Eric Shulman, CNU
I spoke with several sources about their thoughts on the CLU-Redlands match and most of them gave me the same conclusion that I came to. Redlands will probably win a close one. This proved not to be the case and Cal Lu pulled quite an upset, really shaking things up on the national scene. The poll to the right shows that most people viewed Redlands as a real contender this year but maybe this isn't the case. However, I do see players missing for the Bulldogs when I look at the box score. No Reading, but he hasn't been around all spring and no Dahl, who is supposed to be their best freshman. This definitely could have changed the match, but take nothing away from CLU because they deserve the win. They nearly swept doubles and I thought that 1 point for Redlands could be important. CLU took the top 2 and Redlands took the bottom 2, but the middle is where CLU won this match. My hat goes off to CLU's middle of the lineup as well as their 3 doubles team. A great win for the Kingsmen and they should be moving into the top 20 now. This is definitely a result that other potential Pool C teams should love.
In the other surprise of the day, Pomona-Pitzer rebounded from the CLU loss and took down a young Mary Washington team. I was expecting the Eagles to win this but once they were swept in doubles, it was nearly impossible for them win. What happened to UMW today is what we thought would happen, they can't win at the top of the lineup. The depth is clearly there, they are just lacking that top player. Once they got down in doubles, they just get steamrolled at 1 and 2 and the match is over. UMW did a good job making the score look respectable, but they needed to be on top in doubles. This was a much needed win for a great program. P-P has struggled for a couple years and this is a promising start to their season. They have to play another beatable ranked team in a week and that 6-3 loss to CLU looks pretty good after today. The Eagles need to bounce back and they have two great chances on Thursday and Sunday. I think UMW needs one of those wins for their confidence or it could be another very long season. Granted, this is their first match outdoors so a rough day can be expected.
Tomorrow, CNU travels to Carnegie Mellon. The week before spring break usually means exams, and at Carnegie Mellon which is infamous for its difficult schoolwork, this could mean no sleep and very little tennis. CNU better hope this is the case because it's their only chance for a win. I think there's a couple spots CNU can win, but unless Carnegie doesn't show up, this won't be all that close. Theoretically, CNU could win 2 of the doubles, but I'd call CMU is the favorite in all 3. I'd also consider CMU the favorite at every singles spot besides 1. I'm calling a 7-2 tomorrow and I don't think the bottom of the lineup will be all that close. Newport needs to hope their opponents are having a very bad day.