Saturday, April 17, 2010

Update and a Few Previews

The ITA Rankings were released on Wednesday. Most of you are aware that I thought some mistakes were made in the last rankings, but I personally have no problems with this set of rankings. I still think Wash U and Emory are overranked, but I also didn't expect that to change from the last set of rankings. The one thing that is now confirmed that I previously suspected is that Chicago will have to get a big win at conference next weekend if they want to qualify for the NCAA tournament. It now gets to the time when rankings become important for NCAA seedings and every match is huge because your team may not get another chance.

Had a busy week and didn't get to make a post, but at the same time there hasn't been much action. The only notable match that took place this week was on Wednesday, when Kenyon d. Denison 8-1 with the one loss being Greenberg at #1 singles, which was quite a surprise. That could spell bad news for some lower ranked guys in the Central region if the Denison player now qualifies for NCAA Individuals.

Today, there will be 3 matches of note taking place. The first will be when Bowdoin travels south to take on #1 Middlebury. I don't think this will be a very competitive match because Middlebury has just been too tough this season, but Bowdoin could potentially squeeze out a win or two. I don't think an upset is a real consideration here. Secondly, we have an Atlantic South battle between Hampden-Sydney and Mary Washington. These are two teams that could both use a win heading into their conference tournament. I would think UMW will win with their depth in this one and it's possible that the Salisbury win got the Eagles back on track for this weekend. The biggest match on Saturday is the SCIAC championship between #4 CMS and #5 CLU. Of course a conference title is on the line, but more importantly than that I think hosting for NCAAs is also on the line and both of these teams love their home courts. Giuffrida lost to Spearman from Redlands yesterday which was a shocker since Spearman hasn't done much this season. I don't know if Giuffrida is suffering from some health problems or injuries, but his team needs 2 wins from him today if they want to beat the Stags. I'll stick with the same prediction as last time and say that CLU must win #1 doubles and both of the top 2 singles spots if they want to win this match.

Sunday also boasts 3 big matches with the first being another AS clash when Johns Hopkins looks to continue their mini win streak as they travel to Mary Washington for their annual match. This match is big for Hopkins not only for confidence, but they could potentially lose their regional top seed in NCAAs if they lose. The Eagles will most likely be coming off a big Saturday win and they will be hungry for an upset. My guess would be Hopkins is a little too strong at the bottom of the lineup, but I am on upset watch in this match because I don't think it will be as routine as some people think. If Mary Wash can get an edge in doubles, they can win. Confidence wise, I don't think JHU can afford to be upset heading into NCAAs. The 2nd match of note is Kalamazoo vs Gustavus at a neutral site. GAC has won this match in recent years but I have to call Kzoo the favorite tomorrow. The Hornets are another team that desperately need a win after their poor results lately. It is also to their advantage that the match is being played at a neutral site. I think Kzoo will have a little too much talent and I would expect a 6-3 victory for them. The biggest match on Sunday is between the 2 and 3 in the NESCAC and bitter rivals Amherst and Williams. Williams will be hosting and I'm sure they will have a nice crowd. This is a big match not only for bragging rights, but also NCAA seeding and hosting. Williams could make a splash in the top 10 if they win this match and if I'm Hopkins and Kenyon, I'm rooting for Amherst so they both can keep their regional top seed. Both of these teams are very deep in singles and I see the matches as pretty even. Amherst may have a slight edge due to experience but I think this will come down to doubles. Herst should be a bit too strong and I'm going to take them 5-4, but I'm not surprised if Williams wins. #12 in the country is unfamiliar territory for the Ephs so I'm sure they are looking to get back in the top 10.