Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ITA D-I Individual, Team Rankings Released; USTA Schedules Lake Nona College Showcase; Qualifying Complete at Rancho Santa Fe $25K

For all the tennis that's been played in the past few weeks, the changes at the very top of the ITA Division I rankings have been few.  In the women's team rankings, the first done by computer this season, Team Indoor champion Florida stays at No. 1 and in the men's team rankings, Virginia, who won the Team Indoor yesterday, remains in the top spot.

The rest of the top 10 did undergo some dramatic changes, probably the most notable being the Stanford women dropping from 5 to 25 and the Baylor women going from unranked to 10. Since the Cardinal did not play the Team Indoor, their only good win was last Friday against Oklahoma State. Although they will move back up once they begin play in the Pac-12, Stanford does pay a temporary price every year for passing on the Team Indoor.

In the men's rankings, powerhouse programs USC, UCLA and Georgia all dropped out of the Top 10, while Michigan and Oklahoma made big jumps. The ITA release for the men is here, the women is here. Full lists can be found by clicking on the link in the headings below.

Women's Top 10 Team: (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Florida (1)
2. Ohio State (4)
3. North Carolina (2)
4. Michigan (10)
5. Texas Tech (7)
6. Oklahoma State (6)
7. Vanderbilt (12)
8. Auburn (11)
9. UCLA (20)
10. Baylor (NR)

Men's Top 10 Team: 
1. Virginia (1)
2. Ohio State (3)
3. Wake Forest (2)
4. North Carolina (5)
5. Oklahoma (14)
6. California (4)
7. Texas (11)
8. Oklahoma State (12)
9. Michigan (18)
10. Florida (6)

In the women's singles rankings, Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo remains at No. 1, with UCLA freshman Ena Shibahara moving up to No. 2.  Although she did not quite crack the Top 10, Florida freshman Ingrid Neel went all the way from 45 to tied for 11th after her outstanding play at the Team Indoor. There's a new No. 1 in the women's doubles, with Michigan's Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian taking over the top spot.

Women's Top 10 Singles: (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ohio State (1)
2. Ena Shibahara, UCLA (3)
3. Hayley Carter, North Carolina (5)
4. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina (2)
5. Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt (4)
6. Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine (7)
7. Sinead Lohan, Miami (6)
8. Melissa Lord, Stanford (13)
9. Viktoriya Lushkova, Oklahoma State (10)
10. Josie Kuhlman, Florida (19)

Women's Top 5 Doubles:
1. Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian, Michigan (3)
2. Christine Maddox and Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Pepperdine (4)
3. Hayley Carter and Jessie Aney, North Carolina (2)
4. Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara, UCLA (12)
5. Adila Sutjiadi and Mami Adachi, Kentucky (1)

The men's singles rankings also saw a big jump for Virginia's Thai Kwiatkowski, who went from 28 to 9, and Gage Brymer of UCLA, who moved from 19 to 10.  Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest and Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State, who so memorably decided the Team Indoor semifinal on Sunday, ended up in a tie for No. 1 this week. In men's doubles, there were changes in some positions in the top five, but Christian Seraphim and Mansouri of Wake Forest stayed at No. 1.

Men's Top 10 Singles:
T1. Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State (2)
T1. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest (1)
3. Hugo Di Feo, Ohio State (8)
4. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (3)
5. Mike Redlicki, Arkansas (6)
6. Alfredo Perez, Florida (9)
7. Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech (4)
8. Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest (10)
9. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia (28)
10. Gage Brymer, UCLA (19)

Men's Top 5 Doubles:
1. Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest (1)
2. Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat, California (3)
3. Jack Findel-Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites, North Florida (2)
4. Arjun Kadhe and Julian Cash, Oklahoma State, (5)
5. Jathan Malik and Kevin Wong, Michigan (4)

The USTA has announced a College Tennis Combine for June 14-16, 2017.  The event, which is limited to American players, will be held at the new USTA campus in Lake Nona.  As a Tennis Recruiting National Showcase event providing UTR credit, the tournament will give players an opportunity to be seen by college coaches, with USTA Pro Circuit wild cards awarded to the winners.  The Combine is being held in conjunction with a USTA/ITA College Coaches Workshop.  For more details, see this release from the USTA.

Qualifying for the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California is complete with four Americans qualifying: Chanelle Van Nguyen(UCLA), Notre Dame recruit Caroline Dunleavy, Maria Sanchez(USC) and Stanford recruit Michaela Gordon. Pepperdine sophomore Luisa Stefani of Brazil also qualified. Kayla Day is the top seed, last week's Surprise $25K champion Caroline Dolehide and finalist Danielle Lao received special exemptions into the main draw, and wild cards were given to Allie Sanford, Hanna Chang, Sabrina Santamaria and Mishel Okhremchuk of Ukraine.


Tom Lewis said...

How do the women's rankings make any sense? Vanderbilt is 4-3 (lost 3 in a row over a stretch) and moved up to number 7, yet Stanford moves from 5 to 25 after beating Oklahoma State and losing to number 1 ranked Florida?

If you play more matches, do you receive more points?

Colette Lewis said...

Wins over ranked teams are the key. For the precise explanation see this from the ITA: Ranking Manual

Agreed... said...

Tom Lewis

The ITA needs to change the way the computer rankings are done in the beginning because the first couple computer rankings are a complete joke and have zero meaning until at least the end of March. All of the college coaches and players know this.

It's a shame to have the computer ranking come out that no one respects. The ITA is just not evolving with the times and some coaches are abusing the system. There are not enough true results to formulate a computer ranking this early, let the voting happen for a few more weeks.

On the other hand said...

It's also a shame that the Stanford women deem the Team Indoor event irrelevant. If they would simply play the event, those extra 3-4 results vs quality teams would make the rankings more accurate.

When basically the best women's program thumbs its nose at a premier event, everyone loses. The Stanford players don't get experience indoors and women's college tennis loses. We don't get to see several high level matchups early in the season. And please don't give us the excuse that it's "missed class time." Remember the first year Stanford and Florida both declined to play and instead scheduled each other outdoors the same weekend as the indoors. Talk about "taking your ball and going home."

Because of the Stanford Women's decision, either the ITA sticks to its rankings formula, which creates some early season inaccuracies or the Women's Team Indoor eventually withers away. Why would other "warm weather" teams bother to show up and play?

The last shame is that we seemingly discuss this issue anew with people who are not familiar with the rankings process.

The formula incentivizes the better teams to play each other. What a novel idea? As a team earns more "quality wins," its ranking improves.

Tom Lewis said...

While not playing the Team Indoor event does hurt Stanford's ranking, how do you explain 9 teams being ranked in front of them that also didn't play the indoors? These 9 teams also didn't play the quality teams at the indoors, yet somehow ended up in front of the defending NCAA champion. Stanford also has a win over 6th ranked Oklahoma State, which factored into the computerized ranking calculation for this week, and none of the 9 teams ranked in front of them have a higher ranked win than this (it’s worth noting that Georgia’s ranking drop doesn’t make sense either, and they actually played the indoors and lost to the eventual champion…).

And no other event/dual match is played indoors in the spring, so technically indoor experience isn't as valuable as skipping out and training on the outdoor hard courts, where 100% of Stanford's matches will be played.

No matter if you agree with Stanford's decision to not play the Indoor team event, the 20 spot ranking drop literally has no merit. It would make more sense for the ranking calculation to be consistent, whether that be the committee voting throughout the entire season, or the computer calculating the rankings for the entire season, if anything.

Maybe the continuous discussion of how the ranking process works year after year speaks to the shortcomings of the process itself!

Ok, whatever... said...

What is embarrassing are the coaches that post/tweet "highest ranking ever" on top of their webpages or wherever during this week when they know darn well the ranking is not only temporary but inaccurate. There is a women's team that does this every year - even though they know it is a pretend ranking which starts its tumble from here. Players get it, why doesn't the coach? Maybe he is banking that the people that pay him don't get the system or the coach just needs kudos. Seems a little immature and insecure to fly that flag after these rankings.