Friday, May 9, 2008

Elite 8 Preview: Middlebury vs. Mary Washington

Probable Starters:
1. Marinkovic/Thomson vs. Loden/Murata
2. Lee/Mason vs. James/Dunn
3. Peters/Bonfiglio vs. Goff/Pollak

1. Andrew Lee vs. John James
2. Filip Marinkovic vs. Randy Loden
3. Andrew Thomson vs. Evan Goff
4. Andrew Peters vs. Eddie Carver
5. Richard Bonfiglio vs. Evan Goff
6. Peter Odell vs. Zach Detweiler

Mary Washington went down 2-1 in doubles in both of their matches during regionals. They recovered in both matches winning the top 4 singles positions to win both matches by a score of 5-4. Expect them to fall 2-1 in doubles again, but I wouldn't expect them to win top 4 singles for a 3rd time. Much like the Eagles, this Middlebury team also prides themselves on their outstanding singles play. I would say that the singles matches are fairly even all the way through, and the advantage that the Eagles have is that they had their backs against the wall twice last weekend and managed to pull through. Mary Washington's switch in doubles for NCAAs hasn't worked for them too well and I would expect that trend to continue. Expect Middlebury to grab 2 and 3 doubles from the Eagles, but I would also expect the team of Loden/Murata to keep the Eagles in it. They have been incredibly clutch and Marinkovic/Thomson haven't found their fall form. With Middlebury leading 2-1, expect battles on every court in Singles. I like Mary Washington at 2 and Middlebury at 3 to make the score 3-2 in favor of Middlebury. Both 5's had an uncharacteristic loss last weekend so that will definitely be a battle. I would give the edge to Mary Washington at 1 in a close one and then Middlebury at 6 to make the score 4-3 with 2 matches remaining. Middlebury should be able to pull out either 4 or 5 singles for a 5-3 win. Mary Wash has to potential to win and take 4 singles matches, but they will need to raise their level. They have had a great run to get here, but I would be surprised to see them make the final four. I'm calling a close 5-3 for Middlebury.