Thursday, March 25, 2010

3 Friday Previews

Conrad Olson, Middlebury

Trinity (CT) @ Pomona-Pitzer

This is a match between two teams that desperately need a win. Pomona-Pitzer only has one quality win on their resume and Trinity (CT) lost to their rival in a match that they really needed to win. The loser of this match can kiss the NCAA tournament goodbye. Both of these teams need to start producing quickly if they want to be in the tournament and that starts tomorrow. If Pomona-Pitzer is going to win this match, it has to be in doubles. Trinity (CT) hasn't looked all that sharp in doubles this week and I think this is arguably P-P's strength. They will be pumped up on their home courts and I think it's very possible that the Hens can win 2 of 3 doubles. Things turn in Trinity's favor when singles start. I think the middle of the lineup will definitely go in favor of Trinity. The top two spots and bottom two spots both can go either way, but I'd consider Trinity a slight favorite at 1 and 2. 5 and 6 are both tough to call. I think the Bantams will come out on top in this match because they have too many good singles players. 6-3 Bantams tomorrow.

Chicago @ Johns Hopkins

Kalamazoo beat Chicago 7-2. Johns Hopkins beat Kalamazoo 8-1. Easy win for Hopkins tomorrow? Not so fast, my friend. The Maroons have been playing good tennis this week in a trio of 6-3 wins against quality opponents. They will be in top form tomorrow to face a top 10 team. All that being said, I think Chicago may be in over their heads tomorrow. Hopkins is an excellent team who seems to also be in great form after a trouncing of NCW highlighted by doubles sweep. Hopkins will also be playing on their home courts and I think they are the better team. In doubles, I think Chicago is lucky to get 1 point. They have a decent chance at 3, but the top 2 spots clearly favor Hopkins. In singles, Zhang hasn't been great lately but his team really needs him tomorrow. Chicago is probably also a favorite at 6, but besides those I think Hopkins has too much game. I'll take Hopkins in a 7-2 victory tomorrow but I think most of the matches will be competitive.

Middlebury @ CMS

I thought Midd made a statement crushing Cruz the other night but CMS goes and does the same thing in even more convincing fashion. This will be a war between two outstanding teams and national title contenders. The matches are extremely interesting. CMS needs to use their home court to their advantage, particularly in doubles, because Midd is so strong in singles. Another important thing is that CMS has to not have a letdown after such a huge win against Cruz. I'm sure they were so ready for that match and it's tough to do that two days in a row. They will need to bring that same intensity if they want to have a chance to beat Middlebury. I think a Midd win tomorrow will put them at #1 in the country in the rankings next week. A CMS win would give that title to CLU. Looking at the matches, Midd is a pretty sure thing at #1 doubles. 2 and 3 are close, but I feel that both favor CMS on their home court, especially after their dominance against Cruz. Singles is very tough to call. I like Midd at 3 and 4. I think the Panthers have the best 3 and the best 4 in the country. CMS probably has an edge at 5. This would put things at 3-3 with 3 matches remaining. 6 is tough to call and I like Peters in a close one against Erani. He beat him in the fall. Lim and Lee at 2 could determine the outcome of the match. I think Midd will win 5-4 and this will come down to the wire.