Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Elite 8 commentary and a quick look at the Final 4

The day starts off with a pretty good match. Emory really won this one in doubles and broke Kenyon's spirits. Despite a good effort from the Lords, just a little too much from Emory. Greenberg didn't get it done for his team today when we knew he needed too if they wanted to have a chance to win. Vandenberg had been untouchable all year and he comes up with a loss today which also really hurt Kenyon. A great effort by Becker and Brody though in singles and doubles. We expected Emory to win in the fashion that they won. They were the better team. But all in all, a great season for Kenyon and they will certainly come back next year to make another run at an NCAA title.

This was followed by the most surprising result of the day. I expected a battle here, and I even thought Mary Washington had a chance to win. Middlebury was just too good in doubles and in singles. Not sure why UMW chose to change their doubles lineup right before NCAA's, but this came back to kill them in the end. Loden had been the team leader all year and seeing him go down so easily had to suck the life out of this team. Give credit to Midd, who must have really played well. They have been under the radar all year and have a great chance at winning the whole thing. UMW really had an average season, and this disappointing performance really capped it off. Despite their win over Trinity(TX), the Eagles shouldn't be too happy with this season. They return everyone though and should be tough next season.

Williams didn't lose this one. CMS won it. The Stags were the most impressive team today and going into tomorrow, they have to be the favorite to win it. They slipped in singles, but Wang was able to lead this team to victory. He and Watts will have a great battle tomorrow. Williams also had an up and down season with some really good wins and some bad losses. They have good recruits in, but lose Simonette and Greenberg which will be huge. A great fight by the Ephs, and if Greenberg had held on to that 3-0 lead in the 3rd set, things could have turned out differently. A good run for first year head coach Donn, he really gets his guys to fight hard. The Stags are confident right now but they will have a tough one tomorrow.

I don't like to insult teams, but Gustavus being here is a joke. Their "strength" is doubles, and they get blown out in doubles by a team who's weakness is doubles. It's terrible that they can just get a couple good wins at Indoors and make it to the Elite 8. They were not a good team this year. I won't hesitate to say that Amherst would beat Gustavus on a neutral outdoor court this year, and Amherst didn't even make the tournament. That's how ridiculous this is. It's terrible that Gustavus gets here when they belong around 15 or 16 in the country and we have deserving teams losing in the regionals. Take nothing away from WashU, who took care of business appropriately and played good doubles. Another rematch with CMS playing WashU. They should be even in singles and if WashU can pull out 2 of 3 doubles, I really like their chances. Bryan is gone for Gustavus and unless AC has some secret weapon recruit up their sleeve, they won't crack the top 15 in the preseason rankings. I can go on and on about how much of a travesty it is that you have Gustavus in the Elite 8 and teams like UCSC, Redlands and Trinity(TX) not there.

I like Emory to win fairly comfortably and CMS to win a close one tomorrow. Please add comments.