Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Division I NCAA Controversy

Not sure how many of you are aware of this but there is a big controversy after the release of the NCAA D1 Tennis brackets last night. Ole Miss, who is currently ranked #2 in the country has to travel for their regional to rival LSU who almost beat them in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Ole Miss went undefeated in the SEC as well as winning the SEC tournament. On top of all of this, they lead the nation in average attendance with 582 fans per match. For the last 40 years, traditionally in D1 the top 16 Men's teams have hosted their regional, and then those 16 winners would converge on one site to play out the Final 16. This is the first time in recent memory that the regional hosts rule has been changed. Meanwhile, plenty of other teams are being flown to sites.

Baylor is also a victim ranked at #6 in the country. They have to travel to Tulsa to play their regional against a Golden Hurricane team who has the #1 singles player in the country and was ranked #15 pre-season before slipping into the 20s. The NCAA strikes again and it seems the same rule that keeps 3 top 10 teams in the same regional in D3 is now spreading to D1.

I was thinking about things and in theory, UC Santa Cruz could completely tank their season, lose every match against a ranked team, finish last at Indoors and be in the same position they are right now. CMS is in a similar situation. They could lose every match and then just win SCIACs. We knew the NCAA fate of these two teams at the beginning of the season. What are they playing for? The goal is to win NCAAs, so why are these teams even playing their season when they know where they will end up? At least Ole Miss and Georgia don't have to play each other in a regional. D1 has it better than we do, and these travel restrictions are a travesty in my eyes.

I understand that the NCAA has restrictions, but D1 tennis is taken very seriously. To run the table in the SEC and Big 12 respectively and not be rewarded is outrageous.

As a final note, the host of the D1 Final 16 is Texas A&M University. If Mississippi gets by their regional at LSU, guess who they play in the Round of 16. That's right, Texas A&M.

I've been following D1 action a lot lately so I'd be happy to discuss with anyone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bracketology Issue #3

Just had an epiphany about what should happen...

Kzoo goes to Wash U
Emory gets flown to Mary Wash
CMS and Cruz meet
Midd hosts Bowdoin
Amherst travels to TCNJ meet CMU
Hopkins travels to Skidmore to play Williams
DePauw goes to Kenyon
Tyler goes to Gustavus

That's the most likely scenario right now I think.

1. Wash U*, DePauw, Luther, Grinnell
2. Emory, NC Wesleyan*, Hampden-Sydney
3. CMS*, UC Santa Cruz, Redlands, Whitman
4. Middlebury*, Mary Washington, Skidmore*
5. Amherst, Carnegie Mellon, TCNJ*
6. Williams*, Bowdoin, Vassar
7. Kenyon*, Johns Hopkins, Mt Union
8. Gustavus*, UT-Tyler, Whitewater

1. Wash U*, Kalamazoo, Luther, Grinnell,
2. Emory, UT-Tyler, NC Wesleyan*, Hampden-Sydney
3. CMS*, UC Santa Cruz, Redlands, Whitman
4. Middlebury, Mary Washington, Skidmore*
5. Amherst*, Bowdoin, MIT
6. Williams, Johns Hopkins, TCNJ*,
7. Kenyon*, CMU, Mount Union
8. Gustavus, DePauw, Whitewater, Carthage*

These are two possible scenarios listed above. Both include all teams that I consider "significant" and as you can see they aren't full 41-team brackets. I'm open to suggestions and if anyone can tell me who won a small conference who's AQ isn't on here, please let me know. Team Rankings April 28, 2009

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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Results

DePauw d. Trinity (TX) 6-3
Middlebury d. Amherst 5-4
Hampden-Sydney d. W&L 5-3

Friday, April 24, 2009

#6 Middlebury at #5 Amherst Match Preview

1. Farah/Thomson vs. Lerner/Koenig
2. Lee/Olson vs. Gross/Chafetz
3. Bonfiglio/Peters vs. Jung/Waterman

1. Conrad Olson vs. Zack Lerner
2. Andrew Thomson vs. Austin Chafetz
3. Andrew Lee vs. Andrew Jung
4. Andrew Peters vs. Moritz Koenig
5. Peter Odell vs. Priit Gross
6. Derrick Angle vs. Wes Waterman

A very evenly matched contest between two national championship contenders and NESCAC powerhouses. Middlebury's fitness will be tested because they first have to get through Williams on Saturday before taking on a great Amherst team. I think that gives Amherst a huge edge on top of their home court advantage. I like Amherst at #1 doubles, Middlebury at #2 doubles and #3 is a toss up for now. I think Midd should win comfortable at positions 3 and 4, and Amherst should strike back at both 5 and 6. I think Midd has a slight edge at #2 singles as well. #1 is also a toss up. I really think it comes down to how healthy Midd is for this match. If they are 100%, I think they are the better team and they can win 5-4. However, if they are a step slow, Amherst could roll them in this match.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Team Rankings April 21, 2009

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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Recap

First, I'll start off with the SCIAC tournament. Things really went as expected here. The one surprising result was a 5-4 win for Redlands against Cal Lu in the semis. Redlands seems as though they peaked at the wrong time this season. Their NCAA outlook looks grim. A pretty good season for both Cal Lu and Pomona-Pitzer. Both were strong teams who gave some national contenders a tough time. Look for both of those programs to improve over the next few years, especially P-P. CMS really took care of business in the finals and they look great going into their match with Santa Cruz. You have to like the Stags right now even though the match is on the Slugs homecourt. Definitely looking forward to that one in only a few weeks.

Three pretty important NESCAC matches took place this weekend, with Amherst and Williams asserting their dominance over the #4 and #5 NESCAC teams. It seems as though there is a clear divide between the top 3 and Bowdoin/Trinity (CT) this year. Bowdoin had a disappointing weekend, really getting crushed by Amherst. I'm really questioning Bowdoin right now. Sullivan hasn't been leading this team and they have been struggling. Williams and Amherst both look great and Trinity (CT) needs a win against Williams on Wednesday to make a splash in Pool C.

Another quick note is that Gustavus had a dominant win on the road against Kalamazoo. The Gusties have put themselves in a position to host an NCAA regional once again and unless some unforeseen circumstances occur, they should find themselves in the Elite 8 again.

The results of the weekend were from the UAA Championships. Both semifinals were pretty routine victories as expected, but there were two pretty big surprises in the championship and 3rd-4th matches. To start, I expected a real war between CMU and Chicago. CMU won 2 doubles and 3 easy singles matches to take this one very routinely over a Chicago team who needs to go back to the drawing board for next season. They are loaded with talent, but they haven't put all the pieces together yet. CMU ended well and they have to think their doubles really improved this season. This is a good win to bolster their NCAA resume. The upset of the year in my opinion occurred in the Championship match. Emory seemed pretty much unbeatable the whole year and even their 5-4 victories weren't really "close." Wash U came out and swept the doubles which really was a knockout blow because we knew Watts was an automatic at 1. A great fight by Emory to almost come back but the hole from doubles was just too big. Wash U is the new #1 team in the country heading into NCAAs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekend Results

Emory d. Chicago 8-1
Wash U d. CMU 8-1
Amherst d. Trinity (CT) 7-2
Redlands d. Cal Lu 5-4
CMS d. P-P 8-1
CMS d. Redlands 8-1
Williams d. Bowdoin 6-3
Gustavus d. Kzoo 8-1
CMU d. Chicago 7-2
Amherst d. Bowdoin 8-1
Wash U d. Emory 5-4

Thursday, April 16, 2009

#11 Bowdoin at #7 Williams Match Preview

1. Neely/Pena vs Chaplin/Thacher
2. Sullivan/Caughron vs. Lebedoff/Petrie
3. Anderson/White vs. Weinberger/Shallcross

1. Steve Sullivan vs. Nick Lebedoff
2. Oscar Pena vs. Jeremy Weinberger
3. Tyler Anderson vs. Rick Devlin
4. Josh Cranin vs. Will Petrie
5. Alex Caughron vs. Kevin Shallcross
6. Alex White vs. Karol Furmaga

I think a lot depends on how Williams comes out. We've seen many faces of Williams so far this season, particularly in doubles. I'll start by looking at the singles. I see Bowdoin with a clear advantage at both 1 and 2 singles. I expect Williams to strike back at both 3. and 4 singles. The bottom of the lineup should produce some close matches, but I think Williams depth will prevail to give them 4 of 6 singles match. Bowdoin has looked good in doubles, I would expect them to take 2 of the spots. Williams on the other hand has been extremely inconsistent in doubles and I think it's very hard to predict how they'll come out for this match. They have the potential to sweep or get swept. I think they will come out of this match with a 5-4 win, but if Williams comes out to play it could be as bad at 7-2.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Skidmore vs. Wash & Lee

In a match that wasn't listed on the calendar, #25 Skidmore d. #22 Washington & Lee 5-4. All of the doubles were close and there were 4 3-setters in singles.

Box Score

Bracketology Issue #2

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

ITA Rankings

Will be out sometime tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009 Team Rankings April 13, 2009

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

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Schedule for the Week 4/13-4/19

Monday: Team Rankings and Weekend Recap
Tuesday: Bracketology, ITA Rankings
Wednesday: 2 matches, Regional Individual Rankings
Thursday: 1 match, Bowdoin at Williams Preview
Friday: Conference Tournaments Begin, Gustavus at Kalamazoo Preview
Saturday: 2 matches and Conference Tournaments
Sunday: 2 matches, UAA Finals

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brief Weekend Preview

The highlight of the weekend is the GLCA Championship being played at Wabash and DePauw this weekend. 5 top 25 teams are in action with Kenyon as the clear favorite to win the tournament and Carnegie Mellon and DePauw as the main contenders. Also on Friday, UT-Tyler will try to bounce back from a bad loss against Trinity (TX) and take down the #2 ranked Wash U Bears. I wouldn't expect much of a match here and I think Wash U could win this 9-0. I'd be very surprised if Tyler is able to get more than 2 matches.

On Saturday, the GLCA will wrap up and Tyler comes back to take on a talented Chicago team. Chicago has had a disappointing season, but they can make a believer out of many if they can take care of Tyler and then give Wash U a hard time. I would expect Tyler and Wash U to beat Chicago fairly routinely though. I think their doubles are just too strong for the Maroons. A big NESCAC showdown between Middlebury and Bowdoin will take place for bragging rights and potential seeding in the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin should break into the top 10 in the nation with a win. On Sunday, Hopkins is back for another match against a tough Salisbury team and they look to continue their dominance so far this season. The match of the weekend though is definitely Williams at Amherst. This is a battle between two top 7 teams who still have a lot to prove. I think this contest will tell us a lot about both of these teams and how they could fair against other top NESCAC teams.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 Team Rankings April 7, 2009

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

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Recap

We actually didn't learn a whole lot this weekend and most of the results went almost as predicted. Even though it was a challenge, Emory took care of Williams in pretty routine fashion. No real upsets on Saturday, but the Trinity-Tyler score obviously was very surprising. I'm tempted to say that the Tyler win over Redlands was actually a fluke, judging by their performance in every other match this season. But then, Redlands who had been very hot in the past month or so got crushed by CMS, not winning a set in singles. This is not good for their NCAA outlook as they've now lost to their competition 9-0 twice.

Both NESCAC powerhouses in action took care of business this weekend, although Middlebury was in trouble for a little bit against Trinity (CT), but they managed to pull out a win. Wash U looked dominant twice and although there were some close singles matches in both contests, the Bears showed why they were #2 in the country and pulled out two routine wins. Kenyon had a tougher than expected win against Gustavus and that was a good win for the Lords going forward. Mary Wash also got back on track with an easy win against a tough Salisbury team to maintain their dominance in the CAC. A lot of tennis still to be played and we are getting into the heart of the NESCAC season so exciting teams are upcoming.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Results

#1 Emory d. #5 Williams 6-3
#9 Redlands d. Cal Lutheran 7-2
#3 CMS d. #9 Redlands 9-0
#6 Middlebury d. #25 Skidmore 7-2
#17 Mary Washington d. Salisbury 7-2
#15 Trinity (TX) d. #14 UT-Tyler 8-1
#7 Amherst d. #23 Bates 8-1
#8 Kenyon d. #10 Gustavus 5-4
#2 Wash U d. #16 DePauw 8-1
#6 Middlebury d. #18 Trinity (CT) 6-3
#2 Wash U d. #8 Kenyon 7-2

#8 Kenyon vs. #10 Gustavus Adolphus Match Preview

1. Greenberg/Vandenberg vs. Burdakin/Kauss
2. Brody/Stiles vs. Paukert/Tomasek
3. Piskacek/Polster vs. Hansen/Koppel

1. Mike Greenberg vs. John Kauss
2. Tomas Piskacek vs. Charlie Paukert
3. Jeremy Polster vs. Mike Burdakin
4. Will Vandenberg vs. Ben Tomasek
5. Daniel Becker vs. Patrick Clark
6. Josh Stiles vs. Ryan Hallsten

You have to think that Kenyon should have four easy wins before the match even starts. They should win at 2 singles as well as the 4 through 6 spots. The past results from Gustavus point to them not being able to stay with Kenyon in the bottom of the lineup. I think that Gustavus should be able to win at 3 as well as #1 doubles. I would also give them a slight edge at #2 doubles. The match should come down to #3 doubles and #1 singles and I have to give Kenyon both of those matches. Gustavus probably would need a doubles sweep to win this match. If Kenyon manages to steal #3 doubles which they should, they should be able to win 4 easy singles matches. I'm taking Kenyon in a 6-3 win.

Regional Individual Rankings April 3, 2009

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

1. Goodwin/Goodwin, Emory
2. Maldow/Wang, JHU
3. Nelson/Shulman, CNU
4. Burtzlaff/Thomas, Salisbury
5. Mactaggart/Spero, CMU
6. Loden/Murata, UMW

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

1. Burdakin/Kauss GAC
2. Cutler/Hoeland, Wash U
3. Lafountaine/Fox, Grinnell
4. Greenberg/Vandenberg, Kenyon
5. Buehler/Davis, Denison
6. Brinker/Saltarelli, Chicago

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

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

1. Phillips, Tyler
2. Liberty-Point, Cruz
3. Wang, CMS
4. Frey, Trinity (TX)
5. Yook, Chapman
6. Giuffrida, CLU
7. Kamel, Cruz
8. Erani, CMS
9. Bumann, McMurry
10. Spearman, Redlands

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

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weekend Preview

The most important weekend of the spring to date is upon us and we have 12 outstanding matches to look forward to. I'll try to touch on all of them. To begin, Williams at Emory highlights Friday. The Ephs are fresh off a win against CMS and they are looking to hand Emory their first D3 loss. Emory hasn't been challenged in a while so this will be a match to watch. Williams really needs to jump on top in doubles. Meanwhile in California Cal Lu will try to upset Redlands. I think this is unlikely, but it should be a competitive match.

We then move to Saturday which has 7 matches. Early in the day, there are two contests of note in the West. Tyler travels to Trinity (TX) for an in-state brawl while Redlands makes the 30 minute drive to CMS to play the Stags. The Tyler-Trinity will be a very hard fought match and see the preview for more info. I'd look for CMS to rebound from their recent loss and take care of Redlands easily. I think CMS is stronger at almost every spot so they shouldn't have too hard of a time. 2 interesting Northeast matches will be taking place as well. Bates plays Amherst and Skidmore plays Middlebury. Both of these have the potential to be lopsided affairs, but the underdogs will look to prove that they are worthy of their top 25 rankings and challenge the NESCAC powerhouses. I'd expect Middlebury and Amherst to emerge unscathed.

The Capital Athletic Conference's top 2 teams will play each other and Salisbury has the home court against a Mary Wash team that looks very weak right now. Salisbury has a good chance to pull the upset so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that one. To round out the day, Wash U travels to DePauw and Kenyon plays Gustavus in Milwaukee. I would expect a routine win for Wash U not surrendering more than two matches, but the Kenyon-Gustavus match could be highly contested if Kenyon isn't sharp in doubles. I have to go with the Lords to dominate all the way through the singles lineup.

We then move to Sunday where Wash U plays Gustavus, followed by Kenyon. Scheduling two top 10 teams in one day is risky, but I think the Bears should be able to win both. The Gustavus match shouldn't take too much out of them in singles, but the match against Kenyon will be a battle. I would expect Wash U to win but not without a fight. It should definitely be closer than Indoors. The last match of the weekend has Trinity (CT) traveling to Middlebury. The Bantams need a big win to move into NCAA contention and Middlebury is trying to move back into the top 5 in the country. Should be a pretty even match all the way through.

If anyone can provide live updates during the matches, it would be greatly appreciated. Definitely looking forward to all of the matches so check back daily.

#14 UT-Tyler at #15 Trinity (TX) Match Preview

1. Ashlock/Phillips vs. Cocanougher/Kowal
2. Repsher/Sajovich vs. Carroll/Murray
3. Bulls/Reznik vs. Frey/Hoing

1. Dustin Phillips vs. Max Frey
2. Robert Sajovich vs. Bobby Cocanougher
3. David Ashlock vs. John Runge
4. Caleb Bulls vs. Cory Kowal
5. Shaun Maddox vs. Andrew Hoing
6. Dallas Darnell vs. Crisanto Ramirez

A really big match for both of these teams to prove that they are the best team in Texas. I think Trinity (TX) has an edge because they are playing on their home courts, but we know Tyler will fight until the end. Two outstanding #1 doubles teams will face off and I have to give the edge to Trinity (TX). I think Trinity will also win at 3 but I would expect Tyler to win at 2. Despite being the fall singles champion, I'm going to pick Phillips over Frey at #1 due to big match experience. Sajovich should give Tyler a 3-2 lead with a win at 2. Runge and Kowal have both been playing well and I think that they should win for Trinity, although junior Ashlock could give Tyler a big lead with a win at 3. I would expect the match to come down to the bottom of the lineup and I have to pick Trinity with a 5-4 win, but I'm sure everyone knows this match could go either way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rankings 1-12 and Mid-Season Reports April 1, 2009

1. Emory - They had a good win against CMS in California. The thing I took from that 5-4 result is that this team is beatable on a bad day. That being said, the opponent has to be playing unbelievable for the Eagles to fall this year. All signs point to a national championship for this season and I think it will take a lot to derail them from this goal. They will be tested against Williams in a few days and of course in the semis and final at UAAs. Emory has to keep themselves from feeling the pressure of being expected to win every match and if they can do so, I think they will win nationals. If they can take 2 doubles points, they are unbeatable against anyone.

2. Wash U - The Bears haven't had a lot of D3 action lately, but they have an action packed weekend coming up. they have 3 very tough matches against DePauw, Gustavus and Kenyon. I would be most worried about Kenyon though and I'm anxious to see how Watts responds against Greenberg in their 3rd encounter this season. The Bears looked great at Indoors and we will see if they can continue their excellent play for the rest of the season. They have outstanding singles and their doubles has improved more than any team in the country. They have to set their sights on beating Emory and I'm looking forward to seeing how they respond in the probable UAA final.

3. CMS - Their loss to Williams showed that they are beatable on their home courts and probably was good for the Stags, showing them that there is work left to be done. Their doubles has been good and if the defending national champions cold find their old form, life would be a lot easier. The middle of their singles lineup has proven to be vulnerable and this could hurt them against tough competition. Everything now is leading up to their regular season match with Santa Cruz to most likely determine the site of NCAAs. If CMS gets to the Elite 8, they will be a tough out because it is being played on their home turf.

4. UC Santa Cruz - The Slugs have avenged their Indoors losses very well in recent weeks and they are one of the hottest teams in the country. Their 9-0 win against Redlands now looks very impressive and wins against Kenyon, Gustavus and Middlebury show that this is one of the best teams in the country. Their singles is so tough top to bottom and they boast a great 1-2 punch in doubles. Their season could come down to their regular season match with CMS to determine who hosts NCAAs. Lucky for Cruz they are hosting this match. I'm sure this will be another classic between two great teams and don't be surprised to see the Slugs in the Final 4 again.

5. Williams - Despite a heartbreaking loss to Redlands, the win against CMS was more impressive to me. CMS had been almost unbeatable at home and Williams showed that they can bounce back from anything. They went from being swept in doubles to sweeping doubles, so while being inconsistent, this team also has a lot of heart. Their singles are very good but beatable. They have a good mixture of experience and youth and it's too hard to say right now what to expect from them in the long run. As of right now, I would say that they are the favorite for the NESCAC title but they are very evenly matched with the other two contenders. A Final 4 contender for sure.

6. Middlebury - Three great matches out in California by Middlebury and it's unfortunate that they came out on the wrong end of two of them. The CMS match was a great battle and it was appropriate that it came down to the last match. Their doubles were good but not great and they will need to get 2 of the doubles to put themselves in a position to win against tough competition like Williams and Amherst. The NESCAC title is really up for grabs and Midd has as good of a shot as anyone. This team seems to always make a final 4 run and they have a great chance at winning their Elite 8 match. I don't think they are talented enough to beat Emory, but another top 4 finish looks promising.

7. Amherst - They did what they were supposed to in California and supplemented their fall wins with a good win against Redlands. They showed that they won't lose to teams ranked below them, but at the same time they probably won't pull a big upset, as they got beaten by CMS very solidly. This team has great depth, but their doubles could be a weakness against the other NESCAC teams. They have a great coach who will definitely have his guys ready for every match. Their tough regular season NESCAC matches will tell us a lot more about this young team. I could see them making the Elite 8, but I think they may have a tough time getting past that stage in NCAAs.

8. Kenyon - The Lords showed good resolve with two wins last weekend after a string of losses. They have a top 5 caliber team, they just need to put all the pieces together. Their doubles have been very streaky and if they can get 1 win somewhere in the lineup they are in good shape for singles. They need work to compete with the likes of Emory, but they will get a shot at Wash U this weekend in a rematch of the Indoors semis. Greenberg and Piskacek will need to step up and an upset is not out of the question. If they keep winning, they could move ahead of the NESCAC teams in the rankings and I would also expect them to host a very winnable regional in NCAAs.

9. Redlands - Despite good wins against Williams and Gustavus, they still have a bad loss to UT-Tyler and this is holding them back a bit. It is also an advantage that they get to play every match at home. The bottom of the lineup as well as their doubles has really been excellent this year and Spearman is a solid #1 player for the next few years. This is a good team that is very hard to play because they fight hard, but they will have a hard time making it out of their NCAA regional. A second round match against Santa Cruz or CMS should spell a loss for this team but that doesn't mean they aren't having an excellent season. They should finish in the top 10 but won't be a real factor in the tournament.

10. Gustavus Adolphus - Their Indoors results were offset by 3 losses in California. Gustavus was beaten soundly by Redlands and Williams and their 5-4 against Santa Cruz was never really close after singles started. They just don't have enough players to compete with the top teams this year and I think they got a false sense of security at Indoors. That being said, they should dominate their conference once again and most likely will find themselves hosting NCAAs with a great opportunity to make the Elite 8. Barring a meltdown late in the season, they should hold their #10 spot for quite a while. The truth is they are overmatched by most of the top 10 though.

11. Bowdoin - Their California swing produced mixed results that are hard to interpret right now. Their doubles as well as the middle of their singles lineup were extremely inconsistent. One thing we do know is Sullivan has found last year's form and Pena could be a future star in Division 3. I doubt they have it in them to beat one of the top 3 in the NESCAC but a 4th place finish should be plenty to qualify them for the tournament. They actually match up well with Amherst and Williams and they could pull an upset in the tournament but I just don't see them cracking the top 10 this year. They have a lot of talent and if they can get their doubles in order, this could be a very good team.

12. Johns Hopkins - They looked tough in the one match they played, but playing such an easy schedule is a questionable strategy. It's too hard to say whether they will be prepared for NCAAs because they haven't faced the same sort of competition as other teams. They will be going into NCAAs without exposure to a top 10 team and their upcoming Mary Wash match won't be that tough if the Eagles continue their losing ways. That being said, this is a good team with a great 1-2 punch and two of the best doubles teams in the country. If their bottom guys can win consistently, they could find themselves headed to a Final Four. Their NCAA fate is too hard to say right now because we haven't seen enough of them.


Shape up with the comments. It's getting out of hand and the main criticism of the site last year was that too many people posted irrelevant comments. If you don't have something worthwhile to add, don't write anything. My goal is to focus on the top 25 teams. If the Little East conference actually does something on a national level, maybe we can talk about them. Until that time comes, I don't care about Southern Maine. That's not what the site is for. If you want to make a joke out of it, you will be ruining things for the 150 or so visitors per day who actually enjoy following because there won't be a blog anymore. I have the power to stop whenever I want and if stupid comments continue to outnumber good comments for another week, the blog is gone. I would disable comments, but I read a lot of things on there that I myself don't know and that is valuable information.