Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Season Preview: Pre-Season All-America Team

These players have established themselves as superstars in D3 and have had consistent college careers. If I was making an all-star team, this is who I would pick to be in my starting lineup at the moment. Players ordered by strength in both singles and doubles.


Bobby Cocanougher/Cory Kowal, Trinity (TX) - These guys are the clear #1 team in the country after their win at Fall ITAs. Although they didn't have a great regular season last Spring, they have been a model of consistency in any individual competition. They have won 3 Fall ITAs in Texas and added the national ITA title to their hardware this year. They have made the semis and finals of NCAAs the past two seasons. If they want to be talked about as a great doubles team, these guys need to generate wins for their team this Spring.

Nick Ballou/Andrew Giuffrida, Cal Lutheran - These two teamed up last year and were immediately successful. They won their first 20 doubles matches of the Spring last year, which is an impressive streak. Although they fell off a bit due to a Ballou injury, they were able to come back and have a good NCAAs, making the semis. These two should be the best doubles team in California this year as they have a great mixture of power and finesse. These two baseliners have successfully transferred their singles skills to doubles.

Isaac Stein/Max Woods, Wash U - This will be their 4th season together and they both have great all-court games. These two are very tough to play because of their intense and in-your-face style. It is rare that these two both have a bad day, so that means you really have to earn a a victory against them. A great senior season could earn them the title of best team in Wash U history. Winning another team national title probably isn't realistic, but they certainly could add some NCAA doubles hardware to their trophy case.


Dillon Pottish, Emory - Since transferring from the University of Portland, Pottish has established himself as the best singles player in D3. He went undefeated in D3 dual matches during last regular season and made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles tournament. He was 2-1 against national champion John Watts last season and he began this year with a National ITA championship. Pottish enters this season as the hands-down best player in the country and he hopes to lead his team to a national title.

Chris Goodwin, Emory - It's not often that the best two players in the country are on the same team, but this just might be the case for the 2011 Emory Eagles. Chris Goodwin is the defending national runner-up, and by far the best #2 player in the country. In 2 years, playing #2 singles during both of them, he has lost only 1 dual match in D3. Goodwin has the potential to surpass his brother's college accomplishments. His main competitor in his quest for a national singles title is most likely his own teammate.

Andrew Peters, Middlebury - Peters was the #1 player for the national champions last year and played ahead of Andrew Lee, who ended up taking out Pottish in NCAAs. Peters started his career in the middle of the lineup but became one of the best in the country after only two years. He is probably the most intense player in D3 and has a lot of firepower mixed with consistency. Peters is well tested in the NESCAC all season long and his is surely one of the top contenders to win the NCAA Singles tournament in 2011.

Austin Chafetz, Amherst - This crafty lefty came to college as a highly ranked junior, but he has improved since he came to Amherst. He had a good run in NCAAs last year and looks to be Amherst's #1 player this year as well. Chafetz will be able out-hands almost any counter-puncher. Just to show his potential, Chafetz was the only player in D3 last season to beat Pottish in a dual match. Chafetz continues to improve under Garner and has been one of the most consistent players in the country during the last two years.

Brian Pybas, UC Santa Cruz - If you combine singles and doubles, he was probably the best player in the country last year. Despite his doubles national title, his singles game can't be overlooked. The way he ended the season last year was unbelievable, winning Ojai and then destroying Giuffrida and Erani on back to back days in NCAAs. If Pybas feels like playing and being patient, he is the best shot maker in the country. He can play offense from anywhere on the court and being a lefty certainly doesn't hurt.

Stephen Sullivan, Bowdoin - If you want to talk about someone who doesn't get enough respect, look no further than Sullivan. In three years, he has made the semis and the quarters of NCAAs. 5 NCAA singles wins in 3 years is not something many players can do. Sullivan plays in the tough NESCAC and goes about his business getting big wins for Bowdoin. NESCAC coaches know how big his forehand can be and he certainly should be included in the conversation when talking about the best players in the country.