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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Women's D-I Sweet 16 Missing Two Seeds; Branstine, Mejia Win ITF Grade 4 Titles in Plantation; Day Reaches Naples $25K Final; Fratangelo Advances to Bordeaux Challenger Final

The 16 women's teams going to Tulsa for the NCAA Division I team tournament were decided on Saturday, with all eight top seeds among those advancing.  Two hosting teams, No. 9 Duke and No. 13 South Carolina, fell on their home courts, with the Blue Devils going out to Texas, ranked 24th, 4-2 and Gamecocks falling to Georgia Tech, ranked 17th, 4-0.  Howard Joffe, in his first year as head coach at Texas, picked up where he left off at Texas A&M; he had taken the Aggies to the Sweet 16 three years in a row prior to taking the job at Texas.

Today's second round results (Draw is here):
Cal(1) def. UC-Santa Barbara 4-0
Texas Tech(16) def. Mississippi St 4-2
Texas def. Duke(9) 4-2
Pepperdine(8) def. Southern Cal 4-2
Georgia(5) def. Baylor 4-0
Oklahoma State(12) def. Tulsa 4-0
Georgia Tech def. South Carolina(13) 4-0
Ohio State(4) def. UCLA 4-1
North Carolina(3) def. Northwestern 4-2
Virginia(14) def. LSU 4-2
Auburn(11) def. Arizona St 4-2
Vanderbilt(6) def. Rice 4-0
Miami(7) def. TCU 4-0
Michigan(10) def. Kentucky 4-1
Stanford(15) def. Texas A&M 4-3
Florida(2) def. Syracuse 4-0

The matchups for the women's Sweet 16, on Thursday May 19. (Times EDT)

Cal(1) vs. Texas Tech(16) 5 p.m.
Texas vs Pepperdine(8) 5 p.m.

Georgia(5) vs. Oklahoma State(12) 8 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. Ohio State(4) 8 p.m.

North Carolina(3) vs. Virginia(14) 10 a.m.
Auburn(11) vs. Vanderbilt(6) 10 a.m.

Miami(7) vs. Michigan(10) 1 p.m.
Stanford(15) vs. Florida(2) 1 p.m.

As you can see in the above results, there was only one last-match-on, 4-3 finish today in the women's second round, with Stanford's Taylor Davidson defeating Texas A&M's  Rutuja Bhosale 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at line 2 to send the Cardinal to Tulsa.

Two other Pac-12 powerhouses will not be going to Tulsa, with both UCLA and Southern Cal falling on the road.  The Bruins took the doubles point from No. 4 Ohio State, but the Buckeyes quickly asserted themselves in singles to post a 4-1 victory.  USC also took the doubles point from No. 8 Pepperdine, but fell 4-2, putting the Waves in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1999.  It is the first time in NCAA women's team history, which dates back to 1982, that both UCLA and USC are not among the final 16 teams.

Neither Tulsa team will be competing in the championships either, after the women's 4-0 loss today to Oklahoma State. The men's team lost in the first round to Oregon yesterday.

Six men's teams booked their tickets to Tulsa with wins today. The host team falling on the men's side was No. 15 seed Illinois, who lost to No. 21 Mississippi State 4-0.

Second round men's results:
TCU(4) def. LSU 4-0
UCLA(3) def. San Diego 4-0
Oklahoma(11) def. Oregon 4-2
Wake Forest(6) def. Michigan 4-2
Southern Cal(10) def. Georgia Tech 4-2
Mississippi State def. Illinois(15) 4-0

The Texas - Texas A&M match, which the Aggies led 1-0, was rained out in College Station this afternoon and will be resumed on Sunday.

In men's first round action, three teams in the 33-48 grouping beat opponents in the 17-32 grouping, all by 4-3 scores. Penn State defeated Columbia, Virginia Tech beat Kentucky and Baylor defeated Florida State.

The draw, with times for tomorrow's matches, is here.

Links to the live streaming/live scoring can be found at College Tennis Today.

The last of the trio of spring Grade 4 ITFs in Florida was completed today in Plantation, with Nicolas Mejia of Colombia and Carson Branstine claiming titles.

Branstine, the top seed, defeated No. 4 seed Whitney Osuigwe 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final. It was revenge for the 15-year-old Branstine, who had lost to 14-year-old Osuigwe in the final of the same tournament in 2015.

Mejia, who also won last week's Grade 4 in Delray Beach, swept the titles this week in Plantation. The unseeded 16-year-old defeated No. 16 seed Javier Rodriguez Sanchez of Peru 6-2, 6-2 in the singles final. Mejia and Andres Andrade of Ecuador, seeded fifth, won the doubles title by walkover from unseeded Christian Alshon and Tyler Zink.

The girls doubles title went to unseeded Alana Smith and Peyton Stearns, who defeated No. 8 seeds Osuigwe and Alexa Noel 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

The ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce finished today, with Alexei Popyrin of Australia and Eva Guerrero Alvarez taking the singles titles. No. 4 seed Popyrin defeated wild card Jacopo Berrettini 6-4, 6-3 and No. 16 seed Guerrero Alvarez beat No. 6 seed Emily Appleton of Great Britain 6-1, 6-1.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Naples, Kayla Day reached her first pro final by beating No. 4 seed CiCi Bellis 6-3, 6-0. The 16-year-old Day, who had originally entered the ITF Grade A in Milan Italy next week, decided to play Naples instead, using a junior exemption for finishing in the ITF Top 10 last year, and it has paid off. She will play wild card Valeria Solovyeva of Russia, who ended the run of Caroline Dolehide with a 6-4, 6-4 semifinal win.

Top seeds Gabriela Ce of Brazil and Justyna Jegiolka of Poland won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Renata Zarazua of Mexico and Sophie Chang 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

Bjorn Fratangelo has reached the final of the €85,000+hospitality ATP Challenger in Bordeaux France. Fratangelo, who is unseeded, will play No. 7 seed Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil in Sunday's final, which will be streamed at the ATP site.  Fratangelo, who won the USTA's French Open wild card challenge with his results on the Har-Tru in Challengers here in the United States, spoke about the differences in the surfaces in a USTA conference call yesterday. Taylor Townsend, the women's wild card challenge winner, also spoke about her expectations and experiences as she prepares for her third straight appearance in the main draw. The full transcript is here.

And at the highest pro level, an all-American women's final is on tap for the Italian Open Sunday, with Serena Williams taking on Madison Keys. The WTA has 10 Things to Know about the match here.