North Carolina Women Claim Top Winter Recruiting Class; ITA Kick-off Weekend Provides New Faces For Team Indoor
A week after releasing the recruiting class rankings for the men, the Tennis Recruiting Network announced their rankings for the women's class of 2013 Monday, with the University of North Carolina taking the top spot. The Tar Heels signed two blue chips--Hayley Carter and Jamie Loeb--and they received 15 of the 25 first place votes. Second was Northwestern, with blue chips Madeline Lipp, Jillian Rooney and five-star Manon Peri, and third was Stanford with ITF Top 10 junior player Carol Zhao of Canada and blue chip Taylor Davidson. As is mentioned in the notes at the bottom of the rankings, Caroline Doyle announced for Stanford after the voting lists had already sent out, but there will be an opportunity to include her when the final voting for the 2013 class is held, after the spring signing period. Stanford received 5 first place votes, Northwestern 2, Harvard 2 and Houston 1. In contrast, the men's rankings saw Virginia receive 22 of the 24 votes cast.
Because the Tennis Plaza Cup was a week later this year, I wasn't able to follow the ITA Kick-off results as closely as I usually do, but I did manage to extend my streak of covering a regional final to four, thanks to the University of Miami's hosting just a few miles from the Plaza Cup site. My story of the Hurricane's 4-3 win over Arizona State will be out Wednesday at the Tennis Recruiting Network, but tonight I wanted to provide a brief recap on some of the more interesting results.
Not counting host Washington, there are three men's teams who succeeded in advancing to the Team Indoor who were not in Virginia last year: Oklahoma, Mississippi and Mississippi State. Mississippi State, which hasn't been to the Team Indoor since 1999, beat Auburn 4-3 in the final, with Roman Bogaerts defeating Andreas Mies at the No. 1 position to clinch the victory in Starkville. In another 4-3 nail biter, Cal beat Michigan despite losing five first sets in singles.
Two host teams failed to advance on the men's side, with No. 1 seed Illinois falling in the first round in Champaign to No. 4 seed Tennessee, who went on to beat North Carolina 4-1 in the final. It was an extremely competitive regional, with all four teams ranked between 16 and 24. Another No. 4 seed, Texas A&M, also advanced to Seattle, with a first round win over tenth-ranked host Stanford and a blanking of San Diego in the final.
The four new women's teams I'll be seeing in Charlottesville in just over a week are Nebraska, Alabama, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, none of whom qualified for the Team Indoor in 2012.
Nebraska hosted Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Tennessee, ranked 18, 22 and 23, so it's no surprise it took some doing for the Cornhuskers to advance to Charlottesville. They beat Tennessee 4-3 in the first round, and eased past Notre Dame 4-1 in the final. Alabama defeated Clemson 4-2 in its final in Tuscaloosa and Texas A&M downed Arizona 4-0 in College Station to reach the Indoor for the first time since 2005.
Vanderbilt was the sole women's team to come through on the road in another competitive regional at Ole Miss, with Illinois and Yale the No. 2 and No. 4 seeds. Yale beat No. 1 seed Ole Miss and No. 3 Vanderbilt downed Illinois in the first round, and Vanderbilt earned a spot in the Team Indoor for the first time since 2007 with a tough 4-1 win over Yale in the final.
The qualifiers at the two ITA Team Indoors, with their current rankings:
MEN (Seattle, Wash. Feb. 15-18)
4. Ohio State
11. Mississippi State
13. Ole Miss
26. Texas A&M
WOMEN (Charlottesville, Va. Feb. 8-11)
8. North Carolina
13. Texas A&M
For more on the ITA Kick-off Weekend, see the ITA website, which has the results here, and a recap here.