Sponsored by IMG Academy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

NCAA Division I Individual Participants, Seeds Announced; Tennessee's Smith Dropped to No. 3 Seed

After a frustrating few hours trying to find the selections, I was directed to the right NCAA website by a kindly sports information sssociate, and I started looking over the women's selections and seeds for the individual Division I tournament scheduled for later this month in Athens. There was very little deviation from the rankings, with seventh-ranked (and 2009 NCAA finalist) Laura Valverdu of Miami and eighth-ranked Allie Will of Florida swapping seeds.

The women's seeds are:
1. Irina Falconi, Georgia Tech
2. Jana Juricova, California
3. Maria Sanchez, Southern California
4. Hilary Barte, Stanford
5. Lenka Broosova, Baylor
6. Yasmin Schnack, UCLA
7. Allie Will, Florida
8. Laura Vallverdu, Miami

9-16 (alphabetically)
Venise Chan Washington
Denise Dy Washington
Lauren Embree Florida
Kristy Frilling Notre Dame
Chelsey Gullickson Georgia
Maria Mosolova Northwestern
Anastasia Petukhova Fresno State
Caitlin Whoriskey Tennessee

The only top player I didn't see in the selections was No. 27 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State, who I assume is injured, because she hasn't played since late February. The last at-large selection was Lindsey Hardenbergh of Virginia, ranked No. 57.

In the women's doubles, No. 24 Lauren Lui and Elena Chernyakova of Northwestern were the last at-large team in. Virginia's No. 25-ranked team of Jennifer Stevens and Hana Tomljanovic are not on the alternate list, so I'm not sure what happened to them, but Florida's Lauren Embree and Anastasia Revzina are basically the first alternates. Embree would have qualified with Allie Will, with their No. 20 ranking, but Will is ranked No. 5 with Marrit Boonstra. Caitlin Whoriskey also has the distinction of earning a berth with two different partners. She and Natalie Pluskota are the No. 1 seeds, and Whoriskey and Maria Sorbello are ranked tenth.

The top 4 women's doubles seeds are:

1. Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota, Tennessee
2. Lindsay Burdette and Hilary Barte, Stanford
3. Kristy Frilling and Kali Krisik, Notre Dame
4. Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack, UCLA

So when I turned to the men's selections and seedings, I wasn't prepared for the significant shuffling the subcommittee did, moving both No. 2-ranked Henrique Cunha of Duke and and No. 3-ranked Steve Johnson of Southern California ahead of the No. 1-ranked junior from Tennessee. Cunha and Johnson both have wins over Smith last fall, but Cunha's was in a match tiebreaker back in September. I think you either believe in your rankings or you don't, and by making this drastic a change, the committee has pretty much made it clear they don't think the ranking formula they use accounts properly for head-to-head meetings.

Here are the men's seeds:
1. Henrique Cunha, Duke
2. Steve Johnson, Southern California
3. John-Patrick Smith, Tennessee
4. Guillermo Gomez, Georgia Tech
5. Austin Krajicek, Texas A&M
6. Oleksandr Nedovyesov, Oklahoma State
7. Chase Buchanan, Ohio State
8. Alexandre Lacroix, Florida

Robert Farah, Southern California
Bradley Klahn, Stanford
Dimitar Kutrovsky, Texas
Denes Lukacs, Baylor
Tim Puetz, Auburn
Eric Quigley, Kentucky
Michael Shabaz, Virginia
Sanam Singh, Virginia

Gomez is the only player seeded exactly to his ranking, with Krajicek and Nedovyesov switching ranking/seeds, as well as Buchanan and Lacroix.

The only player ranked high enough to get in who is not on the selection list is No. 40 Robin Fahgen of SMU. Ashley Watling of Tulsa, at No. 60, was the last at-large selection.

There was also a major change in the doubles, with Davey Sandgren and Smith of Tennessee (last year's NCAA finalists) moving up to the No. 2 seed, and USC's Farah and Johnson moving down to No. 3 from 2. Jason Jung and Evan King of Michigan were the last at-large team in, at No. 31. The Top 4 men's doubles seeds are:

1. Henrique Cunha and Reid Carleton, Duke
2. Davey Sandgren and JP Smith, Tennessee
3. Robert Farah and Steve Johnson, Southern California
4. Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher, Stanford

Most fans aren't interested in picking the individual winners until the draws come out, but feel free to comment on the seedings, dark horses, etc.


frustrated college fan said...

It's even more bothersome now to watch the committee make all these changes in singles / doubles after not even touching the team seedlings. Clearly, the committee thinks highly of Cunha (who is a great player) as the #1 seed in both. But what makes that so odd is that the committee doesn't think much of Duke. After struggling indoors, the Blue Devils have been strong outdoors. They beat SC and pushed UVa to the brink, TWICE! Yet they are just a #16 seed?!! A number of teams ranked ahead of them couldn't do that.

Plus, even if you moved them just one spot to 15, we would get to see Cunha and JP Smith match up in singles. How great would that be!

I could accept "Conference Rivals Part III" (wait excuse me, I mean the NCAA team event) more if they hadn't made so many changes in the S/D.

Wake me up when we get to the Quarters on that Sunday.

Fwiw: I can't argue with any of the changes in S/D.

whatitsworth said...

TO frustrated college fan

Perhaps because Duke's record has its share of loses to teams ranked lower than 25, including a recent one to Miami which is 40. Some are surprised Duke made the top 16. Also what does pushing UVA to the brink mean. Rice pushed #3 UT to the brink recently (3-4), it happens, but that does not mean that Rice is close to UT in depth ect...

Brent said...

What is the deal with Matt Kecki? Looks like USC needs him at the bottom of their lineup to make a run.

George said...

Looking at the seeded players it makes me wonder what happened to Alex Clayton. He was a gun in the juniors and really came into college tennis with a bang but seems to have fallen by the wayside.

ohcollege said...

Kecki hasn't played since early March, no? Probably an injury but hopefully he's healthy for NCAA's.

frustrated, but still a fan said...

Whatitsworth, fair points. Guess I would just like to see some fresh matches. It just would be nice to see how Cunha does against someone outside the ACC or Buchanan against someone besides Neville or Krajicek vs someone besides Lukacs. Duke was supposed to be just one example.

As far as pushing to the brink, Duke has a good chance to win #1 against anyone. Marchese has only lost once at #6. That's usually 2 points. They've got a solid #1 dubs. It's just a matter of finding two more wins from 2-5 singles + doubles.

In Duke's last match with UVa, 5 of 6 singles went 3 sets. In their other meeting, Singh had a come from behind 3 setter to clinch the win 4-3.

They are not deep enough to win 4 straight in Athens, but in a one off, they have a shot against anyone. I don't think you could say the same for Georgia, Illinois, Louisville or Kentucky.

But that's just my opinion.

whatitsworth said...

To Frustrated...

Agree w/ you. Cunha is good enough to play line one for any D1 team, but one player does name make a team. The depth of TN or VA is unreal, not to the mention schools like USC, TX. If Cunha wins the NCAA it wil be interesting if goes back to Duke. Also even with their recruits for next year, nice USTA players but not the level of Rhyne Williams or Tennys Sandgren, or the same with UVA so I dont see Duke having the depth next year either unless some international players are brought in.

Frank said...

Will there be live video, not just live stats, for NCAAs?

Austin said...

In singles I like Johnson, Gomez, Krajicek and Lukacs.

In doubles I like the Pac10 teams of Klahn/Thacher & Farah/Johnson.

Of course I will probably change when the draw comes out.

Need to make my team predictions.

Athens said...

Official team lineups are out. Most teams are playing as expected. SC has Kecki at 5. TN has Brewer there too. Both have been injured. It'll be interesting to see if either actually plays. SC has moved Lucassen to 6.

UCLA had their lineup appealed. They tried to stick Abid at 3 & Inbar at 5. No matter how injured his wrist is, Abid had to play higher. They were moved to slots 2 & 4 respectively. Meister stays at 1 and Seguso is 5.

One other funny change is Ohio St. They played Uzawa at 4 for nearly every big match with a little #5 sprinkled in. The Buckeyes moved him for the NCAAs (& Big 10), basically admitting that Uzawa has been playing out of position all season.
Ohio St. also had a lineup appeal & had to reverse Novak to #4 & Allare to #5.

fight On said...

SC will win it again! Farah will win his second national team championship as he turns pro. We are SC!!!

collegefan said...

Athens, where is the link for the official team line ups ??

Austin said...

I've got a feeling this USC team just doesn't have it. Call it a hunch. Same with Ohio State.