Monday, May 19, 2008

Pre-Season Rankings for 2008-2009

1. Emory - This should just be an incredible team next year. You have both Goodwins on the team, and only Ehlers leaves. Boren should be untouchable at 3 and Lopp near the bottom will be excellent. You'll have to beat Emory in doubles, which is easier said than done. If anyone can beat Kenyon next year, it's this team. They have great players top to bottom and outstanding doubles and they fight hard. Couldn't ask for much more. They have to be the favorites for the national title next year.

2. Kenyon - A lot depends on how good Piskacek will be. All of his rankings point to him being the #1 player in D3. Kenyon would then have the #1 and #2 players in the country and probably the best doubles team. With 3 automatic points and Becker/Brody at 2 doubles, it will be almost impossible to beat the Lords. This is why they will be ranked so high. They should be able to get a win between 3 and 6 singles against anyone.

3. CMS - If the Stags can stay out of injury trouble, the sky is the limit for them. If Lim and Wu are healthy and Wang and Schils are in good form, they will be a great team. They bring in some good recruits who could make an impact. They should be able to beat Santa Cruz next year and make a run at national title if they can avoid injuries. The Stags' program just keeps getting better and they have a lot to look forward to next year.

4. Washington - WashU will return every member of their 2008 National Championship team, but they really don't help themselves much with recruits for next year. They bring in a couple of 3-stars. Watts and Cutler are obviously great players and WashU has a lot of depth, but I will be very surprised if they can beat Emory next year. Teams are just getting better and even though they won nationals, WashU stays about the same.

5. UC Santa Cruz - Despite the lack of recruits, UCSC always seems to come up with a great team. They don't lose anyone big, and with Kamel, Pybas and Ortiz back, the Slugs should be very tough again. Coach Hansen is great with developing his players and UCSC should be great again. Whether or not they can beat CMS is another tough question. The teams will most likely be battling it out for a spot in the Elite 8 again next year.

6. Middlebury - Midd was very young this year, but really were outstanding. They were swept in doubles several times, so they know what they need to work on. Marinkovic leaves, but they have everyone back and get an underrated 3-star in Derrick Angle. He should come into the starting lineup. Midd should be in the top 8 again and have a shot at winning NESCAC, but they aren't quite ready to win a national title with this team.

7. Williams -The Ephs lose the heart of their team, but they are bringing in good recruits and will definitely compete next year at a national stage. I don't expect them to be top 3 like this year, but they should be a fixture in the top 10. Lebedoff needs to improve and become a good #1 and Simonette was great at #3. Williams seems to always have very good depth, and this will help them in a brutal NESCAC conference.

8. Amherst - Amherst basically recruited a whole new team to go along with an already respectable group. Lerner is tough at 1 and 4-star Chafetz should be good near the top. I wouldn't be surprised if NESCAC had 4 in the top 10. Garner is an outstanding coach and recruiter and will need to get his guys ready. This team has the potential to be top 5, but I still think they are a few years away. Inexperience could hurt them.

9. Bowdoin - They only lose Gates, but Sullivan proved that he can play with the best in the country. He should step up to #1 next year. They bring in a very good recruiting class and this should have a big impact. Bowdoin fought hard this year towards the end and hopefully they can put together an entire good season next year. This team is very dangerous with their outstanding depth. They need to improve middle of the lineup.

10. Mary Washington - The Eagles had an up and down season, but look for them to be more solid next year. They have some of the best development in the country and they return their whole team. James and Loden just keep getting better, and if they can improve doubles, they have a good shot at being a top 5 team. They should dominate the AS region, with the exception of Emory, and they could find themselves back in the Elite 8.

11. Gustavus Adolphus - Gustavus' season could rest on whether they win Indoors. If they do, they should find themselves in the top 5 again. If not, they will struggle. Andy Bryan is gone and Kauss will need to step up and become their next superstar. Wilkinson is great at developing his players but he will need some real magic in his last season as head coach. The Gusties' are just overmatched by most of the top 10.

12. Trinity(CT) - Feldman did an outstanding job this year turning the Bantams into a national power. Ramsay and Dolan leave, but Trinity(CT) gets 4-star Anson McCook from Florida who should play in the 2 or 3 spot. This team was the #1 seed for the NESCAC tournament and was very dangerous this year. Look for Trinity(CT) to be back in the top 15 and potentially make a run at the top 10 next year.

13. Redlands - They run a tennis factory in Redlands, CA. Wagar is leaving, but they are replacing him with a new crop of players. The Bulldogs should have another good year next year with a solid recruiting class. They will have a tough time competing with CMS and UCSC, but they should be top 15 for sure. I'll be interested to see whether they accept a bid to Indoors because fast Indoor courts don't suit their team.

14. Carnegie Mellon - Carnegie had a good year but someone needs to teach them doubles. If they can get their doubles in order, they can be better than 14. They lose their #1, but he is replaced by an underrated Eastern section recruit. Carnegie should compete well next year and have a similar year to this year. If they can figure out their doubles, it's very hard to beat Carnegie more than 3 of 6 singles because of depth.

15. Trinity(TX) - Trinity(TX) is another team that gets killed with graduates. They lose their top 3 singles players as well as their top 2 doubles team. They have some major rebuilding to do, but a good recruiting year helps that a little bit. They won't find themselves back in the Top 5 like this year, but they should win the SCAC title next year.

16. Johns Hopkins - Hopkins loses their on-court leaders to graduation and this can't be measured in quality of recruits. They are bringing in a good 4-star who should play at the top of the lineup with Maldow and Wang. They'll be very good and should be better than they were this year. They need to work on their doubles as well.

17. Chicago - On paper, Chicago underachieved this year. They've brought in good recruits and continue to do so. I think next year could be a breakout year for them as they make themselves known as a contender on the national stage. Look for Zhang to build on his outstanding Freshman year and become a top player in the Central region.

18. DePauw - Losing Keith really hurts the Tigers. DePauw has good depth, but they will really struggle on a national level at the top of the lineup in singles and doubles. They need to do some good recruiting to find their way back to the Elite 8. They could crack the top 15 next year, but I wouldn't bet on it. They have work to do in Indiana.

19. UT-Tyler - A breakout year for the Patriots this year, but it's going to be hard for them to beat top teams without bringing in good players. They have great development and have really got the most out of their current team, but until they bring in some better Texans, it's going to be tough for them to be the best team in Texas. Expect a similar year for Tyler next year.

20. Whitman - Whitman was very young this year but competed well. They have good development in Walla Walla and the Squirrels will need this for next year. Matt Solomon is a good leader, but Whitman doesn't have the players at the bottom of the lineup to be a top 15 team. They always bring it in doubles, but this won't be enough.

21. Washington & Lee - A pretty good season for the Generals this year but they really get hurt with graduates. They lose arguably their best 4 players and it's tough to recover from that. They are bringing in decent recruits and have a lot of depth, but they won't be able to compete with the best in the AS region due to lack of experience.

22. Bates - Bates suffers from playing in the toughest conference in the country and they just can't beat those other tope NESCAC teams. However, they return Ben Stein and 4 other starters and they are bringing in a pretty good class. They will almost certainly finish 6th in NESCAC but this should be good enough to keep them in the top 25 for the whole season.

23. Carleton - A young team who is starting to recruit on the national stage. They return most of their starters and they also are bringing in some good recruits. They aren't ready to compete with Gustavus or break the top 20 yet, but they should be able to crack the top 25, which they came very close to doing this year.

24. Pomona-Pitzer - Good development out there and they are bringing in some solid players and Cameron Taylor is back to lead this team. Unfortunately, it will be difficult for them to finish better than 3rd in the conference, but they should be able to crack the top 25. They play a tough schedule which will pay off and get their players some experience.

25. Kalamazoo - Maybe the worst year in history for K-College but I have a feeling Riley will be able to shape up his guys during his second year. They don't have the players to compete with the top 20 teams in the country, but they should be able to win their conference and make it back to NCAAs. Solid doubles and depth should win for Kzoo against lesser teams.

2008 Recruiting Class Rankings

1. Emory
2. Amherst
3. Kenyon
4. Bowdoin
5. Williams
6. CMS
7. Johns Hopkins
8. Trinity(TX)
9. Chicago
10. Trinity(CT)
11. Middlebury
12. Redlands
13. Swarthmore
14. Pomona-Pitzer
15. Washington & Lee
15T. Wash U

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer and Ideas (Please Read and Respond)

Unfortunately this post would have to come sometime. I need to know if everyone wants to keep the site going over the summer, and if so, how? We don't have a lot to talk about during the summer months as there isn't much action in recruiting or in playing. If anyone has any ideas about what we can discuss over the summer on a weekly/monthly basis or even more often than that please let me know. Also, I'm going to explore the settings and layout part of the blog to make things more exciting. Some of you suggested to turn the site into a real site instead of a blog, I would be willing to discuss this with you now. E-mail me at Also, please let me know what you want to see more of and less of on the site for next year. I'm open to as much criticism as you want to give me now. If you think I underrate or favor certain teams or players, let me know that as well. If anyone else wants to contribute articles as well, I would welcome that.

Also, what do you think the format should be for the year-end article/next year outlook? I was planning on doing recruiting class rankings 1-15 for D3. After that, we can have pre-season rankings for Fall '08, and a team by team discussion of what each team should be looking like for the Fall. If anyone has any other idea let me know. This would hopefully be done by Tuesday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Singles & Doubles

All comments about play and results in singles and doubles go here.

Singles Champion- Mike Greenberg, Kenyon

Doubles Champion- Schils/Wang, CMS

Thursday, May 15, 2008

All-Tournament Team

1st Team:

#1 doubles-Cutler/Hoeland, WashU
#2 doubles-Watts/Choradia, WashU
#3 doubles-Kaufman/Lopp, Emory

#1 singles-Goodwin, Emory
#2 singles-Marinkovic, Middlebury
#3 singles-Simonette, Williams
#4 singles-Lopp. Emory
#5 singles-Hoeland, WashU
#6 singles-Stein, WashU

Coach: Follmer, WashU
Bracket Selection: jags!

2nd Team:
#1 doubles: Goodwin/Caplan, Emory
#2 doubles: Becker/Brody, Kenyon
#3 doubles: Stein/Woods, WashU

#1 singles: Wang, CMS
#2 singles: Boren, Emory
#3 singles: Starr, CMS
#4 singles: Weinberger, Williams
#5 singles: Ehlers, Emory
#6 singles: Odell, Middlebury

Coach: Browning, Emory
Bracket Selection: Lennart Lepner Year-End Team Rankings

1. Washington
2. Emory
3. CMS
4. UC Santa Cruz
5. Middlebury
6. Williams
7. Kenyon
8. Gustavus Adolphus
9. Mary Washington
10. Bowdoin
11. Trinity(TX)
12. Redlands
13. Trinity(CT)
14. Carnegie Mellon
15. TCNJ
16. DePauw
17. Washington & Lee
18. Johns Hopkins
19. Amherst
20. Whitman
21. UT-Tyler
22. Christopher Newport
23. Salisbury
24. Chicago
25. Denison

Singles Draw

I just took a look at the singles draw. It's absolutely terrible. Watts-Kamel first round. Steve Sullivan-Miguel Yunes first round. Dan Greenberg-Randy Loden first round. And my favorite...Kortney Keith-Cameron Taylor first round.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Washington University Bears are 2008 National Champions with a 5-3 win over Emory in the finals.

Final Four Comments

All Final 4 comments go here.

Emory wins 5-1 to advance to the finals. A dominant doubles performance by the Eagles.

WashU wins 5-1

e-mail and tell the guy stats about the matches

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.

Comments about Elite 8 matches

All comments about today's matches go here. There is live scoring as well as broadcasting online by

Emory defeats Kenyon in a very hard fought first match.
Midd crushes Mary Wash in an impressive performance.
CMS wins 5-2. Almost a great comeback from Williams.
WashU wins 5-0

Midd vs. Emory
CMS vs. WashU

Commentary to come a little later.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thoughts on the quality of D3 tennis

To me, since the 2006 recruiting class came in (players who just finished sophomore year), the quality of D3 tennis has taken off. In the early part of the decade, you may see 5 or 6 top 300 juniors going to Division 3 each year. Now we have at least 25 if not more than that. If you don't have at least 2 players coming in who will impact your team it's like a bad recruiting class. D3 coaches are able to sell their schools, and for a lot of juniors, playing for a national championship is more attractive than being in the middle of your D1 conference.

Schools such as Gustavus, Kalamazoo, Trinity(TX) and UC Santa Cruz have the attitude that we will recruit juniors who weren't ranked as high and then develop them into national quality players. While this has worked, I don't think this method will continue to work with all of the talent coming into D3. You have schools like Amherst and Carnegie Mellon just barely cracking the top 15 and their teams are filled with 4 star recruits. Teams such as Emory and Bowdoin have incredible recruiting classes, and you can't compete with that if you are bringing in a couple of 2-stars and hoping to teach them good doubles. We saw a sneak preview of this with the fall of Kalamazoo this year and Gustavus seeming more vulnerable than ever. On the other hand, WashU has suddenly made themselves known on the national scene and we now have Chicago and Kenyon turning into national level programs. This was simply done by recruiting very good players. You cannot be in the top 20 anymore if your team isn't filled with D1 level players. Coaches really have work to do and they have to draw good players (transfers and recruits) to their schools if they want to compete.

However, there could be a bad side to this. D3 tennis used to be about competing hard and enjoying the sport. It's going to start becoming about winning as coaches get more competitive with better teams and compete for recruits. The motto used to be student first and athlete second, and while some schools still maintain that, I believe the emphasis on tennis is being pushed on the kids more and more and it may be bad for them. Very few current D3 players will have a career based on tennis. While the level may go up and that's great, the environment will become more like D1 with 2 a day practices and mandatory conditioning.

I'll discuss all of these issues and more when I publish an outlook for next season after the tournament is over. This will include a team by team analysis and pre-season rankings. Exciting day tomorrow and I hope everyone will have their eyes on Maine.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Article on

The front page article on was submitted by me and will be featured on the site Monday May, 12. It's a brief preview of the NCAA Final 8 plus a little bit on Singles and Doubles.

Elite 8 Preview: Washington vs. Gustavus Adolphus

Probable Starters:
1. Cutler/Hoeland vs. Bryan/Paukert
2. Watts/Bowman vs. Kauss/Burdakin
3. Stein/Woods vs. Hansen/Tomasek

1. John Watts vs. Andy Bryan
2. Charlie Cutler vs. John Kauss
3. Danny Levy vs. Mike Burdakin
4. Max Woods vs. Charlie Paukert
5. Chris Hoeland vs. Aaron Zenner
6. Isaac Stein vs. Kevin Stickney

Not a whole lot to say about this one besides WashU is the better team. Gustavus only chance in this is to really jump on the Bears in doubles, winning at least 2 of the matches and carrying the momentum in Singles. WashU is just deeper in singles. The matches at 1 and 2 will be close and probably won't be finished, but WashU really should dominate at 3 through 6 and I'd be surprised if they drop any sets. Gustavus has a pretty good shot in doubles, because this is where WashU is vulnerable. I would expect the Gusties to win at 2 doubles and they have to find a way to win at 1 or 3. My guess is that WashU will win at 1 and 3 and go up 2-1. I would then expect quick wins from Woods and 4 and Stein at 6 to make it 4-1. Levy and Hoeland might have a little more trouble, but one of them will be a straight set winner to take the match 5-1 for WashU. It's unfortunate that the first two singles won't get to finish, because Bryan and Watts will certainly be a great match. This should be the least competitive match of the day and look for WashU to move the Final 4 fairly comfortably. It's amazing how different Gustavus is when they aren't playing at home.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elite 8 Preview: CMS-Williams

Probable Starters:
1. Wang/Schils vs. Greenberg/Thacher
2. Hough/MacColl vs. Lebedoff/Simonette
3. Starr/Brockett vs. Weinberger/Devlin

1. Lawrence Wang vs. Dan Greenberg
2. Eric MacColl vs. Nick Lebedoff
3. Michael Starr vs. Gary Simonette
4. Drew Sabater vs. Jeremy Weinberger
5. Russell Brockett vs. Karol Furmaga
6. Ben Hough vs. Rick Devlin

Probably the most evenly matched quarterfinal. It is really tough to pick a winner in any of these matches. It's true that Williams did dominate CMS earlier in the year, but this is a new Stags team despite their injuries. They just have to hope that they aren't going in overconfident after their win against the defending national champions. CMS really can help themselves by grabbing the lead in doubles, because that's where Williams is most vulnerable. Both of the #1 teams have been hot recently, but I like CMS to take 1 doubles. Williams will most likely take 2 doubles and 3 doubles, you have to like CMS because both Starr and Brockett are playing well right now. Lawrence Wang should have enough firepower for Dan Greenberg at 1 singles, but I like Williams to strike back and even it up with wins at 3 and 4. Brockett is nearly undefeated on the season, so you have to like his chances at 5. This leaves CMS up 4-3 with 2 and 6 singles to go. My guess is that the Stags will be able to grab one of these matches to secure their birth in the Final 4. I'm calling CMS 5-3, with a lot of very close singles matches.

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.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Elite 8 Preview: Emory vs. Kenyon

Probable Starters:
1. Goodwin/Caplan vs. Greenberg/Polster
2. Boren/Ehlers vs. Becker/Brody
3. Lopp/Kaufman vs. Vandenberg/Parker

1. Michael Goodwin vs. Mike Greenberg
2. Mark Boren vs. Greg Sussman
3. David Caplan vs. Charlie Brody
4. Oliver Lopp vs. Jeremy Polster
5. Hardy Ehlers vs. Daniel Becker
6. Colin Egan vs. Will Vandenberg

In my predictions, I picked Emory 5-0 in this match. I retract that prediction. The key for Kenyon is can they bring the intensity needed to keep up with Emory? By the scores, it is pretty clear that they fed off their home court advantage this past weekend. They need to play the same way in doubles against Emory that they did at Regionals. Emory is a different story. To me, they weren't that impressive at Regionals beating Bowdoin 5-3. They need to find their form that they had at UAAs if they want to dominate this match. Now we know what both teams have to do, so let's think about what they will do. Doubles will be huge in this match for Kenyon. Not so much for the score, but for their belief that they can win this match. I like Emory at 3 doubles and I like Kenyon at 2 doubles. 1 doubles is a big toss up so let's leave that up in the air for now. I like Emory at 2 and I think they have a slight edge at 4 and 5. 1, 3 and 6 I have to go with the Lords. But you have to remember, that besides 2 singles, pretty much every match is close to 50/50. Very tough to call with two excellent teams. It depends on which #1 gets 2 points for their team. If Greenberg can do it for Kenyon, the Lords have a chance to win. In the end, I think Emory will take #1 doubles and have a little too much for Kenyon and this will propel them to a 5-2 or 5-3 victory. This brings me back to my point about #1 doubles. If Kenyon can take 2 of 3 doubles, they will be ready to go in Singles. The team who comes out on top in Doubles should end up winning the match.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday: Kenyon/Emory preview and predictions
Friday: UMW/Middlebury preview and predictions
Saturday: CMS/Williams preview and predictions
Sunday: Gustavus/WashU preview and predictions
Monday: 2007-2008 Recruiting Class rankings and discussion
Tuesday: Elite 8 begins

NCAA Doubles

Another proposed bracket for NCAA doubles...

Schils/Wang vs. Lofgren/Newman
Klimchak/Mosteller vs. Mook/Glidewell
Cutler/Hoeland vs. Stein/Rupasinghe
Blythe/Vasoontara vs. Kamel/Vartabedian

Bryan/Paukert vs. Greenberg/Thacher
Loden/Murata vs. Ashlock/Phillips
Gaines/Desantis vs. Greenberg/Polster
Marinkovic/Thomson vs. Kincaid/Burtzlaff

Proposed Seeds:
1. Schils/Wang, CMS
2. Marinkovic/Thomson, Midd
3. Loden/Murata, UMW
4. Cutler/Hoeland, Wash U

Please add comments.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

NCAA Singles

The selections for the NCAA Singles were made. Here is a bracket that I would like to see.

Mike Greenberg vs. Cameron Taylor
John Mook vs. Spencer Feldman
Randy Loden vs. Kortney Keith
James Furr vs. Zach Lerner

Larry Wang vs. Brendan Kincaid
Charlie Cutler vs. Andrew Lee
Garrett Gates vs. Dustin Phillips
Mark Boren vs. John Kauss

Andy Bryan vs. Chris Fletcher
Dan Greenberg vs. Max Ortiz
Mike Klimchak vs. John Pelton
Michael Goodwin vs. Eric Wagar

Stephen Sullivan vs John James
Jared Kamel vs. Miguel Yunes
David Maldow vs. Oliver Gaines
John Watts vs. Filip Marinkovic

Feel free to add any comments. We'll talk Singles today and Doubles tomorrow.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thoughts on Regionals

CMS Regional: Obviously an unbelievable win by CMS to defeat the defending national champions twice in a row. I knew Santa Cruz would be vulnerable after they played so close with Redlands. The bad news for CMS is that they got crushed by both Williams and Wash U. I think they are a new team now. All in all, I'd say a disappointing season for the Slugs. They lost at Indoors and they lost to their rivals twice. They will be back with a vengeance next year. A good season for Whitman, and a great win for the Solomons at 1 doubles. Redlands had an unbelievable season and hopefully they can push to be shipped out of California for NCAAs next year. They should be in the top 12 next year again. Good luck to CMS at Bates.

TCNJ Regional - 2 great finishes and 2 not so great finishes. To start with the bad, who should be more disappointed than Hopkins? They thought that they could make the top 8 this year, yet they barely saw the top 15 after their showing at Indoors and now they lose to a TCNJ team who they are probably better than. The CNU Captains also had high expectations. It's not the fact that they lost to Williams, but how they lost to Williams. I expected a better fight than that from CNU. TCNJ had an amazing year. A win over Mary Wash highlighted their season, and now beating Hopkins and playing close with Williams. They had great Seniors and should leave this season with their heads held high. And Williams had it's ups and downs through the season but they prevailed and are definitely a favorite for nationals.

WashU Regional - This was probably the most predictable region, especially with DePauw's key injury. The Bears are an excellent team if they play good doubles, but they are only a good team if they don't. This will be the key for them. Everyone is assuming they will handle Gustavus pretty easily. A not-so-great season for DePauw besides their conference championship. Granted they lost Webeler, but to go from #6 to #16 in the rankings and barely make the tournament is disappointing for them. They lose their #1 again and they will have to do a lot of hard work to get back to the top 10. They were just overmatched by this WashU team as shown by the score and I don't think Sandager would have made a difference here.

Gustavus Regional - Gustavus won the regional as expected, but UT-Tyler is the real story here. They ended HSU's streak of consecutive conference championships and the Patriots put themselves on the map as a national power. I'd expect to see UT-Tyler as a fixture in the top 20 for many years to come. That being said, I think they expected more out of themselves against the Gusties. I would have expected at least 2 wins out of Tyler, especially since it was played outside. A good season, but not that great of an ending for Tyler. Gustavus still remains overrated, but they just keep winning. They did their job this weekend and they did it in convincing fashion. Nobody gives them a chance against WashU, but this team is dangerous if they can dominate in doubles. Bryan is a great leader and this team will fight until the end against WashU.

Bowdoin Regional - I'll start by saying that I'll give Skidmore credit for this season. They played well and I wouldn't be surprised to see them crack the rankings next year. But the question on my mind is which Emory doubles will show up? We have Emory dominating doubles at UAA against good opponents and then losing 2 of 3 to Bowdoin. This will be huge for the Eagles if they want to win it all. Emory is solid in singles, but there are teams that can beat them. A good battle by Bowdoin, but they just couldn't get it done with all of the momentum they had. A solid performance in doubles and this put them in the driver's seat, but they were just beaten in Singles. A bad start to the season and a great ending for Bowdoin. They should be pleased with their performance and if they played Emory again tomorrow, it could be a different story. The Eagles are still the favorite to get to the finals in my opinion.

Kenyon Regional - What a bad season for Kalamazoo and what an unbelievable season for Kenyon. No one gave the Lords a chance in the beginning of the season, and here they are with a chance to win nationals. They beat a very good Carnegie team in convincing fashion. Kalamazoo had been a fixture in the top 20 for many years and they really didn't give the effort this year. This team needs to rebound immediately to meet expectations. Carnegie had a pretty good season. They had their ups and downs and they certainly had an impressive performance beating Kenyon. This team can be in the top 10 next year, they just need to work a little harder. Kenyon matches up very well with Emory and I truly believe they can pull the upset after their domination this weekend against a worthy opponent. This is the Elite 8 match I'm most looking forward to. Good luck to the Lords.

Middlebury Regional - Midd took care of business as usual. They struggled in Doubles against MIT, but recovered well in the Sweet 16. Middlebury is an annual powerhouse for a reason. No matter what their team looks like, they always find a way to win. This team can definitely make it to the finals this year. A 5-1 win over Trinity(CT) certainly was impressive to me. The Bantams really put themselves on the map this year. They came out of nowhere from the beginning of the season and crept into the top 10 for some time. They earned the top seed in the NESCAC tournament and this was no fluke. They were a good team and they should also be happy with their performance this season. A decent season for Vassar and MIT as well. I really like Midd's chances in the Elite 8.

Mary Washington Regional - By far the region with the most intriguing results. We have Mary Wash barely beating an overlooked W&L team and then beating a top 5 team in the nation after being down 4-1. This is just an incredible result. The one thing I will say about the Eagles is that they believe in themselves more than any other team. They may not have the talent that other teams have, but they think they are the best every year. Whether it's true or not, this belief that you are the best team in the country can carry you very far. A decent season for W&L with some good wins and a very disappointing end to a great season for Trinity(TX). They had outstanding doubles and were a favorite to win Nationals entering the tournament. I think that Mary Washington is slightly overmatched against Middlebury, but they were also slightly overmatched against Trinity(TX) and look what happened.


A list of the seniors who lost this weekend. In my opinion, these are the players who were difference makers for their teams and really had outstanding careers. Some of these players may be going to individuals, but even they will tell you that there's nothing like team competition...

Jeffrey Fong, UC Santa Cruz
Eric Wagar, Redlands
Ransom Cook, Redlands
Robert Rye, Whitman
Mike Klimchak, TCNJ
Eric Ferriere, TCNJ
Roger Mosteller, TCNJ
Eddie Glidewell, CNU
John Mook, CNU
Joe Vasoontara, Hopkins
Rafael Roberti, Hopkins
Kortney Keith, DePauw
Scott Sauer, DePauw
Josh Williams, Wheaton(IL)
Miguel Yunes, Carthage
Will McDonald, UT-Tyler
Robbie Norton, Salve Regina
Garrett Gates, Bowdoin
Tim Hubbard, Kalamazoo
Matt Wise, Kalamazoo
Andrew Clearfield, Carnegie Mellon
Brett Ramsay, Trinity(CT)
Tom Dolan, Trinity(CT)
Nat Estes, W&L
Seth Feibelman, W&L
Stuart Sanford, W&L
Tim Ross, W&L
David Tran, Trinity(TX)
Ryan Desantis, Trinity(TX)
James Furr, Trinity(TX)
Oliver Gaines, Trinity(TX)

If I'm forgetting anyone, let me know. Congratulations Seniors.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Elite Eight

I purposely waited until all the matches were finished today to start talking about Elite 8 matches...

We have...

CMS vs. Williams
Washington vs. Gustavus
Emory vs. Kenyon
Middlebury vs. Mary Washington

Tonight/Tomorrow I'll have Recaps from the weekend and maybe some interviews with coaches. In the middle of the week we'll take a look at Singles and Doubles and have some bracketology for that. And then Thursday I'll preview the top half of the draw and Friday I'll preview the bottom half of the draw. Certainly was a great weekend. Great season to all of the teams who lost this weekend in great battles and congratulations to all of those teams who moved on to Bates.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tournament Has Started!

Matches began today at 9am. We will have live stats coming in all weekend.

UMW, WashU, Gustavus, CMS will be providing live stats via their websites.

We will have frequent updates from the other 4 sites as well.

Looking forward to a great opening weekend of the tournament.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Regional Preview: TCNJ

Probably the strongest region in the country with the exception of the West. 4 ranked teams. CNU will win it's first round match and then they will run into Williams. The boys from CNu will definitely put up a great battle and I would expect them to grab a doubles match if not two. However, Williams is just too deep in singles. CNU will fight and give them a hard time but I'd expect a 5-2 for Williams. Hopkins and TCNJ is another great rd of 32 match, but I think Hopkins will be too steady. TCNJ has been up and down all year and I think they are a little too deep for TCNJ. Maldow, Wang and Vasoontara should win this match for Hopkins at the top 3 singles spots. Vale and Roberti are also likely to win at 5 and 6. Hopkins vs. Williams in an all-academic battle in the regional final.

Probable Starters:
1. Greenberg/Thacher vs. Vasoontara/Blythe
2. Lebedoff/Simonette vs. Maldow/Wang
3. Furmaga/Devlin vs. Roberti/Naftilan

1. Dan Greenberg vs. David Maldow
2. Nick Lebedoff vs. Joe Vasoontara
3. Gary Simonette vs. Andrew Wang
4. Jeremy Weinberger vs. Casey Blythe
5. Karol Furmaga vs. Peter Vale
6. Rick Devlin vs. Rafael Roberti

This definitely will be a very tight match, but I believe that Williams is the slightly stronger team. The 1 doubles match is a toss up and the #3 match should go in favor of Hopkins. Williams should take #2 doubles. If Hopkins wants to win, they need the #1 doubles spot, but Greenberg and Thacher have been solid this season. I like Hopkins at 1 and 6 singles, and I like Williams to take 2 through 5. This match will definitely come down to the wire, but I have to give the edge to the Ephs because of 1st doubles as well as the fact that they are just a little bit deeper. I'm going to say that Williams will win this one 5-3 or 5-4 in a very hard fought match. If Hopkins can pull an upset somewhere, they could find themselves in Maine, but they need to play very well.

Regional Preview: Mary Washington

Stevens should take care of Neumann in an opening round match and then Trinity(TX) will defeat Stevens easily. W&L will crush Messiah setting up a tough second round match with Mary Washington. W&L will definitely steal a few points, maybe 2 or 3, but I think the Eagles will be too tough on their homecourts. The 1-2 punch of James and Loden plus stronger doubles teams should give the win to the Eagles. This leaves us with a Mary Washington-Trinity(TX) regional final.

Probable Starters:
1. Gaines/Desantis vs. Loden/Murata
2. Furr/Tran vs. Goff/Parrish
3. Cocanougher/Kowal vs. James/Dunn

1. Oliver Gaines vs. John James
2. James Furr vs. Randy Loden
3. David Tran vs. Jason Dunn
4. Varun Munjal vs. Eddie Carver
5. Bobby Cocanougher vs. Evan Goff
6. Crisanto Ramirez vs. Zach Detweiler

A very intriguing match and a great home court advantage for the Eagles at the Battleground. Doubles is the key to this match. This is why Trinity(TX) has been so good all year. The Eagles can definitely pull this upset if they come out and play well. If Mary Washington can win 2 of the doubles matches, they should win this match. This is easier said than done. Cocanougher/Kowal have proved to be the best 3 doubles team in the country this year. Trinity(TX) also has the edge at 2 doubles. Furr/Tran have been very good. Mary Washington needs 1 doubles to stay in the match, I think they can win it with their home court advantage. Pretty much all of the singles match are 50/50, but I would give Trinity(TX) the edge at 6. This could give them a 3-1 lead. I would expect a 5-3 or maybe even 5-4 win for Trinity(TX), but remember that this match was really won in doubles. If UMW can take that 2-1 lead in doubles, they can win. I don't believe that Trinity(TX) will let that happen and that's why I think they will make it to Bates.