in the line-up it's a completely different team and as good of a team as there is in college tennis. I think they have a good as chance as anybody else left to win the tournament.
Published in Blogs
[1] Virginia Cavaliers (28-4) vs. [13] Cal Bears (21-6) - Monday 4pm CT - Virginia advanced to its seventh straight NCAA semifinals with a 4-0 shellacking of Florida while Cal advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1991 after winning a 4-3 thriller over Ohio State. These teams last met in the quarterfinals of the 2014 National Team Indoors in Houston though only a handful of guys were on those teams. Cal has been the cinderella story on the men's side after taking out the No. 4 and No. 5 while Virginia played its best tennis yesterday in its match against Florida. If Virginia plays like it did in that match there isn't anyone that's going to beat them in these next two days.  

2014 National Team Indoors Quarterfinals 

#1 Virginia, #11 California 0 
February 14, 2014 at Houston, Texas (Downtown Club at the Met) 
Doubles Competition
1. Domijan/J.Shane (UVa) def. McLachlan/Goransson (Cal) 6-3 
2. Frank/Corinteli (UVa) vs. Bayane/Melton (Cal) 4-4 DNF 
3. Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVa) def. Bergevi/Johnson (Cal) 6-2 
Order of Finish: 3,1 
Singles Competition
1. #3 Mitchell Frank (UVa) led #62 Ben McLachlan (Cal) 6-3, 5-1 DNF 
2. Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #68 Campbell Johnson (Cal) 6-1, 6-3 
3. Ryan Shane (UVa) def. Filip Bergevi (Cal) 6-0, 6-2 
4. Justin Shane (UVa) led #118 Andre Goransson (Cal) 6-4, 4-1 DNF 
5. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVa) def. Gregory Bayane (Cal) 6-0, 6-1 
6. #62 Jordan Daigle (UVa) led Mads Engsted (Cal) 6-3, 3-2 DNF
Order of Finish: 5,2,3

Doubles Records: Virginia 28-4, Cal 18-7
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Cal 84

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 16th. 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. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.39) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL 14.23)
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.25) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL 14.26)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.50) vs. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL 14.34)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.37) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL 14.24)
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.90) vs. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL 13.63)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.53)  vs. J.T. Nishimura (CAL 13.53)
O: Luca Corinteli (VA 13.68) 

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-12 vs. Lakat 10-8
2. Altamirano 24-4 vs. Goransson 12-11
3. Kwiatkowski 22-6 vs. Griffith 15-4
4. Ritschard 4-0 vs. Bergevi 19-3
5. Aragone 23-4 vs. Wikberg 12-4
6. Wiersholm 24-2 vs. Nishimura 11-4
Bench: Corinteli 10-3

Cal has been able to take the doubles point two matches in a row but I think their luck runs out today with Virginia picking up wins at No. 1 and No. 2. Both Florian Lakat and Andre Goransson played extremely physical matches yesterday so it'll be interesting to see how they look less than 24 hours later. Cal has made a great run this week that has surpassed just about everyone expectations but I just can't see them getting past Virginia. I'll take Altamirano, Kwiatkowski, and Wiersholm with Shane also leading while Bergevi and Wikberg will have leads for Cal but won't finish.  Prediction: Virginia 4-0



[7] Georgia Bulldogs (24-4) vs. [11] Oklahoma Sooners (19-10) - Monday 4pm CT - Georgia advanced to its first NCAA semifinal since 2013 with a 4-0 win over North Carolina while Oklahoma is into the semifinals for the third year in a row after outlasting UCLA 4-3. There are all kinds of interesting storylines in this one - Oklahoma head coach John Roddick is a Georgia graduate, Georgia assistant Bo Hodge (also a Georgia graduate) was an Oklahoma assistant for the previous four years before coming to Athens last summer, and Nick Papac, Georgia's volunteer assistant, just graduated from Oklahoma last year. The teams last met in last year's NCAA quarterfinals with Oklahoma winning 4-2 - there will be two individual rematches with Andrew Harris and Austin Smith playing at No. 1 after playing at No. 2 last year while Axel Alvarez and Wayne Montgomery will play at No. 2 after playing at No. 1 last year. 

2015 NCAA Quarterfinals 

[1] Oklahoma def. [8] #7 Georgia 4-2 
May 16, 2015 - Hurd Tennis Center Grandstand Courts 
Doubles Competition 
1. #57 Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) def. #1 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (GA) 8-3 
2. Dane Webb/Spencer Papa (OU) vs. Wayne Montgomery/Nathan Pasha (GA) 6-7 unf. 
3. Axel Alvarez/Jose Salazar (OU) def. Eric Diaz/Paul Osterbaan (GA) 8-5 
Singles Competition 
1. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU 15.19) def.#24 Wayne Montgomery (GA 14.61) 6-1, 6-1 
2. #7 Andrew Harris (OU 15.05) vs. #30 Austin Smith (GA 14.32) 4-6, 6-4, 5-4 (15-30) unf. 
3. #31 Nathan Pasha (GA 14.38) def. #44 Dane Webb (OU 14.22) 6-2, 6-3 
4. #103 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.42) def. Ben Wagland (GA 13.49) 7-6(4), 7-5 
5. NickWood (GA 13.85) def. Spencer Papa (OU 13.90) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 
6. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.64) def. Paul Oosterbaan (GA 13.85) 6-4, 6-2 
Match Notes: 
Oklahoma 29-2 
Georgia 24-5 
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,3,6,5,4)


Doubles Records: Georgia 19-8, Oklahoma 16-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Georgia 84, Oklahoma 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #17 Austin Smith (UGA 14.52) vs. #97 Andrew Harris (OU 14.76)
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 13.98) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.29)
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 14.01) vs. #82 Spencer Papa (OU 13.96)
4. #123 Walker Duncan (UGA 13.62) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.02)
5. Jan Zielinski (UGA 13.76) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 
6. Nick Wood (UGA 13.80) vs. Andre Biro (OU 13.74)
O: Emil Reinberg (UGA 13.42)Maxime Mora (OU 13.68)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Smith 20-5 vs. Harris 6-2
2. Montgomery 14-10 vs. Alvarez 11-9
3. Oosterbaan 16-7 vs. Papa 11-9
4. Duncan 15-5 vs. Ghilea 11-7
5. Zielinski 10-7 vs. Bragusi 10-6
6. Wood 16-2 vs. Biro 17-5

Georgia got off the court an hour quicker than OU did yesterday but Harris and Biro were the only ones that played three sets. Oklahoma has won the doubles point two matches in a row against teams that were pretty strong so it'll be interesting to see if they can keep the magic going for a third day in a row in front of what should be a raucous later afternoon crowd. I like Montgomery, Oosterbaan, and Wood for Georgia but I think OU will take the point and get wins from Harris, Ghilea, and Bragusi. If Georgia can find a way to win the doubles point, like yesterday, they might be able to lean on OU in singles and get a quick win or two which would put a ton of pressure on them to come back. I'm going to take Boomer Sooner but if Georgia takes the doubles point I think the Dawgs will be playing for a Natty tomorrow nite!  Prediction: Oklahoma 4-3. 

Published in Blogs
It was an interesting day at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa with rain forcing one of the two semifinal matches indoors. Virginia had little trouble dispatching Cal in the indoor semifinal while Oklahoma won a 4-3 thriller in the nightcap which was played outdoors.

Sooners Win (Photo By Ty Russell - SoonerSports)
The Oklahoma/Georgia match was originally scheduled to start at 4 p.m. central time but due to periodic showers it was put on hold while Virginia and Cal went indoors with a 5:25 p.m. central start. The reason Virginia and Cal couldn't start until 5:25 was because the second women's semifinal didn't finish until 4:20 and neither Virginia or Cal had been able to hit since the morning so they needed an hour to get warmed up. Since Virginia was the highest remaining seed they were given the earlier start time which meant Oklahoma and Georgia had the chance to go outdoors if it dried up. The official starting time of 7 p.m. wasn't announced until close to 6 p.m. so a lot of the local OU fans probably didn't get the memo because the crowds weren't anywhere near what I thought they would be. Coincidentally the paid attendance of 1197 was actually the best this week but many of those fans came for the Oklahoma State women's match at 10 a.m. and were long gone by the time the men's matches started.

Oklahoma didn't have nearly the home court advantage that I thought it would plus Georgia's play early on in doubles kept most of the noise at bay. Georgia's Wayne Montgomery and Emil Reinberg broke the Austin Siegel serve to start the match at No. 3 and then Reinberg held on the deciding point for 2-0.

Georgia's Ben Wagland and Austin Smith went up 15-40 on Andrew Harris's opening service game at No. 1 but Harris was able to battle back and hold for 1-0. After that opening game, neither team would get get much traction on the others service return with very few service games even reaching 40-30.

Break opportunities at No. 2 doubles were few and far between as well with each player holding serve pretty easily until OU's Alex Ghilea faced a pair of break points at 3-3, 30-40. Ghilea was able to get the hold for 4-3 with a pair of service winners.

Meanwhile back at No. 3, Georgia had maintained its break advantage and led 4-2 but Biro would hold from 40-15 for 3-4 and then Montgomery would find himself in a 15-40 hole. Montgomery and Reinberg got it to the deciding point but OU would get the break when they attacked the net and put one down at Reinberg's feet which he was unable to scoop up. Siegel would get a quick hold for 5-4 and all of a sudden Reinberg was serving to stay in the match.

While Georgia's lead at No. 3 had evaporated the Bulldogs were also in some trouble at No. 2 with Paul Oosterbaan serving at 4-5, 30-30. OU's Alex Ghilea hit a forehand that hit the net cord and kicked up over the head of the 6' 7" Oosterbaan and landed perfectly on the back line for a winner which gave OU a pair of match points. Oosterbaan fought off the first match point but he couldn't fight off the second after Spencer Papa drilled a return at his feet and OU had the 6-4 win.
Less than 45 seconds later the doubles point would be over because after falling behind 15-40, Emil Reinberg would double fault at 30-40 to give OU the 6-4 win.
After the way Georgia started off I really thought they were going to take the doubles point because they seemingly had the upper hand the majority of the time but they just couldn't take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them. Oklahoma's guys didn't get a ton of break opportunities but they made sure to convert the few that they got and ultimately that was the difference.

This was the third match in a row that Oklahoma had won the doubles point so that had to be a confidence booster for them knowing they had the extra point in the bank.

Once singles got underway the break point opportunities that were few and far between in doubles were plentiful in singles. Oklahoma's Andrew Harris jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on Austin Smith at No. 1 while Axel Alvarez went up 3-1 against Wayne Montgomery at No. 2. Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan broke Spencer Papa for a 3-2 at No. 3 while Oklahoma's Florin Bragusi and Andre Biro went up 4-2 on Jan Zielinski and Nick Wood.

Andrew Harris's 2-0 lead at No. 1 quickly evaporated as Austin Smith won the next eight games to take the opening set 6-2 and go up a break at 2-0 in the second. Harris would finally stop the streak by breaking Smith for 1-2 but Smith would break back and then hold for 4-1. Smith would get broke serving for the match up 5-3 but he'd break Harris from 30-40, on a double fault, to close it out 6-2, 6-4. Coincidently Harris also double faulted the first set away as well.
Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan would put the Bulldogs ahead 2-1 after he got past Spencer Papa at No. 3. Ooosterbaan served extremely well all night long and after going up that break at 3-2 in the first he'd hold to take the opening set 6-4. Oosterbaan would break Papa's 5-5 service game in the second set and then he'd serve it out from 40-15 to win 6-4, 7-5. Of the 12 guys playing singles Oosterbaan was the only one not to get broke all night long.

So Georgia had it's first lead of the night but it still needed to find two more courts if it was going to win the match.

One of the courts that Georgia was banking on was at No. 6 as senior Nick Wood was battling OU freshman Andre Biro. Biro won the deciding match against UCLA in the quarterfinals and it looked like that added confidence was giving him a boost because he played from ahead virtually the entire night. Biro broke Wood to go up 4-2 in the opening set but Wood broke back on the deciding point to make it 3-4. It would stay on serve until the tiebreak though Biro had to hold on the deciding point for 6-5 while Wood fought off two set points to hold on the deciding point for 6-6. Wood was up 5-3* in the tiebreak but Biro won the last four points to take the opening set 7-6(5). Biro broke Wood to go up 3-2 in the second but Wood broke back for 3-3. Biro would break again for 4-3 but once again Wood broke back for 4-4. After consecutive holds Biro would break Wood to go up 6-5 and then he'd serve it out to win it 7-6(5), 7-5.
The team match was now tied at 2-2 but it looked like Oklahoma was going to close it out any minute because Axel Alvarez was serving for the match at No. 2 up 5-4 in the third while Florin Bragusi was receiving up 5-2 in the third at No. 5.

Bragusi got off to a quick start in his match at No. 5 against Georgia freshman Jan Zielinski by going up an early break at 4-2 and he'd break Zielinski again to take the opening set 6-2. Zielinski went up a break at 3-2 in the second but Bragusi would break back and hold for 4-3. Zielinski would then hold, break, and hold again to send the match to a third set. Bragusi quickly turned it around and won the opening three games of the third set including a hold on the deciding point for 3-0. Zielinski held for 1-3 and then he had a break point on the deciding point but Bragusi fought it off to May 24, 2016 ">hold for 4-1. Zielinski held for 2-4 and then once again he'd have a break point on the deciding point but Bragusi hit a service winner to go up 5-2. Bragusi jumped out to a 15-40 lead on Zielinski's serve and would break to win it by showing a tremendous of hustle - watch the clip below.

Bragusi's win put OU ahead 3-2 but Georgia wasn't done yet because Wayne Montgomery would break Axel Alvarez from 15-40 to even it at 5-5. Montgomery held for 6-5 and then he'd break Alvarez at love to win it 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

With the match tied at 3-3 it'd come to a third set at No. 4 between Oklahoma junior Alex "The Machine" Ghilea and Georgia freshman Walker Duncan. Ghilea and Duncan played an epic first set that took an hour and eight minutes to complete with Duncan taking it 10-8 in the tiebreak. Ghilea actually served for the first set up 5-4 and 6-5 but Duncan broke back on both occasions. Ghilea broke Duncan on the deciding point to go up 3-1 in the second but Duncan broke back on the deciding point and then held for 3-3. Ghilea would hold, break, and hold again to take the second set 6-3.

Ghilea would break Duncan to open the third set and then he'd hold for 2-0. Duncan went up 40-0 on his 0-2 service game but it took a forehand winner on the deciding point to get the hold for 1-2.
Ghilea held from 40-15 for 3-1 and then he'd break Duncan from 15-40 with a laser forehand that he hit on the run.
Ghilea would hold on the deciding point for 5-1 after hitting a big forehand and then following it up with a volley winner at the net.
Duncan would hold from 40-15 for 2-5 but Ghilea would serve it out from 40-30 to sent Oklahoma back to the NCAA Championship match for the third year in a row. The first clip is mine, the second is OUs, and the third is the NCAAs (best one).


This was a fantastic 3 hour and 12 minute thriller that teetered back and forth. There was a good 15-20 minute period where Georgia really seemed to be taking over because they had just got wins on 1 and 3 plus Montgomery and Zielinski had earned splits on 2 and 5. Plus at that time Duncan was still up a set at 3 and Wood had close to forcing a third set at 6. Oklahoma was able to ride it out and the Machine was able to use his big-match experience to stay calm and bring it home.

I know someone of you aren't big twitter users but if you want to check out a slew of video clips from the match you can go back through my timeline to watch them. I linked several here but there were probably about 75 that I didn't.

Video

#11 Oklahoma (20-10) def. #7 Georgia (24-5), 4-3
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m. (Delayed until 7 p.m.)
Head Coaches: Manuel Diaz (Georgia) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
Doubles
1. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (OU) vs. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA), 5-4 DNF
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (OU) def. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA), 6-4
3. Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (OU) def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA), 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3
Singles
1. #17 Austin Smith (Georgia) def. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma), 6-2, 6-4
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) def. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma), 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma), 6-4, 7-5
4. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) def. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-2
5. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) def. Jan Zielinski (Georgia), 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
6. Andre Biro (Oklahoma) def. Nick Wood (Georgia), 7-6 (5), 7-5
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 6, 2, 5, 4


Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
On his team's win...
"I'd like to congratulate Georgia. What a match, two nights in a row. It's a shame people have to lose those matches. Especially our teams have a lot of crossover, a lot of mutual respect. It's a great program they have. It was just a hell of a match tonight.

On the last match OU won...
"As you sit there as a coach and watch, you can see the scoreboard and maybe you don't know exactly what's going on on all the other courts. It looked like we were in position on some other courts, I think at #2 singles with Axel (Alvarez) up a break in the third. We had just broken with Biro
to go up a break in the second, and Florin (Bragusi) was up a break in the third. You look, and that's when Alex (Ghilea) hadn't won the second set yet. It looks good, and you're hoping to close it out so it doesn't come down to that. But we've seen all these matches before, and to close out three matches against three very good Georgia players is a big ask. That's what I told Alex. I said you have to dig in here, and there's a very good chance that you're going to be the guy here. That's what he wants. He loves that. Florin and Alex, our two remains, have won probably more clinching matches than anyone in OU history. Either one of them out on the court is who we want to have out there. Alex loves that position, as you can see. He did a good job of taking control of that third set early.

On emotions after this match, given his relationship with Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz...
"It's harder now than during the match. When you're shaking hands it's harder. But when you're out there, you want to win and you want your team to win. You want your team to execute. We don't focus a lot on winning and losing. We focus on doing our job and trying to execute and doing what we need to do to give ourselves the best chance to win matches. Because in tennis, there's no forgone conclusion ever. So that's what we focus on. That's what we do during the matches. Afterwards, yeah it's bittersweet at this point. If we're not playing, I'm cheering for the Dogs. That's just the way it is, the way it'll always be.

On the importance of winning the doubles point in this match...
"If we didn't turn our doubles around, we would've lost the last two matches. The other two teams matched us in singles. We won three points the last two nights. If we don't play the kind of doubles we've been playing this week, then we're not sitting here trying to get ready for the finals. So
it's been a huge boost to play. We've spent a lot of time, and Florin can attest to it, in the last three or four weeks just focusing on doubles, and not knowing if that's enough time or not to really see a big improvement, and it's been I'm proud of the guys to be able to come on this stage and be able to start executing a lot of different things. We just decided we had to do something different, because what we were doing wasn't working.

On playing Virginia in the final...
"(Virginia Head Coach) Brian (Boland) and I are good friends too, so that's another one where, it's fun to play them in these moments, and we always talk about trying to play in the finals, Manny and I, Brian and I. We've had good matches with Virginia over the last few years. I expect tomorrow to be another good one. They've been probably, them and USC, over the last 10 years, one of the dominant programs. So we're just trying to break in to that. Tomorrow is a step in that direction. For us, if this team can do that, we've come a long way. We've come a long way regardless. Virginia got out of here quick, and we have a lot of preparing to do. I know my guys are going to fight tomorrow. Our team is competitive, and you don't lose that just because you're a little bit tired. I think we're going to feel good tomorrow.

On what Alex Ghilea did to turn the match around...
"He hit the ball a lot better. In the third set, he hit the ball a lot better than he did in the first set. He had a lot of chances. He wasn't making errors up until 40-30, deuce that's when he was making errors, on those points in the first set. I think that caused him to be a little tentative. Once he finally it's like it's time and pressure, you have to keep doing it. You're right there, you have to win a couple of the big points, and he had them on his racket, he was just making errors. I just said there's nothing to change, it's just execution. Tennis is a funny sport. All of a sudden you execute two or three times, and the train started going out of the station, and you saw in the third set, he was rolling. Walker (Duncan) was fighting like crazy in the third set, and it got interesting there. Walker made it interesting there, I think at the 4-1 game, maybe to break. It's a big difference between 5-1 and 4-2, and Walker had a chance there and he fought really hard. But Alex was really going. His forehand up the line caught fire a little bit and he hit some winners, and that's why he was able to extend his lead in the third set.

On whether his players try to hit winners...
"We don't really talk about hitting winners. If it happens to be a winner, that's great. If you hit it to the right spot enough times with enough pressure, you're going to end up hitting winners. Sometimes you start getting a guy off balance and you can hit it up the line. It might look like a guy is trying to hit a winner, but I promise you my guys aren't trying to hit winners. That's not what we do. We try to construct points, and he (Alex) did a fantastic job at the end. When you play that way and you're trying to use your forehand and he missed a couple but in the third set, I know we don't keep stats at the NCAA, but I'd love to see the forced winners and unforced errors. It has to be pretty remarkable there.

On the tension going to the third set of the last match, knowing what's at stake...
"It's weird. Every match is different. For me, it's strange because it's different every time. I think it depends on how your guys are playing. It's differ- ent every time. Tonight, once Alex really established what he wanted to establish, I wasn't nervous at all, because I felt like he was doing what he needed to do to have a very good chance of winning that match. Sometimes when guys aren't doing it, it's nail-biting. It feels like it takes years off your life. Tonight, I don't think that was the case. I have a lot of confidence in Alex out there, and even Andre (Biro) and Florin, when I was looking at the scores, I knew what they were doing and how they were doing it, and they did a great job.

Florin Bragusi, Oklahoma (#5 singles)
On if he was aware of the match scores...
"I wasn't really trying to look at the scoreboard because I don't really like that, I can't be nervous. So I just try and focus on my match and then just win that. I was just trying to focus on my match and that was it pretty much.

On what he did at the completion of his match...
"I looked at the scoreboard and saw Alex was the last match, so I just ran to his court.

On what is going through his mind about advancing to the championship match again...
"It's crazy that we are in the finals but we got one more match to go so we just have to get ready for our match and drink everything we can, get treatment and all that stuff and then we just have to be ready to play a great match tomorrow against a very good team, Virginia.


Georgia Head Coach Manuel Diaz
On the match tonight...
"Well, it was a tremendous college match, all the credit goes to Oklahoma. They were able to pull the doubles (point) out. I thought we had some pretty good momentum early on in the doubles. We seemed to be controlling play on least a couple courts, up a break at No. 3 (court). Oklahoma just seemed to win the big points in doubles and took the momentum. It wound up being the difference (of the match). You have to give them credit. They won at No. 5 and No. 6, where I thought we had chances to win, one or two of those (matches). I thought our guys played with a lot of heart, and really put it all on the line. Oklahoma just sneaked out one more match than we needed to win. The credit goes to them.
___________________________________________________________

While the nightcap was a barnburner the early match was a relative walk in the park for the top-seed Virginia. Cal really needed to get off to a quick start to have any chance but Virginia was able to jump on them in doubles at both No. 2 and No. 3.

Collin Altamirano and J.C. Aragone broke Mads Engsted on the deciding point to go up 3-2 and then they'd break J.T. Nishimura on another deciding point to go up 5-2. Altamirano would serve it out from 40-30 to win it 6-2.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Mac Styslinger broke Oskar Wikberg from 15-40 to go up 4-2 and then Styslinger would hold for 5-2. Goransson held for 3-5 and then Kwiatkowski held on the deciding point to give Virginia the 6-3 win and early 1-0 lead in the match (video clarity wasn't the best - sorry about that I needed to be about 25 feet closer to get a better shot).
The doubles point took 28 minutes and after a 10 minute break singles would get underway. Virginia came out of the shoot pretty quickly and went up breaks on five of six courts.

Thai-Son Kwiatkowski would only need 48 minutes to roll over Billy Griffith 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4. Kwiatkowski jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set then made that lead hold up the rest of the way.

J.C. Aragone needed just an hour and two minutes to defeat Oskar Wikberg 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 and then two minutes later Henrik Wiersholm would close out Mads Engsted 6-3, 6-4 at No. 6. All said and done the match last 1 hour and 42 minutes.


#1 Virginia (29-4) def. #13 California (21-7), 4-0
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 4 p.m. (Delayed until 5:25 p.m.)
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and Peter Wright (California)
Doubles
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (UVA) vs. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal), 4-4 DNF
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (UVA) def. A Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal), 6-3
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (UVA) def. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2
Singles
1. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (California), 6-1, 6-6 DNF
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (California), 6-4, 2-3 DNF
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) def. #85 Billy Griffith (California), 6-3, 6-0
4. #119 Filip Bergevi (California) vs. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia), 6-3, 4-3 DNF
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) def. #124 Oskar Wikberg (California), 6-3, 6-4
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. Mads Engsted (California), 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6



Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
On his team's win
"Congratulations to Cal-Berkeley on a tremendous season. Making a run to the Final Four is a great accomplishment. I'm sure they would have liked to have gone further, but they fought hard today. I was just pleased with how well we played throughout the entire match.

On his team's experience in the finals
"We've been in the final, this is at least my fifth time. Obviously in '13 and '15 we had some success. I don't think there is anything more important than experience. I think it's invaluable, and everyone on the court was there last year when we won the NCAA Championship. I think that's really helpful, and I certainly feel we're fortunate to have the veterans on the court that we do.

On the mindset going into the finals
"We're hungry. We're eager. We love being together. It's an incredible group of guys who love being around each other. They're the best of friends. They have an incredible culture that they've developed, and I'm just proud to be part of the journey. I know it's been enjoyable. This is my 20th year as a head coach, and certainly one of my favorites, in terms of the journey that we've taken. Like any season, you have some adversity. We've had that this year. We're healthy and we're playing our best tennis right now, so we're right where we want to be.

On potential opponents Georgia and Oklahoma
"They're both great programs, and regardless of who we play, we'll be ready. We played Oklahoma last year, and they've certainly had another run this year late in the season. They've had some struggles throughout the year. We played them earlier in the year, here in Tulsa. We won a close 4-3, and both of us were missing a player due to injury. With Georgia, we haven't seen them this year, but they're having a great run in the tournament. We'll see what happens tonight, and we'll be ready regardless.

Luca Corinteli, Virginia (#1 doubles)
Opening Statement...
On having played in last year's championship match and how that will help in tomorrow's match...
"I think that just having the experience from being in the finals last year and coming out on top helps. We have always had a target on our back all year long, and embracing that is something we have gotten comfortable with. You can never really put it into words, but we are just grateful to be in this position. We are all really excited.


California Head Coach Peter Wright
On the match today...
"It was a tough match for us today, Virginia is just an incredibly strong team and the doubles point was a critical piece of it for us today. But when I reflect on today's match, I reflect on the run this team has had this year and it has been an incredible run. Our senior class has done an amazing job, I am proud of how we competed today. Virginia is strong, solid and our guys fought back and we actually had some opportunities in a few of the matches there to really bring this thing back. Overall, I am not disappointed with our performance.

On bringing a 13 seed in the semifinals...
"We never saw ourselves as the 13 seed coming in here. We saw ourselves as a team that if somebody is going to beat us they are going to have to play well to beat us. We just didn't have the same picture that everybody else had and we didn't look at the numbers and the seeding the way that everybody else did and I think that reflected in our play throughout the tournament. Today, that was a very strong Virginia team and they beat us so we have to tip our hat to them, a well-coached, strong team.

On having both California teams in the semifinals...
"It says a lot about our tennis program, our kids that we have and both teams in the semifinals of the national championships is incredible. It is a wonderful feat and we haven't done it in the past so it is the first time at California to have that. Our guys are extremely proud of what they have been able to accomplish here and I know our women are as well. I know for us, we feel like we are a program on the rise and we would like to have two national champions next year.

Published in Blogs
[1] Virginia Cavaliers (29-4) vs. [11] Oklahoma Sooners (20-10) - Tuesday 6pm CT - Well here we are again with the same matchup as last year though for most of the regular season it didn't look like it would end up that way. Virginia had some ups and downs and had its ACC regular season and postseason winning streaks get snapped while Oklahoma lost 10, yes 10, matches and went out in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Both teams have hit their peak this week with the return of a pair of starters that missed most of the year with regular season injuries. Andrew Harris (knee/groin) is anchoring the OU lineup which has let everyone else slide down a spot while Alex Ritschard (shoulder) has helped strengthen the middle of the UVA lineup. 

These two actually met just a little over two months ago on these same courts in Tulsa with Virginia winning 4-3 though the match wasn't as close as the score. Aragone clinched at 4-1 but they played the remaining matches out with OU winning both. All six singles matches will be different this time due to Harris and Ritschard re-entering the lineup. 

Virginia won last year's final 4-1 in a match where Virginia was in control just about the entire time. There will be one rematch from that one with J.C. Aragone and Florin Bragusi matched up at No. 5 this year after playing at No. 6 last year. 

2016 Regular Season Meeting 

#4 Virginia 4, #13 Oklahoma 3 
March 12, 2016 at Tulsa, OK (Michael D. Case Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #41 Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) def. #13 Ryan Shane (VA) 6-2, 7-5  
2. #3 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #99 Alex Ghilea (OU) 7-5, 6-3 
3. Spencer Papa (OU) def. #47 Collin Altamirano (VA) 7-6(5), 6-2 
4. #116 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. #92 Maxime Mora (OU) 6-4, 6-3 
5. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-0, 6-4 
6. Andre Biro (OU) def. Mac Styslinger (VA) 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 
Doubles competition 
1. #6 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) def. #24 Spencer Papa/Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) 6-2 
2. #7 Mac Styslinger/Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #46 Alex Ghilea/Andrew Harris (OU) 6-3 
3. Andre Biro/Maxime Mora (OU) def. J.C. Aragone/Collin Altamirano (VA) 6-2 
Match Notes: 
Virginia 12-2; National Ranking #4 
Oklahoma 7-6; National Ranking #13 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,1,2,4,3,6)


2015 NCAA Championship Match 

#3 Virginia (29-3) def. #1 Oklahoma (29-3) 4-1 
May 19, 2015 - Hurd Tennis Center Grandstand Courts 
Doubles Competition 
1. #2 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (UVA) def. #57 Harris/Ghilea (OU) 8-4 
2. #42 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (UVA) def. Webb/Papa (OU) 8-5 
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (UVA) def. Axel Alvarez/Jose Salazar (OU) 8-5 
Singles Competition 
1. #1 Axel Alvarez (OU) vs. #8 Ryan Shane (UVA) 6-4, 5-5, UF 
2. #20 Mitchell Frank (UVA) def. #7 Andrew Harris (OU) 7-5, 7-5 
3. #77 Collin Altamirano (UVA) def. #44 Dane Webb (OU) 6-3, 6-3 
4. #19 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVA) def. #103 Alex Ghilea (UVA) 6-3, 6-4 
5. Spencer Papa (OU) def. Alexander Ritschard (UVA) 6-3, 6-2 
6. Florin Bragusi (OU) vs. J.C. Aragone(UVA) 7-6 (5), 4-6, 1-0, UF 
Match Notes: 
Virginia 29-3 
Oklahoma 29-3 
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,3,4,2)

Doubles Records: Virginia 29-4, Oklahoma 17-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Virginia 86, Oklahoma 84

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 24th. 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. #8 Ryan Shane (VA 14.35) vs. #97 Andrew Harris (OU 14.81)
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA 14.27) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.30)
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA 14.53) vs. #82 Spencer Papa (OU 13.97)
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA 14.50) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.03)
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA 13.93) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA 14.54)  vs. Andre Biro (OU 13.75)

Dual-Match Records:
1. Shane 14-12 vs. Harris 6-3
2. Altamirano 24-4 vs. Alvarez 11-10
3. Kwiatkowski 23-6 vs. Papa 11-10
4. Ritschard 4-0 vs. Ghilea 12-7
5. Aragone 24-4 vs. Bragusi 11-6
6. Wiersholm 25-2 vs. Biro 18-5


Breaking It Down

#1 Doubles
#4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (Virginia):
def. #10 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU), 6-2
def. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (UF), 6-3
vs. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal), 4-4, DNF

#24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (Oklahoma)
def. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-2
def. #2 Mackie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA), 6-3
vs. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (UGA), 5-4 DNF

Comments - Both teams have been playing well this week with each 2-0 but I think Shane and Corinteli get the win. Prediction: UVA 7-5

#2 Doubles 
#16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (Virginia)
def. Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU), 6-1
vs. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF), 5-5, DNF
def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (Cal), 6-3

Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (Oklahoma)
def. #79 Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-4
def. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA), 7-6 (4)
def. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (UGA), 6-4

Comments - This is the most even matchup of the pair with Ghilea and Papa 3-0 while Kwiatkowski and Styslinger are 2-0. Prediction: Will Not Finish - Tied 6-6


#3 Doubles
Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (Virginia)
vs. Lukas Finzelberg/Tristan Meraut (OSU) 3-4, DNF
def. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3
def. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 6-2

Andre Biro/Max Mora (Oklahoma)
lost to Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest) 6-0

Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (Oklahoma)
lost to Maxime Cressy/Austin Rapp (UCLA) 6-1
def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (UGA), 6-4

Comments - OU has tried two different doubles combinations and up until last night they hadn't won more than 1 game in a match. Biro and Siegel rallied from 4-2 down to win yesterday but Aragone and Altamirano are the stronger team. Prediction: UVA 6-3



#1 Singles
#8 Ryan Shane (Virginia)
lost to 1. #56 Julian Cash (Oklahoma State) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (Florida), 6-3, 4-6, 3-1 DNF
vs. #30 Florian Lakat (California), 6-1, 6-6 DNF

#97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma)
def. #13 Skander Mansouri (Wake Forest), 6-4, 6-4
lost to #6 Mackie McDonald (UCLA) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
lost to #17 Austin Smith (Georgia) 6-2, 6-4

Comments - Shane has been on his game all week while Harris's lack of match play is starting to show. If Harris can find a way to return serve well he should able to stay in this match but he has to serve a lot better himself than he did yesterday against Austin Smith. I think Harris hangs around but Shane pulls through. Prediction: Shane (UVA) in 3

#2 Singles
#33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia)
def. Arjun Kadhe (Oklahoma State), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2
vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (Florida), 6-4, *5-4 DNF
vs. #31 Andre Goransson (California), 6-4, 2-3 DNF

#25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma)
vs. #27 Petros Chrysochos (Wake Forest) 6-3, 5-4
lost to #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 7-5, 7-6(5)
lost to #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5

Comments - Alvarez has lost two straight while Altamirano has only finished one match though it was the clincher against Oklahoma State and he was up in both of the others. Axel wasn't able to close out his match yesterday against Montgomery after going up a break in the third plus he served for it up 5-4. Altamirano has had a few instances this year where he struggled to close a guy out but he's been pretty solid this week. Prediction: Will Not Finish - Altamirano (UVA) leading

#3 Singles
#9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia)
vs. Lucas Gerch (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (3), 4-6, 5-5 DNF
def. #37 Elliott Orkin (Florida), 7-6 (2), 6-2
def. #85 Billy Griffith (California), 6-3, 6-0

#82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma)
def. Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-3, 6-3
def. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA), 6-3, 7-5
lost to #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) 6-4, 7-5

Comments - Papa had trouble with the big Oosterbaan serve after looking very sharp in his first two matches while Kwiatkowski has rebounded from a tough Round of 16 match to win the last two going away. Prediction: Kwiatkowski (UVA) in 2


#4 Singles
#78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia)
def. Tristan Meraut (Oklahoma State), 7-6 (1), 6-1
def. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida), 6-3, 7-6 (4) 
vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (California) 3-6, 3-4 DNF

#61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma)
def. Romain Bogaerts (Wake Forest), 6-1, 6-0
lost to #101 Karue Sell (UCLA) 7-6(3), 6-3
def. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-2

Comments - Ritschard won his two matches in straight sets but he trailed in his match yesterday against Bergevi while Ghilea shook off a loss to Karue Sell by clinching yesterday against Walker Duncan. This is a must-court for Oklahoma and I think Ghilea wins a big one for the second day in a row. Prediction: Ghilea (OU) in 3


#5 Singles
#110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia)
lost to Lukas Finzelberg (Oklahoma State) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
vs. Gordon Watson (Florida), 7-6 (2), 4-6, 2-2 DNF
def. #124 Oskar Wikberg (California), 6-3, 6-4

Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma)
vs. Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-4, 4-4 DNF
def. Logan Staggs (UCLA), 6-4, 7-5
def. Jan Zielinski (Georgia), 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

Comments - Aragone is 1-1 with 1 DNF this week while Bragusi is 2-0 with 1 DNF. This is another must-court for OU and I think Bragusi wins again. Prediction: Bragusi (OU) in 3


#6 Singles
Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia)
def. Jurence Mendoza (Oklahoma State), 6-4, 6-3
def. McClain Kessler (Florida), 6-4, 6-2
def. Mads Engsted (California), 6-3, 6-4

Andre Biro (Oklahoma)
vs. Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest), 6-4, 5-1 DNF
def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
def. Nick Wood (Georgia), 7-6 (5), 7-5

Comments - Neither guy has lost this week and both have played extremely well but I'm going with Wiersholm in straights. Prediction: Wiersholm (UVA) in 2

Oklahoma has won the last two matches thanks to winning the doubles point and I think for them it is absolutely imperative for them to get off to a quick start. All three of Virginia's doubles teams have been playing extremely well this week so unless they struggle a bit, or unless Oklahoma elevates its play a good bit, Virginia should win the point. 

All six singles matches should be extremely competitive and if OU does drop the doubles point it better find a way to at least split first sets or the match could evaporate into the expected Tulsa heat. 

Virginia has played lights out top to bottom the last two matches so it'll be interesting to see if they can play at the level one more time. 

I think we're going to see Virginia win it's third national title but I will say that if Oklahoma can win the doubles point and/or two of the top three singles matches I think they win. 

If Virginia wins will we get to see Luca in the presser for the fourth match in a row or will Brian bring in the clincher?

PredictionVirginia 4-2






Published in Blogs
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 02:50

Guess Hoo Won It Again

The Virginia dynasty picked up another passenger today as the Cavaliers repeated as the NCAA Men's Tennis National Champions with a 4-1 win over No. 10 Oklahoma.


The match was originally supposed to start at 6 p.m. central time but due to lightning in the area the start time was pushed back to 7 p.m. The plan was to play the match outdoors, since this is an outdoors event, but around 6:30 p.m. the skies opened up and it started pouring so without too much hesitation they decided to officially move the match indoors.

From a spectators standpoint playing indoors was definitely not an ideal situation. They had metal bleachers set up so if you were able to get a seat in one of them you were good but otherwise you were standing behind two or three people trying to see over their heads to get an idea what was happening on the court down below. The indoor center was split with three courts on each side of the plaza so it was fine for doubles but once singles started I had to do a lot of bouncing back and forth to keep tabs on everything.



Back to the match at hand most knew going in that the doubles point was an absolute must for Oklahoma because trying to take four singles matches off a team like Virginia wasn't going to easy.

Oklahoma's No. 1 team of Andrew Harris and Axel Alvarez broke Ryan Shane's serve to start the match but Shane and Luca Corinteli broke Harris's service on the deciding point when Harris threw in a double fault. Corinteli held for 2-1 when he hit a nice volley off his foot on the deciding point and then Alvarez held from 40-30 to even it at 2-2. Shane would hold for 3-2 and then Harris would come back from 0-40 down to hold for 3-3.

Down at No. 3 the match stayed on serve through the first three games but then Virginia's J.C. Aragone and Collin Altamirano would break the Andre Biro serve on the deciding point for 3-1. Aragone came from 30-40 down to hold for 4-1 and then Virginia broke Austin Siegel to go up 5-1. Altamirano would serve it out to give Virginia the 6-1.

There would only be one break of serve at No. 2 doubles and unfortunately for Virginia it came at the worst time. Oklahoma's Spencer Papa and Alex Ghilea defeated Mac Styslinger and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 7-5 after Styslinger double faulted at 5-6, 30-30 and 30-40.

The doubles point would be decided back at No. 1 and it looked like Alvarez and Harris were closing in on a break when they were up 30-40 on Corinteli's 5-5 service game. Harris netted a backhand on the 30-40 point and then Corinteli hit a service winner on the deciding point to hold for 6-5. Alvarez went down 15-40 on his serve and then he'd double fault the break and the match to Virginia as Corinteli and Shane won 7-5.

Virginia got off to a really hot start in singles as Collin Altamirano, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Alex Ritschard, J.C. Aragone, and Henrik Wiersholm all went up early breaks on their respective courts. It looked like Virginia would take all six opening sets but both Andrew Harris and Axel Alvarez came back from a break down to win sets at No. 1 and No. 2.

Oklahoma started to get some traction in the second sets with Alex Ghilea, Andre Biro, and Andrew Harris each taking break leads.

The one guy for Oklahoma that couldn't get any traction was Florin Bragusi because J.C. Aragone did a great job holding serve as well returning serve. Aragone took the opening set 6-3 and then he broke Bragusi to go up 5-4 in the second. Aragone would serve it out from 40-15 to win 6-3, 6-4.

Oklahoma's Andrew Harris would put the Sooners on the board after he got past Ryan Shane at No. 1. Harris came back from a break down to win the opening set in a tiebreak then he won all six games in the second set to take it 7-6(3), 6-0.

Within seconds of the finish at No. 1, Virginia's Thai-Son Kwiatkowski would get a win at No. 3. Kwiatkowski broke Spencer Papa to start the match but Papa would break, hold, break, and hold to go up 4-1. Kwiatakowski would then win the next five games to take the opening set 6-4. In the second set Kwiatkowski went up 4-2 but Papa would hold and break for 4-4. Kwiatkowski would break right back and then serve it out to win the match 6-4, 6-4.

Virginia's lead was 3-1 but Alvarez was up a set at No. 2, Ghilea had got a split at No. 4, while Andre Biro was serving for the second set at No. 6.

Ghilea and Alex Ritschard exchanged 6-1 sets with Ritschard getting the first and Ghilea taking the second. Ritschard jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set and it looked like he might be the one to get the clinch however Henrik Wierholm would bounce back on his court at No. 6.

Wiersholm trailed Biro 2-5 in the second set but he would break for 3-5 and then fight off a match point to hold on the deciding point for 4-5. Wiersholm broke again for 5-5 but Biro broke back to go up 6-5. Biro's third attempt at serving out the set would come up short as Wiersholm would break from 15-40 to send it to a tiebreak. Wiersholm won the first three points in the tiebreak and led 4-2 at the changeover. Wiersholm would win the next three as well with Biro dumping a service return into the net on match point and Virginia had the national title for the second straight year and for the third time in the last four years.



Video
#1 Virginia (30-4) def. #11 Oklahoma (20-11), 4-1 
Michael D. Case Tennis Center 7 p.m. (Indoors)
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
Doubles
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (Virginia) def. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (OU), 7-5
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (Virginia), 7-5
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (Virginia) def. Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (OU), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
Singles
1. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) def. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia), 7-6 (3), 6-0
2. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma) vs. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia), 7-5, 4-3 DNF
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) def. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma), 6-4, 6-4 
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma), 6-1, 1-6, 5-2 DNF
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) def. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma), 6-3, 6-4 
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. Andre Biro (Oklahoma), 6-2, 7-6 (2)
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 3, 6

NCAA Division I Men's Tennis All-Tournament Team
#1 Doubles: #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (Virginia)
#2 Doubles: Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (Oklahoma)
#3 Doubles: Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (Virginia)

#1 Singles: #17 Austin Smith (Georgia)
#2 Singles: #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia)
#3 Singles: #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia)
#4 Singles: #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia)
#5 Singles: #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia)
#6 Singles: Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia)

Most Outstanding Player
#9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia)

Post-Match Footage of Trophy Presentation and Speeches




Virginia Head Coach Brian Boland
Opening Statement...
"First of all congratulations to Oklahoma on a great season. We have so much respect for their team and how hard they competed. You feel for anyone who loses a match like this. I know John Roddick and his team left it all out there on the court. I am really pleased with our overall effort. I couldn't be happier for this team. These guys hung in there all year long, and we went through some adversity in terms of not winning the ACC tour- nament as well as losing in the finals in the National Indoors. Our guys were extremely persistent. Again, I was really pleased with how they stuck together throughout the entire year as it was a true team effort. I couldn't be happier for the players.

On winning the doubles point and getting off to a good start in singles...
"We used the momentum from the doubles point well initially, but give Oklahoma credit as they closed out some first sets that we had opportunities to close. Collin Altamirano had a chance to finish the first set, and Ryan had four set points as well. Credit goes to Oklahoma for making it a tough battle when it was looking pretty convincing for a while before they made a great run. That's a credit to them. I was pleased with the guys, and I thought that they stayed composed and disciplined throughout the entire match. All credit goes to Oklahoma for making it difficult for us.

On what's going through his mind during the powerade bath...
"I am not going to win that one, and that's what was going through my mind. I think I can win most things, but I am going to concede that one or I will be chased all over the court. I appreciate the guys for what they do. It is so enjoyable for me to watch them celebrate, because I know how hard they work. That's what it is about for me, just to stand there and watch them during the pile-on and watch the excitement that they have. That's what it is all about. I just enjoy seeing them work hard and do it the right way and to have that celebration.

On his parents seeing him win the national title for the first time...
"My parents were overseas for my first two titles. My dad was serving the government as a judge so he spent some time in Afghanistan and Bosnia after he retired. They missed those championships so that was something really special for me to have them here today. To have success, it's about your parents and what they have done for you. For me, that was a huge joy to have my dad, Bernie, and my mom, Donna, here. I couldn't thank them enough, as well as my brother Dan. Dan has never missed a single tournament. Michael and Beth couldn't make it this year, but for Dan to be as busy as he is and to never miss a tournament makes you realize there is nothing like family. I am really grateful for my parents and what they have done for me. They (his parents) have taught me a lot, and I am really humbled by it.

On Thai-Son Kwiatkowski coming back after two breaks down...
"That is something that Henrik and Thai have worked on, is staying composed in tough situations. Thai settled down after being down 4-1, and he started playing within himself. He (Thai) came out struggling a little bit, and in Henrik's case I walked on his court when he was down 2-5. I
just wanted to make sure he stayed composed, and manage the match the right way by taking his time and playing with focus and discipline that is important for him to have success. Henrik and I have been through that situation a couple times this year. I also want to say something about Ryan Shane if you don't mind. This guy won the NCAA Singles Championship last year. When he came to Virginia his first year he didn't even start on a regular basis, and he was just in and out of the line-up. He continued working and improving, and in his second year he moved up in the starting line- up. Ryan's third year he won a national championship, and it would be very easy for him to say, well I have won a team championship and national singles championship and I have kind of done what I am going to do.' For Ryan to come back the way he did and to have to face the expectations of having a target on his back. It was great for him, but extremely hard and I have so much respect for him not only as a player but for the character that he possesses. He is just an amazing human being, and I just feel so blessed to have had an opportunity to coach Ryan. He is a great leader who comes to work hard everyday, and there is nothing more enjoyable than to work with someone of his caliber and to have the level of character he does. I am grateful for him as well as Luca. Luca is another one that I have so much respect for especially the leadership he provided for us this year.


Ryan Shane, Virginia (#1 singles & #1 doubles)
Talk about your doubles match...
"Coming out we knew it would be tough, Oklahoma had won the doubles point the day before and it was big for them. We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy. I don't know what happened on the other two courts, but I know on our court it came down to a few key points. Going into that match we knew that's how it was going to be, so, mentally we were prepared for it. We just came out with a lot of energy and never got down on ourselves. I think that was a huge key for us to win. I came out and got broken right off the bat, I made all my serves, they came up with some big points, but just kept plowing through and eventually got the job done.

Thinking about going for another championship after you won last year...
"I would say a week after, I had the individual tournament after that. After that was done, we got back to work right away, the celebration is done. You have to start looking forward, because the work has to start right away, it's a full year of work to win a championship like this. You give yourself the best chance to win it with your preparation. I think that's what we did this year. We got right back to work over the summer, every guy was play- ing tournaments, working hard, even guys who had internships were working. I think for me and I think for everyone we got to work pretty much right away.

Luca Corinteli, Virginia (#1 doubles)
Talk about your doubles match...
"I agree. I think we were a little shell-shocked in the beginning just because Ryan had a pretty good service game and they hit two or three return winners off the bat. They had bunch of energy, a lot of crowd support, I think it was a little bit difficult for us in the beginning. We got a break back in the next game and kind of settled in. I think it was just really key for us at the end to really trust each other, I know we were down 5-all, 30-40, two break points, I felt like I trusted Ryan. He had a great volley at 30-40 and it comes down to a couple points like he said and they went our way again today, so we were pretty lucky to come out with the doubles point.

Thinking about going for another championship after you won last year...
"I would agree. Obviously, you like to celebrate for a little bit and enjoy the moment. But, we got right back to work. It's a really, really long year, a lots of ups and downs, a lot of growing pains I think as a team, even though we returned most of our starters and the majority of our team. That's what makes it so special at the end, we dealt with a bunch of adversity, we had a target on our back the entire year, we embraced it really well, it makes you feel so much better right now.




Oklahoma Head Coach John Roddick
On the match and the close doubles point
"I want to congratulate Virginia and their program their players and their coaches. (Virginia Head Coach) Brian (Boland) and (Virginia Assistant Coach) Dustin (Taylor) are good friends of mine, and we knew it was going to be a tough match. They're a class act. They've proven that they can win this tournament. We have to keep working and try to get over that hump. Congratulations to them. You guys saw, they outplayed us in there. That's the way it goes some nights. We did a lot of things that we try to do, we try to execute. That's all I can ask from my guys. Virginia just out- played us. I don't feel like we gave anything away.

"Going back to the question on the doubles, we had chances there at #1. We had the break point, I think it was 5-all, the deuce point. We lose a tight one. It came down to a couple deuce points, probably, in the doubles. The way they were hitting the ball in there, everybody was just crushing the ball. It's either going to fall your way or not. I thought (Ryan) Shane did a good job of taking backhands up the line on us. We were ready for that. He just hits it so hard that sometimes even when you're ready for it, you just out of habit nudge a little to the right and he hits it by you. That shot right there was probably one of the keys for them from a return. He got one on the baseline on us too, where Andrew (Harris) got caught at the net. It's just he hits it so hard, even when you know it's coming. It's like a pitcher in the ninth inning, and all of a sudden they're throwing 95 mile an hour heat upstairs. That was too good.

On coming up short against Virginia for the second straight year
"Every year is different. I don't know if it matters if it's three straight years, or three years out of five. Every year is a different one, and every one hurts in a different way.

On nearly coming back from first set losses
"There was a point there where you don't like to have your players scoreboard watch, but I made them all kind of just check it out, because we were fighting back so well. It definitely looked like, for a good bit, that there was a path to four points, even with maybe some margin for error, because we were fighting back so well. That was great to see. That's where you're proud of the guys. We didn't lay down. We fought hard, and made them earn it, and they did. (Henrik) Wiersholm did a great job of battling back from a break down in the second, and played a great tiebreaker. I don't think Andre (Biro) he played one or two points, but it wasn't enough to say you gave it away or anything like that. Wiersholm just went out and got it, and clinched the match there. That is the nature of it. It's the hardest sport, I think, to kind of really keep track of where the score is. The points on the board don't mean a whole lot a lot of times. If you're up 3-0 and you're getting killed in the third sets, you'll take that as a coach if you're win- ning those sets I mean. We were kind of in that position at a certain point. Not in the third, but we were looking like we could maybe get it down to the last match. That's, at that point, what I was hoping for.

On whether he wonders when he will get to win a championship
"I don't really think about it in terms of me winning, I think of it in terms of my team. I tell the guys, a good year or a bad year ... there was a point in this season when we were really struggling. I said, guys, I can do this for a long time, probably, hopefully, (Senior Associate Athletic Director) Mike Alford willing back there. I tell them, and it's every team, they only have four chances at it. So, it's really about them. I'm here to help them become better players, try to become better people, become better students I feel like that's my job. I pride myself on helping our guys learn how to compete. Competing is fun at the highest level. You can take that competitive attitude into life. We talked to them when we were, I don't know, 7-7 or 8-8, at one point this year, and I said, if you guys want to take this season and throw it down the drain, I mean, it's your season. I think they really understood that, and they responded. Really, to be here now, losing is really hard, but to be here and see that journey from middle of March to now is pretty amazing, and probably something they'll learn a lot from perseverance, doing things right, and being disciplined. We started practicing at seven in the morning a lot of times. They bought into it, and they worked their butts off to get here from that point. So, it was a pretty special group.

On when he knew his team could make it to this point
"Last night? I knew that we had talent on our team. I knew that we had some good tennis players on our team. We lost one guy from last year, so naturally people are going to think that you have a good chance to have a good team this year. We fought some injuries, we fought maybe lack of focus issues. I think my guys always work reasonably hard, but it's those little discipline things that are so tough to do day in and day out. When they started doing that, I thought, OK, we can really start getting better. When we played TCU, we lost there in the regular season. We had Andrew (Har-ris) back and we had a team match point there with Spencer (Papa), and we ended up losing the match, but I said, guys, right there proves we can play with the best teams. We played great two days later against Texas. From then on, we started playing a lot better. Then it all came together here. It wasn't one of those years where we were thinking about it the whole season, because we had so many steps to climb. But it doesn't matter, you just have to take each one as they come.

On the impact on the players from the delay and moving the match indoors
"Tennis is tennis. When it rains, you have to go indoors sometimes. It was something we looked at the weather coming over, we knew it was a possibility, and it's something that we talked about. We would've preferred to be outside, but that's the way it goes. In tennis sometimes you end up playing at a time you don't want to play, or you have to move indoors, or at a grand slam they close the roof and you wanted it open. It's just the way it goes. We still prepared. We were warming up indoors already. We started indoors knowing there might be some rain, and we hadn't hit in there as much, so we were planning, at that point, on warming up indoors anyway, even if we played outside. Because we'd been outside every night, and we didn't need to hit outside anymore. Plus, it was so humid, I figured why start sweating. It is what it is. Who has the advantage? I don't know. Indoor tennis is quicker. It was a pretty close match at the end, and it still is quick.

On the possibility of moving singles outdoors after playing doubles indoors
"That's not an option. I don't know if that's something that we need to revisit, because doubles and singles are separate. That's something that coaches could talk about. I have no idea I think you might have some vote one way and some vote the other. I haven't even really thought about it that much. You just kind of know what it is. It's just like a pro match, if they close the roof, the roof stays closed. I haven't really thought about it, so I don't really know which way (I'd go). I'd have to really think about it.

"Once it starts, it's indoors. The decision is made, so you just have to play. That's what we try to do.







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