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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

USC's National Indoor Title Keeps Them Atop First ITA Computer Rankings; USC's Cukierman, Miami's Perez-Somarriba No. 1 in Singles; Nakashima Beats Norrie to Reach ATP Delray Beach Quarterfinals

The first ITA Division I team rankings done by computer were released last night and USC stays on top of the men's rankings, thanks to their title Monday at the Team Indoor Championships. Because no rankings were released the week of the Indoors, USC never officially vacated the No. 1 position they had prior to losing to Ohio State in Columbus, but they were the No. 2 seed in Madison, so the unpublished rankings obviously had top seed Ohio State at No. 1.  Michigan made a big jump, going from 13 to 4 after their semifinal showing at the Indoors, while Tennessee, which didn't qualify for the Indoor field, moved into the Top 10. Links to the full ranking lists can be found by clicking on the headers.

ITA Men's Division I Team Rankings,
February 18, 2019 (previous ranking in parentheses)

1. USC (1)
2. Ohio State (2)
3. North Carolina (5)
4. Michigan (13)
5. Texas (4)
6. Florida (3)
7. Columbia (9)
8. Stanford (8)
9. NC State (10)
10. Tennessee (17)

USC's Daniel Cukierman, who plays No. 2 for USC, continues as the No. 1 player in singles. Stanford sophomore Alex Rotsaert made a big jump from 21 to 5, while John McNally of Ohio State and Alex Brown of Illinois also moved into the Top 10. North Carolina's Will Blumberg, who was not ranked prior to this week, is up to 11.

1. Daniel Cukierman, USC (1)
2. Yuya Ito, Texas (2)
3. Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M (3)
4. Sam Riffice, Florida (4)
5. Alexandre Rotsaert, Stanford (21)
6. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas (12)
7. John McNally, Ohio State (19)
8. Keegan Smith, UCLA (6)
9. Alex Brown, Illinois (18)
10. Richard Ciamarra, Notre Dame (5)

1. Matej Vocel and Dominik Kellovsky, Oklahoma State (2)
2. Andrew Fenty and Mattias Siimar, Michigan (4)
3. Robert Cash and John McNally, Ohio State (1)
4. Mac Kiger and Simon Soendergaard, North Carolina (3)
5. Sean Sculley and Nick Stachowiak, Duke (6)

The first women's computer rankings also didn't dislodge the previous No. 1, with North Carolina having a substantial lead over the second place team, which is something of a surprise. Florida State moved to No. 2, while UCLA, who was runner-up to UNC at the Team Indoor, dropping all the way down to No. 7.  Virginia moved into the Top 10, while defending NCAA champion Stanford fell to No. 12.

ITA Women's Division I Team Rankings:

1. North Carolina (1)
2. Florida State (4)
3. Texas (7)
4. NC State (5)
5. Princeton (9)
6. Ohio State (10)
7. UCLA (2)
8. Georgia (8)
9. Virginia (13)
10. Duke (6)
In the singles rankings, NCAA champion Estela Perez-Somarriba has moved to No. 1, dislodging Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey. North Carolina has three Top 10 players and two of the Top 5 doubles teams.

1. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami (3)
2. Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine (1)
3. Anna Turati, Texas (2)
4. Cameron Morra, North Carolina (9)
5. Alexa Graham, North Carolina (7)
6. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina (4)
7. Kelly Chen, Duke (10)
8. Abigail Forbes, UCLA (5)
9. Michaela Gordon, Stanford (6)
10. Iuliia Bryzgalova, Penn (11)

1. Elysia Bolton and Jada Hart, UCLA (2)
2. Alana Smith and Anna Rogers, NC State (1)
3. Jessie Gong and Samantha Martinelli, Yale (3)
4. Sara Daavettila and Alexa Graham, North Carolina (6)
5. Cameron Morra and Makenna Jones, North Carolina (4)

The USTA rankings continue to be by poll, so they do differ frequently from the computer generated rankings, although they agree this week on the No. 1 teams.

The USTA Division I Top 10, February 19, 2020
1. USC (5)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Florida (4)
5. Texas (3)
6. Michigan (11)
7. Wake Forest (8)
8. Stanford (10)
9. Columbia (12)
10. Texas A&M (6)

1. North Carolina (1)
2. UCLA (2)
3. Stanford (3)
4. Duke (4)
5. NC State (5)
6. Florida State (7)
7. Georgia  (6)
8. Texas (8)
9. Princeton (9)
10. Virginia (12)

The full Top 25 list for this week is available at usta.com.  There is also a new landing page for college tennis at usta.com here.

Brandon Nakashima is having an impressive debut at the ATP level this week in Delray Beach. After earning his first Top 100 win Monday over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, the 18-year-old wild card from San Diego got his second today, beating qualifier Cameron Norrie (TCU) of Great Britain 7-5, 6-2.  Norrie, current ATP No. 60, is Nakashima's best win. The former Virginia Cavalier will face unseeded Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in Friday's quarterfinals. Nakashima has apparently hired a new coach since I spoke with him last month in Ann Arbor, with Pat Cash now named in that capacity in this ATP article about Nakashima's win today. Cash spoke about his new partnership with Nakashima in this article.

Two all-US second round matches are on the docket for Thursday, with wild card Jack Sock taking on Steve Johnson and Frances Tiafoe facing off against Tommy Paul.


Wondering said...

The average age of SC’s top 4 is 23, including a Soph & a Jr. Colette, what is the oldest average age of a top ranked team in recent years? The age of the top 6 for SC is 21.67 with only 2 Seniors in the lineup. They have a Fr., 2 Soph. a Jr., and 2 Sr.s.

Veterans in age if not in class year.

They just won.... said...

Average age of USC's top four is 22.5. Seems pretty typical for a top team, particularly those with seniors, a player that red-shirted a year, or player(s) out of Israel that do mandatory military service before college. They are not an "older team" by any means compared to others. Besides, isn't this the kind of question usually asked when comparing the ability or size of grade school kids?