Thursday, February 25, 2010

Redlands at Cal Lutheran Pre-Match Thoughts

Cameron Spearman, Redlands

It's not often that the Bulldogs have to leave the very friendly confines of the Verdieck Tennis Center. In fact, this is the only match this season where they play a ranked team away from home so this is some strange territory for Redlands. Call me crazy, but I'm on upset watch this Saturday. I don't think CLU will win, but it will be a good match. Redlands hasn't played a tough D3 team and CLU just finished struggling in doubles and then wiping the floor in singles with Pomona-Pitzer. We don't have a lot of information and past years have shown that both these teams don't start the way they finish. Many teams performance is consistent throughout a season, these two are exceptions to that. #1 dubs I have to go with CLU and I'm also going to take them at #2 dubs because of the experience and home court advantage. Redlands will strike back at 3 dubs keeping themselves within striking distance. This is where things get interesting. One thing Redlands lacks is that strong top of the lineup and I think CLU has it. Giuffrida is the closest thing CLU has to a lock at #1 and I would be surprised if Ballou doesn't win at #2. This would then give CLU a 4-1 edge, but I think this is where the Bulldogs take over. They are so good deep in the lineup and I'm not saying CLU doesn't have good players 3 through 6, but they can't match Redlands. That's why the Bulldogs are top 12 in the country and CLU is around 20-25. I'm taking Redlands in 3 through 6 singles to give them a 5-4 win. If the Kingsmen can get 1 of these spots, they can pull an upset. It is possible, but someone really needs to step up for them because Redlands is very tough. Redlands has their 1 from 2 years ago now playing 6 so we know they have the depth. As a final note, does anyone know the status of Reading? He could really turn this match giving Redlands that strong #1 doubles team and a very good chance to win at #2 singles.