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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

NCAA Division I Quarterfinals Begin with Men Thursday; Recent D-I Coaching Departures; Blanch Reaches Santa Croce G1 Quarterfinals; Top Seed Out in Plantation Grade 4; Teens Advance at Naples $15K

The NCAA Division I team quarterfinals begin Thursday at the USTA's National Campus at Lake Nona, with four men's matches. The men will get Friday off, with the women taking the courts for their quarterfinals. For live scoring, links to streaming, ticket information and more, see the USTA's tournament site.

Thursday’s NCAA Division I Men’s Quarterfinals:

Virginia[5] v Wake Forest[4] Noon
TCU[10] v Texas[2] 2 p.m.
Ohio State[1] v North Carolina[9] 5 p.m.*
Florida[3] v Baylor 7 p.m.*

Friday’s NCAA Division I Women’s Quarterfinals:
UCLA[7] v North Carolina[2] Noon
Stanford[3] v Pepperdinep6] 2 p.m.
Georgia[1] v Vanderbilt[8] 5 p.m.*
Duke[5] v South Carolina[4] 7 p.m.*

*Tennis Channel coverage

Once the conference tournaments are over, coaching positions are reevaluated, and I've seen several announcements recently regarding changes at Division I programs. Lauren Spencer has resigned as women's head coach at Auburn after eight seasons. Spencer had a 143-92 record at Auburn. Chris Cagle has resigned as women's head coach at Penn State after five seasons. Utah announced the departure of Mat Iandolo after 12 years as women's head coach.  And Clemson announced it was not renewing the contract John Boetsch after three years as men's head coach.

Back in March, Gordon Ernst resigned as the Rhode Island women's coach after being indicted in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal.  Michael Center, men's coach at Texas, was fired in March, and he pleaded guilty in the Varsity Blues scandal last month. Texas, of course, is still competing in the NCAAs, with Bruce Berque, the associate head coach, stepping up to head coach when Center was fired. The Washington Post today had an article stating that Georgetown is expelling two students implicated in the scandal.

Because the NCAAs will be the focus the next four days, I'll do a review of the ITF Junior Circuit and World Tennis Tour events today. Only one American is left in singles at the ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce Italy, No. 15 seed Dali Blanch. The 16-year-old defeated unseeded Fausto Tabacco of Italy 6-2, 6-2 today to advance to Thursday's quarterfinals. 
No. 3 seed Eliot Spizzirri lost to No. 16 seed Admir Kalender of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, but he remains in doubles. Spizzirri and Tyler Zink, the No. 2 seeds, advanced to the semifinals, as did Ellie Coleman and Charlotte Chavatipon in the girls doubles draw.

Top seed Hunter Heck was beaten 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the ITF Grade 4 in Plantation Florida by unseeded Matthis Ross of Great Britain, but four Americans have advanced to the quarterfinals: No. 7 seed Daniel Milavsky, No. 12 seed John Bernard, No. 3 seed Alex Bernard, John's younger brother, and No. 16 seed Welsh Hotard. Four US girls have also advanced to the Plantation quarterfinals: Ava Catanzarite[14], Ava Hrastar, Gianna Pielet[3] and India Houghton[16]. The two Avas will play Thursday for a place in the semifinals.

At the Grade 2 in Austria, No. 6 seed Andrew Dale and unseeded Katrina Scott are the two Americans advancing to the singles quarterfinals. 
As was the case with the $15,000 tournament in Williamsburg last week, this week's $15k in Naples Florida is providing an opportunity for juniors to get their first wins on the ITF's World Tennis Tour. Fifteen-year-old qualifier Carson Tanguilig earned her first WTT win by beating wild card Amber McGinnis 6-4, 6-4. Fourteen-year-old Eleana Yu is playing her first WTT event, and has her first main draw win after qualifying. Yu defeated LSU recruit Safiya Carrington 7-5, 6-3 in the first round today. Fifteen-year-old Hina Inoue won her first WTT main draw match, beating fellow qualifier Isabella Robbiani of Paraguay 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.  Qualifier Victoria Hu, 17, beat wild card Elaine Chervinsky 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in just under three hours to advance the to the second round.  Wild cards Reese Brantmeier, 14, and Kimmi Hance, 16, who reached the quarterfinals last week in Williamsburg, won their first round matches today.  Other American juniors moving into the second round are Peyton Stearns, Lea Ma and Kylie Collins.