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Friday, May 15, 2009

Notre Dame and Baylor Complete Women's Quarterfinals at NCAA Division I Championships


©Colette Lewis 2009--
College Station, TX--

It was one of the stranger nights (and early mornings) of NCAA tennis, with a power outage at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center disrupting the late stages of the Round of 16, and contributing to the circumstances leading to a 2:15 a.m. finish.


No. 5 seed Notre Dame's 4-0 win over No. 12 Clemson was routine, if you discount the hour delay before the power and lights were returned to the south six courts. Notre Dame finished off the doubles point, and took the courts for a very efficient dismantling of the Tigers, with straight set wins by Kristy Frilling at No. 2, Kristen Rafael at No. 6 and Kali Krisik at No. 5 leading to the Tigers' blanking.

Things were not so rosy on the north courts, however, as three courts remained unlit. The NCAA committee decided to place the No. 1, 2 and 3 matches of No. 4 Baylor and No. 13 Stanford on those courts and then place the 4, 5, and 6 matches in open court banks as they became available. With Notre Dame's quick win, three of the north courts were started, with Stanford having taken the doubles point, and Baylor pulling even with a win at No. 2 singles.

Stanford went on to win at No. 1 singles, with Baylor taking the No. 3 line, so it was 2-2 with the last three matches less than halfway done. Kasia Siwosz of Baylor had taken the first set from Stanford's Logan Hansen at No. 6, Veronica Li of Stanford had won the first set from Csilla Borsanyi at No. 4, and at No. 5 Stanford's Carolyn McVeigh and Nina Secerbegovic were approaching a tiebreaker. As midnight came and went, the matches began to turn, with Hansen winning the second set, Secerbegovic taking the first in a tiebreaker, then easing to a straight set win to give Baylor a 3-2 lead.

Hansen completed her comeback, pulling the Cardinal even with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win, so all eyes were on the No. 4 court, where Borsanyi had taken the second set, and it was 2-2 in the third.

There wasn't much evidence of nerves from either player, and as the fifty or sixty fans remaining took turns loudly encouraging their respective sides, there were plenty of great shots to applaud from both pleyers. Neither got tentative, with Li taking the ball early and pounding it, while Borsanyi was able to counter and defend enought to keep in it.

At 2-2, Li was broken, broke right back, was broken again. Borsanyi served well in the next game however, and took a 5-3 lead. As their teammates gathered along the court to shout encouragement, both women played aggressive and well-contructed points; there was no afraid-to-win play from either. Li held for 5-4, but Borsanyi showed her edge in experience with a fantastic service game to close out the match, getting all her first serves in, putting away the short returns and winning the game at love to put the Bears in the quarterfinals.

There was no power or internet access in the media center or press box after the initial outage, so I won't send you over to aggieathletics.com right now, but full scores should be available there later Saturday.

NOTE: For clarity's sake, I am going to post this on Friday May 15, despite the fact that it is actually Saturday May 16 at 3 a.m. that I am writing this.

Rain in the forecast for Saturday has caused a change in the schedule with two men's quarterfinals slated for noon and two at 4 p.m.

28 comments:

Stanford93 said...

I really hope this loss and the men's drives home to our Stanford tennis hierarchy that we simply can't continue to rely on recruiting the best players and not having the best coaches.

Whitlinger really has run out of time and has shown himself totally incapable of inspiring his teams to rise above their limitations. I even think we've seen some of our best young recruits, like Alex Clayton, regress under his care. Forood, without a team of dominant players was shown to be a limited coach. Barte was the saving grace and that has nothing to do with the coach.

Time to get a coach who can bring the best out in his (or her) players instead of being totally reliant on bringing the best players into the progam.

? said...

Surprising that Texas A&M didn't have live blogging going on once the power went out. Kind of disappointing. Does anyone know why it went out?

short memories said...

Brave comment Stanford93. Can you tell me what you do for a living so I can post an anonymous comment on a website asking for your firing?

eric said...

Colette,

Do you know what's going on with live stat's ?
it's frustrating, big quarterfinals coming up ???

Stanford #1 said...

Stanford93, First of all Stanford doesn't always get the best players. Thacher and Klahn are 2 of the better recruits last year but there were many other kids that went to other schools of equal caliber not to mention all of the good foreign kids who come in each year that are equally as good or better. I think you believe that just because they got a couple of good recruits that it should mean guaranteed success. It does.'t work that way. The other top programs have equally as good talent and work hard as well. You sound like a bitter parent of a child in the program to write something like that. Like most kids who grow up in well to do families that can be a bit spoiled you seem to want to blame someone when losses occurr but talk about how talented the kids are when they win. Don't be so narrow minded in thinking that Stanfords recruits are that great because they are not.

cardinalfan said...

I agree with Stanford93 , they have the best talents this year, and yet could not advance further . Time for CHANGE !!!!!

Austin said...

No, Stanford93 is right. Clayton has regressed, Thacher has regressed, Bruch is a shell of his former self. Is it the coaches fault or is it the players fault? I dont know, but Klahn is the only one who has picked it up.

We Miss Athens, GA said...

Hey A for effort by A&M, they are a first-class operation. But sketchy live scoring, lights going out and now a lightning warning (which I realize is beyond their control, although Dick Gould could probably prevent lightning). How does Athens and permanent East site and Stanford as perm. West site rotation sound for NCAAs?????

Let's Get A Little Perspective... said...

Ummm, hasn't Lele Forood won like 4 national titles? A 4-3 round of 16 loss is cause for firing? Wow, tough crowd. What's the word I'm looking for? Insane?

rain said...

What's the indoor back-up situation at A&M? Looks like it is pouring there.

Austin said...

This is why you dont change your scoreboard format without testing it until the week before.

tennis said...

klahn and thatcher were the two best recruits by far last year. but you do not make a team with 2 players, clayton needs to show up, and stanfords doubles needs to work majorly improve.

So to stanford 93, i actually agree.

and to Stanford #1, as i said above, klahn and thatcher ARE that great.

Klahn has had one of the best years as a freshman. im not sure who had a better year than him as a freshman. id like to hear someone who had a better year than him. the only people who competed were Cueto(Florida) Britton(ole MIss) and nevolo(illinois)

socalfan said...

There's no question Klahn had the best freshmen year,
but his doubles partner Thacher didn't. You can't win as a team with just Bradley doing all the good stuff .

USC had the # 2 best recruits last year, and all freshmen, were utilized and had contributed well ,one way or the other during dual matches . I believe Steve Johnson, is one of the best freshmen that burst into the scene both in sgls and dbls . I'd say that says a lot about the program there . And they are in the quarters.

Austin said...

I made this post earlier today but for some reason it didnt make it onto the comments.

I agree with Stanford93.

Clayton and Thacher have underachieved big time, while Bruch is a shell of his former self. Is it the coaching, the players, a combination of the two? Im not sure, but Klahn is the only one getting better.

Stanford93 said...

short memories,

I work in OGA. Feel free to blast my job performance if you like, but we do prefer that you've something specific to complain about. Have I won awards and gained a reputation thanks to my organisation's ability to recruit talent that can win regardless of my input? Have I proven myself unable to inspire anyone who is less than great to achieve at the highest level? Have I been handed quality players and allowed them to slip backwards and bad habits creep into their game?

No, I haven't done any of that but coach Whitlinger has. A thoroughly decent man but he just hasn't shown himself capable of coaching a team and, to make matters worse, players are regressing. Forood might have won 4 national titles but that's due to being gifted a squad that was top heavy with talent. Under those circumstances she couldn't help but win. Doesn't show she can coach, it just shows that she got lucky and that the Stanford name carries a lot of weight.

Stanford needs to move forward and that requires a changing of the guard. If they don't, how can they fight for the best recruits?

Stanford#1 - I graduated in 93, hence my handle (Stanford93). That's 16 years ago. How do you figure I could have a child in the program? Also, how do you work out that I came from a well to do family? I most certainly didn't. The rest of your comments are equally nonsensical.

Austin,

I think the world of coach Whitlinger as a man, but I simply feel he lacks the ability to inspire players to achieve. If they can't do it themselves, he can't push/drive/motivate/inspire them. I don't know if its an issue of age but I would prefer to see a younger man with more passion in the head coaching slot. Get a guy who has shown he can win without star players and hand him the keys to the kingdom.

I also believe that the players deserve better. If we're recruiting young men (and women) who harbour professional aspirations and we are selling Stanford tennis to them as a good stepping-stone to the pro ranks we absolutely must give them the best coaching possible. Otherwise, we aren't fulfilling our part of the agreement and they'll probably end up looking to one of the other teams like Virginia, etc.

Austin said...

Since the 2000 Stanford team won the national championship, giving them five of the past six titles and ten of the past fifteen, they have only made it past the quarterfinals once, in 2003. So thats nine years and one semifinal appearance, none in the past six years. A steep decline from the Stanford domination of the 90's.

Based on the "junior talent" they have had on those teams in recent years they should have more titles. Notice the quotes I used, because they were guys who were highly ranked juniors, but only Sam Warburg has had a decent pro singles career.

I think with their recent recruiting they will compete for a title in the next year or two, if they dont a change is a must.

I will say this, they have the best live scoring and video in college tennis, bar none.

College coach wannabe? said...

Stanford93, You clearly have overestimated the talent there at Stanford. Thacher is a good player but all his success in the juniors came when he was about to age out of the age groups. He was almost 19 when he gained the finals and lost to Krajicek at Kalamazoo. Krajicek like many good recruits chose not to go to Stanford or anywhere in California for that matter. Thacher has always shown a preference to school and academics in the past which is good but don't think that its Whitlingers fault that he gets to college and doesn't lose the non chalant attitude toward tennis. He's always had that personality trait. In college he is no longer older and stronger than his opponents. Klahn has had a very good season so maybe he has adjusted better or maybe he cares more. What kingdom are you talking about. Clearly not too many other people in the country sees Stanford as a big deal like you do. To say the things you are saying about Whitlinger and act like you want him fired and then turn around and say you think the world of him as a man is totally ludicrous and a joke. College tennis is not a big stepping stone to PRO tennis and hasn't been for the last 15 to 20 years so using that as a recruiting tool is crazy. James Blake(2 years at Harvard) and thats about it. Yes there are some guys who go to college and crack the top 100. (Becker,Delic,Isner) to name a few but to call it a training ground for pro tennis is a real stretch. You sound like you want his job.

curiousgeorge said...

Stanford93 , has such a valid point . It's the coaching not the players . They have tremendous talents in Clayton, Klahn and Thacher, as well as Bruch . They were favored to win the Pac 10 .
And to go deep in the ncaa draw. I don't think the recruits coming next year is going to help either unless some miracle happens . Stanford should live up to it's expectations .

Stanford93 said...

College coach wannabe?,

Stanford is the best educational institution in the nation (along with Harvard) and its reputation is known by all. To say that not many other people in the country think its a big deal is insane.

As for the 'kingdom', it's a figure of speech. You could use the same expression no-matter who you were talking about. I'd expect a child to know that.

As for my ability to distinguish between Whitlinger the man and Whitlinger the coach and your inability to understand it, well, that just reflects poorly on you, not me. Anyone old enough to vote and possessing a functioning brain should be able to understand the distinction between a man (or woman) and the office they hold.

I also think you need to do a lot more reading before you post. If you did you'd have noticed that the idea of college as a 'stepping stone' is used frequently by players who have gone pro after college (Devarrman, Isner and Andreson are three recent ones that spring to mind) and authorities (Pat McEnroe is the most obvious one). That you don't think it's been a selling point for 15-20 years tells me that you don't know what you're talking about.

Do I want coach Whitlinger's job? Much as I like the idea of a cushy job in the sport I love , I'd prefer to see someone with genuine qualifications take over.

Have the Courage said...

Stanford93. Grow up. Your idea of where it ranks academically is very similar to your misguided thoughts on how good the talent on the team is. While it is a first rate institution academically there are many just as good in the Ivy leagues and elsewhere. You have the typical arrogant attitude of some other Californians and no one but people in the West think its that neat out there. Your ABILITY to distinguish between Whitlinger the man and Whitlinger the coach SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER. If you truly believed what you wrote you would talk to him personally about it and not hide from on here. As for the stepping stone comment. Pay attention. The guys you mentioned are right where I said. Near the top 100 but nothing special. Thats hardly making it. For someone with a Stanford education you would think you would comprehend better. Kind of ironic that you would use the term childlike on here after hiding behind your postings about Whitlinger like you have. Tell him personally if you feel that strongly about what he's done but I doubt very seriously you would have the courage. Where I come from if you think well of a person you DO NOT turn around and be as critical as you were and then try to justify it that way . Maybe its a California thing.

John said...

Have the Courage -- your post on this blog is the epitome of irony.

I have no affiliation to Stanford tennis or the university but know without a doubt it is one of the very top and most selective schools in the country.

Anyway, Stanford93's post makes perfect sense and is on a tennis blog where we are all typing and reading about tennis......his opinions are well stated and I value his thoughts

blog's are meant to be "public" and 99.5% of the posts are by nature anonymous....but that doesn't make the thoughts less real or valued.

seems like you have a huge chip on your shoulder.....take it somewhere else.

The Chip said...

John, You like Stanford93 must be from California. I never said it wasn't ONE of the top schools in the country academically. I said there were quite a few others as well. As with the tennis area when you are ONE of the top bunch you can contend each year as they do but there are also many others who fall in that same category that contend each year as well.(Ole Miss,Virginia,Georgia,Illinois,Texas,Baylor and pick any S.E.C. team) You like most Californians seem to think it is some kind of honor or privilege to go to school there. Most people especially ones not from the West don't see it the way you do or give 2 hoots about Stanford and don't want to go there even if they can. Its just a very good academic institution with a very good tennis team as i stated before. I also stated that there are very many others of its equal. Thats not a chip on the shoulder, thats called reality. I'm sorry to break the news to you but other people don't have the same perception of Stanford as you Californians. John you are obviously a friend of Stanford93's or are him under a different name. These blogs are on here for TENNIS and to discuss it and not to make crazy personal attacks on coaches that have no merit and then turn around in the same breath and talk about how much you respect him as a person. What a chicken and hypocrit. Anonymous postings are for tennis discussions. For personal attacks have the COURAGE to confront the person dircttly. You, like most Anon poster are far more beligerent and brazen with your comments when you don't have to answer to someone face to face. The fact that other schools are as good or better than Stanford seems to be eating you guys alive and maybe thats because other people didn't think so highly of STANFORD and took it somewhere else.

Stanford93 said...

Is it odd that 'Have the courage', 'The Chip' and 'college coach wannabe' use exactly the same language, inflection, emphasis (the capitals are a dead give away) and paragraph style (eg: everything in one paragraph - sure sign of a cluttered mind) ? Course not, they're all the same person.

Seriously, I don't mind people disagreeing with me but it would make life a lot easier if you'd stick with one handle.

I think Colette probably needs to cut this off and lock the comments. I havent made any personal attacks on any individual (something which runs counter to my work in OGA), all I've done is voiced my opinion that one coach (possibly two) should be replaced. Unfortunately another poster with certain 'issues' has managed to distort that clear message and turned it into something unpleasant.

please stop said...

To the person(s) who keeps attacking the Stanford reputation,

First of all, I am not from California. I would like to make that very clear before you go off about me being a Californian. I am not. I live on the East Coast, where education and the Ivys are highly valued.

Do you talk a lot with teens or children? I honestly don't know, but I'll let you know that I do talk a lot with teens. If you ask teenagers what is their dream college, do you know what the majority of the answers will be? Not Harvard, not an Ivy League college, but Stanford. And yes, I talk with teens around the nation, and the most popular school is Stanford. Why? Because they have great academics and they have a great sports program. Even kids who don't play sports want to go there.

It is a highly respected school nationwide, and I feel you are trying to tear that reputation down. Please don't. And no, I do not have any ties or connections with Stanford University. None at all.

The End said...

Please stop and Stanford93, If you read over my post carefully you will see that in know way have I discredited Stanford academically or athletically. Maybe I know Whitlinger personally and don't appreciate the attacks toward him. I've been in this business a long time and know how it feels to have people from the outside making comments on things they know nothing about. I am from the south and work with high school and college aged people every day and not 1 of them talks about going to Stanford. Thats not a knock on Stanford its just that kids here may not care for the West coast and think its such a big deal. They don't even have an interest in it and would get in easily. One of my kids I work with is going to Brown and another to Washington and Lee. A couple of others are going to top 10 programs right here in the South. What is OGA? I guess with my degree being from a southern university I don't know what you're talking about. You guys keep talking about Stanford as if it is this elitist University that every kid is dying to go to and thats just not the case. All I have stated on here is that there are many other schools around with as good a reputation for academics and athletics as Stanford and you guys don't seem to want to accept the fact that not everyone cares to go there. Stanford1 is a response to Stanford 93. College coach wannabe is a response to you thinking you knew how to coach Whitlingers team better than him. The Chip was a reference to the comment about the chip on the shoulder. So you really didn't need a degree from Stanford to figure that out. A little common sense was all just like I didn't need my degree to figure out these attacks on Whitlinger are coming from the same 1 or 2 people under different handles and are uncalled for. Please Stop says they have no ties to Stanford and then defends them even though they weren't being insulted and says they live on the East Coast. An obvious non truth to make your point sound more valid. This is my last word on the subject. Please reread the post carefully before you respond and pretend there were slights and insults to a schools reputation when there weren't any. The responses I gave were to actual personal attacks toward an individual and I like most people felt they were uncalled for and out of line.

Markus said...

Well, Stanford gives athletic scholarships, while Ivies do not - it does make Stanford a preferred choice for many.

tennis said...

to markus, if you are good enough, the ivy league schools will pay your way in one way or another. it may not be with an athletic scholarship, but they will find a way to make sure you can go there, for free. so that is not a huge reason, if a reason at all people want to go to stanford over harvard

please stop said...

I would defend any school that is attacked the way you are to Stanford, whether or not I have any ties with them. If someone started to a school from the south like UNC, or any other school, I would gladly defend them. It's just rude to assume that because I defend Stanford, I must have some sort of relation with them. Not everyone is as selfish and selfconsumed as you may think they are.
And I don't know, maybe we talk with kids with different opinions. I'm just saying that I've heard the name Stanford mentioned quite often since we were talking about that school.