Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rankings 13-25 and Mid-Season Reports March 31, 2009

13. Carnegie Mellon - They have done what they are supposed to do so far this season. Their doubles seems to have improved, but they are losing at the 5 and 6 spots where they used to be dominant. They are very talented and have the potential to pull off a big upset, they just have to all be on the same page on the same day. They have some tough contests coming up at GLCA, which will go a long way in determining their NCAA fate. They should finish 3rd at UAA's and they have the potential to give Wash U a tough match in the semis.

14. UT-Tyler - A very up and down season for the Patriots so far. Their win against Redlands now looks great and has kept them in the top 15, but they have struggled with weaker competition such as Pomona-Pitzer and Birmingham Southern. If Tyler wants to become a fixture on the national scene they need to get more wins from the bottom half of their lineup. Phillips has been supporting this team almost by himself this year and he needs help. They have a huge match against Trinity (TX) this weekend and a win should keep them in the top 15.

15. Trinity (TX) - Their one win this year proved to not to be that strong and their easy schedule is catching up to them. They have a huge match against UT-Tyler this weekend and this is their last chance before their conference championship to show what they are made of. Their singles is questionable and I don't know if their young guys can hold up against the intensity of tougher opponents. Their two bad losses at Indoors still make them a question mark, but they can prove that they are for real with dominant victory this weekend.

16. DePauw - A great Hilton Head swing for these guys got some wins under their belt and they are ready for tougher competition now. I still think their singles could be a liability against a higher ranked team, but they have national caliber doubles at all positions. If they get healthy, they could win an SCAC championship or pull an upset against a top 15 team. A very dangerous team that has a good mix of youth and experience. We will see how tough they are at the GLCA tournament in a few weeks and this will go a long way in determining their future this season.

17. Mary Washington - I don't think anyone knows what's wrong with this team this year. They went from being a pre-season national championship contender to out of the top 15 in the matter of just over a month. James and Loden are no longer winning at the top and their once spectacular #1 doubles team is now losing. They really need to be concerned about losing to Salisbury because the way this season has gone, I can easily see it happening. They still have a chance to turn things around with a win against Hopkins.

18. Trinity (CT) - They are in a tough spot because they didn't pad their schedule with wins this year. By putting themselves in this position, they now need to upset one of the top 3 teams in the NESCAC to have a chance at the tournament. This is obviously an excellent team given their results against Bowdoin, but that was a really tough loss for them because the Bantams don't have a lot of opportunities to show their stuff. I don't expect them to beat one of the big three and I think it would take a great effort from these guys to end up making the tournament.

19. Denison - Still a real mystery because of their easy schedule, they have a few battles with Kenyon coming up. I wouldn't
expect them to really challenge Kenyon, but you never know. They had a good win early in the season against a very good Chicago team giving them their spot in the top 20, but after that they have been quiet on the national scene. They traditionally have very good doubles, but the question is if their top guys can hang with Greenberg and Piskacek and past results point to that being unlikely.

20. Chicago - On paper one of the best teams in the country. Despite good wins over Whitman and Carleton, I still have to say that they have underachieved this year with losses to Denison and DePauw. They have a tough stretch coming up where they play UT-Tyler and Wash U, so maybe their true colors will come out during these matches. I don't see them qualifying for NCAAs through the At-large pool, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be there. This is also a very young team and they have the talent to be in a the top 10 in a few years.

21. North Carolina Wesleyan - This all international team is the surprise of the year so far. They are this year's CNU and they also happen to be from the Atlantic South. I don't think they are a dominant team because they just squeaked out a win against Salisbury, but I would say that most teams don't want to see them come tournament time because they are unknown. I don't know if they have the depth to pull and upset against a good team this year, but they are very young and they also have a bright future to look forward to.

22. Washington & Lee - As we've seen so far, this is a true rebuilding year for the Generals. They are get blown out by regional foes that they usually have competitive matches with. The doubles just hasn't been there this year and they don't have a guy at the top of the lineup who can win against good teams. Their 4, 5 and 6 are solid but they don't win on a consistent basis. I doubt they will be able to pull an upset during NCAAs, but the very good news for W&L is that that future looks bright and more experience could make them a top 20 team again.

23. Bates - A pretty good team and it's a real shame they don't play in an easier conference. Their NCAA hopes went down the tubes when Shadowen left. They don't have the personnel to pull an upset against one of the top 5 teams in the NESCAC and this would be their only ticket into the top 20. They are able to beat lesser teams because they are top heavy but when they faced a real test against Middlebury they got blown out. Bates should be the last team to qualify for the NESCAC tournament and should fall easily in the first round.

24. Whitman - Whitman will dominate their conference once again and qualify for NCAAs but I think they are weaker than in past years. Their doubles is solid as always but they can't compete with top 20 teams in the middle of the singles lineup. They are losing badly in singles to teams ranked a few spots above them. This is a good team that will give the top 20 a hard time but they don't have enough players to pull a big upset. Whitman should win out and their conference and be hot heading into NCAAs but they need to get lucky to get get shipped out of the West.

25. Skidmore - They started out the season well being undefeated and they crack the top 25 because of wins over Christopher Newport, TCNJ and Vassar. They were playing well but they got demolished by Amherst this weekend showing that they really can't compete with top teams. They have one more tough match against Middlebury and they could lose their top 25 ranking if another team gets some good wins. They will make NCAA's through the Independent pool but I wouldn't expect much from them once they get there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Schedule for The Week 3/30 - 4/5

A pretty uneventful week as far as matches are concerned. I believe there are a few regional contests but nothing too noteworthy. This past few had a lot of action and we found out a lot about several teams. Over the next few days I will publish a "mid-season" report for top 25 teams since almost everyone has played some matches. This all leads up to Friday, Saturday and Sunday which are home to 12 huge matches which will have big implications on rankings and NCAA seedings.

Schedule for the week
Tuesday: Mid-Season Report and Rankings 13-25, New Poll
Wednesday: Mid-Season Report and Rankings 1-12, Williams at Emory Preview
Thursday: UT-Tyler at Trinity (TX) Preview
Friday: 2 matches, Regional Individual Rankings, Kenyon at Gustavus Preview
Saturday: 7 matches, Trinity (CT) at Middlebury Preview
Sunday: 3 matches, Weekend Recap, Bracketology Issue #2

Bracketology Issue #1 March 30, 2009

1. Emory (A), W&L* (A), North Carolina Wesleyan (A), DeSales (A), Elizabethtown (A)
2. Wash U (C), UT-Tyler (A), Kzoo* (A), Grinnell (A), Westminster (A)
3. CMS* (A), Santa Cruz (B), Redlands (C), Whitman (A), Chapman (B)
4. Middlebury (A), Mary Washington (A), Skidmore* (B), Ithaca (A), Hunter (A)
5. Amherst (C), Carnegie Mellon (C), TCNJ* (B), MIT (B), Mt St. Marys (A),
6. Kenyon* (A), Johns Hopkins (A), Mt Union (A), Transylvania (A), Neumann (A)
7. Williams* (C), Bowdoin (C), Vassar (B), Southern Maine (A), Nichols (A)
8. Gustavus* (A), Trinity (TX) (A), Luther (A), Whitewater (B), Carthage (B), MSOE (A)

Here's what I've come up with so far. An asterisk denotes host team and the letter denotes which Pool they come from. Obviously needs a lot of work and I'm very open to suggestions. If you find anything wrong let me know, didn't check it over that carefully.

Another note: The difference between my bracket and the NCAA committee is that my main concern is getting even Sweet 16 matchups and regions whereas they have other criteria for placing teams.

D3Bracketology sent me the map from last year. I'm going to fix it for the new teams and post it next issue.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday/Saturday Results

Santa Cruz d. Pomona-Pitzer 7-2

Kenyon d. CMU 6-3

CMS d. Middlebury 5-4

Redlands d. Williams 5-4

Kenyon d. Mary Washington 8-1

Williams d. CMS 5-4

#9 Kenyon at #13 Carnegie Mellon Live Stats

Carnegie Mellon will be providing live stats for their match tonight at home versus Kenyon and their match on Sunday against Mary Wash. I've provided the link below...

Live Stats

#4 Williams at #3 CMS Match Preview

1. Chaplin/Thacher vs. Schils/Wang
2. Lebedoff/Petrie vs. Erani/Wu
3. Shallcross/Weinberger vs. Keiffer/Lim

1. Nick Lebedoff vs. Lawrence Wang
2. Jeremy Weinberger vs. Robbie Erani
3. Rick Devlin vs. Mikey Lim
4. Will Petrie vs. Russell Brockett
5. Kevin Shallcross vs. Victor Chien
6. Karol Furmaga vs. Ronald Wu

Williams is one of the few teams in the country who can compete with CMS at the bottom of the lineup. These two had a great match at NCAA's last year and I would expect a similar result this time. CMS should jump on top in doubles on their home courts with wins at 1 and 2. I would expect Williams to answer with a win at #3. The top 2 singles spots are definitely an advantage for CMS and should give them a nearly insurmountable 4-1 lead. The bottom 4 matches will all be competitive and I would expect a split at 4 through 6. I think Williams has a good chance, particularly with #4 singles to keep the score respectable. CMS should be too much and I would expect a 6-3 victory for them.

Regional Individual Rankings March 27, 2009

Atlantic South
1. Chris Goodwin, Emory
2. Michael Goodwin, Emory
3. David Maldow, JHU
4. William Moss, HSC
5. Eric Shulman, CNU
6. James Muliawan, CMU
7. Andrew Wang, JHU
8. Randy Loden, UMW
9. Mark Boren, Emory
10. Alex Buxbaum, Haverford

1. Goodwin/Goodwin, Emory
2. Maldow/Wang, JHU
3. Shulman/Nelson, CNU
4. Loden/Murata, UMW
5. Barnaby/Blythe, JHU
6. Boren/Caplan, Emory

1. John Kauss, GAC
2. John Watts, Wash U
3. Mike Greenberg, Kenyon
4. Tomas Piskacek, Kenyon
5. Will Zhang, Chicago
6. Juan Carlos Perez, Grinnell
7. Charlie Cutler, Wash U
8. John Pelton, Hope
9. Scott Swanson, DePauw
10. Jack Schiro, Carthage

1. Burdakin/Kaussm GAC
2. Cutler/Hoeland, Wash U
3. Lafountaine/Fox, Grinnell
4. Buehler/Davis, Denison
5. Brinker/Saltarelli, Chicago
6. Stein/Woods, Wash U

1. Conrad Olson, Midd
2. Steve Sullivan, Bowdoin
3. Zack Lerner, Amherst
4. Spencer Feldman, Trinity (CT)
5. Ben Stein, Bates
6. Oscar Pena, Bowdoin
7. Nick Lebedoff, Williams
8. Jeremy Weinberger, Williams
9. Andrew Thomson, Midd
10. Jeremy Eckardt, TCNJ

1. Koenig/Lerner, Amherst
2. Farah/Thomson, Midd
3. Stein/Rupasinghe, Bates
4. Feldman/Yahng, Trinity (CT)
5. Pena/White, Bowdoin
6. Chaplin/Thacher, Williams

1. Liberty-Point, Cruz
2. Phillips, Tyler
3. Wang, CMS
4. Frey, Trinity (TX)
5. Yook, Chapman
6. Giuffrida, CLU
7. Erani, CMS
8. Kamel, Cruz
9. Moshevich, Whitman
10. Meyer, P-P

1. Schils/Wang, CMS
2. Kamel/Vartabedian, Cruz
3. Liberty-Point/Gendelman, Cruz
4. Cocanougher/Kowal, Trinity (TX)
5. Reading/Spearman, Redlands
6. Phillips/Ashlock, Tyler

If you can find any discrepancies please let me know...May have missed a few things.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

#4 Williams at #10 Redlands Match Preview

1. Chaplin/Thacher vs. Reading/Spearman
2. Lebedoff/Petrie vs. Hammond/Wong
3. Shallcross/Weinberger vs. Fashouer/Trippel

1. Nick Lebedoff vs. Cameron Spearman
2. Jeremy Weinberger vs. Mike Reading
3. Rick Devlin vs. Matt Liebman
4. Will Petrie vs. Chris Trippel
5. Kevin Shallcross vs. Aron Ouye
6. Karol Furmaga vs. Jeff Hammond

I'm going to call an upset in this match. I don't think Williams is as good as Midd or Amherst this year and it's up to them to prove me wrong by beating Redlands comfortably. Both of these teams pride themselves on singles and doubles depth. I like Redlands to come out on top in doubles with wins at 1 and 2 and I would expect Williams to answer at 3 dubs keeping themselves in the match. Spearman should take care of Lebedoff and despite 2 losses for Weinberger, I would expect him to be able to win at 2. Devlin could provide Williams last point in this match. Hammond has been nearly untouchable at 6 this year and Trippel and Ouye are tough competitors. I think Redlands should be able to take 2 of the matches between 4 and 6 to give themselves an upset victory. Definitely a real test for Williams and we will see what they are made of this season.

Thursday Results

Salisbury defeated Christopher Newport 6-3
UC Santa Cruz defeated Gustavus 5-4
Williams defeated Cal Lu 7-2
DePauw defeated Whitman 7-2
Chicago defeated Carleton 7-2

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Redlands easily defeats Gustavus

Redlands sweeps doubles and wins 7-2.

Box Score

#6 Middlebury at #3 CMS Match Preview

1. Farah/Thomson vs. Schils/Wang
2. Lee/Olson vs. Erani/Wu
3. Bonfiglio/Peters vs. Keiffer/MacColl

1. Conrad Olson vs. Lawrence Wang
2. Andrew Thomson vs. Robbie Erani
3. Andrew Lee vs. Mikey Lim
4. Andrew Peters vs. Russell Brockett
5. Peter Odell vs. Victor Chien
6. Derrick Angle vs. Ronald Wu

A match between two Division 3 Powerhouses, but given the conditions and location of the match, the edge immediately has to be thrown to CMS before the match begins. Midd has been traditionally during Spring Break in doubles and given CMS' outstanding doubles play recently, you have to like the Stags to win at least 2 if not all 3 doubles points. The singles will be a real battle top to bottom. Just looking at the matchups, I like Middlebury at 1 and CMS at 2. Middlebury should also take care of business at #3, but I like CMS at the bottom three spots. I think they are very talented at the 4 through 6 positions and very tough to beat. I'll take CMS 6-3 in this one. I just don't see an upsetting happening this time for Middlebury.

Current At-Large Situation (Important Please Read)

I was beginning to prepare for Bracketology this upcoming Sunday and I stumbled upon the NCAA Handbook for 2009. I noticed something very interesting concerning the selection process.

Most of you are familiar with the Pool A, B and C System. Pool A is comprised of teams who win their conference. In 2008, there were 26 Auto Qualifiers (Pool A). This year, a bunch of formerly Independent schools formed the Northern Athletics Conference. They now receive an AQ along with the other 26 spots. So therefore, 27 teams qualify through Pool A.

Last Year, 8 teams qualified through Pool B. These are teams who are Independents or teams who play in conferences that don't have Auto Bids to the tournament. This is typically a pretty weak pool with the exception of a few teams, most notably Santa Cruz.

Here is the bad part...Instead of making the field 42 or taking a spot away from Pool B, the NCAA committee decided to take away a spot from Pool C. Instead of 7 teams qualifying through Pool C, there are now only 6 spots for At-Large teams. Pool C is for teams from AQ conferences who don't win their conference. Last year, because of this selection process, Amherst who was ranked #15 in the country, did not qualify for the 41-team tournament. I understand that giving everyone a fair chance is important and ratios must be maintained, but how about getting the best teams in the tournament. The way things are lined up right now, the #17 team is not making the tournament.

I'm going to say publicly that I believe Pool B and Pool C should be combined. Good Pool B teams can qualify as well as deserving Pool C teams. Give this entire Pool 14 spots. Whether or not this issue will be addressed for the current year is unknown. Very good teams like Trinity (CT), DePauw, Chicago and Cal Lutheran could miss the tournament, whereas teams like Wisconsin-Whitewater, Chapman and Vassar could make the tournament simply because they are Pool B teams. I'd like to get as much support as possible on this issue because I think it's very important and our NCAA tournament should be comprised of the best teams in the country.

Right now the AL pool is as follows...

#1 Wash U (UAA #2)
#2 Midd (NESCAC #2)
#3 Amherst (NESCAC #3)
#4 Redlands (SCIAC #2)
#5 Bowdoin (NESCAC #4)
#6 Carnegie Mellon (UAA #3)

#7 Trinity (CT) (NESCAC #5)
#8 DePauw (SCAC #2)
#9 Denison (NCAC #2)
#10 Chicago (UAA #4)

I think the top 5 pretty much have their spots locked up barring some very unforeseen circumstances. I also would consider Chicago pretty much out of it after losing to DePauw today unless they pull off a miracle victory against Wash U or Emory. Trinity (CT) is in a tough spot because they have so many hard matches. They will need to upset someone above them to get in. If they beat Williams, Amherst or Midd, they could take over the #6 spot. DePauw and CMU will most likely play each other in GLCA semis and the loser is probably out of the AL pool unless CMU beats Kenyon this weekend. If DePauw beats Trinity (TX) in SCAC Finals, Trinity (TX) probably won't make it due to their lack of wins from a weak schedule. Still a lot of tennis to be played before anything is determined. Too hard to call right now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#18 DePauw vs. #20 Chicago

Poll results are dead even right now at 29-29. Very important match tomorrow for a number of reasons...

1. Denison beat Chicago. If Chicago beats DePauw, Denison takes over the #18 spot in the country and moves into the #8 At-large spot for the NCAA Tourney, only 1 team out of the tournament.

2. If this is the case, Denison would then most likely earn the #3 seed for the GLCA tournament, therefore avoiding Kenyon in the semis and giving them a chance to beat a highly-ranked Carnegie Mellon team. DePauw would then have to play Kenyon in the semis instead as the #4 seed at GLCA.

3. If DePauw wins this, they add a quality win to their resume and could move ahead of Trinity (CT) for the 7th and final At-Large bid at this moment in time. If they lose, they will be behind both Chicago and Denison in the At-Large pool for the tournament and will most likely need to win their conference tournament to make NCAAs.

D3Tennis.com Team Rankings March 24, 2009

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

#8 Gustavus Adolphus at #5 UC Santa Cruz Match Preview

1. Paukert/Tomasek vs. Kamel/Vartabedian
2. Burdakin/Koppel vs. Gendelman/Liberty-Point
3. Clark/Hansen vs. Mark-Griffin/Ortiz

1. Charlie Paukert vs. Max Liberty-Point
2. Mike Burdakin vs. Jared Kamel
3. Ben Tomasek vs. Max Ortiz
4. Patrick Clark vs. Ilya Gendelman
5. Nick Hansen vs. Colin Mark-Griffin
6. Ryan Hallsten vs. Marc Vartabedian

Kauss didn't play today against Williams so I'm assuming he won't be magically recovered from whatever ailment he has soon enough to play in this match. That being said, without him, Gustavus doesn't stand a chance in this match. The match has moved outdoors which swings the advantage massively in Cruz's favor and GAC is without their star player who could give them 2 points in this match and move everyone down a spot on a not very deep GAC team. I would expect Gustavus to keep themselves in it with 1 doubles win, but after that it should be all Cruz. I am going to predict a singles sweep for Santa Cruz on their way to an 8-1 win. The only spots GAC could potentially win are 1, 2 and 3. After that they are just overmatched. Even if they manage to steal a singles match or two, it won't be enough to beat UCSC.

Tuesday Results

DePauw drops 2 of the doubles but comes back to beat Carleton 5-4 with 4 routine singles wins.

Emory defeats Kalamazoo 8-1 and the Goodwins lose to Brown/Jadun of Kalamazoo.

Williams defeats Gustavus 7-2. Kauss did not play for GAC. Any info on that?

Midd defeats Redlands 5-4

Incredible Match Result

Yetserday Luther defeated Wisconsin-Whitewater 5-4 after being swept in doubles and losing 4 first sets. This has to be the result of the year so far. Two 7-5 in the Third and a 6-4 in the Third to come back and win the match.

Box Score

Monday, March 23, 2009

#4 Middlebury at #10 Redlands Match Preview

1. Farah/Thompson vs. Reading/Spearman
2. Bonfiglio/Mason vs. Hammond/Wong
3. Lee/Olson vs. Fashouer/Trippel

1. Conrad Olson vs. Cameron Spearman
2. Andrew Thomson vs. Mike Reading
3. Andrew Lee vs. Matt Liebman
4. Andrew Peters vs. Aron Ouye
5. Peter Odell vs. Chris Trippel
6. Derrick Angle vs. Jeff Hammond

I expect another very tough match for Middlebury tomorrow. Last year Redlands swept doubles and Midd swept singles. I'd be very surprised to see that again. I like Midd at 1 and 3 doubles and Redlands should take 2 doubles pretty comfortably. Midd has too much game near the top of the lineup in singles, but I have to give the edge to Redlands near the bottom. The Bulldogs always fight hard and I'd be very surprised to see them go down easily. I think Midd will most likely come out on top in the end, but an upset is not impossible. I like a 5-4 for Middlebury, but their 1 through 3 singles have to step up to make this happen because they are overmatched near the bottom of the lineup. Expect a battle tomorrow.

Whitman Tennis Blog

Coach Northam of Whitman provides live updates of matches through Twitter on whitmantennis.blogspot.com

Also a lot of in-depth stuff about their team for those interested.

Chicago beats Whitman 7-2

Santa Cruz beats Middlebury 5-4

Gustavus defeats Pomona-Pitzer 8-1

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Schedule for the Week 3/23 - 3/29 and Weekly Preview

Monday: 3 big matches, Middlebury at Redlands Preview
Tuesday: 4 big matches, Gustavus at Santa Cruz Preview
Wednesday: Team Rankings (I'm pushing them back a day so I can factor in Tuesday results), 3 matches, Middlebury at CMS Preview
Thursday: 5 matches, Williams at Redlands Preview
Friday: Regional Individual Rankings, 4 matches, Williams at CMS Preview
Saturday: 2 matches
Sunday: Bracketology Issue #1, 2 matches

The most important week of the Spring to date. We get our first real look at Middlebury, Williams and Gustavus. This week features 8 matches between current top 10 teams as well a host of other contests that will have huge implications on rankings and NCAA standings. Middlebury and Williams both have brutal weeks and we will see how they adjust to the California weather conditions. Any updates that can be provided during the matches on the blog would be greatly appreciated by everyone I'm sure. I'll try to be on a lot this week constantly giving updates on all the results as soon as they are available. Definitely an exciting week with very important matches running through next Sunday. I'm also really looking forward to publishing the first issue of Bracketology in a week. Check back daily for coverage of all the matches.

Weekend Recap

Not a lot of action this week, but the highlight was a clash between two top 5 teams in the finals of the 3rd annual Stag-Hen Invitational. CMS easily took care of both Amherst and Trinity (CT) solidifying their place once again as one of the best teams in the country. Amherst had a good California swing and obviously Trinity (CT) has to be disappointed with their loss to Bowdoin.

In other action, #1 Emory took care of Kenyon and DePauw. The Kenyon match was fairly close and the Lords have the Eagles all they could handle before Emory came out on top with a 5-4 win. Today, despite an 8-1 loss, DePauw played Emory very tough and there were several close matches. In other action, Carnegie Mellon bolstered their At-Large resume with a dominant win over Washington & Lee before falling to a very good Johns Hopkins team 6-3. Hopkins will most likely move into the top 12 with this win today.

I'll be posting a schedule for this week as well an a weekly preview shortly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stag-Hen Invitational

CMS vs. Trinity (CT) and Pomona-Pitzer vs. Amherst in the semis tomorrow.

All comments about Stag-Hen go here. Amherst played none of their starters today. Coach Garner has done a great job scouting his competition as well as resting his top guys for when he really needs them.

CMS defeats Trinity(CT) and Amherst easily to win their 2nd title in 3 years.

Regional Individual Rankings

I'm going to hold off on these until next Friday for two reasons...

1. The ITA just published them Tuesday and I think they would end up being very similar.

2. A lot of teams haven't played enough matches (particularly Northeast) to effectively gauge players.

Look for Individuals next Friday.

#13 Carnegie Mellon at #21 Washington & Lee Match Preview

1. Nemerov/Raghavan vs. Gaffney/Watson
2. Liu/Spero vs. McCardell/Meyers
3. Mactaggart/Ljuboja vs. Becht/Brooke

1. Alex Nemerov vs. Brent Meyers
2. James Muliawan vs. Jeremy Becht
3. Bobby Mactaggart vs. Jamie McCardell
4. Jon Spero vs. Ben Fass
5. Yiran Liu vs. Jonathan Gaffney
6. Jeremy King vs. Michael Freeman

Washington & Lee is a very deceiving team this year, but I think they need to come up big in doubles if they want to pull this upset. CMU was decent in California during doubles and W&L was terrible against Mary Wash. Given those results, I think I have to give the edge to CMU in doubles. W&L traditionally plays very good dubs, but I think this year could be an exception. I would expect CMU to get at least three singles wins near the top of the lineup to be able to close the match. The bottom should have some very tough contests, and it's very unpredictable what will happen. I have to take CMU with a 5-4 or 6-3 win, but W&L could change the complexion of the match if they jump on top in doubles.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

#9 Kenyon at #1 Emory Match Preview

1. Greenberg/Vandenberg vs. Goodwin/Goodwin
2. Becker/Brody vs. Boren/Caplan
3. Piskacek/Polster vs. Kaufman/Lopp

1. Mike Greenberg vs. Michael Goodwin
2. Tomas Piskacek vs. Chris Goodwin
3. Charlie Brody vs. Mark Boren
4. Jeremy Polster vs. Colin Egan
5. Will Vandenberg vs. Oliver Lopp
6. Daniel Becker vs. Chris Redmond

This match is as simple as how well Kenyon plays. If they find their form that they had in the first round of Indoors, than we can expect a close match. If they play like they did during their two California matches, than this could turn into a very quick 8-1 or 9-0. I'd be surprised if Kenyon comes out with the doubles teams I have above because they've been swept twice in a row. They need to focus on the bottom of the lineup in doubles because no combo they have can take the Goodwins. Kenyon needs to manage one doubles point. I would expect a win from Greenberg and I would also expect Chris Goodwin to win at #2. Kenyon's bottom of the lineup needs to step up for them. Egan and Lopp have been great this season. I think Kenyon has a chance at #6, but after that I like Emory to take the other 3. I'm taking Emory with a pretty routine 6-3 or 7-2 victory.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two Observations

1. An unbelievable match between Bowdoin and Trinity (CT) yesterday. Check out the boxscore with the CTO D3 link on the right side of this page. There is no love lost between these two teams but it definitely was a great match and Trinity (CT) is definitely for real this year.

2. I'm very surprised by the current poll results. I guess I expected Santa Cruz to win but not by this margin. I think Kenyon and Gustavus are both very good teams and they both have beaten the Slugs this season.

Salisbury at #20 Cal Lutheran Match Preview

1. Burtzlaff/Thomas vs. Wetterholm/Hunt
2. Barnas/Nottage vs. Karsant/Lassila
3. Lupinetti/Robinson vs. Culpepper/Giuffrida

1. Scott Burtzlaff vs. Andrew Giuffrida
2. Evan Thomas vs. Paul Wetterholm
3. David Lupinetti vs. Forrest Hunt
4. Daniel Barnas vs. Ryan Lassila
5. Andrew Nottage vs. John Karsant
6. Sasha Felikson vs. Jordan Culpepper

The winner of this match is taking a good first step towards stealing an At-Large bid for the NCAA Tournament. The loser can probably count themselves out. This is a good chance for Salisbury to knock off a ranked team and potentially move into the top 25. They have had some very tough losses so far this year but this would a great win for them. Cal Lutheran is coming off a hard fought match against Amherst. They are looking to rebound by beating a good team and securing their place in the top 25. I think the Cal Lu's doubles are very good and they should win 2 of the 3 doubles matches. I like Salisbury at the bottom of the lineup, but Cal Lu near the top. I think the match could come down to 3 and 4 singles and I like Cal Lu in a 5-4 win. A reminder that live stats can be found on SUseagulls.com.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ITA Rankings March 17, 2009

Can be found here...


Team rankings are almost identical.

D3Tennis.com Team Rankings March 17, 2009

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

Monday, March 16, 2009

Brief Weekly Preview

We have an interesting week ahead of us highlighted by the beginning of Amherst's spring season and topped off with an Emory-Kenyon match at the end of the week. Amherst begins with Cal Lutheran who is a very dangerous team. They have the potential to give Amherst a run for their money if the Jeffs aren't sharp. The following day, Amherst takes on a very intense Redlands team who is looking to solidify a place in the top 10 with an upset. This is definitely a match to keep an eye on.

Overshadowed a little bit by Amherst, Trinity (CT) will also begin their season. They were a darkhorse last year and they are hoping to make more noise this upcoming season. Their match against Bowdoin is another one to keep an eye on. These two teams and CMS will collide in the Stag-Hen Invitational at the end of the week. The field is weaker than past years but a potential final between Amherst and CMS could mean some great action.

Over the weekend, three important matches will also be taking place. CMU has two tough ones coming off their California swing. I would expect them to beat W&L but their match with Hopkins will definitely be a tight one. This will be the first real D3 test for Hopkins and JHU could be considered the #1 sleeper this year looking to crack the top 10. They will need to respond well on Sunday. The #1 ranked Emory Eagles will host Kenyon on Saturday. The Lords had two poor results in California and they are now getting an opportunity to dethrone the best team in the country. Emory should be too much in this match and if Kenyon doesn't bring their best stuff this could be a blowout.

Schedule for the Week 3/16-3/22

Monday: 1 match
Tuesday: Team Rankings, ITA Rankings, 3 matches
Wednesday: 3 matches, Salisbury at Cal Lutheran Preview
Thursday: Salisbury at Cal Lutheran, Kenyon at Emory Preview
Friday: Regional Individual Rankings and Stag-Hen Invitational Day 1, CMU at W&L Preview
Saturday: 2 matches and Stag-Hen Day 2
Sunday: 2 matches

Weekend Recap

To begin, we got our first look at national championship contender Middlebury. They beat up on some decent competition only barely surrendering a match. I thought that Bates could give them a tough time but this turned out not to be the case. Bates is really hurting from the loss of Shadowen and they will need to work hard to stay in the top 25. Midd is looking good but won't be tested again until their California swing.

Mary Washington recovered from it's disappointing early season results with a dominant 7-2 win against an inexperienced W&L team. W&L is not top 20 material this year and the Eagles really beat them solidly. Mary Washington is looking to get themselves back into the conversation for top 10 in the nation.

The most interesting results of the weekend were the two matches played by Redlands on Saturday. They began the day with an unbelievable match against UT-Tyler. Tyler managed to win three 3-setters after being down 2-1 in doubles to shock a very hot Redlands team. This win was huge for Tyler and will give them confidence going forward. Redlands was able to recover later in the day to defeat a very good Bowdoin team. Bowdoin had the top 10 in the country on their racket if they won this match. Redlands has an advantage by playing every match at home and their tough schedule clearly pays off in the development of their players. I'm really looking forward to their Wednesday match against Amherst.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rankings 10-17 Discussion

Didn't put a lot of thought into this but here's what I have right now for the 10-17 range...

Mary Wash
Trinity (CT)

The interesting thing is there is no correct answer to this. You can make an argument for so many different orders. I can do my best to defend my order but obviously there are flaws. I'm pretty unsure and I'm posting this to get some feedback before actual rankings on Tuesday.

Hopkins and Trinity(CT) haven't played anyone yet. You could say it's unfair to penalize them but I don't know who they should be ahead of. We will get a look at Trinity (CT) on Tues and Hopkins next Sunday.

Mary Wash has played but not beaten anyone. They shouldn't be ahead of teams who have actually beaten someone.

Trinity(TX) has only played Indoors and they don't have another tough match until Tyler on April 4th. Should they be protected because of one win against Mary Wash? They play a weak schedule.

After that things get really tricky and like I said there is really no right order.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekly Recap

The week started with some poor results from UT-Tyler, blowing 3-0 against Bowdoin and then losing 2 of 3 doubles to CMU in an eventual 6-3 loss that was really never close. They redeemed themselves today against Redlands but I won't be discussing that in this recap. We then got our first look at the second ranked Bears and they looked very dominant with good wins against Pomona-Pitzer and Bowdoin. I thought Bowdoin would fair better than 8-1 but Wash U proved to be too good.

A nailbiter at Redlands on Thursday with Redlands defeating CMU in a 3rd set breaker with the match tied 4-4. This was a very hard fought match between two evenly matched teams. CMU was a little flat the day after losing to Bowdoin by a score of 7-2. The two matches that everyone was looking forward to also took place on Friday. Kenyon traveled to Santa Cruz to take on the Slugs for a second time this season. Cruz was dominant from the start sweeping doubles and dominating the bottom of the lineup for a very routine 7-2 win.

CMS looked great over the weekend with 3 wins and close fight against UPenn. They took on #1 ranked Emory at home but fell by a 5-4 score. Emory really was ahead wire to wire and the score appears closer than the actual match was. The 10-18 range in the rankings just got messy today with Tyler's win against Redlands. The next few weeks have a ton of action so hopefully we will figure out how good each team really is.

Weekend Scores

Middlebury d. NYU 9-0
UT-Tyler d. Redlands 5-4
Mary Washington d. Washington & Lee 7-2
Redlands.d Bowdoin 6-3
Emory d. Pomona-Pitzer 9-0
Middlebury d. Bates 9-0

Thursday, March 12, 2009

#1 Emory at #3 CMS Match Preview

1. Goodwin/Goodwin vs. Schils/Wang
2. Boren/Caplan vs. Erani/Wu
3. Kaufman/Lopp vs. Keiffer/MacColl

1. Michael Goodwin vs. Lawrence Wang
2. Chris Goodwin vs. Robbie Erani
3. Mark Boren vs. Mikey Lim
4. Colin Egan vs. Russell Brockett
5. Oliver Lopp vs. Eric MacColl
6. Chris Redmond vs. Ronald Wu

If Emory is going to lose a regular season match this year, this will be it. CMS has been on fire at home during their last three matches and you can be sure they will be gunning for Emory. They had a great doubles performance last time winning 2 of 3 and I would expect them to do it again with their home crowd behind them. The Goodwins should win at 1 to keep Emory in the match. This would put CMS in a position to win, but the problem is Emory is just too strong everywhere. CMS should take 6 and possibly 5 but I don't see them winning singles anywhere else. The match at #2 should be a good match between arguably the two best freshmen in the country. Emory should win 1 through 5 singles to win the match. I would predict another 6-3 win for Emory showing again that they can win under any circumstances.

#6 Kenyon at #9 UC Santa Cruz Match Preview

1. Greenberg/Vandenberg vs. Kamel/Vartabedian
2. Becker/Brody vs. Gendelman/Liberty-Point
3. Piskacek/Polster vs. Mark-Griffin/Ortiz

1. Michael Greenberg vs. Max Liberty-Point
2. Tomas Piskacek vs, jared Kamel
3. Jeremy Polster vs. Max Ortiz
4. Charlie Brody vs. Ilya Gendelman
5. Will Vandenberg vs. Colin Mark-Griffin
6. Daniel Becker vs. Marc Vartabedian

A huge early season match between two team who have seen each other before. Kenyon won a shocker in Minnesota to get the best of the Slugs but now Santa Cruz is looking for revenge on their home courts. Kenyon faltered in a match against CMS a few days ago so they are also looking to get back on track and find their way into the top 5. Given the results of the last match and the home court advantage, I have to give the edge to Santa Cruz in doubles and I think they will take a 2-1 lead with wins at 1 and 2. The top 2 singles spots I'm going to give to Kenyon and this would put them ahead 3-2. Santa Cruz should have the edge at both 5 and 6 with the results from the last match and this would mean they only need 1 of 2 in the 3 and 4 spots. However, I think Kenyon is strong here and should be able to win the top 4 spots to beat Santa Cruz and take the match 5-4.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

#14 Carnegie Mellon at #12 Redlands Match Preview

1. Nemerov/Raghavan vs. Reading/Spearman
2. Liu/Spero vs. Hammond/Wong
3. Ljuboja/Mactaggart vs. Fashouer/Trippel

1. James Muliawan vs Mike Reading
2. Alex Nemerov vs. Cameron Spearman
3. Bobby Mactaggart vs. Matt Liebman
4. Jon Spero vs. Aron Ouye
5. Yiran Liu vs. Chris Trippel
6. Jeremy King vs. Keven Wong

Typically Carnegie Mellon has been weak in doubles, however given the results of the last few days, you have to like CMU to come out on top in doubles. Redlands just lost 2 of 3 doubles to a struggling Mary Washington team and CMU won 2 of 3 against Tyler who had swept Bowdoin the day before. The singles are pretty evenly matched, so I think doubles will play a big role in the final outcome of the match. I like CMU at 1, 4, and 6 to take the match, but every singles match is pretty unpredictable. Redlands has been up and down this season, and both of these teams have the potential to blow out the other one on the right day. This could be a big match for NCAA implications, but I'm taking CMU with a 5-4 win.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

#2 Wash U vs. #11 Bowdoin Match Preview

1. Cutler/Hoeland vs. Sullivan/White
2. Stein/Woods vs. Cranin/Neely
3. Choradia/Watts vs. Anderson/Caughron

1. John Watts vs. Steve Sullivan
2. Charlie Cutler vs. Oscar Pena
3. Max Woods vs. Alex White
4. Isaac Stein vs. Tyler Anderson
5. Danny Levy vs. Alex Caughron
6. Chris Hoeland vs. Josh Cranin

Given Bowdoin's results against Tyler the other day, you would have to pick Wash U to sweep doubles. The singles should be pretty evenly matched, but I have to give the edge to Wash U. They should take 1 and 2 singles to clinch the match. I would expect a split at the bottom four spots resulting in a 7-2 win for Wash U. If Bowdoin wants to stay in this match, they need to compete in doubles and they can't afford to even go down 2-1 against this good of a team. I'm not sure if Bowdoin has two doubles wins in them, but they will definitely need to bring their A game to even compete with the Bears.

Weekly Scores

Bowdoin d. UT-Tyler 5-4
Carnegie Mellon d. UT-Tyler 6-3
Wash U d. Bowdoin 8-1
Wash U d. Pomona-Pitzer 9-0
Redlands d. Carnegie Mellon 5-4
UT-Tyler d. Pomona-Pitzer 6-3
Santa Cruz d. Kenyon 7-2
Emory d. CMS 5-4
Bowdoin d. CMU 7-2

D3tennis.com Team Rankings March 10, 2009

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

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Schedule for The Week 3/8 - 3/15

Monday: Bowdoin vs. UT-Tyler
Tuesday: Team Rankings, CMU vs. UT-Tyler, Wash U vs. Bowdoin Match Preview
Wednesday: Wash U vs. Bowdoin, CMU at Redlands Match Preview
Thursday: 2 matches (see calendar), Emory at CMS Preview, Kenyon at Santa Cruz Preview
Friday: 4 big matches , W&L at Mary Wash preview, possible coach or player interview
Saturday: 5 matches
Sunday: Bates at Middlebury and recap of the week

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekend Scores

Bates d. MIT 7-2
CMS d. Mary Wash 8-1
CMS d. Kenyon 6-3
DePauw d. Kalamazoo 5-4
CMS d. UT-Tyler 8-1
Redlands d. Mary Wash 5-4

Some really interesting results here. I know I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm tempted to call CMS the #2 team in the country right now after their dominance this weekend. Everyone knows they are tough on their home courts, but I don't think anyone was expecting the performances over the past two days. Losing 5 points in 3 matches against three top 20 teams is impressive. DePauw had a somewhat convincing result against Kalamazoo, but I still don't think they've put themselves in a position to move to the top 15. Kalamazoo is still struggling and I don't see a turn around for them in sight. The most surprising result of the weekend was Redlands upsetting UMW. Both teams had been struggling coming into this match but Redlands was able to get a good win. We thought Mary Wash's weakness was their doubles, but they managed to win 2 of 3 and still ended up losing the match. They need to go home and regroup to get their confidence back. They could find themselves ranked outside of the top 15 soon. Redlands has some upcoming tests so we will see how they will look going forward. Exciting week ahead and I'll put out a schedule sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

#6 Kenyon at #3 CMS Match Preview

1. Greenberg/Vandenberg vs. Schils/Wang
2. Becker/Brody vs. MacColl/Wu
3. Piskacek/Polster vs. Erani/Lim

1. Mike Greenberg vs. Lawrence Wang
2. Tomas Piskacek vs. Robbie Erani
3. Jeremy Polster vs. Russell Brockett
4. Charlie Brody vs. Mikey Lim
5. Will Vandenberg vs. Ronald Wu
6. Daniel Becker vs. Victor Chien

The most anticipated match of the weekend is a rematch of the 3rd-4th match at the National Indoors. This match will take place in a very different setting however and I think it is going to be hard not to pick CMS in this one, but Kenyon is definitely set up to pull off the upset. I think Kenyon has the edge in doubles and I would give them a 2-1 lead after doubles. Greenberg and Piskacek should both win for Kenyon giving them a 4-1 cushion. Erani has the potential to defeat Piskacek but I wouldn't expect it. In the bottom four spots I would expect a singles split resulting in a 6-3 win for Kenyon. CMS may be drained from playing Mary Wash the day before. They also have to play UT-Tyler later that afternoon so put a star by that one because it's a potential upset. Playing three ranked teams in 36 hours is no easy task.

#12 Mary Washington at #16 Redlands Match Preview

1. Loden/Murata vs. Reading/Spearman
2. Dunn/James vs. Hammond/Wong
3. Goff/Parrish vs. Ouye/Trippel

1. John James vs. Michael Reading
2. Randy Loden vs. Cameron Spearman
3. Jason Dunn vs. Aron Ouye
4. Riley Baver vs. Matt Liebman
5. Andrew Frisk vs. Chris Trippel
6. Bryce Parrish vs. Jeff Hammond

These teams are pretty close in ability but I think Mary Washington has the slight edge at almost every spot. Both of these teams have been fairly disappointing so far this year so this is an opportunity for one of them to show that they can beat a good team. Redlands' strength is their doubles and I would expect them to most likely take 2 of the 3 doubles matches. Mary Wash should come right back with wins at 1-2 to take a 3-2 lead. The 3-6 part of the lineup is pretty even and I would expect a 2-2 split in the bottom part. This would give Mary Wash a 5-4 win and confidence heading into the rest of the season.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

#12 Mary Washington at #3 CMS Match Preview

1. Loden/Murata vs. Schils/Wang
2. Dunn/James vs. MacColl/Wu
3. Goff/Parrish vs. Erani/Lim

1. John James vs. Lawrence Wang
2. Randy Loden vs. Robbie Erani
3. Jason Dunn vs. Russell Brockett
4. Riley Baver vs. Mikey Lim
5. Andrew Frisk vs. Ronald Wu
6. Bryce Parrish vs. Victor Chien

I don't think Mary Washington's performance at Indoors is a fair representation of the strength of their team. Their doubles is weak compared to other top teams and I expect CMS to capitalize on this and take 2 of 3 doubles match almost for sure. A sweep is certainly not too difficult as well. The singles matches are pretty even all the way through. I think CMS will come out on top in the end, but 4 Mary Wash wins in singles to pull the upset is not out of the question. I think 1 and 2 will be split, but I like CMS at both 3 and 4. I would also expect a split between 5 and 6 singles. I think the Mary Wash guys know they have to step up and prove something, but this CMS team is a little too strong and I'm predicting a 6-3 win for them on Friday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ITA Team Rankings March 3, 2009

Today the ITA released their first poll of the Spring. The results used in this ranking list are through last Tuesday...

1. Emory University
2. Washington University
3. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
4. Middlebury
5. Williams
6. Amherst
7. Kenyon
8. Gustavus Adophus
9. UC Santa Cruz
10. Trinity University (TX)
11. Bowdoin
12. University of Mary Washington
13. University of Redlands
14. Trinity College
15. Johns Hopkins
16. Carnegie Mellon
17. Depauw University
18. Washington and Lee
19. Whitman College
20. The University of Texas at Tyler
21. Bates College
22. Salisbury
23. Christopher Newport University
24. Denison
25. University of Chicago
26. Skidmore
27. Cal Lutheran
28. Kalamazoo
29. College of New Jersey
30. Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
31. Le Tourneau University
32. UW-Whitewater

D3tennis.com Team Rankings March 3, 2009

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

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mary Washington defeats Pomona-Pitzer 8-1

I called this the match of two teams trying to prove something. To me, neither of them really did their job today. Mary Washington was dominant in doubles and despite winning 5 of 6 singles, they struggled in almost every match. Pomona-Pitzer is trying to prove that they belong in the same conversation as other teams looking to crack the top 25. Two 8-1 losses in a row certainly don't send this message. Both teams have more chances very soon, but as of now they both leave the nation unimpressed. Scores can be found on the College Tennis Online Division 3 Page.

Someone also requested a wrap-up of this weekend... We had Washington & Lee win two nailbiters against Salisbury and CNU in the Atlantic South, both by a 5-4 score. In the Central, we had DePauw look very dominant in a match against a decent Luther team. In the Northeast, Skidmore looked very good and defeated Vassar 9-0 and followed with a 6-3 victory over a struggling TCNJ squad. Out west, Cal Lutheran put themselves in the conversation for the top 25 by crushing Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday.

This upcoming weekend has some really huge matches so stay tuned for more coverage this week. There won't be much movement in the rankings as far as the top 12 are concerned, but expect to see a Redlands drop and possibly some movement in the 20-25 range. The ITA also releases their first rankings sometime tomorrow and I'll post them as soon as they are available.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Schedule For The Week 3/1 - 3/8

Monday: Mary Washington at Pomona-Pitzer
Tuesday: New Team Rankings and First ITA Rankings of the Spring followed by rankings comparison and discussion
Wednesday: Mary Washington at CMS Preview, possible coach or player interview
Thursday: Kenyon at CMS Preview, Mary Washington at Redlands Preview
Friday: Mary Washington at CMS
Saturday: 4 big matches - see calendar
Sunday: Saturday recap and a look ahead to the upcoming days