Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ITA Rankings and a Look Ahead

Scott Sandager, DePauw

New ITA Rankings can be found here

There's not much info so far and what we do know was properly reflected in these rankings. Cal Lu made a drastic move but it is certainly justified and I think Kalamazoo's upset win is also reflected well. The only thing I question is dropping Mary Wash out of the top 30 but even that is justified after their recent loss to Pomona-Pitzer.

There is rarely a result that I find favorable for both teams. Tuesday's match between CMU and Newport may fall into this category. CMU switched their lineup in doubles and it worked as they swept the doubles with 2 close matches. Whether this is a permanent switch, I don't know, but it certainly worked. Newport struck back and took the first two matches and they have to love the singles results. CMU was a little too deep for them and this showed, but CNU certainly won the spots they can win and I have high hopes for Widing after this win yesterday. This should be somewhat of a confidence boost for both teams going forward.

I count 9 important matches in next 4 days. Mary Wash is in 2 of them and DePauw is in 3 of them. Friday's contest between Salisbury and NCW may not be competitive because 3 Salisbury starters will be out of the lineup for disciplinary reasons dating back to the fall. Salisbury will have plenty of chances the rest of their season but this is a disappointing way to most likely lose a winnable and important match. I am interested to see how Newport responds against Vassar. Vassar apparently has lightning fast indoor courts and I'm sure CNU won't be used to this. This should be a highly competitive match. I spoke earlier in the week about UMW needing a win this weekend for their confidence. They definitely have a better shot against Redlands because I feel they match up better. I think they are going to need at least 2 of the doubles if they want to have any chance against CLU.

The busiest team this weekend is DePauw and they are taking part in the 2 biggest matches of the weekend in my eyes. They have 3 very tough matches in 36 hours and although they did the same thing at Indoors, this has an effect on your team. I don't think they can get away with playing their B team against Luther. The Chicago match is huge for Pool C standings. UChi will be hungry for a win after they got blown out by Kalamazoo and they know that every match is so important for their NCAA chances. Chicago also needs to not overlook a tough Luther team on Friday. It would be tough for their seniors to go out without having played an NCAA tournament and never having been out of the top 25. I think Chicago will come out firing so DPU needs to use their home court to their advantage. I'm also looking forward to the Kzoo-DPU match and I think I smell an upset here. DePauw will be beaten up and tired from Saturday and Kzoo will be fresh and ready to go after moving up to #16 in the ITA rankings. Every match is important for DePauw because of Pool C standings as well. This is a huge weekend for the Tigers and if they can escape 3-0, I will be very impressed with this team.