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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ohio State Loses Heartbreaker in NCAA Men's Quarterfinals

©Colette Lewis 2006
San Francisco CA--

The first person we saw upon entering the San Francisco Tennis Club Sunday evening was a downcast Justin Kronauge, Ohio State's blue chip recruit who is enrolled in classes in Columbus but not joining the tennis team until the fall. He was understandably glum, as the Buckeyes had just lost 4-3 to third seeded Texas, with the final match at No. 5 going to 7-6 in the third. OSU's Dennis Mertens was unable to convert when leading 5-2 in the tiebreak, and Miguel Reyes Varela of Texas snatched his team a semifinal berth against Pepperdine with his second heroic performance of the day. An eyewitness account of the match, which Ohio State led 3 matches to 1, can be found here.

Reyes Varela and partner Callum Beale had shocked the nation's top-ranked doubles team of Scott Green and Ross Wilson by winning five straight games to secure the precious doubles point for the Longhorns (see post below) Sunday morning before maddeningly frequent rain showers forced an indoor finish.

Stanford has no indoor courts on campus, so a 45 minute trek into downtown San Francisco was required of all the men's quarterfinalists, and staggered starting times due to the 12-court limitation made for a very long evening. Seating was scarce, but fans were plentiful and at one time all six teams had their vocal boosters' cries reverberating in the cavernous facility.

The defending champion UCLA Bruins didn't survive the evening, winning only No. 1 singles in their 4-1 loss to the second seeded Pepperdine Waves. Undefeated Georgia continued their roll with a 4-0 whitewash of Virginia. The Bulldogs will face either Stanford or Baylor in the semifinals Monday (weather permitting).

The women's semifinals did not resume on Sunday due to the weather. USC leads Miami 1-0, while Stanford and Florida did not take the court Sunday.

For the Stanford - Baylor outcome and Monday's revised schedule, please see Stanford's website.

Marcia Frost of collegeandjuniortennis.com has more photos and Sunday's results here.


Kiran said...

There were plenty of heartbreakers going around yesterday, the Stanford-Baylor match being one of them. It was some great tennis though, and no Cardinal has anything to be ashamed of. With Matt Bruch poised to take over the top spot next year, and with a very talented freshman in Kevin Kaiser, I wouldn't be surprised if they get to the finals in 2007.

Austin said...

Well, Baylor made me eat my words about what I said yesterday. I still think that if it was played outdoors at Taube Stadium Stanford would have won, but we'll never know and Baylor won the one that counted, so oh well. Stanford still proved the seeding committee shouldn't go strictly by rankings when it's obvious a team is better than their ranking. They only made 3 changes, and they were very small. Baylor was 5 instead of 4, but they still were set up to play Duke in the quarters. Virginia and Illinois switched spots at 7 and 8 which may have made a difference. Then Texas A&M somehow got a seed over Florida, I am still baffled at that one. But they cleary messed up with Stanford's seed.

Anonymous said...

How about "Longhorns win a thriller" as the title here ? Not sure why UT isn't being given much credit, but it's unfortunate, and I'm not even a UT fan...