Men's ITA Indoor Begins Friday; North Carolina Women Move to No. 1; Manasse, Kwiatkowski Move to Top of ITA Singles Rankings
Tomorrow the men's ITA Indoor begins at Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, and although I will not be there, Jonathan Kelley, who lives in Chicago, will be providing on site coverage for Zootennis. Many of you know him from twitter, @jokelley_tennis, or from his blog, On the Rise, which tracks the career high professional rankings of American players weekly. This week Patrick Rourke contributed two interviews with Jared Donaldson and Austin Krajicek from his trip to Memphis, and Kelley recapped Madison Brengle's journey from juniors to her career high of 46.
I'm pleased that Kelley will be at Midtown to observe and talk to players and coaches, and I'll be following via the live streaming, so I hope coverage of this year's event will be better than ever.
Two previews of interest are available from Bobby Knight, at the College Tennis Today blog, and Jeff McMillan at Tennis Atlantic. College Tennis Today's Team Indoor page has a link to the lineups.
Friday's pairings, with seeds (central time zone):
9:00 a.m. Duke(6) v Baylor(11)
Virginia(3) v TCU(14)
noon Oklahoma(2) v Ole Miss(15)
North Carolina(7) v UCLA(10)
3:30 p.m. Southern Cal(1) v Penn State(16)
Ohio State(8) v Texas(9)
6:30 p.m. Georgia(4) v Columbia(13)
Illinois(5) v California(12)
The ITA tournament page is here.
There were no new team rankings this week for the men, but the women's rankings now reflect the results of their Team Indoor last week, with champion North Carolina taking the No. 1 spot from UCLA. Florida stayed at No. 2, with Georgia moving to 3 and UCLA dropping to 4. Duke dropped from 4 to 16 after failing to win a match in Charlotteville last weekend.
Individual rankings were updated on Tuesday for both men and women and two sophomores have taken over the top spots, Virginia's Thai Kwiatkowski and Cal's Maegan Manasse. Manasse played No. 6 for the Bears at last year's NCAAs, so her rise has been rapid, while Kwiatkowski played mostly 4 and 5 for the Cavaliers last year. But although Kwiatkowski is No. 1 in the country, he is still No. 3 on his team, with Mitchell Frank and Ryan Shane playing ahead of him. That scenario is not all that unusual, especially for a Virginia player. Frank played No. 3, behind Jarmere Jenkins and Alex Domijan in the 2012 Team Indoor, in spite of his No. 1 ranking and sweep of the previous two fall majors.
The current top 10 men singles:
1. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia
The Clemson team of Beatric Gumulya and Jessy Rompies took over the No. 1 ranking in women's doubles, switching places with now No. 2 Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of UCLA.
The ITA ranking page is here.
In other college news, the men's Collegiate Challenge, held for the first time last year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, has been expanded from four teams to eight for 2015. Participating this year are Brigham Young, Columbia, Purdue, Oklahoma, Southern California, Tulsa, Baylor and Cal. For more information, see this announcement from the tournament.
For a look at the impact freshmen will have this year in Division III, see this article from the Tennis Recruiting Network.