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Monday, May 8, 2017

NCAA Roundtable Part I; Girls USTA National Team Set; Division III NCAA Team Tournament Brackets Released: Brown Resigns at LSU

For ten years I've been contributing to the Tennis Recruiting Network's Division I Team Championships Roundtables, which started with just a few college tennis aficionados and has since expanded to a dozen contributors who provide answers to four questions posed by the TRN staff.  Today, in Part 1 of the Roundtable, we are asked what the best stories of the end of the season were and what campus we would like to visit for rounds one and two this weekend. Florida and Oklahoma State were the consensus choices, but I had a different take.

And don't forget to fill out your May Madness bracket before Friday morning's deadline.

The USTA announced the members of its 16-and-under Team USA National team, with four girls having met the qualifications for inclusion previously, and four earning their place via competition this past weekend. They are:

Hailey Baptiste*
Caty McNally*
Alexa Noel*
Whitney Osuigwe*
Abigail Forbes
Sedona Gallagher
Vanessa Ong
Katie Volynets
*received entry for predetermined criteria

One notable player missing from the team is Amanda Anisimova, whose success in the past few months on the pro tour has put her on a different path. Hurricane Tyra Black, who played on the USA's 14-and-under World Junior Team in 2015, didn't compete in round robin tournaments. Natasha Subhash, a member of the recent USA Junior Fed Cup team that qualified for the 16-team final, did compete in the tournament but lost to Forbes in the final. Match results can be accessed here.  The complete release, with more details on the girls accomplishments as well as the news (to me) that Baptiste is now coached by Vince Spadea, is here.

The brackets for the NCAA Division III tournament, which begins with regional qualifying this weekend, were revealed today. Unlike Division I, Division III does not have 64 teams, but rather 43 in the men's draw and 49 in the women's draw, most of them conference tournament champions.  There are also no numbered seeds on the draws, but the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women and the Emory men are at the top left of the bracket, indicating their status as the favorites.  The final site for the tournament was moved last fall from Cary North Carolina to Chattanooga Tennessee and the eight men's and eight women's teams who qualify will play for the title there May 22-24. The singles and doubles participants will be announced on Wednesday, with that tournament May 25-27.

The women's bracket is here and the men's bracket is here.  And don't forget to visit Division3tennis.com for all their expert discussion on the upcoming NCAA matches.

The resignations at major programs continued today with the word that Jeff Brown is out as men's head coach at LSU.  Brown, who played for the Tigers in the late 1980s, had been head coach for the past 20 years. LSU did not make the NCAA tournament this year, but does have two players in the individual tournament: Jordan Daigle (singles and doubles) and Justin Butsch (doubles). The release announcing Brown's departure does not make reference to who will accompany them to Athens later this month.


BigTime said...

I thought the biggest story unmentioned in the NCAA roundtable was how Virginia coach Boland turned the ACC tournament into a USTA adult league match by being allowed to stack his lineup with Ritschard playing line 1 and stealing the title. I wonder if the coaches at the NCAA tournament will allow Sir Staxalot to have his way again. (But good for Ritschard, who can win 80% is his matches at 5 for taking one for the team.)

Just sayin' said...

If there was an issue, wouldn't a challenge be upheld? Boland's lineup has been the same for weeks now.
Ritschard is the most talented player. Watch UVA play and ask yourself which player has the most pro potential.
If you look at UVA's results since Ritschard overcame his injuries and moved into the top 2 in the lineup two months ago, you'll see that the facts support UVA's lineup. At the very least, Kwiatkowski and Ritschard have almost the same record since that time. 1&2 are interchangeable and Boland makes his choice. Also, if you get to Athens, close your eyes and listen to the sound of a Ritschard groundstroke vs everyone else on the team. You can tell which ball was Ritschard's by just listening. He hits a much bigger ball. He will be the best pro out of their top 6. A little more consistency and his results will noticeably improve.