Sponsored by IMG Academy

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Defending Champion Florida Out as Women's D-1 Round of 16 Set; Minnesota, Alabama Men Earn Upsets; Columbus State Captures Men's D-II Championship; Kodat Wins ITF Grade 2 Title; Black Claims ITF Grade 4 in Florida

Another hectic day in college tennis, but when it was over, the Division I women's round of 16 will not include the defending champions, a Division II team had won its first National title and seven Division I men's teams had earned spots in the Sweet 16, including a pair of Cinderellas.

History says that at least one and often two seeds do not make it to the round of 16, but figuring out who that might be isn't easy.  This year two women's team did not advance, both single digit seeds, with No. 8 seed Oklahoma State falling to Tulsa 4-2 and No. 9 seed Florida, the defending champions, going out to No. 21 Florida State 4-3.  The 24th-ranked Tulsa women will be making their first appearance in the Sweet 16 when they take on the Seminoles Thursday at Wake Forest.  Florida State's win over Florida was their second of the year, with Florida State having beaten the Gators 4-1 in a USTA College Match Day at Lake Nona back in February.

The Round of 16 women's matchups for Thursday:

Vanderbilt[1] vs Miami[16]
Florida State vs Tulsa
Ole Miss[5] vs UCLA[12]
Pepperdine[13] vs Georgia Tech[4]
Duke[3] vs Northwestern[14]
Texas Tech[11] vs Texas[6]
Georgia[7] vs South Carolina[10]
Stanford[15] vs North Carolina[2]

Florida is not the only defending national champion who will not be returning to the finals site, with the University of Virginia men falling to No. 16 seed Columbia 4-2.  The Cavaliers, who won team titles the past three years, were one of the last teams to get into the tournament, so I doubt their failure to advance comes as a surprise to their loyal fan base.

Although there are nine more matches on Sunday to determine the remainder of the men's Sweet 16, two unseeded teams have already earned their trips to Winston-Salem. A substantial number of experts in the the Tennis Recruiting Network's Roundtable had selected the Oklahoma regional as likely to produce an unseeded winner, and they were right, but had the wrong team. While many, including me, thought Georgia could win it, it was 37th-ranked Minnesota that came through, beating Georgia 4-3 on Friday and blanking No. 14 seed Oklahoma today in Norman.  Minnesota will face No. 3 seed Ohio State next Friday, hoping to avenge their two regular season losses to the Buckeyes.  The Gophers are making their first trip to the finals site since 2000.

Another unheralded team earning two unexpected wins this weekend is 42nd-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide men took out favored Tulane 4-1 Friday and tonight, after several frustrating rain delays, eliminated host Florida State, the No. 12 seed, 4-2.  Alabama, who last made the Sweet 16 back in 2007, will play No. 5 seed Texas A&M next Friday. The only other round of 16 matchup decided in the men's draw is No. 11 Texas and No. 6 Mississippi State.

Second seed Columbus State won the Division II men's title, beating top seed Barry 5-4 in Surprise Arizona. The Cougars, who had never won a title before, trailed 3-2 and 4-3, but got wins from Alvaro Regalado at line 3 and KP Pannu at line 1 to close out last year's finalists.  The symmetry of the final two Columbus State wins was eerie, with both Regalado and Pannu losing the first set in a tiebreaker, then coming back to take sets 2 and 3 by scores of 6-2 and 6-1.  Regalado finished his match a few points before Pannu hit a forehand winner to seal the championship.  For more, see the coverage at NCAA.com.  Unlike Division I and Division III, Division II does not have individual championship tournaments.

Not all the important tennis was on college campuses today, with a couple of American juniors picking up ITF Junior Circuit titles.

Unseeded 15-year-old Toby Kodat won his first title at the Grade 2 in Austria today, beating No. 5 seed Anton Matusevich of Great Britain 6-3, 7-5.  Matusevich had beaten Zane Khan in the semifinals.  Khan did earn a title however, taking the doubles championship with Luciano Tacchi of Argentina. The No. 4 seeds defeated No. 3 seeds Dominik Palan of the Czech Republic and Sebastian Welch of Chile 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final.

At the Grade 4 in Coral Gables Florida, top seed Hurricane Tyra Black won the girls singles title, beating unseeded Elli Coleman 6-3, 6-4 in the final.  Coleman did rebound to take the doubles title, with Jaedan Brown. The No. 4 seeds beat top seeds Hina Inoue and Canada's Jada Bui 7-6(2), 7-5.

In the boys final, unseeded Adam Neff fell to No. 8 seed Yeudy Villar of the Dominican Republic 6-4, 6-4.  Villar fell short of the sweep however, when he and partner Harrison Gold of the US lost to No. 7 seeds Lorenzo Claverie of Venezuela and Luis Iriarte Bastidas of the US 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-7.


Tolerant in California said...

How is it the Florida State women have 6 of 7 participants in match are foreign? I get it that schools in Big-12 and smaller schools need to recruit foreign, but this is Florida? They really have to get girls from Spain, India, Germany, Australia, Czech Republic, France (2), and Costa Rica to compete?

Go Frogs! said...

Congrats to TCU HornedFrogs.. Moving on to the Sweet 16... went Duck Hunting... 4-0... see you at WF! Go Frogs!!

Congrats Adam said...

Congrats to the Michigan Wolverines... UM downs Notre Dame 4-0... although it was closer than the score if you look at the match scores. Onto WF Sweet 16! Go Blue!

Upset Alert said...

NCAA's Action..on the Men Side...Stanford, #4 is defeated by #38 Ole Miss tonight at the Farm...4-3