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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Southern California Men, North Carolina Women Top ITA Preseason D-I Team Rankings; Stoiana Upsets Brantmeier, Reaches Grade 5 Final; Semifinals Set for Women's UTR $25K in Newport Beach

After announcing the individual Division I preseason rankings yesterday, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association released the team rankings today, with the Southern California men and North Carolina women at the No. 1 spots. 

It's probably not a coincidence that the two teams that won the only national team championships played last year, the Indoors, are No. 1 this year, and that the finalists, the North Carolina men and the UCLA women, are ranked No. 2.  These first rankings, which are confined to just 25 teams, are a poll of coaches, with the computer taking over later,  after a sufficient number of matches have been played. With the Covid-19 uncertainty, how many dual matches are played in these next three or four weeks is hard to predict, so as of now, there is no next ranking date and no firm date for the first computer rankings.

Division I ITA preseason team rankings

WOMEN:

1. North Carolina

2. UCLA

3. Texas

4. Stanford

5. Pepperdine

6. Duke

7. Georgia

8. NC State

9. Florida State

10. Virginia

11. Oklahoma State

12. Georgia Tech

13. Ohio State

14. South Carolina

15. Vanderbilt

16. Wake Forest

17. Southern California

18. Central Florida

19. California-Berkeley

20. Arizona State

21. Florida

22. Michigan

23. Baylor

24. LSU

25. Kansas


MEN:

1. Southern California

2. North Carolina

3. Ohio State

4. Michigan

5. Stanford

T6. TCU

T6. Texas

8. NC State

9. Florida

10. Georgia

11. Texas A&M

12. Wake Forest

13. Tennessee

14. Oklahoma State

15. Baylor

16. Central Florida

17. Mississippi

18. UCLA

19. Columbia

20. South Carolina

21. Pepperdine

22. Virginia

23. Duke

24. Texas Tech

25. Kentucky

The finals are set for the ITF Grade 5 in Manchester Connecticut, with just one seed reaching the championship match in singles. No. 2 seed Valencia Xu, the 2019 USTA 16s Nationals finalist, will play for the girls title against unseeded Mary Stoiana, who is from Connecticut. Stoiana, who has signed with Texas A&M for this fall, defeated top seed Reese Brantmeier 6-3, 7-5 in today's semifinals.

The boys final features 14-year-old wild card Alexander Razeghi and Tennessee signee Louis Cloud.  

The girls doubles final was played today, with top seeds Gracie Epps and Aubrey Nisbet defeating unseeded Tatum Evans and Theodora Rabman 6-7(8), 6-4, 12-10. 

The UTR $25Ks are into the knockout rounds, with the women's semifinals set for Friday in Newport Beach California. Katie Volynets, the top seed, will face Canadian Jessica Alsola, a Cal recruit in the top half semifinal, while former Oklahoma State star Megan McCray will play No. 2 seed Hanna Chang in the bottom half.

The only men's quarterfinal completed today in Naples Florida saw No. 1 seed Stefan Kozlov defeat former Northwestern star Strong Kirchheimer 6-2, 7-6. The other three quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, with Harris Walker against Bruno Kuzuhara, Benjamin Lock versus Matthew Segura and No. 2 seed Noah Rubin playing Aditya Vashistha. Streaming is available via Playsight, with the links here.

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