Spencer Feldman, Trinity (CT)
We have 4 big matches set for Wednesday with two taking place in the AS region and two taking place in the West. To start, we have Chicago continuing their spring break trip and traveling to Lexington, VA to take on Washington & Lee. The Maroons were tested by Newport on Monday but took care of business and they face a tougher test tomorrow. The Generals have been playing good doubles lately, but their singles let them down against Hampden-Sydney in a 5-4 loss last week. I expect a competitive match and I'm looking forward to the 1 singles match. I think Chicago will be a little too strong at the bottom of the lineup and I would predict a 6-3 win for the Maroons. This would be a good win for Chicago's NCAA resume.
Besides Cal Lutheran, I think the most pleasant surprise this year is Kalamazoo. They have quietly been going about their business and they have wins over Chicago and DePauw. They find themselves ranked 13 in the country and they travel to Baltimore to take on a Hopkins team who is fresh off an impressive win against NC Wesleyan. I think Hopkins should be a little too strong but Kzoo has surprised me all year long. Kalamazoo needs to jump ahead in doubles if they want to have any chance at a win. Hopkins should be too strong and I'll go with JHU in a 7-2 win at home.
Middlebury crushed Santa Cruz today and made a statement that they too could be the best team in the country. It's unfortunate that Midd and Cal Lu won't face off, but instead Middlebury needs to continue their impressive play against a hungry Redlands team. The Bulldogs are desperate right now and they need a big win like this if they want to get back into the NCAA hunt. Redlands had an impressive showing against Whitman today with good wins everywhere, especially in the bottom of the lineup. Midd needs to be careful that they stay ahead in doubles and don't let Redlands in the match. I would expect Midd to take at least 2 of the doubles and I think they can win 5 and maybe all 6 singles. I'll take Midd in another 8-1 win but they should be pushed in a number of the matches.
The last big match of the day is a NESCAC showdown taking place in California between Trinity (CT) and Bowdoin. To put it nicely, these two teams hate each other and they always have matches coming down to the wire. I would expect nothing less tomorrow. Trinity (CT) was surprisingly good in singles today against CLU but only managed 7 games in doubles. Bowdoin has also been struggling in doubles so this could be the key to the match. Pena is still nowhere to be found and if this is the case, we could see Trinity (CT) taking the top 4 singles spots. Bowdoin should be a little too tough down low so I think this could come down to doubles. With Pena I think Bowdoin wins, but without him I'm taking Trinity (CT) in a 5-4 win that comes down to the final match. This is a huge match for NCAAs and the loser of it is in very bad shape. I don't know if either of these teams has the ability to knock off one of the top 3 in NESCAC, so this is a match that they both really need to win.