Friday, May 8, 2009

My NCAA Team Picks; First Day of D-I Competition Provides Some Excitement, Examiner.com Coverage

The second installment of the Tennis Recruiting Network's NCAA Division-I Roundtable was posted this morning, and as you can tell from my none-too-confident picks, I really know what I don't know. And what I don't know is which team will be peaking at the right time, will be healthy and motivated, and will get the breaks and the matchups they need to win a title. Should Ohio State and Cal-Berkeley win it, I'll be as surprised as anyone. It's a guess, and nothing more.

All 32 of the men's first round matches were scheduled for today, and 14 of the women's. There was only one women's match that could be classified as exciting (and least from my den), and that was Florida International's 4-3 win over Princeton. The Golden Panthers lost the doubles point, but won four of six singles to set up a meeting with crosstown rival Miami. The Hurricanes may have played the least competitive match of the day, blitzing Army 4-0, and losing only three games in the three singles and two doubles matches that decided it. None of the women's teams in the No. 3 (33-48) or No. 4 (49-64) groupings defeated a No. 1 (1-16) or a No. 2 (17-32).

The men posted three 4-3 scores today. Louisville beat Wisconsin 4-3, in the Illinois regional, with Simon Childs clinching it for the Cardinals at the No. 3 line. Washington, in the Texas regional, came back from 3-0 down to defeat Texas Tech 4-3, with sophomore Tobi Obenaus saving two match points at No. 6 singles to keep the Huskies from being swept. Fittingly, after Washington's No. 4 and No. 5 had won their matches, Obenaus earned the fourth point to put his team in the regional final against Texas, who breezed by Sacred Heart. Washington and Louisville were actually projected to win those matches, being 17-32 seeds against 33-48s (I have a great idea--why doesn't the NCAA just seed tennis like basketball, with four separate 1-16 seeds?). Hawai'i however, was an underdog. The WAC champions, ranked 49th, beat the Big 12's Oklahoma State, ranked 20th, 4-3 at the UCLA regional, giving the Rainbow Warriors their first NCAA Divison I tournament victory. It came down to No. 2 singles--all the other matches were finished before Hawaii's Andreas Weber and OSU's Nathan Byrnes completed their second set. Weber could have served it out in two sets, didn't, lost the tiebreaker, but took complete control in the third set, to post a 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-1 victory.

Two other men's teams from the third group recorded victories today (USC and UC-Santa Barbara are still playing). Michigan, ranked 35th, beat No. 29 Notre Dame 4-1 at the Ohio State regional, and North Carolina, No. 37, beat No. 31 South Carolina 4-0 in the Virginia regional.

Marcia Frost, who is covering the Illinois regional, has coordinated a group of college examiners from other sports to check in on their school's NCAA tennis participation. Please see her site at College Tennis Examiner.com for more coverage of regional action.

And as I mentioned in my tweet earlier today, the ITA has a Tournament Central, which can be found here. Texas College Tennis also has a pages for men's and women's regional action.


Austin said...

Texas Tech choked. Just got BLOWN OUT in all the deciding third sets.

Interesting note, Illinois played their #8 & #9 guys at #5 & #6. So their 5,6,7 guys didnt play. Odd.

For the most part everything else went mostly according to plan. Going to be some good second round matches. Best ones:

Florida State vs. Auburn
Illinois vs. Louisville
Alabama vs. Boise State
Stanford vs. Pepperdine

scott said...

Talk about choking. Florida against Miami. Gators won the doubles point, took 5 of 6 1st sets in singles. Grabbed a 3-0 lead with wins at 4 & 6. Miami grabbed 3 set wins on court 2(LaCroix won 2 games after winning the 1st set) and court 5. Cueto then served for the match on court 1, at 5-4, but proceeded to lose 3 games in a row to lose and even things at 3. Benneteau took the 1st set, it was tied at 4-4 in the 2nd set when Cueto lost. Benneteau won 1 game the rest of the way. That's a choke job.

gatorfan no more said...

I'm so disappointed in the UF program after this year. They had the best incoming class of anyone two years ago with Hochwalt Dadamo Hamii and Corace. Hochwalt gets injured and plays one match then leaves. Dadamo drops from 4 last year to 6 this year?? Hamii plays 5 and struggles and Corace doesn't play. Hochwalt and Dadamo were two of the top recruits that year. I can't help but think the coach Jackson has completely screwed up that program.