Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Regional Preview: Carnegie Mellon

Of the bottom 4 seeds, this is by far the easiest path to the Final 8 for the top seed. CMU really lucked out with this regional, but I know I shouldn't be underestimating Mary Washington. The Eagles had a pretty poor season besides winning their conference title that included losses to Christopher Newport, Washington & Lee and Pomona-Pitzer, all of whom are outside the top 20. The Eagles only quality win with the exception of Salisbury was Redlands. Mary Wash got destroyed by most of the top 15 teams they played, but there was one exception to that and it was Carnegie Mellon. That regular season match was played at UMW and ended in a 5-4 victory for CMU. Mary Wash took 2 easy doubles matches but they were blown out by the bottom of CMU's lineup, failing to win more than 4 games in any set 3 through 6. Mary Wash did win at 1 and 2 making the score seem close. Carnegie's doubles has been up and down all season, but they didn't have their new doubles lineup for this match and in fact it was the last match where they played their old lineup. Their new lineup seems to be quite a bit stronger so I would expect a 5-1 or 5-2 win for CMU if these two meet in the regional final. I just don't think Mary Wash can hang in singles.

The sleeper here is UT-Tyler. The Pats had a season where they dropped out of the top 30 and they don't have any wins over top 30 opponents. They do however, have a former NCAA doubles qualifier in David Ashlock as well as the Fall ITA regional doubles champions for Texas. The Patriots could probably hang with a team like Newport who in fact beat Mary Wash. I think if Tyler could somehow get on top in doubles, it's possible that they could pull an upset. If I'm Mary Wash, I don't want to underestimate Texas-Tyler because they are a good team. They played 6-3 with Redlands as well as 5-4 with Pomona-Pitzer, so the talent is there. They all need to come together on Friday to pull this upset. I'm going to take Mary Wash 5-2 in this match but as I said if Tyler gets ahead in doubles this will get interesting.