Monday, February 23, 2009

Overall National Indoors Recap

We learned a lot of things this past weekend that cleared up a lot of suspense. Most importantly, we learned that Emory is the new #1 in the country with Wash U coming in as a close second. CMS solidified their position as the 3rd best team in the country with tough victories over Gustavus and Kenyon. I'm going to look at each team now and a few things we learned about them this past weekend.

Wash U - We learned that Wash U most likely will not fall prey to lesser teams than them. They showed that they can play great doubles against Kenyon, but they have some work to do if they want to beat Emory. They are no doubt the 2nd best team in the country right now and I think they could potentially take down Emory but the circumstances have to be perfect. Watts made a statement this weekend that he is the best player in the country.

Trinity(TX) - Trinity was beaten 9-0 in their first two matches by two very good teams. With their dominant win over Mary Wash, they showed that they did belong at this tournament and most of us were underestimating them. They have a very young team but they won't quit. They won't be tested again until early April against Tyler, but they earned themselves a top 12 ranking until someone else proves they are more deserving. Max Frey could be a future star in D3.

Santa Cruz - They have to be disappointed with their 6th place finish. They really didn't lose anyone from last year's team who finished 4th in the nation and Hansen usually has his guys ready to play. They immediately went down 5-0 to Gustavus and blew big leads on more than one occasion against Kenyon. They will have to do some work if they want to get back in the top 5, but the good news is they get another shot at Kenyon in just a few weeks and on their home courts.

Kenyon- Have to love the effort from these guys in the first round but things went downhill after that. With 2 of the top 5 players in the country, this team has high expectations for themselves. Arguably the best #2 doubles team in the country last year just didn't show up this weekend. If Kenyon can figure out doubles they are tough, but they really need to get better to compete with Wash U and Emory. A 5 or 6 ranking is appropriate for them at this moment in time.

Gustavus - Although they didn't win Indoors, I think Gustavus proved that they are still a very good team. I'd say Kauss is top 5 in the country and GAC doubles is still excellent. They went 8-1 on the weekend in doubles, but they need to improve the bottom of singles to break into the top 5. I'm thinking that this team will hover in the 7-10 range in the rankings for most of the season. Overall, I think Gustavus has to be pleased with their performance this weekend.

CMS - The bigger story than CMS getting 3rd this weekend is losing Starr for the season and possibly the rest of his college tennis career. CMS is very deep, but he is not an easily replaced player. A bright note is that Erani showed that he is one of the best freshmen in the country and he's ready to move up and win at #2 singles. With Lim playing, they may have had a shot at beating Emory. Some tough upcoming weeks will show us what the Stags are really made of.

Mary Washington - What a horrible weekend for the Eagles. They went 0-9 in doubles and James and Loden just didn't step up this weekend. I have no doubt that this team will turn things around, but I'm shocked with their lack of effort especially in the 7th/8th match. They should be beating Trinity(TX), they have almost their whole team back from last year. They have to use their upcoming California matches to re-establish themselves as a top 10 team. They certainly didn't show that this weekend.

Emory - Emory proved this weekend that they are clearly the best team in the country. They have very good doubles followed by excellent singles. I would like to see this team play the Slugs from 2 years ago. I think it will take a lot to derail this team from a national title and an undefeated D3 season. Chris Goodwin is one of the best players in the country and he and Michael are an unbeatable combo at 1. Just a great performance from Emory and they showed everyone what they are capable of.