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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rice Surprises Ole Miss, Georgia Tech Ousts Alabama to Reach Women's Sweet 16; Tulsa, Baylor Men Take Out Seeds to Advance to Athens

I spent the day at the University of Michigan, watching the Wolverine women eke out a 4-3 win over Texas A&M with Brooke Bolender coming from behind for the clinching 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Nazari Urbina at 2. I will have a complete recap of the match for the Tennis Recruiting Network, but it's not giving too much away to note that Bolender lost the last match on in the Big Ten championships to Purdue, yet played as if that were a distant memory in the final set just two weeks later.

There were plenty of exciting matches around the country today, but let's start with the list of the women's teams who are headed to Athens for the Sweet 16, beginning Thursday, with their seeding in parentheses.

UCLA (1)

Cal (9)
Georgia Tech

USC (5)
Baylor (12)

Northwestern (13)
Stanford (4)

Duke (3)
Virginia (14)

Texas (11)
Georgia (6)

North Carolina (7)
Miami (10)

Michigan (15)
Florida (2)

As you can see, two unseeded teams advanced in UCLA's quarter.  Rice, in the 33-48 ranking group, was not content with their first-ever NCAA win yesterday over Illinois, and they proved it by taking out No. 16 seed Ole Miss 4-2 in Oxford today.

Georgia Tech is no stranger to the Sweet 16, and in fact won their national title in Athens in 2007, but this year they were on the road against No. 8 Alabama for the regionals.  It wasn't easy for the Yellow Jackets, but senior Caroline Lilley, who was injured in the early part of the dual match season, clinched the 4-3 win for Georgia Tech, defeating Alexa Guarachi 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 at 2.

No. 6 seed Georgia barely escaped Clemson's upset bid, with Maho Kowase coming back from 6-0, 5-2 in her match with Klara Vyskocilova to post a 0-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory, which gave Georgia a 4-3 win. In 2010, the Georgia women did not make the Sweet 16 in Athens, with Clemson denying them in the second round.

For the women's draw, see ncaa.com.

Five of the men's participants in Athens were decided today, and there were two surprises in that small sample as well.

With Baylor's history and experience, they were going to be a tough out even if they weren't hosting, and so it proved, with the Bears defeating  Mississippi State in Starkville 4-3 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the eleventh year in a row.

No. 10 seed Oklahoma was once again unable to get by Tulsa, with the 17-32 Golden Hurricanes downing the Sooners 4-1 in Norman.  Last year, Tulsa, who was in the 33-48 group, beat Oklahoma and Texas to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. This year, they beat Minnesota and Oklahoma to make it two years in a row in the Sweet 16.

In addition to Baylor and Tulsa, No. 6 Kentucky, No. 16 Illinois and No. 7 Pepperdine earned their spots in the men's final 16.

The only surprise in the first round of men's regionals today was Santa Clara, in the 33-48 group, defeating Texas, in the 17-32 group, at the Stanford regional.  Santa Clara's 4-1 victory was their first NCAA win.

For the complete draw, see ncaa.com.

For complete Saturday results in agate form, see Texas College Tennis.


Russ said...

A couple of notes regarding today's results. On April 29th Baylor lost the tournament title to Oklahoma when David Pultr defeated julien bley in three tiebreak sets. The match lasted 4 1/2 hours. Today, in two tiebreak sets, after seven match points and hours of waiting due to rain delay, julien bley defeated zach white to clinch the 4-3 win.
Redemption was also sweet for Bruno abdelnour of Illinois. His wait came two years after he lost the deciding match in the second round to Wisconsin. Devastated, he hit balls against the wall until midnight, until the coaches forced him to bed. Today in three sets he clinched a 4-3 win.
I really love it when these things happen.

texastennis said...

Not surprised about UT getting rousted. Lineup is stronger in the bottom half then the top and are just don’t have the strength in lines #1 or #2 like years past. But at least with the loss Center did not make excuses and respect him for that.

AR Hacked Off said...

The Rice women played amazing tennis all weekend. They came back from 3-1 down to be Illinois first round, Harmath came back from 5-0 down to win her singles and then #5 also came back. Then against Ole Miss they picked up huge doubles pt and then their #1 Beazant played lights out against Boxx. Boxx did not play bad at all but Beazant did not miss and kept up the attack. Also Harmath pulled it out again taking 3rd set 6-0. Great job to the Owls.