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.