Monday, May 3, 2010

ITA Rankings from April 29 and Weekend Recap

ITA Rankings were released last Thursday. The most notable move is Wash U moving from 2 down to 7 after their UAA final appearance. I believe this is justified though if you look at Wash U's resume compared to other top teams. They have wins over Kenyon, Emory and Hopkins as well as a direct loss to #6 Santa Cruz. I was actually a bit surprised they feel below Cruz but I understand why. As it stands now, they will take on Amherst in the national quarterfinals in a rematch of last year's semifinal.

The Bears were dominant over the weekend in a win against DePauw and look to be playing well heading into the tournament. There were 3 close contests in this one, but when the Bears cleaned up easily at the top 2 doubles spots you could tell this one was over. DePauw is an interesting case when you look at their resume next to Bowdoin. DePauw's best win is #20 Kalamazoo but they also have a loss to this team as well as Chicago who sits at #21. Bowdoin on the other hand has a win against #16, #17 and #19 with their worst loss coming against #13, a team that's ranked ahead of them. I don't think there's any real debate here. DePauw had a good season but will fall just short of the tournament.

CMU had a rare post-UAA match against Washington & Lee and they were able to take care of business without their normal #2 singles and doubles player. CMU has to be pleased with their effort in doubles here because the Generals have been pretty solid all year in dubs. CMU proved to be a little too deep for the Generals as well but if CMU wants to make a deep run in NCAAs they will need contributions from the top of their lineup as well as their doubles because other teams can play with them in the bottom of the lineup. They are a lock for hosting a regional and they should be very pleased with their regular season.

Two NESCAC duels took place. Midd cleaned up against Williams even without Conrad Olson playing singles. The Ephs are just in a down year and I see them making the Final 8 at best. They may not even make it that far. I have been saying that Midd can be beaten in doubles all season but this may not be the case. They swept the doubles against Williams and won 2 of 3 against Amherst with the lone win for the Jeffs coming from their strongest team at #2. If Midd plays great doubles they are nearly impossible to beat...if Olson is healthy and ready to go in singles. Without him playing, as shown in the Amherst match, they are drastically weaker. Thomson is still a great 3, but he's an unbeatable 4 and if Peters goes down, Midd could get in trouble quickly. The bottom of their lineup dug them out of a hole and they need to hope Olson is ready to go for NCAAs. I would almost suggest resting him at regionals. This was a positive sign for other contenders though since Midd only won 5-4 and it came down to the decider. They are potentially vulnerable if injuries are an issue. However, I give them credit for getting the win and they still head into NCAAs as my favorite to win it.