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Saturday, May 9, 2015

South Florida, Columbia Men Reach Sweet 16; Clemson Women Down Alabama; Chirico Wins French Open Wild Card; Kozlov into Futures Final

Sixteen men's teams and eight women's teams are heading to Waco next week, after winning regional finals Saturday in the NCAA Division I team championships.

Two hosts who were seeded in the top 16 failed to advance on the men's side: Ole Miss and Virginia Tech.  For the second year in a row, Columbia went on the road to an SEC team and came out a winner (last year against Vanderbilt), beating Ole Miss 4-1 in Oxford. South Florida went to Blacksburg and came out with the program's first Sweet 16 berth, beating the Hokies 4-0.

The two seeds with the closest shaves were Texas A&M, seeded 6th overall, and Illinois, seeded fourth overall.  A&M lost the doubles point and at line 3 singles to Oklahoma State, got wins from Harrison Adams, Shane Vinsant and AJ Catanzariti, but were deep in third sets in the remaining two matches with that 3-2 lead. Jakob Sude of Oklahoma State served for the match against Jeremy Efferding at line 1 at 5-4 in the third, but Efferding broke. Meanwhile, Aggie freshman Jordi Arconada was in a third set tiebreaker with Nicolai Olsen at line 6. Arconada got an early minibreak and held on, defeating Olsen 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(4) to clinch the 4-2 win and a date with Ohio State next Thursday.

Illinois also dropped the doubles point, and gradually had to work their way back into the match with Drake, but after 8 p.m. in Champaign, with weather again an issue, Farris Gosea clinched the 4-2 win for the Fighting Illini by beating Alen Salibasic 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(4) at line 1.

The draw is here.

Men's Regional finals results:

[1] Ohio State def. [2] Vanderbilt 4-0
[2] South Florida def. [1] Virginia Tech 4-0
[1] Oklahoma def. [2] Northwestern 4-1
[1] Duke def. [2] Stanford 4-1
[1] Wake Forest def. [3] Pepperdine 4-0
[1] Texas def. [2] Cal 4-1
[1] Georgia def. [2] Florida State 4-0
[1] TCU def. [2] Tulsa 4-0
[1] Virginia def. [2] Minnesota 4-0
[2] Columbia def. [1] Ole Miss 4-1
[1] Duke def. [2] Stanford 4-1
[1] Texas A&M def. [2] Oklahoma State 4-2
[1] UCLA def. [2] Texas Tech 4-0
[1] Southern Cal def. [3] San Diego State 4-0

[1] Illinois def. [3] Drake 4-2
[1] Baylor def. [2] LSU 4-0

Men’s Round of 16 matchups and times Thursday (Central):
Oklahoma(1) vs UCLA(16) 9 am
Texas(9) vs Georgia(8) 9 am
TCU(5) vs Wake Forest(12) noon
North Carolina(13) vs Illinois(4) noon
Virginia(3) vs Columbia 4 pm
Ohio State(11) vs Texas A&M(6) 4 pm
Southern Cal(7) vs Duke(10) 7 pm
South Florida vs Baylor(2) 7

Eight women's regional finals remain to be played on Sunday, but in the eight finals played today, there was one upset, with Clemson going to Tuscaloosa and coming away with a 4-2 win over Alabama. After losing the doubles point and four first sets in singles, Alabama mounted a serious comeback forcing third sets in three of the matches, but the Tide fell just short at the end, and the Tigers will travel to Waco for a meeting with fourth-seeded Vanderbilt.

Three of the top 16 seeds were challenged before moving on, but unlike the men who had squeakers, these were seeds in the 9-16 group. No. 11 seed Michigan had all it could handle with DePaul, but won 4-2; No. 15 Miami edged Ole Miss 4-3, and No. 16 Texas Tech defeated LSU 4-2.

In the 16 women's first round matches today, the higher seed advanced in all of them and the No. 1 seeds, for the second straight day, did not drop a point.  

Women's first round regional results:

[2] Dartmouth def. [3] William & Mary 4-1 (N Carolina)
[2] Duke def. [3] Purdue 4-1 (Georgia)
[2] South Carolina def. [3] Princeton 4-3 (Virginia)
[2] Arizona St def. [3] Arkansas 4-1 (Oklahoma St)
[2] Rice def. [3] Tulsa 4-2 (Baylor)
[2] Northwestern def. [3] St. Mary’s 4-0 (UCLA)
[2] Virginia Tech def. [3] Tulsa 4-2 (Southern Cal)
[2] TCU def. Notre Dame[3] 4-2 (Texas A&M)

[1] North Carolina def. [4] Quinnipiac 4-0
[1] Georgia def. [4] Charleston Southern 4-0
[1] Texas A&M def. [4] Alcorn State 5-0
[1] Virginia def. [4] Virginia Commonwealth 4-0
[1] Oklahoma St def. [4] Boston U 4-0
[1] UCLA def. [4] Idaho 4-0
[1] Southern Cal def. [4] Youngstown State 4-0
[1] Baylor def. [4] Northwestern State 4-0

Women's regional finals results:
[1] Florida def. [2] Georgia Tech 4-0
[1] Michigan def. [3] DePaul 4-2
[1] Vanderbilt def. [3] Oklahoma 4-0
[1] Texas Tech def. [2] LSU 4-2
[1] Miami def. [2] Ole Miss 4-3
[1] Cal def. [3] Mississippi St 4-0
[2] Clemson def. Alabama [1] 4-2
[1] Stanford def. Pepperdine [2] 4-1

The draw is here.  I'll have the women's matchups and times for Friday's round of 16 in tomorrow's post.

In today's action at the women's $50,000 tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, both Katerina Stewart and Louisa Chirico won their semifinal matches, but Chirico clinched the USTA's French Open wild card competition, regardless of the result of the Sunday's final. Stewart, who beat Allie Kiick, the other wild card contender, 6-3, 6-0 today, can only tie Chirico with a victory tomorrow and the tiebreaker belongs to Chirico, because she has the higher WTA ranking.  Chirico, who would have been the No. 2 seed, but withdrew, then decided to pursue the wild card through qualifying, was down a set and a break to Maria Sanchez before roaring back for the 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory in today's semifinal.

Apparently the USTA now has an agreement with the French federation for one qualifying wild card to be reciprocated in their respective slams, and it's hoped that Stewart, who is not even in the French qualifying, will receive that opportunity after reaching three straight $50,000 finals.

Stefan Kozlov advanced to the final of the $10,000 Orange Park Futures, defeating former Florida Gator Sekou Bangoura 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. The 17-year-old, who is no longer being coached by the USTA's Nicolas Todero, will face No. 2 seed Darian King of Barbados in the final.  In Saturday's doubles final, Jean-Yves Aubone(Florida State) and former Cal star Ben McLachlan of New Zealand, the No. 3 seeds, won the title, beating Maximiliano Estevez and Facundo Mena of Argentina, the No. 4 seeds, 6-4, 6-4.