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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Part I of NCAA Roundtable; Final Pre-Tournament D-I Rankings Include New No. 1; Big-12, Ivy, Pac-12 Men's Conference Awards; Jovic and Urhobo Advance at Bonita Springs W100; US Teens McNeil, Quan and Woestendick Reach Pro Circuit Quarterfinals

I've been contributing to the Tennis Recruiting Network's NCAA Division I roundtable every year at this time since 2007, and the research necessary to answer the questions posed always leaves me better prepared for the tournament, as does the insight of the others who contribute. In today's Part I, we offer our best story lines of the season, and what Super Regional matchups we're looking forward to. Part II, with possible upsets and dark horses, and championship predictions will be published on Friday.

The final pre-NCAA rankings were released today, and although we got a glimpse of them on Monday and Tuesday with the team and individual selections, the NCAA seedings do not follow them. 

In the men's team rankings, No. 3 Texas and No. 2 Virginia were swapped in the NCAA seedings, and No. 16 South Carolina saw No. 17 Texas A&M jump two spaces in front of them to get the opportunity to host the first two rounds. This is all done automatically, via the criteria that has been in place for years, which can be found here.

Men's Team Top 17 May 2, 2024:

1. Ohio State
2. Virginia
3. Texas
4. TCU
5. Kentucky
6. Wake Forest
7. Tennessee
8. Columbia
9. Arizona
10. Florida State
11. Oklahoma
12. Harvard
13. Duke
14. NC State
15. Mississippi State
16. South Carolina
17. Texas A&M

In the women's team rankings, No. 6 Virginia is seeded No. 5, with No. 5 Pepperdine dropping to 6, and No. 14 NC State and No. 15 Florida switched places due to this mandatory adjustment procedure.

Women's Team Top 16 May 2, 2024:

1. Oklahoma State
2. Stanford
3. Michigan
4. North Carolina
5. Pepperdine
6. Virginia
7. Georgia
9. Texas
10. Cal
11. Southern Cal
12. Ohio State
13. Texas A&M
14. NC State
15. Florida
16. Tennessee

This same criteria is used in the singles and doubles seeding, and there were three changes in the top eight of the men's seedings. No. 4 Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc is the No. 3 seed, switching spots with Chris Rodesch; Toby Samuel is the No. 5 seed, switching spots with Micah Braswell, who is undefeated this year at line 2, and No. 8 Oliver Tarvet is elevated above No. 7 Jake Fearnley.
The obvious lesson from this is that you need to play No. 1 for your team to avoid being downgraded, with Braswell and Fearnley both feeling the impact of being at line 2.

As we suspected from Tuesday's seeding, Johannus Monday has taken over the No. 1 spot from Eliot Spizzirri, but he is No. 1 in both the rankings and the seedings.

Men's Singles
1. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
2. Eliot Spizzirri, Texas
3. Chris Rodesch, Virginia
4. Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc, Florida State
5. Micah Braswell, Texas
6. Toby Samuel, South Carolina
7. Jake Fearnley, TCU
8. Oliver Tarvet, San Diego
9. Ozan Baris, Michigan State
10. Alex Martinez, Oklahoma State
11. Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
12. Andres Martin, Georgia Tech
13. Jack Pinnington Jones, TCU
14. Radu Papoe, Cornell
15. Cooper Williams, Harvard
16. Nishesh Basavareddy, Stanford

The women's singles had just one adjustment, with Alexa Noel, No. 10 in singles, moving to No 8. in the seedings (No. 4 Reese Brantmeier is not in the NCAA singles field) over No. 9 Carolyn Ansari, who was bumped to a 9-16 seed. 

Women's Singles
1. Mary Stoiana, Texas A&M
2. Amelia Rajecki, NC State
3. Ange Oby Karjuru, Oklahoma State
4. Reese Brantmeier, North Carolina
5. Kari Miller, Michigan
6. Fiona Crawley, North Carolina
7. Connie Ma, Stanford
8. Rachel Gailis, Florida
9. Carolyn Ansari, Auburn
10. Alexa Noel, Miami
11. Ayana Akli, South Carolina
12. Savannah Broadus, Pepperdine
13. Celia-Belle Mohr, Vanderbilt
14. Sofia Caezas, Tennessee
15. Lisa Zaar, Pepperdine
16. Dasha Vidmanova, Georgia
17. Irina Cantos Siemers, Ohio State

There were also changes in doubles, a minor one in men's, with Robert Cash and JJ Tracy, No. 3 in the rankings, switched to the No. 4 seed, with No. 4 Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer moving to the No. 3 seed. 

The change is the women's doubles was more significant, with Melodie Collard and Elaine Chervinsky, ranked No. 8, losing the No. 8 and final seed to ninth-ranked Kari Miller and Jaeden Brown. I don't know what is going to happen to the No. 1 seed, with Brantmeier out for the season, but it would be brutal if Scotty was not able to play doubles, having made two finals and won a championship in 2021.

Women's Doubles
1. Elizabeth Scotty and Reese Brantmeier, North Carolina
2. Janice Tjen and Savannah Broadus, Pepperdine
3. Ange Oby Kajuru and Anastasiya Komar, Oklahoma State
4. Alina Shcherbinina and Dana Guzman, Oklahoma
5. Metka Komac and Avelina Sayfetdinova, Texas Tech
6. Fiona Crawley and Carson Tanguilig, North Carolina
7. Mary Stoiana and Mia Kupres, Texas A&M
8. Melodie Collard and Elaine Chervinsky, Virginia
9. Jaedan Brown and Kari Miller, Michigan

Men's Doubles
1. Garrett Johns and Pedro Rodenas, Duke
2. DK Suresh and Holden Koons, Wake Forest
3. Robert Cash and JJ Tracy, Ohio State
4. Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer, Kentucky
5. Inaki Montes and James Hopper, Virginia
6. Sebastian Dominiko and Jean Marc Malkowski, Notre Dame
7. Johannus Monday and Angel Diaz Tennessee
8. Etienne Donnet and Natan Rodrigues, Louisville

The tournament begins tomorrow morning with men's first round matches. See collegetennisranks.com for the schedules and links to scoring. Cracked Racquets will be providing its CrossCourt coverage on YouTube.

Approved lineups for the 64 men's teams are here; for the 64 women's teams click here.

Five more conference awards announcements were made in the past two days, with the Ivy League, Big 12 and Pac-12 men posting their awards and all-conference teams. With those that were released last week, only the ACC women and the Pac-12 women have not yet announced.

May 1, 2024

Player of the Year: Radu Papoe, Cornell
Rookie of the Year: Paul Inchauspe, Princeton
Coach of the Year: Howard Endelman, Columbia

May 2, 2024

Player of the Year: Esha Velaga, Penn
Rookie of the Year: Esha Velaga, Penn
Coach of the Year: Jamea Jackson, Princeton

Player of the Year: Nishesh Basavareddy, Stanford
Freshman/Newcomer of the Year: Spencer Johnson, UCLA
Doubles Team of the Year: Colton Smith and Jay Friend, Arizona
Coach of the Year: Clancy Shields, Arizona

Player of the Year: Eliot Spizzirri, Texas
Freshman of the Year: Gilles Arnaud Bailly, Texas
Newcomer of the Year: Jonah Braswell, Texas
Coach of the Year: Bruce Berque, Texas

Player of the Year: Ange Oby Kajuru Oklahoma State
Freshman of the Year: Olivia Lincer, Central Florida
Newcomer of the Year: Anastasiya Komar, Oklahoma State
Coach of the Year: Chris Young, Oklahoma State

It was another fantastic day for young Americans at the USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in Florida, with six of them advancing to the quarterfinals of the three events.

Qualifier Iva Jovic and wild card Akasha Urhobo advanced in contrasting fashion at the W100 in Bonita Springs, with the 16-year-old Jovic cruising past 2015 NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) 6-1, 6-3, while the 17-year-old Urhobo defeated qualifier Whitney Osuigwe 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). 

Jovic will face 18-year-old Maya Joint of Australia in Friday's quarterfinals, with Joint, who is up to 230 in the WTA live rankings, beating Liv Hovde 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1. Urhobo wlll face No. 2 seed Lulu Sun(Texas) of Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

Louisa Chirico kept her winning streak going, with last week's Charlottesville W75 champion advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Emily Appleton of Great Britain. In order to keep her hopes for the USTA Roland Garros wild card alive, she will need to beat No. 3 seed Ann Li, who holds a 3-0 advantage in their head-to-head.

Christasha McNeil defeated fellow qualifier Ariana Pursoo 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the W35 in Boca Raton and will face another qualifier, fellow teen Mayu Crossley of Japan in the quarterfinals. Crossley defeated No. 3 seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 6-2, 6-0. Crossley defeated McNeil 7-6 in the third in their 2022 first round match at the ITF J300 in College Park.

A third teenager, 19-year-old Kayla Cross of Canada, the No. 7 seed, has also reached the quarterfinals.

No. 5 seed Angella Okutoyi of Kenya, the sophomore at Auburn, won again today and will face top seed Allie Kiick in the quarterfinals. She will not be able to compete with her team in the first round of the NCAAs tomorrow.

At the $15,000 men's tournament in Orange Park, Cooper Woestendick and Rudy Quan advanced to the quarterfinals. Wild card Quan, who reached the quarterfinals last week in Vero Beach, advanced via a walkover from Jonas Pelle Hartenstein of Germany, while Woestendick made his first Pro Circuit quarterfinal with a 7-5, 7-6(5) win over No. 6 seed Will Grant(Florida). Woestendick will play another former Gator in the quarterfinals, No. 4 seed Duarte Vale of Portugal. Quan will play Vale's teammate, No. 2 seed Andres Andrade of Ecuador, who beat the 18-year-old UCLA recruit 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of a $15K last fall in Las Vegas.