Thursday, May 13, 2010

Regional Preview: Hopkins

The huge news in this regional is that NCW's #1 Antti Saari will not be playing for undisclosed reasons. This just throws everything in favor of Hopkins, not that they weren't already the favorite. It also makes me question whether NCW can make it out of their 1st round. You have to like Mattleson to get his 2 points for Vassar and I think the Guzick brothers can also win at 1st doubles against a team that's missing Saari. My guess would the NCW is going to be a little too deep for Vassar. The Brewers had a great season and must win near the top of the lineup if they want a chance at a victory. I'm taking NCW 5-3 but I think they should run through 4 through 6 singles fairly routinely. Vassar would have to get the top 3 singles spots to win and this will be tough.

NCW lost 8-1 to Hopkins with Saari and although they are a better team now and will fight hard, you just can't pick against JHU in this match. If NCW had home court, that may be their only chance. Hopkins has looked shaky against top competition this year but I'm sure they will be ready to go. I like Hopkins to take the 1st 2 doubles spots but I think NCW may get on the board at #3. Heading into singles, the Maldow-Wang combo at the top of the lineup has the capacity to turn this into a blowout. The bottom of the lineup should be close but Hopkins should have a little extra at 3 through 5. I'm taking JHU in a fairly comfortable 5-2 and they will find themselves in what I think is their first Final 8 in school history.