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NCAA Singles Round of 16 Recap – Seeds Hold the Line; Draxl Fights Off Match Points; Blumberg Wins Quickly; Tjen/Rogers/Decamps Make School History

The seeded players had a good day on Tuesday with the 5 remaining seeds in the women’s draw advancing to the quarterfinals while on the men’s side the 5 highest seeds left in the field all advanced as well.

Men’s top seed Liam Draxl had to come from behind yet again with the Kentucky sophomore fighting off 2 match points to defeat Tennessee’s Adam Walton 7-5 in the third. Next up for Draxl will be a meeting with UCF’s Gabriel Decamps.

Four of the remaining eight players left in the men’s draw are from the SEC while the AAC, ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12 have one each.

Women’s top seed North Carolina’s Sara Daavettila won her match in straight sets over Pepperdine’s Jessica Failla. In the quarterfinals, Daavettila will meet Vanderbilt’s Christina Rosca.

Four of the remaining eight player left in the women’s draw are from the ACC while there are two from both the SEC and Pac-12.

Below I have some notes from each match along with Wednesday’s schedule

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NCAA Doubles Round 1 Results – Top Seeds Roll

The opening day of the NCAA Doubles Championship saw seeds succeed with third set supertiebreaks the exception and not the norm.

Seven of the men’s top 8 seeds won with the only seeding upset occurring when Notre Dame’s Tristan McCormick and Axel Nefve defeated [5-8] seed Kentucky’s Cesar Bourgois and Gabriel Diallo 7-5, 7-5. There were only 3 men’s doubles matches out of 16 that went to a third set. The SEC has 4 teams left in the draw, the ACC and Big 12 have 3, and the AAC has 2. The conferences with just 1 team left are the Big Ten, Pac-12, Sun Belt, and WCC.

The women’s doubles draw saw 6 of the top 8 seeds advance with the biggest upset occurring when Oklahoma’s Carmen and Ivana Corley knocked out the No. 3 seed Georgia Tech’s Victoria Flores and Kenya Jones 7-6(3), 6-3. The women’s matches were a little more competitive than the men’s matches with 6 of 16 matches going the distance. 9 of the 16 teams left are from the ACC with North Carolina, Virginia, and NC State having two teams each while Wake Forest, Florida State, and Duke have 1. The SEC has 3 teams left, the Big 12 has 2, the Pac-12 has 1, and the Southern Conference has 1.

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NCAA Singles – Day 2 Recap

The second day of the NCAA Singles Championship saw a slew of seeds get shown the door. In the women’s draw only 5 of the top 16 seeds remain after 6 lost on Monday with the No. 4 seed Georgia’s Katarina Jokic the highest seed to fall. In the men’s draw 8 of the top 16 remain after 3 were knocked out on Monday with the No. 3 seed Texas A&M’s Hady Habib and the No. 5 seed Florida’s Duarte Vale the two highest to fall.

North Carolina fifth-year senior William Blumberg became the first-ever 10-time ITA All-American after he advanced to the Round of 16 in the men’s singles and doubles draws. Blumberg dispatched the No. 3 seed Hady Habib in straight sets and will next meet Kentucky’s Gabriel Diallo for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Both of the top overall seeds advanced on Monday with Kentucky’s Liam Draxl coming back from 3-0 down in the final set to defeat Notre Dame’s Axel Nefve while UNC’s Sara Daavettila won in straight sets over Georgia’s Lea Ma.

Below I have some notes from each quarter of the draw along with Tuesday’s schedule

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NCAA Singles – Day 1 Recap

The first day of the NCAA Singles Championship saw 7 of the top 8 seeds advance to the second round in both the men’s and women’s draw. The men’s top seed, Kentucky’s Liam Draxl, fought off a match point to pull his match out while the women’s top seed, UNC’s Sara Daavettila, was pushed to a third set in her match.

NCAA Men’s Singles – Round 1
[1] Liam Draxl, Kentucky, def. John McNally, Ohio State, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4)
Axel Nefve, Notre Dame def. Philip Henning, Georgia, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
[9-16] Adam Walton, Tennessee, def. James Davis, Denver, 7-5, 6-2
Zeke Clark, Illinois, def. Connor Thompson, South Carolina, 6-2, 6-1
[8] Gabriel Decamps, UCF, def. Micah Braswell, Texas, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7)
Andy Andrade, Florida, def. Francisco Rocha, Middle Tennessee, 7-6 (2), 6-0
[9-16] Luc Fomba, TCU def. Nikola Slavic, Ole Miss, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State, def. Murkel Dellien, Wichita State, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

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NCAA Men’s Championship Recap: Banner Day for the Sheltons as Florida Beats Baylor + All Tournament Team Named

14 years ago Bryan Shelton won his first national title as head coach of the Georgia Tech women’s team. Saturday night Shelton added another as his Florida Gators won its first-ever NCAA Men’s Championship with his 18-year old son, Ben, providing the clincher in a 4-1 win over top-ranked and second-seeded Baylor. Shelton became the first D1 tennis coach to win both a NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championship

The evening started off on the wrong foot for the Gators after an extremely quick doubles point went to Baylor. Florida’s Sam Riffice and the aforementioned Ben Shelton needed only 21 minutes to win 6-0 at No. 2 however Baylor had big leads on the other two courts.

Baylor’s Charlie Broom and Finn Bass had a pair of match points to win 6-0 at No. 3 but despite Florida holding serve Bass would serve it out at love to complete the 6-1 win.

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NCAA Women’s Championship Recap – Texas Wins Thriller Over Pepperdine

Ladies and gentlemen it doesn’t get much better than what we saw on Saturday night in Orlando. The second-seeded Texas Longhorns won their third NCAA National Title, and first since 1995, in an epic four-hour battle over No. 5 Pepperdine.

The doubles point had been Pepperdine’s bread and butter all week but despite having multiple match points they’d let it slip through their fingers and in the end that one point proved costly.

Pepperdine’s Shiori Fakuda and Taisiya Pachkaleva won all the big points in a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles. Fakuda and Pachkaleva won all four games that went to a deciding point while also fighting off six break points on their own serve.

The match at No. 1 doubles was as close as it gets with 9 of the 12 games coming down to a deciding point. Texas’s Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun jumped out to a 3-1 lead but Pepperdine’s Lisa Zaar and Ashley Lahey would win 4 of the next 5 games to take a 5-4 lead. Sun jumped out to a 40/15 lead but Zaar and Lahey won the next two points to bring up the deciding point which in this case was also a match point. Texas managed to win the point to hold for 5-5. In the following game, Zaar held on the deciding point for 6-5 and then Collins fought off two match points to send it to a tiebreak. Collins and Sun won the first five points of the tiebreak and ended up taking it 7-3.

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D1 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Championship Preview

A few months ago we weren’t sure if we were going to get a full season in but we’ve made it to the last day of the dual-match season with a pair of NCAA Championship matches this evening.

The Pepperdine women and Florida men will be seeking their first-ever NCAA National Championship while the Texas women will be seeking title No. 3 and the Baylor men will be trying to win title No. 2.

Without further ado here are the breakdowns on each of the finals:

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