Mary Washington @ Redlands
***Match moved to Friday***
A week ago, I did not expect this to be a match between #17 and #28 in the country. I thought the combined rankings may add up to 28. This just goes to show how important this match is for both teams. Neither of them started the way they wanted to, and this is a chance to get a good win under the belt and start moving in the right direction. Redlands has the home court advantage, and even a week doesn't fully adjust a team from indoor to outdoor tennis. I'll get a better feel for this match after the UMW-Cal Lu result comes in from tonight, but I'll try my hand at predictions before seeing that. I'm going to make the assumption that Redlands will be playing the same lineup from Monday and won't return their two missing starters for this match. Even without those two, I like Redlands to capture 2 of the doubles, most likely #1 and #2. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a doubles sweep, but I think UMW will keep themselves in it. Redlands should get wins at 1 and 2 to give themselves a big lead and I would expect Mary Wash to strike back at 6. The big three spots are 3 through 5 where both teams are pretty strong. I think Redlands will win 2 of those 3 spots giving them a 6-3 victory and a much needed confidence boost.
Chicago @ DePauw
DePauw had a rough draw at Indoors but faired well and Chicago looked great very early in the season but just faltered against Kzoo. This is a big match for both teams, but much more important for the Maroons. I'll say it now, if they don't win this match they will miss NCAAs. It's just very important that they get a top 15 win on their resume. DePauw could use a win too, but they still have their conference tournament to fall back on. If Chicago wins this, I think it has to be in singles. DePauw could very easily sweep the doubles here and I see them being stronger at all 3 spots. For the sake of this preview, I'll give DePauw 2 of the doubles. Chicago should strike back at #1 to even things up. The bottom 5 spots will be very interesting. Rardon and Schouweiler have been very good for DePauw and I think they will both win. This means the Maroons will need wins at 2, 4 and 6 and I don't think they can get all 3. I'll take DePauw in a 5-4 win. Whoever wins doubles in this match is the favorite in my mind.