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Friday, May 22, 2015

Defending Champion Collins Reaches Women's Quarterfinals; Just Two Men's Seeds Remain in NCAA Division I Individual Championships

©Colette Lewis 2015--
Waco, Texas--

A trio of brief rain delays didn't derail defending champion Danielle Collins of Virginia, who will be joined in the NCAA women's singles quarterfinals by two other 2014 quarterfinalists: Jamie Loeb of North Carolina and Chanelle Van Nguyen of UCLA.

Collins, a No. 9 seed, defeated unseeded Jennifer Brady of UCLA 6-1, 7-5, coming from 5-2 down in the second set.  Collins had already made up two games of the deficit before an unanticipated shower caused a 10-minute interruption.

"I was down 5-4 when it started raining, so a lot of times people think, oh no, this is going to break my momentum," said Collins, a junior from St. Petersburg, Florida. "But I really felt like I could actually use it to break her momentum, with movement and the intensity of my shots and how well I was playing. I took advantage of the break, maintained my focus. Luckily it was smooth sailing from 2-5 down."

If any player in the draw was capable of disregarding Brady's WTA ranking of 209, it is Collins, who drew Simona Halep, then No. 2 in the world, as her first round opponent as a US Open wild card, and proceeded to win the first set in a tiebreaker.

"I heard somebody say Collins has to play Brady and that's going to be a really good match, she's 200 in the world," said Collins, who has now won 16 matches in a row. "Well, I thought, I took a set off the No. 2 player in the world. I used [the US Open match] as a really good learning experience and a big confidence booster. I've had a lot of matches this season when I've played some really tough girls and have been in situations where I've been down, lost first sets, or been down 5-1 in a second set and I've been able to come back. I just use all of that to give me confidence to know that I can do it."

Next up for Collins is 2014 quarterfinalist and seventh seed Loeb, who defeated Joana Eidukonyte of Clemson, a No. 9 seed, 6-3, 6-1 Friday. Loeb and Collins play in the same conference, but because Collins plays No. 2 and Loeb No. 1, they haven't met since last September, when Loeb beat Collins 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals of the US Open Collegiate Invitational.

That is the only all-American match in the quarterfinals.  Top seed Robin Anderson of UCLA, who beat Sabrina Santamaria of Southern Cal 6-1, 6-2 Friday, will play No. 9 seed Stephanie Wagner of Miami. Wagner won a tough battle with unseeded Saska Gavrilovska of Texas A&M 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Wagner's teammate Sinead Lohan, the ACC Rookie of the Year, advanced to play another freshman, Josie Kuhlman of Florida, a No. 9 seed.  Lohan defeated unseeded Natalie Beazant of Rice 7-5, 6-1, while Kuhlman recorded a 6-4, 6-1 victory over No. 4 seed Maegan Manasse of Cal.

Unseeded Chanelle Van Nguyen of UCLA, a quarterfinalist in 2014, returned to the final eight with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Ema Burgic of Baylor. Van Nguyen will face No. 2 seed Carol Zhao of Stanford, who has lost just six games in three matches.  On Friday, Zhao defeated Zsofi Susanyi of Cal 6-2 6-0.

In contrast to the six seeds remaining in the women's quarterfinals, only two advanced to the men's final eight: No. 7 seed Noah Rubin of Wake Forest and No. 8 seed Ryan Shane of Virginia.

Rubin defeated Yannick Hanfmann of Southern Cal, a No. 9 seed, 6-2, 6-4, although he saw his chance for a simple win slip away in the third game of the second set. Already down 2-0, Hanfmann saved four break points, went on to break Rubin in the next game and held for a 3-2 lead. Serving at 3-4, Rubin saved two break points, held and broke to find himself up 5-4.

"A couple of rain delays, fought a couple points and it switched in the blink of a moment," said the freshman from New York. "I scraped a couple of balls down, he got a little upset, then the last game wasn't even a game."

After missing a forehand at 30-40, Hanfmann slammed a ball back and the fence and it ricocheted back to Rubin's side of the court. Hanfmann was given a point penalty for ball abuse, so Rubin was up 15-0 when the game started.

"I hate saying this, but he tanked a couple points and that was it," Rubin said of the end of the match. "He's a great player, and I'm happy to be here. He's had good results--at Indian Wells beating Mathieu--he's beat some top 100 players so it was a good match."

Rubin will play Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, who defeated Lloyd Glasspool of Texas 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3.

Hiltzik said the rain delays, the second of which lasted more than half an hour, complicated the process, but didn't ultimately hurt him.

"After the first rain delay I regrouped a lot, started to figure things out and played a lot better towards the end of that second set," said the junior from Wilmette, Illinois.

In the third set, Hiltzik got the break for a 4-2 lead, held for 5-2, and was up 40-0 serving for the match.  But a backhand error, a double fault and a forehand winner by Glasspool and all three match points had evaporated.  A good first serve gave Hiltzik his fourth match point, and after a long rally, he converted with an inside out backhand winner.

"In the 8s, 10s, 12s, the down the line backhand was my best shot," Hiltzik said. "I'm coming around to being a more complete player now, but I'll always have that shot."

Hiltzik and Rubin last played in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Easter Bowl ITF, with Rubin winning 7-5, 6-4.

In the other quarterfinal in the top half, Thai Kwiatkowski of Virginia will play Winston Lin of Columbia.  Kwiatkowski avenged his National Team Indoor loss to Tony Lupieri of Baylor 6-1, 6-1, while Lin defeated the highest remaining seed in the draw, No. 5 Sebastian Stiefelmeyer of Louisville, 7-5, 6-4.

Lin trailed 4-1 in the first set, but won four straight games, only to be broken serving for the set. He broke right back, and took his second opportunity to secure the opening set.  In the second set, up a break at 3-2, Lin was able to hold on to it, hitting three forehand winners in the final game, the last to close out the match.

"I was feeling it physically," said Lin, relieved he could close it out when he did. "The first set was probably the longest I've played this year and one of the toughest physically. I stepped in, tried to take a little time away from him and that helped me a lot. Otherwise, he doesn't miss, so the only way to win points was to actually win them. He didn't give me anything, so that was tough."

Lin, a senior who also earned All-American honors last year, missed his graduation ceremony, which was the day of the first round of the team competition, but said it was for "a good reason."

After he plays his final match for Columbia, Lin is planning to compete professionally, which is not always the career path for an Ivy graduate.

"I'm going to play after college, for a couple of years," said the Williamsville, New York resident. "It's been my goal for a while, so I've got to try it out. I've got a lot of tennis left, but now I just want to keep representing Columbia."

The two international players are both on the bottom half, and both play Americans on Saturday.  TCU freshman Cameron Norrie of New Zealand defeated No. 9 seed Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to advance to a contest against Quentin Monaghan of Notre Dame, also a No. 9 seed.

Monaghan served for the match against unseeded Jakob Sude of Oklahoma State at 6-2, 5-2, but was unable to get to match point. In his second attempt at 5-4, the junior from New Jersey went up 40-15, but a wild double fault--the second serve landing in the opposite serving box-- cost him the first one and an unforced forehand error the second. But on his third match point, Monaghan hit a great serve down the T to post a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Shane defeated unseeded Jeremy Efferding of Texas A&M in a rematch of their meeting in the team quarterfinals, which went unfinished. Shane managed a break at 4-4 in both sets, the only two of the match, for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

His opponent in the quarterfinals will be unseeded Felipe Soares of Texas Tech, who defeated Jonny Wang of Southern California 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.  Soares, a junior from Brazil, is the first player in the program's history to reach the final eight.

In doubles, both defending champions advanced to the quarterfinals, with Alabama's Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen, seeded No. 1, surviving a stern test from Anderson and Brady of UCLA 2-6,6-1, 6-4.  Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee, the No. 4 seeds, defeated Denver's Henry Craig and Alex Gasson 6-4, 7-6(2).

Men's top seeds Austin Smith and Ben Wagland advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Tomislav Gregurovic and Tin Ostojic of Wichita State.

Six of the eight women's second round doubles matches went to three sets Friday afternoon. Three of the men's doubles matches went to three sets, and the winners of those matches all lost the first set. All unseeded teams who reached the quarterfinals are awarded All-American honors, with seeded teams already achieving that status.

Singles begin on Saturday at noon CDT, with six of the eight matches scheduled. The first doubles match is set for 2 p.m.

Live scoring, draws and links to live streaming can be found at the tournament page.

Men's Singles Round of 16 - May 22 
#19 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VIRGINIA) def. #35 Tony Lupieri (BAYLOR), 6-1, 6-1
#17 Winston Lin (COLUMBIA) def. #5 [5] Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (LOUISVILLE), 7-5, 6-4
#23 Jared Hiltzik (ILLINOIS) def. #42 Lloyd Glasspool (TEXAS), 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3
#6 [7] Noah Rubin (WAKE FOREST) def. #15 [9-16] Yannick Hanfmann (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-2, 6-4
#39 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #14 [9-16] Mikelis Libietis (TENNESSEE), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
#9 [9-16] Quentin Monaghan (NOTRE DAME) def. #32 Jakob Sude (OKLAHOMA STATE), 6-2, 6-4
#8 [8] Ryan Shane (VIRGINIA) def. #47 Jeremy Efferding (TEXAS A&M), 6-4, 6-4
#37 Felipe Soares (TEXAS TECH) def. #45 Jonny Wang (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2

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Women's Singles Round of 16 - May 22 
#1 [1] Robin Anderson (UCLA) def. #24 Sabrina Santamaria (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-1, 6-2
#11 [9-16] Stephanie Wagner (MIAMI [FL]) def. #54 Saska Gavrilovska (TEXAS A&M), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
#15 [9-16] Danielle Collins (VIRGINIA) def. #47 Jennifer Brady (UCLA), 6-1, 7-5
#7 [7] Jamie Loeb (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #12 [9-16] Joana Eidukonyte (CLEMSON), 6-3, 6-1
#37 Sinead Lohan (MIAMI [FL]) def. #32 Natalie Beazant (RICE), 7-5, 6-1
#13 [9-16] Josie Kuhlman (FLORIDA) def. #4 [4] Meagan Manasse (CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 6-1
#21 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. #22 Ema Burgic (BAYLOR) , 6-4, 6-1
#2 [2] Carol Zhao (STANFORD) def. #43 Zsofi Susanyi (CALIFORNIA), 6-2, 6-0

Women's Doubles Round of 16 - May 22
#1 [1] Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe (ALABAMA) def. #9 Robin Anderson/Jennifer Brady (UCLA), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
#14 Ema Burgic/Blair Shankle (BAYLOR) def. #26 Desirae Krawcyk/Stephanie Vlad (ARIZONA ST.) 6-2, 7-5
#4 [4] Beatrice Gumulya/Jessy Rompies (CLEMSON) def. #19 Giuliana Olmos/Zoë Scandalis (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 6-3
#10 Caroline Doyle/Ellen Tsay (STANFORD) def. #7 [5-8] Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr (CALIFORNIA), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
#5 [5-8] Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi (CALIFORNIA) def. #25 Mami Adachi/Aldila Sutjiadi (KENTUCKY), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1
#18 Ashleigh Antal/Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) def. #23 Matea Cutura/Christine Maddox (PEPPERDINE), 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
#6 [5-8] Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) def. #11 Lauren Herring/Ellen Perez (GEORGIA), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
#2 [2] Taylor Davidson/Carol Zhao (STANFORD) def. #16 Jamie Loeb/Caroline Price (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Men's Doubles Round of 16 - May 22
#1 [1] Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (GEORGIA) def. #41 Tomislav Gregurovic/Tin Ostojic (WICHITA STATE), 6-2, 6-3
#22 Hugo Dojas/Felipe Soares (TEXAS TECH) def. #29 Kyle Koch/Thiago Pinheiro (SOUTH CAROLINA), 6-3, 6-2
#18 Harry Jadun/John Patrick Mullane (MICHIGAN STATE) def. #28 Oliver Pramming/Justin Roberts (SOUTH FLORIDA), 7-6 (0), 6-4
#14 Boris Arias/Jordan Daigle (LSU) def. #15 Alex Lawson/Billy Pecor (NOTRE DAME), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 7-5
#8 [5-8] Diego Galeano/Julian Lenz (BAYLOR) def. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST), 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1
#4 [4] Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (TENNESSEE) def. #49 Henry Craig/Alex Gasson (DENVER), 6-4, 7-6 (2)
#24 Arjun Kadhe/Jakob Sude (OKLAHOMA STATE) def. #21 Marko Krickovic/Lukas Ollert (AUBURN), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
#19 Lloyd Glasspool/Søren Hess-Olesen (TEXAS) def. #30 Trevor Johnson/Cameron Norrie (TCU), 6-4, 6-0


Shawn said...

NY must be doing something right with tennis -
Noah Rubin and Winston Lin.

Most do... said...

Doesn't virtually every college player in the NCAA team and/or individuals miss their college graduation? Missing graduation is not an exception, but more the rule for college tennis players.

Just saying said...

Except Stanford/UCLA, They miss 7-10 days of actual classes.

They don't walk graduation said...

Yes most of the top teams do miss graduation. USC, Baylor, Illinois, UVA - to name a few - missed graduation for NCAAs. A couple others (Duke, UGA, UO) had graduation the weekend of regionals, before the Sweet 16, assuming they missed it too. Above statement is backwards - Stanford and UCLA are the ones that still have classes going on (UCLA on that silly quarter system). Since Stanford didn't qualify for Sweet 16s (again and again) and UCLA lost in that round, they didn't miss much. The other teams missed the walk but I am sure they don't mind.

guest said...

They don't walk,

Stanford has plenty of participation on the women's side. They still have 3 girls playing in singles/doubles.

HornedFrog for Life said...

TCU held a special graduation ceremony for all the athletes participating in the NCAA's that missed the formal graduating ceremony. They were given their diplomas by the President of the University and the faculty staff from the Formal Graduation. TCU…a Class Institution. GO FROGS!!

love-tennis said...

Last year, when the NCAA's were in Athens, UGA graduates just finished their matches and raced over. No problem making graduation!