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Friday, March 11, 2011

McPhillips, Stineman Given Top Seeds at USTA 18s Spring Nationals; More Upsets in Division I College Duals

We arrived in Mobile, Alabama to absolutely perfect weather: blue skies, a light breeze, temperatures in the upper 60s. Kyle McPhillips was on our plane, and as we were waiting for our luggage we both agreed it was great to get out of the midwest gloom and into a place where spring was a reality, not a rumor. I didn't know I was talking to the No. 1 seed at the time, but when Gabby Andrews did not accept the wild card offered to her, McPhillips moved up from the top position. The other top eight seeds at the USTA 18s National Spring Championships are 2. Whitney Kay, 3. Brooke Austin, 4. Emina Bektas, 5. Lauren Herring, 6. Danielle Collins, the defending champion, 7. Ashley Dai 8. Catherine Harrison. Eddie Herr 16s champion Samantha Crawford and Plaza Cup winner Taylor Townsend are two unseeded girls that no seed will want to face early in the tournament, which begins Sunday and runs through Saturday.

The boys top seed is Stanford recruit Robert Stineman. He is followed by 2. Evan Song, 3. Mackenzie McDonald, 4. Hunter Reese, 5. Hunter Callahan, 6. Jason Tahir, 7. Alex Sidney, 8. Danny Riggs. Several dangerous floaters who are not seeded include Harrison Adams, Eddie Herr 16s champion Roy Lederman, and Austin Smith.

As of tonight, those receiving wild cards into the tournament are: Jeremy Efferding, Morgan Mays, Samantha Crawford, Leyla Erkan, Jacqueline Katz, Blair Martin, Natalia Maynetto and Brittany Warly.

For the list of seeded players, see the TennisLink site.

Registration begins tomorrow afternoon, so I'll be tweeting from the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center with any significant last minute withdrawals. The weather forecast for the week is very good, with a 20% chance of rain Monday the only possible problem.

There are a lot of important college tennis matches this weekend, and there have already been several surprises. The No. 10 UCLA women, who lost to No. 9 Baylor at the Team Indoor, beat the Bears in LA yesterday 6-1. The 17th-ranked Texas A&M men got a surprisingly quick 4-0 win over No. 5 Ohio State in front of a record regular season crowd in College Station last night. The No. 2 ranked Tennessee men took a very tight 4-2 victory from 11th-ranked Kentucky in Lexington today, and No. 13 Pepperdine took out the fourth-ranked Duke men 4-3 today in Malibu. In the No. 15 Florida men's 6-1 win over No. 35 Alabama, senior Alex Lacroix broke the all-time record for doubles victories, with 94. JP Smith of Tennessee had also established a new school record for doubles victories, 132, earlier this week against Auburn.

The No. 3 Texas men lost their second in a row, dropping a 5-2 decision to USC in LA. The 12th-ranked Michigan men were beaten at home by No. 37 Tulsa, and the fifth-ranked Duke women downed No. 7 Cal in Arizona 5-2.

To keep up with all the scores in college tennis, see the ITA results page.

At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, both 18-year-old wild cards, Ryan Harrison and Bernard Tomic of Australia, advanced to the second round with eerily similar score lines. Harrison beat Jeremy Chardy of France 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 6-3, while Tomic got past qualifier Rohan Bopanna of India 6-7(5), 7-6(1), 6-4. For complete results, see the tournament website.


getreal said...

The continued string of college upsets are not surprising. Except for schools like UVA, Tennessee, maybe USC and perhaps IL, that are strong in every position in the line-up, the lineups at Duke, Texas and Michigan really don’t have the same strenght of player making up the bottom to be solidly in the top ten and make those teams quite vulnerable to other solid teams in the top 20. Texas A&M quick win over Ohio is not surprising in that Ohio is an indoor team.One thng the last two times USC's serimento was losing (Indoors and w/ TX) he retires injured. It that typical of him?

jptex said...

So much for Illinois perhaps being strong at every position. Texas A&M 7 - Illinois 0

getreal said...

agree with jptex about IL...overall seems Tennessee and UVA aside not much seperates other 20 teams, which will make the remainder of the college season interesting, its more wide open than the past

Stephen said...

jptex - Illinois was without their top two players, forcing everyone else in their line-up to move up two spots. When they have everyone healthy, they are one of the top teams in the country.

jptex said...

Illinois was without their numbers 1 and 3. A&M was without their number 5. Understood. My comment was addressing the idea that Illinois was, top to bottom, one of the strongest teams in the country. I don't believe they are. In my opinion, A&M is a deeper team, and better than Illinois outdoors. It would be pretty hard to disagree with that.

Stephen said...

jptex -

It is not hard at all to disagree with your opinion.

Ku Singh plays #2 when healthy and Nevolo is clearly #1. How is missing #5 equivalent to missing #'s 1 & 2?

Regardless of whether it was indoor or out, Illinois BEAT TAMU (4-1 and basically even in the other two matches) when they had their full team. And if you look at the make up of Illinois' team, they are not your typical indoor power team.

I don't see how anyone not a Texas homer can say that A&M is clearly better or deeper.

jptex said...

Singh has a 2-1 record at line 2 and a 1-1 (and 1 DNF) record at line 3. He hasn't played line 2 in over a month. In the first match against TAMU he played line 3. Doesn't sound like the clear cut #2 to me, healthy or not.

Indoors, Illinois won 4-1 with the remaining matches on serve in the third. Outdoors, A&M won 7-0 with Illinois at less than full strength. Both final scores probably don't indicate the competitiveness of the matches, I'm sure we can all agree on that.

I said that A&M was better than Illinois outdoors, and I believe that to be true even if Illinois is at full strength. I also believe that A&M is deeper, but unless the two teams play a 10 vs 10 match with full squads healthy, I guess we'll never know for sure.

I never meant any disrespect to the Illinois program, they've always been good and always will be.

Stephen said...

jptex -- a few things ...

1. Singh played #2 when healthy. He's been battling an injury and was dropped to #3, and still wasn't 100%. Regardless, missing 2 of top 3 players is much different than missing #5.

2. Even though it's Illinois, they are actually more of an outdooors team with the current line-up. Read this article if you doubt me: http://www.dailyillini.com/sports/tennis/mens-tennis/2011/03/10/outdoor-conditions-may-change-match-for-men-s-tennis-against-no

3. The match against A&M was Illinois' first outdoor match of the year, their 4th match in 7 days, it was on A&M's home courts, and they were playing without their #1 and #3 players. That is hardly a fair indicator that A&M is clearly better -- especially when Illinois had just beat them a couple weeks ago. Even so, it was a much more competitive match than the score indicates.

A&M is a great team and they are pretty even with Illinois this year. Illinois is 6-7 deep, so if you want to consider top 10 for depth you guys would probably win, but you can only play 6 in normal matches.

jptex said...

Thanks for clearing all that stuff up for me!

College Tennis Fan said...

To all the Texas A&M fans and A&M experts on this board--Do you have any explanation as to how they got upset by the University of Washington at the National Indoors last month?

I actually checked to see what the A&M coaches said about the loss at the A&M athletics website and was disappointed to see that they decided not to post a story after the loss. Are they trying to pretend that the loss didn't happen or are they hoping that nobody noticed the loss? It's real conspicuous because the day before the match the headline is about how they lost a match that day and face Washington later that day or the next day. Then the story never shows up and the next story is about the next match. I don't think I've ever seen this. Seems lame to me.

My opinion said...


You need to start a forum on your blog!!

Stephen said...

To College Tennis Fan --

I'm not an A&M fan or expert, but traditionally, Washington has played teams very tough on their home courts during the ITA indoors (they get great fan support).

Plus, A&M was playing in the backdraw after a disappointing loss the day before, so I doubt if they had as much fight in them as they needed to hold off a fired-up Washington team playing in front of their fans.