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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NCAA Individual Selections Announced, Stanford, Florida Women, Virginia Men Each Have Five Singles Competitors

The NCAA has announced the participants in the Division I individual tournament May 25-30, but without draws, it's not quite as much fun as the team announcement, when you get both at once. Stanford and Florida, the top two women's seeds, each had five players selected, as did the top seeded Virginia men. Stanford has Hilary Barte(3), Kristie Ahn (9-16), Nicole Gibbs, Mallory Burdette and Stacey Tan in the 64-draw; Florida has Allie Will(6), Lauren Embree, Joanna Mather, Olivia Janowicz and Alex Cercone in the field. Virginia's five representatives are: Alex Domijan(2), Michael Shabaz(3), Sanam Singh, Drew Courtney and Jarmere Jenkins.

Every player ranked in the Top 16 was seeded, so there is no controversy there, but I think everyone would agree that the No. 17 ranked players--Austin Krajicek of Texas A&M and Florida's Embree--are the definition of dangerous floaters. And it's worth mentioning that 2010 champions Bradley Klahn of Stanford and Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia were both 9-16 seeds. The results of the team tournament make the individual tournament very difficult to predict, and the draw is also important. At least this year, Tennessee's Rhyne Williams and USC's Steve Johnson can't meet in the first round, as both are seeded.

The men's seeds:
1. Steve Johnson, Southern California
2. Alex Domijan, Virginia
3. Michael Shabaz, Virginia
4. Rhyne Williams, Tennessee
5. Blaz Rola, Ohio State
6. Alexandre Lacroix, Florida
7. Eric Quigley, Kentucky
8. Henrique Cunha, Duke

Chase Buchanan, Ohio State
Reid Carleton, Duke
Austen Childs, Louisville
Guillermo Gomez, Georgia Tech
Bradley Klahn, Stanford
Dennis Nevolo, Illinois
Tim Puetz, Auburn
JP Smith, Tennessee

The committee shuffled the 3-7 positions, with Ohio State's Rola, ranked 4th, moving down, fifth ranked Shabaz moving up, third-ranked Williams moving down a spot and Lacroix and Quigley changing places in rankings vs. seeding. None of this seems significant to me, given all that's going to happen between May 19th and May 25th, but the committee obviously thought it was worth doing.

The last at-large bid went to Luka Somen of Virginia Tech, who is ranked 59th. For some reason, UCLA's Amit Inbar, ranked 58th, is the first alternate. There are six automatic qualifiers from the men's side who are ranked in the Top 125, but not in the top 59.

Also, the question of whether Pepperdine would allow its individual players to participate after prohibiting the team from doing so was answered when Sebastian Fanselow and Finn Tearney were named to compete in singles.

In doubles, Stanford's Klahn and Ryan Thacher are ranked third, but they were bumped into the 5-8 seeding block, with sixth-ranked Javier Garrapiz and Hernus Pieters of Georgia moving up to the No. 4 seed. Defending champions Courtney and Shabaz of Virginia are No. 2 behind Tennessee's Boris Conkic and Smith, with Texas A&M's Jeff Dadamo and Krajicek the No. 3 seeds. Courtney and Shabaz were not seeded when they won the 2010 title.

The women's seeds:
1. Jana Juricova, California
2. Maria Sanchez, Southern California
3. Hilary Barte, Stanford
4. Denise Dy, Washington
5. Kristy Frilling, Notre Dame
6. Allie Will, Florida
7. Bianca Eichkorn, Miami
8. Denise Muresan, Michigan

Kristie Ahn, Stanford
Josipa Bek, Clemson
Jacqueline Cako, Arizona State
Venise Chan, Washington
Zoe De Bruycker, North Carolina
Marta Lesniak, SMU
Maria Mosolova, Northwestern
Sona Novakova, Baylor

The only change the women's committee made was to switch Will and Eichkorn who are reversed in yesterday's rankings. Note that defending champion Gullickson will not be seeded at all this year, in singles or doubles.

The last at-large bid went to Emily Fraser of Virgina, who is ranked 60th. Fifty-ninth-ranked Nadja Gilchrist of Georgia, who has been out with injuries most of the dual season, is the first alternate.

Four automatic qualifiers outside of the Top 60 received entry, and one, William and Mary's Jeltje Loomans doesn't appear in the Top 125, which I thought was required for entry.

In the doubles, 2009 NCAA champions Juricova and Mari Andersson of Cal-Berkeley are the top seeds, followed by Florida's Cercone and Will, USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Sanchez, and Stanford's Barte and Burdette. Barte won the title last year with Lindsey Burdette.

For the complete list of men's participants, see this release from ncaa.com. The complete list of women's participants is in this release.


simonsaystennis said...

I expect the women's side to be REALLY interesting. Embree, Gibbs, Hsu, and Gullickson are all unseeded. Nobody in this draw is safe.

praiseGodthreeinone said...

Men's: Virginia d. USC 4-2
Women's: Stanford d. Florida 4-3