Tuesday, February 2, 2021

North Carolina, UCLA Top Seeds at ITA Women's Team Indoor; Division II Team Preseason Rankings; 18 Americans in Action Wednesday in Melbourne

The ITA Women's Team Indoor Championships, downsized to eight teams this year due to the pandemic, begins Friday at the Greenwood Tennis Center at Oklahoma State. Last year's finalists, champion North Carolina and UCLA, are the top two seeds this year, with Texas seeded No. 3 and Pepperdine No. 4.  

The schedule for the three-day event:

Friday, February 5, 2021

9 AM CT – North Carolina[1] vs. Ohio State

12 PM CT – Georgia Tech vs. Pepperdine[4]

3:30 PM CT – Oklahoma State vs. UCLA[2]

6:30 PM CT – Texas[3] vs. Northwestern

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

9 AM CT – Loser Match 1 vs. Loser Match 2

12 PM CT – Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2

3:30 PM CT – Loser Match 3 vs. Loser Match 4

6:30 PM CT – Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

6:30 PM CT – Championship Match

That finals time is odd, putting it right in the heart of the Super Bowl, but I assume it's to give the late match semifinals winner more rest.

The ITA released the Division II preseason team rankings today, with the Columbus State men and Barry women at No. 1, as voted in a coaches poll.  Division II had its first National Team Indoor Championships last year, less than two weeks before the Covid-19 shutdown of college athletics, which was able to provide at least some legitimacy to the 19-20 dual match season. Columbus State and Barry won those inaugural titles, so it's no surprise to see them at the top of the rankings. For the full 25-team lists, click on the headings of the Top 10 lists below.

Men’s Division II ITA Preseason Rankings February 2, 2021

1. Columbus State

2. Barry

T3. Saint Leo

T3. West Florida

5. Hawaii Pacific

6. Lander

7. Drury

8. Azusa Pacific

9. Flagler

10. Indianapolis

Women’s Division II ITA Preseason Rankings February 21, 2021

1. Barry

2. Lynn

3. Nova Southeastern

4. Indianapolis

T5. Columbus State

T5. Hawaii Pacific

7. West Florida

8. Central Oklahoma

9. Saint Leo

10. Flagler

The warmups for the Australian Open continue Wednesday(tonight in US), with six American women competing in the first round of the WTA tournament for those in hard quarantine, the Grampians Trophy:

Bethanie Mattek Sands v Barbora Strycova(CZE)

Christina McHale v Anett Kontaveit[6](EST)

Jennifer Brady[7] v Svetlana Kuznetsova(RUS)

Ann Li v Ellen Perez(AUS)

Lauren Davis v Barbora Krejcikova(CZE)

Sloane Stephens v Leylah Fernandez(CAN)

With Coco Gauff's loss to Great Britain's Katie Boulter Tuesday, no Americans advanced to the round of 16 at the Gippsland Trophy, but at Yarra Valley Classic, five of the last 16 are Americans:

Jessica Pegula v Sofia Kenin[2]

Serena Williams[5] v Svetana Pironkova(BUL)

Danielle Collins[13] v Karolina Pliskova[3](CZE)

Shelby Rogers v Petra Martic[7](CRO)

The men, a round behind the women, are playing round of 32 matches on Wednesday, with four playing Wednesday at the Murray River Open and three at the Great Ocean Road Open.

Murray River:  

Mackenzie McDonald v Alex Bolt (AUS)

Taylor Fritz[6] v Federico Coria (ARG)

Marcos Giron v Adrian Mannarino[10](FRA) 

Tommy Paul[15] v Alexei Popyrin(AUS)

Great Ocean Road:

Reilly Opelka[6] v Sergiy Stakhovsky(UKR)

Sam Querrey[10] v Stefano Travaglia(ITA)

Tennys Sandgren[9] v Salvatore Caruso(ITA)