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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Part Two of My Conversation with Michael Joyce; Tulsa Shocks Top-ranked Southern Cal; Ponwith Takes Grade 2 Title in Argentina; Bellis and Sanchez Reach $25K Final

Part Two of my conversation with coach Michael Joyce is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  Joyce discusses his view of the USTA's role in player development, explains how his father taught him to think like a coach, and how he grew to appreciate David Foster Wallace's famous magazine article about him.

A huge upset in college tennis today, with the top-ranked Southern California men falling to No. 51 Tulsa 4-3 in Los Angeles. The Trojans won the doubles point, but playing without Eric Johnson and Nick Crystal, they could only muster two singles wins. Jonny Wang, playing at line 3, won over Tulsa's Juan Matias Gonzalez, but at No. 1  Yannick Hanfmann lost to Or Ram-Harel and at No. 2 Roberto Quiroz lost to Alejandro Espejo, both in straight sets. Rob Bellamy and Connor Farren, playing No. 5 and No. 6 for USC, both lost in third set tiebreakers to Carlos Bautista and Mitchell Pritchard respectively, which secured the Tulsa upset. Max de Vroome won his match at No. 4 to give USC its third point after the match was clinched.   College Tennis Today has the singles scores posted. (there is some question about who was playing whom, but CTT has clarified that in his recap).


At the ITF Grade 2 in Argentina, No. 6 seed Nathan Ponwith added a singles title to his doubles championship, defeating top seed Ulises Blanch 6-3, 6-4 in an all-American final.  Ponwith, whose other two ITF junior titles were at the Grade 4 level, didn't lose a set in the tournament.  Girls top seed Julieta Estable of Argentina took the girls singles title, beating No. 4 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 6-1.

Next week is a big one on the ITF Junior Circuit, with three Grade 1s-- in Russia, Paraguay and Thailand. The US juniors have all opted for the Paraguay Grade 1.

At the Grade 4 in El Salvador, Canadians swept the singles titles. Fourteen-year-old Nicaise Muamba, the No. 14 seed, beat No. 4 seed Salvador Mijares of Venezuela 6-3, 6-4 in the boys final. The girls title went to 14-year-old Brindtha Ramasamy, who beat No. 2 seed Alexia Coutino Castillo of Mexico 6-2, 6-3.

Ally Miller-Krasilnikov won the doubles title with Camila Ramazzini of Guatemala. The top seeds beat No. 4 seeds Ramasamy and Tiffany Lagarde 6-4, 7-5 in the final. Muamba won the doubles title with compatriot Dan Martin.

In the Norway Grade 4, qualifier Roscoe Bellamy suffered his first loss in eight matches in the final, falling to unseeded Maxence Broville of France 7-6(5), 6-2.

At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California, two Americans will meet for the title on Sunday.  Unseeded 15-year-old CiCi Bellis defeated 18-year-old Ipek Soylu of Turkey 6-2, 6-4 to advanced to her third $25,000 level final, but first this year.  No. 4 seed Maria Sanchez, ten years older than Bellis, reached a $50,000 final and a $25,000 last year, but hasn't won a singles title since 2012, her first full year on tour after graduating from Southern Cal. Today she defeated Sanaz Marand 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final.  Bellis has won the title in each of her two previous appearances in a final.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Conversation with Michael Joyce; All-American Final in Argentina Grade 2; Bellis into $25K Semis; Women's D-III Team Indoor Championships Underway

It's been a brutal winter here in Michigan, but I am so glad I stuck with my plan to go to the Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, despite yet another snowstorm. I had an opportunity to talk at length with Sachia Vickery, Sara Daavettila, Lauren Embree, Caroline Dolehide, but my longest conversation was with Michael Joyce, the former Kalamazoo 18s champion, who coached Maria Sharapova and is now working with Jessica Pegula.   I know very little about coaching at the ATP/WTA Tour level, so I had a lot of questions, which Joyce invariably answered candidly and in detail. In Part 1 of my interview with Joyce for the Tennis Recruiting Network, we talked about how he began working with Sharapova, what he felt when they ended their collaboration, and his decision to continue coaching, this time with Pegula. He also makes interesting points about the role a coach and lessons have in developing a good player.  Part 2 will appear Saturday, with Joyce addressing the USTA, its place in American tennis, his father's influence and the famous Esquire magazine article about him by David Foster Wallace.

Ryan Harrison scored another big upset last night in Acapulco, beating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 4-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(4), despite never breaking the No. 6 seed's serve.  Ravi Ubha talked with Harrison recently for this revealing tennis.com article about his struggles the past several years and his optimism now after reuniting with Grant Doyle as his coach.

At the ITF Grade 2 in Argentina, it will be top seed Ulises Blanch facing No. 5 seed Nathan Ponwith in the all-American boys final.  Blanch defeated No. 8 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia 7-6(2), 7-5 in today's semifinals, and Ponwith beat No. 2 seed Manuel Pena Lopez of Argentina 6-2, 7-5.  Ponwith has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

In the girls final, Orange Bowl 16s champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who won the Grade 2 in Bolivia earlier this month, will play Julieta Estable of Argentina.  The top-seeded Estable came back to defeat No. 11 seed Sofia Sewing 1-6, 7-5, 7-5, while No. 4 seed Andreescu beat No. 2 seed Chihiro Muramatsu of Japan 2-6, 6-1, 7-5.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Oslo, qualifier Roscoe Bellamy defeated Sebastian Mermersky 7-6(12), 7-5 to reach the final, where he'll play fellow 15-year-old Maxwell Broville of France, who is unseeded.


CiCi Bellis has reached the semifinals of the $25,000 women's tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, where she'll play 18-year-old Ipek Soylu of Turkey. Bellis, seeded sixth, advanced when top seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain retired trailing 5-3 in the first set.  Soylu defeated No. 3 seed Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Soylu is one of those players who seems to perform better in professional events than in the juniors. She has a 299 WTA ranking, but won only one match in the two junior slams she played last year. This year she has already posted 13 wins (including qualifying) in the five $25,000 tournaments she's played.

Maria Sanchez and Sanaz Marand will meet in the other semifinal, after both won tough quarterfinals today.  Sanchez, seeded fourth, outlasted Mayo Hibi of Japan 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-0, while Marand, a finalist last week in Surprise, beat Bernarda Pera 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(5).

At the men's Futures in Sunrise, Jean-Yves Aubone is the sole American to reach the semifinals. The unseeded Aubone defeated Dennis Uspensky 6-4, 6-3 and will play No. 7 seed Thales Turini of Brazil Saturday.  It was an all-Brazil doubles final today, with Rafael Matos and Joao Menezes defeating Turini and Bruno Sant'anna 7-5, 2-6, 10-5.

The Division III Women's Team Indoor Championships hosted by Depauw are underway, with Johns Hopkins the top seed and two-time defending champion. No. 2 seed Carnegie Mellon, No. 3 seed Washington-St. Louis and No. 5 seed University of Chicago have reached the semifinals after today's first round.   The Tennis Recruiting Network's preview is available here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Notes From All Over

It's time to turn the focus back to juniors today, with a grab bag of items of note.

Eighteen-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia, a lucky loser in the ATP tournament in Dubai, already has claimed a win over Rafael Nadal, beating him last fall. Today Coric cruised past No. 3 seed Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals, where he'll get his shot at a third member of the Big 4, No. 2 seed Roger Federer. The ATP's account of the match is here.

Yesterday qualifier Ryan Harrison got his first win over a Top 10 player, beating defending champion and No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the ATP event in Acapulco 7-5, 4-6, 6-0. Harrison was 0-22 against Top 10 players prior to that win.  For more, see this ATP article.

Tiafoe and Kozlov are practice partners for the US Davis Cup team
The United States Davis Cup team for the tie with Great Britain was named on Tuesday. John Isner, the Bryan twins and Donald Young will take on Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, James Ward and Dominic Inglot in Glasgow, Scotland next weekend.  Stefan Kozlov and Francis Tiafoe will serve as the team's practice partners.  More on the tie and the team can be found at usta.com.

In ITF junior play, three Americans have reached the semifinals at the Grade 2 in Argentina, Ulises Blanch, Nathan Ponwith and Sofia Sewing.
Blanch, the top seed, will play No. 8 seed Alex Di Minaur of Australia and Ponwith, the No. 6 seed will play No. 2 seed Manuel Pena Lopez of Argentina.  Ponwith and Liam Caruana will meet Blanch and Pena Lopez in the doubles final. Sewing, a qualifier again this week, but seeded No. 11, will play top seed Julieta Estable of Argentina in the semifinals.

At the Grade 4 in El Salvador, Chase Colton(15) and Ally Miller Krasilnikov(1) have reached the semifinals, with Miller also through to the doubles final.

An American finalist is assured at the Grade 4 in Norway, with qualifier Roscoe Bellamy, who turned 15 last month, facing No. 7 seed Sebastian Mermersky, who will be 16 in April in the semifinals. In just the second ITF main draw Bellamy has played, he defeated the No. 2 seed in the opening round and the No. 8 seed in today's quarterfinals. Mermersky is the only seeded player remaining in the boys draw.

In the Pro Circuit event in Sunrise, Florida, 18-year-old wild card Dennis Uspensky reached his first career Futures quarterfinal, defeating Wil Spencer(Georgia) 6-2, 6-4.  Uspensky had lost his second round match in his previous three Futures, but he has been winning a lot of qualifying matches, and today he broke through to the final eight.  He will play former Florida State star Jean-Yves Aubone on Friday.  No. 3 seed Connor Smith is the only other American in the quarterfinals. He will play former Clemson star Yannick Madden of Germany, the No. 6 seed.

At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament Rancho Santa Fe, Maria Sanchez, Bernarda Pera and last week's finalist Sanaz Marand all advanced to the quarterfinals.  The match between CiCi Bellis and Usue Arconada was still in progress, but I will update later and tweet the result when I have it. (UPDATE: Bellis won 6-4, 6-4).

Draws for the BNP Paribas Open pre-qualifying tournament in Indian Wells have been released, with Chase Buchanan and Melanie Oudin the top seeds. This tournament, which starts Monday, gives the winner a spot in the qualifying draw.

The BNP Paribas Showdown, an exhibition in New York next month featuring Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov, will also showcase the talents of two young Americans. Ten-year-old Cori Gauff and 11-year-old Gabby Price have been invited to be a part of the festivities.  Last year Francis Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka were the featured juniors. For more on Gauff and Price, see this release.

Rosemary Campanella, a high school freshman in Maine, is seeking signatures for her petition to correct an inequity in playing status for those student-athletes who do not have a tennis team of their own to compete on.  You can read her explanation here and sign the petition to support her, with a meeting to address the issue coming up March 5th.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coach Jenny Hilt-Costello Responds to Open Letter of Bobby Bayliss

Last night I received an email from Jenny Hilt-Costello, the women's coach at Long Beach State, containing this response to Bobby Bayliss' Open Letter to College Tennis Fans published on Zootennis last week. It provides a perspective I believe the ITA has been too quick to dismiss.

A Response to Coach Bayliss’ February 17 letter and the ITA Arguments

To the College Tennis Community:

The recent letter from Coach Bayliss, which was published on ZooTennis, put a new voice to the same arguments the ITA has put forward throughout the three attempts to radically change the college tennis playing format. While Coach Bayliss is a respected head coach, his letter is filled with subjective reasoning as to why the proposed changes are needed.

His letter also included the same ITA rhetoric: (1) that opposition to their proposed changes is harmful to the sport and (2) that it should be the role of every head coach to simply accept the proposals made by a small committee lacking proper process and willfully ignoring what legitimate input it did receive.

Factually, this is what we know:

1) The NCAA Tennis Committee has requested that the length of the tennis championship at the final sight be addressed. The 32 team tournament (16 men/16 women) is extremely cumbersome to operate and often first round matches have ‘started’ as late as 11pm when delayed by weather or high competitive preceding matches. (Having served on the NCAA Committee, I can attest to this issue). The ITA was asked to investigate modifying the Championships at the final sight to avoid the excessively long days early in the tournament.

2) The ITA has proposed and forwarded to the NCAA on three occasions (2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2015) dramatic format changes that have been repeatedly tabled by the NCAA for failing to properly include the stakeholders (coaches, student-athletes) and for lack of support amongst those stakeholders.

3) The NCAA conducted an online survey of coaches and student-athletes the summer of 2014. The results, only recently published by ZooTennis, were overwhelmingly against the dramatic format changes (No-Ad, shortened doubles, no warm ups). Over 80% of male and female student-athletes are opposed. Over 70% of D1 women’s coaches are opposed. The ITA has never shared this survey publicly.

4) Following the fall 2014 NCAA tabling of their proposal, the ITA created the ‘Women’s Scoring Format Committee’ with a representative from each conference. Three conference calls were held. During those calls, no consensus was reached in support of any specific proposed change. However, there was overwhelming consensus in opposition to any change to the doubles format. The ITA never shared those results.

5) At the lightly attended ITA Convention this past December, the ITA announced that a 12-person ‘Athletic Director’s Committee’ had been created by the ITA during fall 2014. This committee of handpicked AD’s, retired AD’s and some other athletic administrators presented a report mirroring all previous ITA recommendations and justifications put forth in support of their dramatic format proposals. (It should be noted that this was an USTA/ITA created committee rather than a NCAA committee. When D1 coaches surveyed their own AD’s, the existence of this ITA AD’s committee was largely unknown to them).

6) During the ITA Convention D1 Coaches Roundtable this past December 2014, the ITA did not surface any information from the Women’s Scoring Format Committee nor the NCAA athlete/coaches survey. The ITA did, however, talk at length about the recommendations of the previously unknown ITA AD’s committee.

7) During the same meeting, the ITA opted to conduct an unannounced ‘vote’ of those present regarding their proposed format changes. With a total of 34 D1 coaches present, the vote was 25-0-9 in support. A total of 34 present out 500 Division 1 men’s and women’s coaches were included. Of those few in attendance and voting, many are the ITA committee members. This vote has since been used by the ITA as justification that support exists for their proposals.

8) Following the NCAA again tabling the ITA format changes on February 11th, the ITA has now instructed D1 programs that 2015 college tennis is to be played using different formats depending on conference rules. The NCAA tournament will be played using 2014 ‘traditional’ format yet the ITA has mandated the new format for non-conference matches unless both coaches agree otherwise. Thus athletes are now playing one set of rules in some non-conference matches than they will in others. Imagine college baseball being told to play 3 balls on Tuesday but 4 balls on Thursday?

Throughout this process, the ITA has presented a dart board of justifications as to why dramatic change is needed immediately. Since 2012, justifications have ranged from: (1) student-athlete welfare due to length of matches, (2) building fan interest in lieu of real marketing, (3) saving college tennis programs facing cuts due to the shift of money toward basketball/football, (4) a shortened format will result is TV coverage that will massively grow college tennis interest, (5) possibly saving college tennis as a whole because the format changes will make tennis more ‘relevant’ on campus. Not one of these justifications has been presented with any research or objective statistical support.

The most recent push, as also forwarded by Coach Bayliss, is that failure to support the ITA proposal is treason and is “doing damage, perhaps irrevocably, to our great game.” After three failed attempts, the ITA is now resorting to intimidation and name calling.

Rather than getting into subjective name calling or accusations, I present these closing points:

• The NCAA request for a change to the 32 team finals has not been addressed by the ITA. Mirroring the baseball format of 4-team regional, a 2-team super regional match and then 16 teams (8/8) at the finals would satisfactorily address the NCAA’s issue without ‘any’ need to change the traditional scoring format.

• The ITA has continually ignored/buried all opposing information to their proposal. To date, the NCAA has made no statement that college tennis is in danger. The ITA needs to stick to facts, present factually supported arguments and stop with the scare tactics and bullying of coaches in opposition.

• The ITA needs to conduct proper process where significant format changes are proposed. Sell your case, properly poll athletes/coaches/conferences and propose one change at a time. Perhaps there might be support of some change that could improve college tennis. A step by step process needs to be conducted and the stakeholders need to decide; not the ITA Committee unilaterally.

• Men’s Tennis and Women’s Tennis do not have to play the same format. There is already precedent for different variations as men’s tennis plays ‘lets’ while women don’t. At the professional level, men play 3 of 5 sets at the majors while the women play 2 of 3. The ITA has received no NCAA mandate requiring both genders to play the same formats.

We all want a strong future for the great sport of college tennis. College tennis needs leadership that will represent the sport, the coaches, and the athletes in a transparent and inclusive manner. The stakeholders are college tennis. The ITA committee is not.
Jenny Hilt-Costello
Head Coach
Long Beach State

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Q and A with Caroline Dolehide; Day, Higuchi Among Rancho Santa Fe Qualifiers; First Computer Rankings Name USC Men, UNC Women No. 1

When I was in Midland earlier this month I spoke with 16-year-old US Open Junior semifinalist Caroline Dolehide about her experience at her first high-level pro event, her thoughts on college vs. professional tennis, Novak Djokovic's influence on her game and her move to online schooling. That interview can be found at the Tennis Recruiting Network.



The final round of qualifying at the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe, California is now complete, with 17-year-old Emma Higuchi and 15-year-old Kayla Day among those earn a place in the main draw.  Day, who has played only two other Pro Circuit tournaments, both last year at this time and each time losing in qualifying, beat three fellow teenagers to advance: Riley McQuaid, No. 12 seed Ellie Halbauer(both in three sets) and today, unseeded Charlotte Petrick of Canada, 6-4, 6-2.

After beating former Clemson start Kerri Wong in the first round, Higuchi took out top seed Chloe Paquet of France(WTA 375) Monday, and advanced to the main draw of a $25,000 for the second straight week, having made it through in Surprise as well, by defeating Oleksandra Korashvili of Ukraine 7-6(4), 6-1. Higuchi still has some work to do in matching her best Pro Circuit showing however, as she reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier last year in Rancho Santa Fe.

Katherine Sebov of Canada, Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia and Mari Osaka of Japan are other teens who reached the main draw through qualifying.

At the $10,000 men's Futures in Sunrise, Florida, Tommy Paul and Dennis Uspensky both advanced to the second round. The 17-year-old Paul, who received a special exemption from qualifying due to reaching the quarterfinals last week in Plantation, beat Temur Ishmailov of Uzbekistan 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. The 18-year-old Uspensky beat fellow wild card Sekou Bangoura (Florida) 6-2, 6-4.  The remaining 11 first round matches will be played on Wednesday.

The first computerized team rankings were released today by the ITA, with the Oklahoma men dropping to No. 2 and Southern California retaking its spot at the top. The North Carolina women retained the No. 1 ranking they earned with their win at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. As usual, the first computer rankings provide some surprises, with the Virginia men dropping to No. 11 and the Miami women to No. 20 for example, but generally those issues work themselves out over the course of the next two months. Also check out College Tennis Today, which has discovered two errors in the ITA's calculation of the men's team rankings.

The Top 10 Men's Teams:
1. Southern Cal
2. Oklahoma
3. Illinois
4. Duke
5. Baylor
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Ohio State
9. Texas A&M
10. Mississippi

The Top 10 Women's Teams:
1. North Carolina
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. Southern Cal
5. Virginia
6. Baylor
7. Stanford
8. Cal
9. Alabama
10. Michigan

Virginia has nabbed the top spots in both the men's and women's individual singles rankings.

The Top 10 men:
1. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia
2. Ryan Shane, Virginia
3. Mackenzie McDonald, UCLA
4. Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas
5. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Louisville
6. Yannick Hanfmann, Southern Cal
7. Axel Alvarez, Oklahoma
8. Nicolas Alvarez, Duke
9. Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
10. Brayden Schnur, North Carolina

The Top 10 women:
1. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
2. Maegan Manasse, Cal
3. Robin Anderson, UCLA
4. Carol Zhao, Stanford
5. Brooke Austin, Florida
6. Lauren Herring, Georgia
7. Chanelle Van Nguyen, UCLA
8. Jamie Loeb, North Carolina
9. Josie Kuhlman, Florida
10. Stephanie Wagner, Miami

The top-ranked doubles teams are Clemson's Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies and Vanderbilt's Austin and Rhys Johnson.

For the entire list of men's and women's team and individual rankings, see the ITA website.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Playing Pro Circuit Events as an Amateur


When I went to the $100,000 Midland Dow Corning Tennis Classic earlier this month, a notice taped to the tournament desk caught my eye. Entitled "USTA Amateur Reimbursement Procedures," you can read it in its entirety below.

With more and more juniors playing in Futures events--the men are already into their ninth Futures tournament here in the US, and the 128 qualifying draws always attract junior players--I thought posting this notice could help answer questions players, parents and coaches may have about how this is being handled this year.  Because the NCAA passed a special rule for tennis in 2013, allowing prospective student-athletes to earn $10,000 per calendar year without proving offsetting expenses, the process has been simplified, but enrolled student athletes are not included in that rule.

USTA Amateur Reimbursement Procedures

A prospective student-athletes is defined as someone who has not yet graduated from high school, but hopes to attend a college or university and compete on an intercollegiate tennis team

1. Prospective Student-Athletes(PSA) no long have to declare amateur status before event

2. PSA is allowed to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year

3. Non-American PSA WILL have the appropriate tax withheld from his/her prize money

4. PSA does not have to complete a Prospective Student-Athlete form until he/she has reached the $10,000 limit. It is the responsibility of the PSA to inform the supervisor when he/she has reached the limit and then the PSA must fill out the form and receive only monies for actual and necessary expenses. (Allowable expenses are listed on the back of the PSA form).

Currently Enrolled Student-Athletes (SA)
A student-athlete is defined as someone who has enrolled in a college or university and is participating on an intercollegiate tennis team. If a player has taken time off before completing eligibility, and wishes to remain eligible to return to college, this player will still be considered a student-athlete

1. Must complete the SA form for every event. The maximum prize money amount an individual can receive is based on round reached provided this amount does not exceed actual and necessary expenses. (Allowable expenses are listed on the back of the SA form).

2. The SA may count all days while competing in the event. NOTE: "While competing in the event" would normally mean that reimbursement may begin once the participant arrives on-site and registers for the event and would include the day(s) of competition, day(s) in between competition, as well as a day prior to and after the competition for traveling purposes, so 2 extra days for expenses.

3. NO tax will be withheld for any currently enrolled student-athlete

4. If the university pays all expenses for the SA then the check may be made payable to the university for all monies earned and the SA does not have to fill out the amateur reimbursement form. The university is responsible for keeping records of expenses for all their athletes.
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Although I've tried, I have not been able to locate the USTA forms referred to above, but they are probably identical to the ITA forms, which can be found on their website.  Here is the PDF of the Prospective Student-athlete form (needed only if the $10,000 calendar year prize money threshold has been exceeded) and here is the PDF of the Enrolled Student-athlete form, which must be completed at every event.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Florida Women Beat Stanford 4-3 to Extend Home Winning Streak to 138; Trinity Wins Division III Men's Team Indoor Title; Marand Falls in Surprise Final


Arguably the best rivalry in Division I college tennis resumed today in Gainesville, with the second-ranked Florida women getting past No. 10 Stanford 4-3.

The Gators now have extended their home winning streak to 138 matches, last losing at Lindner Stadium on May 15, 2004, to Miami, in the second round of the NCAAs.  Florida has had close calls, including Stanford's last visit in 2012, when then freshman Brianna Morgan defeated Stanford's Stacey Tan to clinch the 4-3 win for the Gators.

Morgan was called on for similar heroics today, and she came through again. Although Florida had dropped the doubles point, they won all six first sets in singles, with the bottom of the lineup finishing off their opponents to give Florida a 3-1 lead. But at the top, Stanford forced a third set in all three matches, and Carol Zhao beat Florida's Brooke Austin 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 at line 1 to cut the lead to 3-2.  Florida freshman Josie Kuhlman looked poised to end it at one 2, taking a 5-0 lead in the third set tiebreaker of her match with Taylor Davidson, but Davidson came all the way back, saving three match points at 6-3 to post a 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(8) victory.

Fortunately for Florida, Morgan had earned a 5-3 third set lead over Caroline Doyle at line 3 and closed out the match 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 to keep the streak in tact and send over 1000 Florida fans home happy.

After shutting out a struggling Duke team on Friday, Florida can only be pleased with their weekend's work, but another challenge awaits, with No. 8 Alabama visiting Gainesville next Friday.

For more on their win over Stanford, see the Florida website.

While the weather for the Florida - Stanford match may have been beautiful, few other sites had that good fortune.  At the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, the finals were played indoors at Auburn, with the University of South Florida men and Alabama women taking the titles.  USF defeated Princeton 4-0, while Alabama downed Texas Tech 4-1.  See the tournament website for more.  

In other important non conference matches today--all played indoors--the top-ranked North Carolina women defeated No. 15 Michigan 5-2 in Ann Arbor. In men's Top 20 play, No. 1 Oklahoma defeated No. 8 North Carolina 4-1, and No. 5 Baylor beat No. 12 UCLA 4-0.

The ITA Division III Men's Team Indoor championship went to top seed Trinity(Texas). The Tigers defeated No. 3 seed Emory 5-4 in the final Sunday at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter Minnesota, collecting their first Division III team title in the process.  Charlie Curtis clinched for Trinity.  Complete results are available at the ITA tournament page.
============================
2015 ITA National Indoor Championship Match
#3 Trinity University 5, #6 Emory University 4
Feb 22, 2015
Singles
1. Adam Krull (TUM) def. Alex Ruderman (EU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. Aaron Skinner (TUM) def. Eric Halpern (EU) 6-1, 6-7, 6-1
3. Rafe Mosetick (EU) def. Jordan Mayer (TUM) 6-4, 6-4
4. Ian Wagner (EU) def. Clayton Neiss (TUM) 6-2, 6-4
5. Charlie Curtis (TUM) def. Scott Rubinstein (EU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Josh Goodman (EU) def. Chas Mayer (TUM) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles
1. Alex Ruderman/Ian Wagner (EU) def. Jordan Mayer/Aaron Skinner (TUM) 8-5
2. Adam Krull/Clayton Neiss (TUM) def. Scott Rubinstein/Eric Halpern (EU) 9-7
3. Chas Mayer/Charlie Curtis (TUM) def. Rafe Mosetick/David Omsky (EU) 8-6

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (,3,2,4,1,5,6)
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In the Pro Circuit events in the United States, former North Carolina Tar Heel Sanaz Marand came up short in her quest for a second career singles title, losing to Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the $25,000 tournament in Surprise, Arizona. Neither player was seeded.

The doubles championship went to unseeded Kaitlyn Christian(Southern Cal) and Jacqueline Cako(Arizona State), who defeated unseeded Maria Sanchez(Southern Cal) and Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6-4, 5-7, 10-7. It's the 23-year-old Christian's first doubles title above the $10,000 level.

At the $10,000 men's Futures in Plantation, No. 8 seed Patricio Heras of Argentina defeated 18-year-old Joao Menezes of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 in the singles final.  Former Ole Miss star Catalin Gard teamed with Darian King of Barbados to win the doubles title. The No. 4 seeds, who won all four of their matches in straight sets, beat No. 3 seeds Heras and Juan Galarz of Argentina 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

This week's Pro Circuit events in the US are a $25,000 women's tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, California, and another $10,000 men's Futures tournament in Sunrise, Florida.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sanford Wins ITF Grade 2 in Chile; Young into Delray Beach Final; Texas A&M Beats No. 1 Oklahoma, Ohio State Gets 200th Straight Home Win Again


Alexandra Sanford won her second ITF title today at the Grade 2 Copa Milo in Chile. The second-seeded Sanford, who won the Grade 4 ITF title in Wichita Falls last October, defeated No. 9 seed Dominque Schaefer, who lives in the US, but plays for Peru, 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4.  This is the 16-year-old Ohio resident's third tournament in the South American clay court swing, with her only two losses to Argentina's Julieta Estable, who is currently ranked No. 41 and was not in the draw this week.

The boys title went to Chile's Marcelo Barrios Vera, the No. 2 seed, who beat No. 13 seed Geronimo Espin Busleiman of Argentina 6-1 , 6-2 in the final.

Donald Young, now 25, has been a professional tennis player for more than ten years now, many of them under the pressure of being anointed "the next big thing." He's gone through some discouraging slumps and endured some harsh criticism, but he's continued to compete wherever his ranking has dictated he must.  After reaching the semifinals in Memphis last week, Young has gone a step farther in Delray Beach, defeating Bernard Tomic of Australia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in today's semifinal.  He will play in his second career ATP final against No. 4 seed Ivo Karlovic on Sunday. For more on Young's win, see the ATP website.  For more on Young's path to this point, see this article by Nick Nemeroff for The Tennis Island.

Yesterday was a crazy day in Division I college tennis, headed by No. 13 Texas A&M's 4-3 victory in College Station over Oklahoma, the top-ranked team in the country after their men's indoor championship. 

No. 10 Texas dropped No. 8 North Carolina in Austin, also by a 4-3 score, and on the women's side, No. 15 Michigan defeated No. 6 Baylor 4-1 in Ann Arbor and No. 11 Southern Cal beat No. 5 Cal 4-3 in Berkeley, the only upset pulled off on the road.

Today, the Stanford men got a big win with the No. 39 Cardinal beating No. 14 Cal 4-3 in Berkeley.  And in Columbus, No. 9 Ohio State beat No. 17 Notre Dame 6-1, their 200th consecutive win at home.  If that sounds familiar, it's because Ohio State originally reported the Buckeyes had won 200 straight at home after their win over South Florida two weeks ago, but Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today did some serious sleuthing and determined Ohio State had actually won only 199 with the win over the Bulls. Although I don't feel he was given enough credit for discovering this, Ohio State's recap of the Notre Dame win does mention the error.

And by all means, if you are a Division I men's college tennis fan, read Bobby's blog.  In addition to making predictions on the big matches of the day and providing links to live scoring and streaming,  he provides recaps if he has live streams to watch (he reported on the deciding match of the Cal-Stanford dual today) and he knows his stuff.

Friday, February 20, 2015

D III Men's Team Indoor Underway; Update on D I Formats for Conference Play; Sanford, Schaefer in Grade 2 Final in Chile

Just four days after the completion of the Division I Men's Team Indoor in Chicago, the ITA Division III Men's Indoor gets underway with eight teams traveling to St. Peter Minnesota, where Gustavus Adolphus is the tournament's host.  Two matches have been completed today, with No. 2 seed and defending champion Washington St. Louis just getting by No. 7 Kenyon 5-4, and No. 3 Emory defeating No. 6 Carnegie Mellon by the same score. The top seed is Trinity, who is playing the eighth-seeded hosts this evening, with No. 5 Case Western against No. 4 Johns Hopkins in the other night match.

The bloggers at Division3Tennis.com have written a preview for the Tennis Recruiting Network, available here.  If you want even more inside information on what to look for in Minnesota, check out their blog.

The Men's Team Indoor All-tournament team was announced by the ITA, with Oklahoma's Alex Ghilea the Most Outstanding Player. The complete team can be found here.  And I want to thank Jonathan Kelley again for his outstanding coverage of that tournament for this site. It's great to have a fresh set of eyes on the college tennis beat, and I know he enhanced my enjoyment of the tournament.

With last week's decision by the NCAA championship cabinet to table the ITA format approved and put forth by the NCAA Division I tennis committee, information on the format being played by which genders and which conferences has been hard to come by.  The ITA ruled that all remaining nonconference matches would be played in the no-ad, one set to 6 in doubles format, but if the two coaches agree otherwise, they can play any format they want.  Apparently Georgia Tech(ACC) and Georgia(SEC) have agreed to play the 2014 NCAA format (8 game pro set in doubles, regular scoring) for their match Saturday, according to this preview, but the North Carolina men (ACC) are playing in Texas(Big 12) tonight and they appear to be playing the ITA format, with the doubles point decided in six-game sets.

From what I understand, these major conferences/genders are playing ITA format for the rest of the season, including their conference tournaments, switching to NCAA format only when the NCAAs begin.

SEC Men
Big 12 Men
Pac 12 Men
Big 12 Women

Unless I have misunderstood, teams in these conferences will play the NCAA format for the remainder of the year. If anyone has information otherwise, please let me know in the comments.

SEC Women
Big 10 Women
Big 10 Men
ACC Men
ACC Women
Pac 12 Women

Schaefer and Sewing also won the Eddie Herr 16s doubles title last year
At the ITF Grade 2 in Chile, Alexandra Sanford, the No. 2 seed, will take on No. 9 seed Dominique Schaefer of Peru in the final.  Sanford defeated Gabby Pollner(7)  6-1, 6-4 and Schaefer downed No. 8 seed Sofia Sewing 6-4, 06, 7-6(4).   Schaefer and Sewing, the No. 3 seeds, teamed to defeat top seeds Pollner and Sanford in the doubles final 6-2, 4-6, 10-2.

Jack Barber and Liam Caruana won the doubles title, with the No. 3 seeds defeating top seeds Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile and Juan Rosas of Peru 7-6(5), 7-5.  No. 2 seed Barrios Vera and Geronimo Espin Busleiman of Argentina, the No. 13 seed, will meet in the boys singles final Saturday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three US Girls Reach Semifinals in ITF Grade 2 in Chile; Paul Advances to Another Futures Quarterfinals; Bellis' Opponent Defaulted in Surprise $25K

Three US girls advanced to the semifinals of the ITF Grade 2 in Chile, with the fourth, Dominique Schaefer, who now plays for Peru, a longtime resident of California.

The ITF head-to-head feature says No. 8 seed Sofia Sewing and No. 9 seed Schaefer "have never met before" but while that may be true in ITF competition, it isn't the case in major international 16s competition. Sewing, who went through qualifying in Chile this week, beat Schaefer in the final of the 16s Eddie Herr last December, and the following week Schaefer defeated Sewing en route to the Orange Bowl 16s final.

The other semifinal features Gabby Pollner, the No. 7 seed, against No. 2 seed Alexandra Sanford, who have met previously in ITF competition. Sanford beat Pollner last fall in the third round of the Grade 4 in Wichita Falls, Texas.  Pollner and Sanford are playing doubles together, as are Schaefer and Sewing, and both teams have reached the finals.

In the boys draw, the only American to reach the quarterfinals was No. 10 seed Sami Kirberg, who lost to No. 2 seed Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile 7-5, 6-2 today.  Jack Barber and Liam Caruana, the No. 3 seeds, have advanced to the boys doubles final, where they'll play Barrios Vera and Juan Rosas of Peru, the No. 1 seeds.

In Pro Circuit action today, Tommy Paul reached his third Futures quarterfinal of the year in Plantation, avenging his second round loss last week to former Clemson star Yannick Maden of Germany, the No. 4 seed.  Paul defeated Maden 7-5, 6-1 to set up another rematch, this time against No. 8 seed Patricio Heras of Argentina, who kept Paul from reaching his first Futures final two weeks ago in Palm Coast by defeating him in two tiebreakers.   Eighteen-year-old Joao Menezes of Brazil took out top seed Antal Van Der Duim of the Netherlands and will play qualifier Naoki Nakagawa of Japan, also 18 years old. Seventeen-year-old Orlando Luz of Brazil has also reached the quarterfinals.


At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Surprise, Arizona, a default overshadowed another great day for American players, six of whom have reached the quarterfinals.  That includes CiCi Bellis, who advanced when her opponent, No. 8 seed Susanne Celik of Sweden, was defaulted for hitting a ball in anger that struck an official on the next court. Celik had let a big lead get away, no doubt leading to her frustration.  For more details, see the Twitter timeline of Jeff Sikes, who was at the match.

In addition to Bellis, Caitlin Whoriskey (who turned 27 today), Lauren Embree, Maria Sanchez(7), Sanaz Marand and qualifier Jessica Failla also reached the quarterfinals, as did 18-year-old Francoise Abanda of Canada. Sanchez is the only seed remaining.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Daavettila Chooses North Carolina; Catching Up on Junior, Pro Circuit News; Oklahoma Moves to No. 1 after Team Indoor Title

What with the Men's Team Indoor and the Bayliss letter, I've definitely fallen behind in tracking the action outside the college realm.

When I was in Midland two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to talk with Sara Daavettila, who won the $100K wild card tournament, earning a place in the main draw.  Because Daavettila rarely plays USTA National tournaments and never plays ITF tournaments, I had only seen her play at the Michigan High School championships last spring. The gap between that level and the calibre of players in Midland is wide, but Daavettila was able to bridge it, testing No. 5 seed Anna Tatishvili in the first round before falling 6-4, 6-2.  Daavettila has verbally committed to North Carolina for the fall of 2016, explaining the reasons behind her decision in this article I wrote for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

At the Delray Beach ATP event, the news yesterday revolved around the success of a trio of teenagers, who reached the second round. ITF World junior No. 1 Andrey Rublev of Russia (d. Dudia Sela of Israel), Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia (d. Filip Krajinovic of Serbia) and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan (d. Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands) are the first three teenagers to reach the second round of a 32-draw ATP event since four made the Indianapolis tournament's second round in 2007. Rublev and Kokkinakis lost today--Rublev to Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-3 and Kokkinakis to Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2)--while Nishioka plays his second round match Thursday.

Stefan Kozlov, who, like Rublev, received a wild card into the Delray Beach main draw, lost to Tim Smyczek 7-5, 6-2  in the first round, but he is still among those featured in this ESPN article on seven teenagers having success on the ATP Challenger and World tour.

I don't believe I mentioned the first Challenger title for Bjorn Fratangelo, which came last week in at the $50,000 tournament in Launceston, Australia. The 21-year-old from Pittsburgh is now at a career-high of 172 in the ATP rankings.  An article about Fratangelo's win, and the disappointment that preceded it, can be found at The Tennis Nerds website. Mitchell Krueger won his first Challenger doubles title in Launceston, teaming with Radu Albot of Moldova for the victory.

This week on the USTA Pro Circuit, a raft of juniors have advanced to second round play on Thursday.  At the $10,000 Plantation Futures, wild cards Tommy Paul and Dennis Uspensky are US teens advancing, while qualifiers Naoki Nakagawa of Japan and Orlando Luz of Brazil, along with wild card Marcelo Zormann, also of Brazil, are the international teens who earned first round wins.


At the women's $25,000 tournament in Surprise, Arizona, Kelly Chen, Duke recruit Jessica Ho, CiCi Bellis, and USC recruit Jessica Failla all picked up victories today, with Canadian Francoise Abanda joining her fellow North American teens in the winner's circle. Failla, whose WTA ranking is 1113, defeated 27-year-old Shuko Aoyama of Japan, the No. 4 seed, 6-3, 7-5.  Aoyama's WTA ranking is 182.  Abanda took out No. 2 seed Jovana Jaksic of Serbia 7-6(8), 3-6, 6-4.  Top seed Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal lost her first round match yesterday against Caitlin Whoriskey, meaning No. 3 seed Johanna Konta is the only one of the top five seeds to reach the second round.

The new team rankings came out on Tuesday, with National Indoor champions Oklahoma unsurprisingly moving into the top spot on the men's side.  The men's top 10:

1. University of Oklahoma
2. University of Southern California
3. University of Georgia
4. University of Virginia
5. Baylor University
6. University of Illinois
7. Duke University
8. North Carolina 
9. Ohio State University 
10. University of Texas

Baylor, the host of this year's NCAAs, was the big mover of the week, going from tied for 10th to 5th. The Bears do not, however, have a fan in Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim, who in his weekly mailbag today called their roster "simply unethical" regarding the number of international players on the team.

The women's rankings were little changed from last week, with the top 10 staying the same:

1. North Carolina
2. Florida
3. Georgia
4. UCLA
5. Cal
6. Baylor
7. Virginia
8. Alabama
9. Miami
10. Stanford

The ITA also released on Friday the All-Tournament team from the Indoor Championships, with Caroline Price of North Carolina named Most Outstanding Player. See this announcement for the entire team.

There were no individual rankings this week. See the ITA rankings page for the full team rankings.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Six Reasons I'm Disappointed in Bobby Bayliss' Open Letter

I just read my post from last August on why I'll no longer be traveling to cover Division I college tennis, and I suggest you read it if you are not familiar with my objections to no-ad scoring in tennis. Since I wrote that post, I have had dozens of in person discussions with Division I college tennis coaches when they are recruiting at junior tournaments, and nothing any of them has said has changed my mind about no-ad, although I have been swayed on the question as to whether a format change could help the sport on the Division I level.

I have published Bayliss' letter at his request, which he said would be "in the interest of fairness and full disclosure." I will add that I honored his request, knowing full well that under no circumstances would the ITA ever consider publishing my response or any other article that is against its format change.

I know I can't be convinced that this scoring change, which is essentially robbing the great sport of tennis of one of its most significant and potent features without any publicly available data to support its proponents claims, is the best solution to the issues facing Division I tennis. And that is what the ITA, in the form of its Operating Committee, has insisted on.  I do not wish to in any way diminish the great career that Bayliss has had and what his lifelong support of the game has contributed to Division I college tennis. But his letter disappoints me for several reasons:
  1. It is full of assumptions about the elimination of tennis and other non-revenue sports based on his reading of the tea leaves of the new governing structure of the NCAA. He may be right, but very few people in Division I sports can say with any confidence now how this is going to play out. 
  2. Relying on the input of 12 college athletic directors and administrators, input that has never been released in any formal document, in a sport that has 325 schools sponsoring Division I tennis is one obvious problem. The lack of reference to any input from prospective, current or former student athletes is another.
  3. Suggesting that people who don't agree with no-ad or the shortening of the doubles point just don't have the necessary information (he closed his email to me saying I need to be "better informed"), implying he has that requisite information, but then failing to share any specifics.
  4. Casting any disagreement with the changes as divisive, and opponents as villains attempting to thwart the ITA's heroic efforts. Trying to save a sport by changing it so drastically is guaranteed to alienate many. But the ITA has gone down that path, and despite disagreement with or skepticism of its premises by many coaches and student athletes and fans, the ITA continues to push a solution a majority do not want.  See the results of the survey of coaches and student athletes here.
  5. Calling open and passionate debate on an issue "dirty laundry" and attempting to suppress it in the name of a unanimity that doesn't exist. I agree Division I college tennis looks bad, but when the ITA takes such a radical and unyielding position, without building a consensus of student-athletes, coaches and fans, there is bound to be fallout. It is unavoidable if you live in a country or attend a school where freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas is sought and valued.
  6. His consistent failure to distinguish between college tennis and Division I college tennis. There are more than 800 college tennis programs in the United States who are not looking for format or scoring changes to keep them viable.
I will close with a quote from current ATP Player Council President Eric Butorac, who played his college tennis at Division III Gustavus Adolphus College (this quote was in reference to the first set of changes proposed by the NCAA tennis committee back in 2012. The full article is here)

"In professional sports, we are entertainment," he said. "We in doubles, we do ours strictly because we’re in the entertainment industry. That’s why we changed the format, to get more fans, to get more singles players playing doubles along with their singles.

"Now, I don’t think college needs to be in the entertainment industry, unless they’re going to generate income and massive fan bases, or get a massive ESPN contract to help fund the programs. If that’s the case, then let’s make it more of an entertainment industry. But if it’s not entertainment, let’s focus on the competition and the development of these guys for the future."

An Open Letter to College Tennis Fans from Bobby Bayliss

To the College Tennis Fan:

I have spent my entire adult life involved in college tennis. It began when I flunked the draft physical in the spring of 1966 and realized I was not going to Viet Nam. I told my coach, Leonard McNeil, and the next day he told me that he wanted to take a sabbatical leave and turn the program over to me for a year at age 21. What a career defining opportunity! Quickly, in 1968 I was named men’s tennis coach at the US Naval Academy and served for 44 years as a head coach at Navy, MIT and from 1987-2013 here at Notre Dame. It is all I have ever done and all I ever wanted to do. The reason for recounting this is to establish that I have, as the saying goes, “some skin in the game”. I live, love, and eat college tennis. Because of my love affair with this great game of ours I hate to see college tennis damaged and that is what has been happening in the last year or so. As we know, some people have been openly and highly critical of the recent decision to adopt no-ad scoring and shorten doubles from 8 games to 6. Everyone has the right to express criticism, particularly if they too have “skin in the game”, but the time has come to jump back on the train before it leaves the station.

What critics of the newly adopted format (hereafter known as the ITA format) don’t realize is that they are doing damage, perhaps irrevocably, to our great game. Why did the ITA go down this path? Herein lies the key to understanding how and why we ar5rived at our current destination. Forces far beyond the scope of college tennis and financial in nature are rapidly descending upon the world of college sports. Litigation, an amped-up arms race, and an out-of-control economic climate are creating a landscape that, by all responsible accounts, will change the face of college athletics forever. There certainly is not room in this discussion for the litany of factors creating this financial crisis. They include costs under the names of unionization, cost of attendance, financial profit from players’ likenesses, concussion study, additional nutritional supplements, and many more. The result: revenue sports are going to get bigger and bigger pieces of the pie than heretofore allocated. College athletic programs are headed, Katy bar the door, for gigantic shortfalls of money. The likely answer to this increasing call for more financial support for the revenue sports: dropping non-revenue sports. These facts are beyond deniability and rapidly becoming reality. Legislation is being proposed to drop the required number of sports significantly. The battle for the survival of Olympic sports is at hand. Game on!

If the veracity of this scenario was in question, it has been confirmed and re-confirmed by a group of 12 college athletic directors and administrators from significant and diverse universities who met with the ITA Board and Operating Committee in December at the ITA Convention in Naples, FL. We were advised that if we did not shorten our format and make it more fan friendly that our sport would be one likely led to the chopping block. We heard similar advice from the USTA and the NCAA Tennis Committee. It was time to face the music, and the ITA worked through a very painstaking and transparent process to find ways to make our game fit into the changing prism of 21st century life. Actively seeking input from our membership, the process worked its way through “town hall” meetings in each ITA Regional event, questionnaires, and straw votes at our convention and the NCAA championships, among other ways of seeking workable solutions. Naturally some of our membership preferred the status quo and no change, but many of these coaches had not been the beneficiary of the advice and warnings passed our way. I, too would have voted for no change had I not been convinced of the catastrophic consequences facing college tennis. It is in this spirit that I try to understand the critics. As I have tried to explain to some of my good friends who are strongly opposed to change, “No-ad tennis is far better than NO tennis”. No one with current knowledge denies the coming train-wreck that will cause many sports to be dropped.

How do we save college tennis? We have been told, time and again, that college tennis must be relevant on our campuses, relevant in our community, and attractive to fans, both within the campus and outside its borders. Much needs to be said about these topics and how they can be achieved, but the significance of my words here applies only to how we make it more fan-friendly while still holding fast to our traditions. The ITA Format slightly reduces the length of a dual match and guarantees that there will be more big points played [“no pressure, no diamonds”]. It also holds onto doubles, something most coaches wanted. Certainly more drama will be enticing to fans. As for the added pressure, it would seem that this will enable players to handle pressure in a better way. So my thought is that we all need to be on the same bus. We all love and advocate for college tennis. Let’s work together to make this sport one of the most popular on the campus. There is no place for negativity if we want to survive the coming colossus. We need to send the message loud and clear to our administrators that we hear you and are on board. Traditionalists fought the 3 point shot, the 35 (men) and 25 (women) second shot clock, but basketball thrives today. Similarly they said the designated hitter would be the ruin of baseball. Defensive backs can no longer be physical with wide receivers, creating more offense for fans. All of these sports adapted and are more successful. We can take our product – the college dual match – into the 21st century and give it the place it deserves, or we can continue to air our dirty laundry and do it even more harm. I stand for the survival and future of college tennis. Join me!

Sincerely,
Bobby Bayliss

Monday, February 16, 2015

Oklahoma Wins First National Team Championship at the ITA Men's Indoors



©2015 Jonathan Kelley for zootennis--
Chicago, IL--

John Roddick was a happy man. As he walked onto Midtown Athletic Club's court 5 to congratulate his University of Oklahoma players for winning the 2015 ITA Division I National Men’s Indoor Championship – the first national title in the team’s history – he couldn’t suppress a huge smile. Six years ago, he arrived in Norman to try to lift a program that was well outside the Top 20 (albeit with a sparkling new facility) to new heights. So far, he’s accomplished just that.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” said Roddick. “These things are years and years in the making as far as effort goes and trying to do things right, and guys working hard and having good attitudes. It seems like a long time to get here, so when you do, you have to enjoy it.”

Many college tennis aficionados were doubtful that the #2-ranked Sooners could pull off the upset against the top-ranked University of Southern California, which beat Oklahoma to win last spring’s NCAA championship. Given their opponent’s strength throughout the line-up and experience in winning championships (5 of the last 6 NCAAs as well as the 2012 National Indoors), the Sooners’ prospects seemed marginal, at best.

Yet when sophomore Alex Ghilea (#63) broke junior Max de Vroome (who clinched last year’s NCAA title) to win #5 singles 6-3 4-6 6-3, it became clear that depth was now a strength for Oklahoma, and experience in winning was quickly becoming one as well.

This was the second consecutive day that Ghilea provided the winning margin for Oklahoma. The Romanian, described as “the Machine” by captain Dane Webb and “Beast Mode” by Roddick, also clinched the semifinal against Baylor with a dramatic victory.

Ghilea was also a hero at #3 doubles, where he and fellow Romanian sophomore Florin Bragusi staved off four match points to help record one of the more improbable doubles comebacks in recent memory.

Southern Cal got off to a great start in doubles. Its #2 team of de Vroome and Eric Johnson breezed to a 6-1 win over Andrew Harris and Spencer Papa. Its #1 team of Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz (also the #1-ranked team in the country) got a tough hold from 0-30 to go up 5-3* against Webb and Axel Alvarez; while at 3, Nick Crystal and Connor Farren overcame an early break to lead 5-2*. But then Southern Cal got tight.

Or, in the words of head coach Peter Smith, “We choked.”

“You can sugarcoat it all you want. We got tight. That’s life – that’s sports. In the end, that’s what makes sports so great. Winning’s great and losing sucks.”

After an Oklahoma hold, Crystal served for the match at 5-3*, 40-0. But on the team’s first match point, Crystal double faulted. Three points later, on deciding point, he double faulted again. In all, Oklahoma won 11 points in a row starting with the first match point, and ultimately broke for 6*-5. Southern Cal reached break point in the final game at 30-40 but the Sooners held their ground to even the doubles point at 1-1.

While that was going on, Hanfmann and Quiroz were able to reach two match points of their own at 5*-4, 40-30 on Hanfmann’s serve. However, a huge backhand return by Webb took it to deciding point and a netted approach volley from Hanfmann got Southern Cal back to 5-5. “We played a nails return game there,” said Webb.

Alvarez and Quiroz traded holds to take it to a tiebreak. There, two double faults helped put the Trojans in a hole and a netted return from Hanfmann gave Oklahoma four match points. Southern Cal saved two of them but on the third, Alvarez hit a forehand return winner to put Oklahoma up 1-0 with a huge amount of momentum.


“Having the doubles point was huge, because it gives you a little margin for error,” said Roddick.

Oklahoma rode that momentum to huge leads on several courts. At 3 singles, #31 Webb won the first 7 games of his match with huge serving and multiple winners off both the forehand and backhand sides. He would be the first off court, beating #20 Jonny Wang 6-0, 6-4 to give Oklahoma a 2-0 lead. Webb, who finished the tournament 3-0 (his match against North Carolina’s Brett Clark was suspended with Webb leading 3-0 in the third set), sprinted over to court 4 to watch freshman Papa.

Papa was playing well, but was unfortunate to have to face unranked Eric Johnson, who had perhaps the best individual tournament in Chicago, going 4-0 in singles (losing only 19 games in 8 sets) and 3-0 in doubles with de Vroome (one match was not completed). Johnson won 6-4, 6-1 to bring Southern Cal to within 2-1. According to Smith, Johnson “really showed his leadership and his improvement. He’s a kid who’s really done all the right things for four years, and to watch him play like that – it’s very gratifying.”

Over on the other side of the divided courts, Alvarez had won the first set over Quiroz 7-3 in a tiebreak. With associate head coach Bo Hodge watching on, Alvarez won the big points in the second set, twice holding at 30 and twice breaking at 30 to go up 5*-3. Five points later, Alvarez held giving Oklahoma a 3-1 lead.

The three remaining matches had all entered a third set by then. On court 1, #26-ranked sophomore Harris had rolled his ankle in the second set and had to get attention from the trainer. He double faulted on deciding point in the first game of the third set to give hope to the Trojans. However, he was able to regain his movement and fought back to tie the set at 2-2. (His match would eventually end up tied at 4-4 once Ghilea secured the victory.)

On court 6, Crystal completed an impressive comeback, winning the second set 6-0 over Jose Salazar and overcoming an early break in the third, winning 5 of the last 7 games of the match, including 3 on deciding points. His 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 win pulled Southern Cal to 3-2.

On 5, Ghilea – definitely the streakiest player of the tournament - had been up 5-0 in the first set and survived a three-game streak from de Vroome to win the first set 6-3. De Vroome, a big serving Dutchman, went up 3-0* in the second set, and held on to win 6-4, with the last four games all going to the returner.

The final set was a tight affair that saw some drama involving the two head coaches. Ghilea struck first, breaking de Vroome on a deciding point and then holding for 3-1*. The next game, Ghilea grabbed a quick 0-30 lead but de Vroome got it to a deciding point, whereupon he hit an ace for 2-3*. The two traded holds in the next three service games. At one point toward the end, Ghilea called a close ball out and Smith came on court to argue the call, at one point sarcastically telling Ghilea “good call.” Roddick objected to that turn of events, but in the end both coaches kept their cool. Finally, Ghilea secured the break at 5-3* to clinch the University of Oklahoma’s maiden national team title.


Ghilea’s match point was a deciding point, fitting in that the no-ad format used has been a controversial one. All told there were 28 such points in 15 singles sets. In the 5 completed matches, the winning player won 18 of 25 deciding points. The player who benefited most from winning deciding points was Crystal, who won 8 of 9 (including 3 of 3 in the final set). Ghilea won 5 of his 7 deciding points. Overall, Southern Cal won 17 of 28 deciding points in singles, while Oklahoma won 4 of 5 doubles deciding points.

Smith noted that “it took us awhile to shake it off [losing the doubles point] but we really started fighting. But in the end, Oklahoma played great, and all the credit goes to them.” Smith continued, “We’re a better team today than we were four days ago.”

Associate head coach Hodge, in his fourth year at Oklahoma, said, “It feels great. As a player, I was in a couple of finals and semis, and never won the national indoors championship. We told them to play big, play aggressive, and go down swinging.”

The win was particularly meaningful for Webb. “I like these courts a lot. Just feeling confident and feeling relaxed. Feeling confident in my teammates – that they’re going to do well, so that helps me. I’ve been getting off to good starts, helping the team out with a quick win is always nice, especially against a tough team.”

Webb continued, “If I serve really well, which I did today, I’m in the match regardless of how everything else is going. It frees me up on the return so I can go for it. So that was big for me today. Another big thing is keeping my space. I’m kind of long so I was trying to keep him from being able to come at me all the time and take it super early, so I kept it pretty heavy and moved the ball around well. I’m pretty proud of my effort.”

When asked what the championship meant for him as a senior, the 22-year-old Texan said, “When I first got to Oklahoma, our goals were a little bit different than they are now. We weren’t ranked quite as high; we had talent but we had holes in some areas. But now, I feel proud to be a part of this team. I feel like I’ve helped build this program, with the coaches and the guys. I was really the first American to go. It feels really good. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the season. We want to be playing our best tennis in May. But obviously we’re really excited to have this win. It’s crazy. It’s so fun to make history for our school and our program.”

“Dane was one of my early, early recruits,” noted Roddick. “To kind of go through what we’ve gone through, together….” Roddick didn’t continue, but the sentiment was clear.

For Harris, who was on the losing end against de Vroome in the deciding match of the 2014 NCAA team championships, the outcome in the rematch was especially sweet.

"We were very upset after that NCAA final," said the 20-year-old from Australia. "So yeah, getting revenge was really special."

As for what the title means for his program, Roddick said, “It’s massive. I haven’t checked my phone but it’s blowing up. Just to say that we’re national champions, indoors, just to put those two words together is a huge thing for any program. Especially ours, coming from where we’re coming from. To know that we belong – and not only do we belong but we can win these kinds of tournaments, whether it’s a conference tournament, national indoors, or hopefully in the future an NCAA championship.”

For complete results of the weekend's matches, see the ITA tournament page.   Additional photos can be found at Kelley's On The Rise Facebook page.

The records of all 16 teams:
Oklahoma 4-0
USC 3-1
Baylor 2-1
Georgia 2-1
UVA 2-1
Duke 2-1
Texas 2-1
Illinois 2-1
Ohio State 1-2
North Carolina 1-2
Mississippi 1-2
UCLA 1-2
Cal 1-2
Columbia 1-2
TCU 0-3
Penn State 0-3
============================
Men’s Team Indoor Championships Final
Feb 16, 2015
Singles 
1. #7 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) vs. #26 Andrew Harris (OKLA) 4-6, 6-4, 4-4, unfinished
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OKLA) def. #24 Roberto Quiroz (USC) 7-6(3), 6-2
3. #31 Dane Webb (OKLA) def. #20 Jonny Wang (USC) 6-0, 6-4
4. Eric Johnson (USC) def. Spencer Papa (OKLA) 6-4, 6-1
5. #63 Alex Ghilea (OKLA) def. Max de Vroome (USC) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. #49 Nick Crystal (USC) def. Jose Salazar (OKLA) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4

Doubles 
1. #5 Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OKLA) def. #1 Yannick Hanfmann/Roberto Quiroz (USC) 7-6(4)
2. #38 Max de Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC) def. Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (OKLA) 6-1
3. Florin Bragusi/Alex Ghilea (OKLA) def. Nick Crystal/Connor Farren (USC) 7-5

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,4,2,6,5

Chang Wins Grade 3 in Mexico; Halbauer Collects Another WTA Family Circle Cup Qualifying Wild Card


Before today's final at the ITA Men's Team Indoor, a quick update on several junior results over the weekend.

At the ITF Grade 3 tournament in Mexico,  Hanna Chang defeated Rachel Lim in an all-American final 6-4, 7-6(2).  Zeke Clark fell in the boys final to promising 14-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.  None of the finalists were seeded.  Amanda Meyer teamed with Mexico's Alexia Coutino Castillo to win the doubles title. The No. 2 seeds were declared champions due to a default by the American team of Jessica Livianu and Kariann Pierre-Louis.

In Bolivia, at the ITF Grade 2, Mwendwa Mbithi, seeded fourth, lost in the final to Argentina's Franco Capalbo, the top seed, 6-2, 6-3. Capalbo has won the last three tournaments in South America, a Grade 1 and two Grade 2s, beating Mbithi along the way each time.  The girls title went to Orange Bowl 16s champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who swept the titles there, also winning the doubles with Isabelle Boulais.

This week US juniors are playing in the Grade 2 in Chile, with Alexandra Sanford(2) and Liam Caruana(4) the top-seeded Americans, and the Grade 4 in Mexico.

The Southern section's Dunlop Junior Championships annually provide girls an opportunity to win a wild card into the upcoming WTA Family Circle Cup, and this year's winner is the same as last year's winner, Ellie Halbauer.  Top seed Halbauer defeated Kaitlyn McCarthy, the No. 3 seed, 7-5, 5-7, 10-6 for the wild card.  Duke recruit McCarthy did get an excellent win in the semifinals, beating ITF junior No. 14 Anna Kalinskaya 6-3, 7-6(5).

Complete draws can be found here.  An article about the final match can be found at the Charleston's The Post and Courier.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Top Seed Southern Cal, Second Seed Oklahoma Will Decide Another National Team Title Monday at ITA Men's Indoor

©2015 Jonathan Kelley for zootennis--
Chicago, IL--

1 vs. 2. Defending national champion vs. defending runner-up. Cardinal and gold vs. crimson and cream. A legendary program vs one quickly building a legend.

On a snowy Sunday in Chicago, the University of Southern California Trojans and University of Oklahoma Sooners each dropped the doubles point 2-0, but then toughed out wins to set up a rematch of the 2014 NCAA championships, which Southern California won 4-2 (incidentally, after dropping the doubles point).

First up was #2-seeded Oklahoma against archrival #11 Baylor Bears. Last time these two teams met, it was for the Big XII championship, and was decided in an epic 28-minute game that either showed the glory of ad scoring or the problem with it, depending on one’s point of view.

Baylor dominated in doubles, with Vince Schneider and Felipe Rios securing a 6-1 win at 3 and Julian Lenz and Diego Galeano winning 6-2 at 2. Mate Zsiga and Tony Lupieri were up 4-2 on 1 when the point was decided.


Roddick said he didn’t see Baylor’s early strong effort in doubles coming. After his team went down so far early in doubles, “I just wanted to get it over with. It’s like on the goal line, letting the other team score so you can get the ball back with two minutes instead of five seconds left. It was so far gone, we just needed to regroup at that point. And that’s what we did.”

John Roddick guides Sooners to first Indoor final
Refocused for singles, #31-ranked senior Dane Webb took the match to #27 Tony Lupieri, who had been the hero in Baylor’s first two wins. Webb went up 6-4 in the first and didn’t lose a game in the second set. With his serve and forehand firing, he took the match out of Lupieri’s hands.

At #2 singles, #11 Axel Alvarez beat #67 Max Tchoutakian 6-4, 6-4 to put Oklahoma up 2-0,  ending a mixed-bag weekend for the French freshman that saw him beat a big name in Duke’s Jason Tahir and then lose to two top-11 players in Alvarez and Virginia’s Ryan Shane.

The rest of the matches were dog fights worthy of a thriving rivalry.

Oklahoma freshman Spencer Papa, perhaps the most highly sought recruit out of high school, faced Paraguayan senior Diego Galeano at #4. The hard-hitting Papa started strong, winning a deciding point in the sixth game of the first set and then breaking Galeano at 15 to go up 4*-3. Two service holds later put Papa up a set. Galeano stormed back in the second, going up 4*-0 and taking the set 6-1. The third set was an intense affair as several points culminated in stare downs. Young Papa was not intimidated, though, and broke at 3-2*. Galeano won the next two games in deciding points to even the match at 4-4 in the third and with momentum seemingly on Baylor’s side. However, a massive service game from Papa gave him a 5-4* lead, and with Galeano serving at 30-15, Papa won the last three points to put Oklahoma within a point of the final.

“It was very competitive – we definitely gave each other some stares – but I know he’s a nice kid and it’s just part of being competitive,” said Papa, who is now 3-0 in the tournament. About losing the second set, Papa said, “He had more energy than me, I would say. The whole Baylor team did. We had to come back in the third, all of us.”

At 6, Chilean junior Felipe Rios had started strong, up 7-5 and 4-1* sophomore Jose Antonio Salazar Martin of Spain. Salazar turned things around, however, winning the next 5 games (two on deciding points) to take the second set 6-4. In the third, Rios jumped to a 3-0* and survived a break at 3*-1, winning the final three games to secure a 6-2 win and keep Baylor alive.

Many in the crowd watching the westernmost courts at Midtown could be forgiven in assuming that court 5 would not be the clinching match for Oklahoma. There, senior Mate Zsiga, who clinched Saturday’s Baylor upset over Virginia, sprinted to a 6-4, 5*-2 lead over Romanian sophomore #63 Alex Ghilea. But Zsiga, serving for the match, started getting tight, missing shots that he’d hit with supreme confidence and double faulting on key occasions. Roddick counseled his charge to stay with it and Ghilea won game after game. After game. When the Sooner broke for the third consecutive time to take the second set, a frustrated Zsiga left the courts for a bathroom break. It didn’t help. Ghilea delivered a bagel in the third, winning the last 11 games and clinching the match for the University of Oklahoma.

Ghilea, who also clinched for Oklahoma in the 2014 NCAA quarterfinals, said he was glad to be the one to clinch, but made it clear that it was a team effort. “I know he’s a tough, tough opponent. He beat me last year and I was kind of looking for revenge. I had to keep my head in the game, and play the next point and the next point.”

“[Coach Roddick] was trying to make me think positive, next game, every time, don’t lose your mind. We had a very good strategy for this match; he played great in the first set and the beginning of the second. He could have closed the match, but I’m glad he didn’t.” Ghilea recalled that the two had also played once in juniors, a clay match that Ghilea said lasted four hours. “I think I won.”

“Zsiga’s a tough match up. You’ve got to get comfortable with what you’re trying to do and he’s very good at making you not comfortable.”


“Great start to the season for us,” said Baylor coach Mark Knoll. “We walk out of here really excited about what’s coming up. We’ve been able to play in this tournament with the best teams in the country and really get a sense of where we stand. We’ve got a lot to work on but we’re really optimistic.”

Knoll said that Lupieri and some of his teammates may have been a bit “emotionally hungover” after Saturday’s dramatic win. “What a great learning experience for us to understand that you’ve got to be able to extend yourself emotionally and then come back the next day and do the same thing. That’s something we’ll improve on. That’s what’s great about this tournament. You can’t emulate that in practice.”

Knoll said he was glad to have Oklahoma in their league, and noted that there’s a chance the two teams could play up to five times this year. “They’ve raised our level. We’ve had to get better because they’re so darn good.”

At #1 singles, Oklahoma’s Andrew Harris (#26) and Julian Lenz (#10) would be the one unfinished match, which some fans found disappointing, as it was so intense and close (5-5 in the 3rd). Asked about whether he’d like to have seen the match finish, coach Knoll said, “we absolutely shouldn’t finish the match. Oklahoma’s got a final to try to win tomorrow. They don’t need to worry about staying out there to finish a match that doesn’t count.” He said he’s rooting for the Sooners to win, noting that a Big XII team hasn’t won the National Indoors since Baylor in 2005. “If we want to have the best league, we’ve got to win championships.”

In the day’s second match, top seeded Southern California saw their #3 doubles team Nick Crystal and Connor Farren lose 6-1 to Georgia’s freshmen Paul Oosterbaan and Wayne Montgomery; while its #1 team (in fact, the country’s #1 team) Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz fell 6-4 to unranked Ben Wagland and Austin Smith.

Georgia competed well in the first three positions, going to three sets at 1 (where #17 Montgomery was up 4-1 in the third over #7 Hanfmann when the semifinal was decided) and at 3 (where #15 Nathan Pasha was at 3-3 in the third vs. #20 Jonny Wang). Unfortunately for the Dawgs, they were overwhelmed at the bottom of the order.

Eric Johnson thoroughly outplayed Nick Wood at 4, winning 6-1, 6-1 to quickly even the overall score at 1-1. At 6, #49-ranked sophomore Nick Crystal went up 6-2 4-0 on freshman-from-Kalamazoo, Michigan Paul Oosterbaan, and served for the match at 5*-1 and again at 5*-3. But the UGA youngster stepped up his game and the Trojan started netting his shots, and suddenly the match was back on serve. However, Oosterbaan’s first serve disappeared at 4*-5 and he was broken at love to give Southern California a 2-1 lead.

After winning a tiebreak at #5, Max De Vroome put it in cruise control to beat Ben Wagland 7-5, 6-1, giving Southern California a 3-0 sweep at the lower three positions, needing just won win at the top.

That win came from senior stalwart #24 Quiroz. Like De Vroome, he won a first set tiebreak, this one against #21 Smith and went up an early break in the second set. Serving up 4*-2, Quiroz went down 0-30 but won the next two points to even the game at 30-30. Then, luck paid the Ecuadoran a visit, as hit he approached the net and hit a volley that clipped the top of the tape and rolled over. Smith won the next point to set up a deciding point but couldn’t put a return in play on second serve, and Quiroz was up 5-2*. The junior from Cumming, Georgia, held to put the pressure back on USC. But apparently the Trojans are immune to pressure – or perhaps it’s better to say they thrive on it. Quiroz served out the match at love to send Peter Smith’s squad to the final.

Regarding Quiroz, Smith said, “I think why coaches coach is to see growth. To see the growth in Roberto from a freshman to a senior is so big. Now he’s such a leader for us. To have him in that situation, we’re just really fortunate. He’s been there before. He’s very confident and we’re very confident in him.” On Oklahoma, “certainly everyone’s taken notice of their program the last few years. John and Bo [Hodge, Associate head coach] have done a great job there.”

Georgia coach Manny Diaz was disappointed with the loss. “I thought it was a very competitive match. I’m proud of our guys, we had a great tournament. But we’re not quite pleased in a lot of ways with our match today. USC’s a great team, we knew that coming in. To take the doubles point the way we did was a good boost for our guys. But they played tremendous tennis at 4, 5 and 6. I expected closer matches. I think if we stay in those matches a little longer, we play a little bit better there, it obviously changes the complexion of the whole dual match. But give USC credit for that.”

Southern Cal, a finalist now the past four years, last won the championship in 2012. This is Oklahoma's first appearance in the Team Indoor final, which has been played since 1973.

Links to live streaming, live scoring and consolation results can be found at the ITA tournament page.




Men’s Team Indoor Championships Semifinals
Feb 15, 2015
#2 Oklahoma 4, # 10 Baylor 2
Singles
1. #26 Andrew Harris (OKLA) vs. #10 Julian Lenz (BU) 6-1, 4-6, 5-5, unfinished
2. #11 Axel Alvarez (OKLA) def. #67 Max Tchoutakian (BU) 6-4, 6-4
3. #31 Dane Webb (OKLA) def. #27 Tony Lupieri (BU) 6-4, 6-0
4. Spencer Papa (OKLA) def. Diego Galeano (BU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5. #63 Alex Ghilea (OKLA) def. Mate Zsiga (BU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
6. Felipe Rios (BU) def. Jose Salazar (OKLA) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

Doubles
1. #5 Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OKLA) vs. #40 Mate Zsiga/Tony Lupieri (BU) 2-4, unfinished
2. Julian Lenz/Diego Galeano (BU) def. Spencer Papa/Andrew Harris (OKLA) 6-2
3. Vince Schneider/Felipe Rios (BU) def. Jose Salazar/Alex Ghilea (OKLA) 6-1

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,4,6,5)


Men’s Team Indoor Championships Semifinals
Feb 15, 2015
#1 Southern California 4, #4 Georgia 1
Singles
1. #7 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) vs. #17 Wayne Montgomery (GA) 4-6, 6-3, 1-4, unfinished
2. #24 Roberto Quiroz (USC) def. #21 Austin Smith (GA) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
3. #20 Jonny Wang (USC) vs. #15 Nathan Pasha (GA) 6-3, 2-6, 3-3, unfinished
4. Eric Johnson (USC) def. Nick Wood (GA) 6-1, 6-1
5. Max De Vroome (USC) def. Ben Wagland (GA) 7-5, 6-1
6. #49 Nick Crystal (USC) def. Paul Oosterbaan (GA) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles
1. Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (GA) def. #1 Yannick Hanfmann/Roberto Quiroz (USC) 6-4
2. #38 Max De Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC) vs. Nathan Pasha/Eric Diaz (GA) 5-5, unfinished
3. Paul Oosterbaan/Wayne Montgomery (GA) def. Nick Crystal/Connor Farren (USC) 6-1

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,6,5,2)