Recap of this weekend’s events and why the NCAA is not all about the kids

Just a quick recap of the weekend’s events. I apologize for not getting this out sooner, but I have had way too much on my plate for the past few weeks and it won’t stop for another few days.

One of the things I wanted to get done last night was my ballot on the spring recruiting classes over at TennisRecruiting.net. I have been honored to be included as part of the ‘experts’ that weigh in and I really needed to put the finishing touches on my boys’ ballot. That article should be available this coming Friday, so please look for it. As you know, that website really has no competitor. It is the de facto tennis recruiting site around.

I’ll start with DIII news first.

Trinity went to Wisconsin and won the Whitewater Regional, ousting #8 Kenyon in the final. Trinity now advances to the Elite 8 where the Tigers will take on No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps May 25 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

UT-Tyler’s men also won a few rounds before falling to a very good Carnegie-Mellon team at the Pittsburgh Regional. The Patriots added another good season and are starting to build quite a solid program over in East Texas.

Their women’s team made the tournament too. They defeated Whitworth in the first round, then fell to host and eventual regional champion, Pomona-Pitzer in the second round.

The Texas men and women, like the Baylor men and women handled their competition fairly routinely this weekend, advancing to the Sweet 16 without much trouble. The Texas A&M men also advanced, but for a few moments it looked to be in question.

The Aggies will now play Baylor for the third time this season, while Texas women will face the top-ranked Baylor women for the third time as well. The Texas men now play Oklahoma for the third time after they defeated Texas Tech.

Texas Tech had just about everything that could go wrong for them go wrong.

Not only did they get sent to Norman and have to play Oklahoma for the fourth time since March, they had three players get sick last week. At one point, two Texas Tech players were in the infirmary sick with fever, while their star, Raony Varvalho, had a ‘condition’.

RANT ALERT
(Note: I heard the term ‘condition’ while watching the NCAA Softball Selection Show last night and thought it was hilarious. One of the hosts was speaking about the starting pitcher for Arizona and say she didn’t have an injury, but what he felt was a ‘condition’. The Softball Selection Show was 100 times better than the Tennis Selection Show. They actually knew players on just about every team and spoke way more intelligently than the tennis folks. I wish ESPN would get someone like Colette Lewis or Erica Perkins to be part of the show. Do it right or don’t waste my time and just post the damn draws.)
END OF RANT

I am not going into Raony’s personal problems, but I feel sorry for Tech. I know the story of John Roddick coaching Oklahoma to the tournament in his first year back to Athens will play well, but Tech deserved to host. Anyhow, Texas will crush the Sooners and they will be back on the plane home by Saturday. OU has flip-flopped their lineup a couple of times since the end of the regular season, once before the Big 12 and then back afterwards. I think it was set up to try and beat Tech, which they have now done and will hurt them against Texas.

OOPS RANT ALERT
The 400-mile bs has to go away. It is just not fair. Schools spend all sorts of money travelling around the country to build their rankings. They should be duly rewarded, regardless of location. I understand the Hawaii situation, but the way this is set up, teams like Texas Tech will NEVER host a regional, unless the other Texas schools drop way down or the New Mexico schools make the tournament.

Here’s the list of DI schools within 400 miles of Lubbock, according to Google Maps: New Mexico, NM State, UTEP (no men’s program), Texas, TCU, SMU, Baylor, UTSA and OU. That’s it. Not a real fair opportunity to host.

Texas A&M earned the right to host and it probably saved their season. They were in a world of hurt against Ole Miss, but playing at home, they stayed in their comfort zone and won.

Georgia eared the right to host and it certainly saved their season. The Bulldogs were down 3-1 to Florida State and rallied with a home crowd (that only UGA has) for the win.

Bottom line, Texas Tech earned the right to finish the season on their turf… or not.

Schools who earn the seed should get to host. It wasn’t fair to Baylor or Ole Miss a year ago and it surely wasn’t fair to Texas Tech or Duke.
MAYBE THE END OF THIS RANT

WAIT, I HAVE ANOTHER ONE COMING
Another thing the NCAA needs to look into is the rule about chairing all matches. I get that they SHOULD all be chaired, but there are times when you can waive this rule and Friday was a perfect example.

When the weather conditions delayed play all day Friday, matches were put on hold for hours. When the rain finally let up, matches were put on at the same time, limiting the number of chair umpires available to work matches. Some places were also limited by what they would consider ‘quality’ or show courts.

This tournament is supposed to be for the student athletes. At least that’s what the NCAA tries to tell us.

Well, in College Station, the TCU-Ole Miss match AND the Texas A&M-Prairie View A&M matches were to start with doubles, then four singles matches at a time, since that was all the chair umpires they had.

It was a forgone conclusion that A&M was going to destroy Prairie View. All of the PVAMU kids wanted to play. They had earned the right by winning the SWAC and were extremely excited to be playing at TAMU.

The coaches agreed they wanted to give all of the kids a chance to play. They had the courts, but were short two chairs. The NCAA said no.

The Aggies won the doubles (8-0, 8-1 and leading 7-0).

So Texas A&M went out and won easily (6-0 6-1 at 1, 6-0 6-0 at 2 and 6-0 6-2 at 4, with line three leading 6-1 5-1) and two kids from Prairie View A&M did not get to fulfill their dream of playing in the NCAAs. Great job.

Why can’t the coaches agree in some of these first round matches to waive this rule? It is not a tennis rule. No other tennis championship requires all matches to be chaired. The NCAA DII first and second round matches have two roving umpires for six matches. The national JuCo women’s championship has about one roving umpire per six courts. The men’s JuCo national championship is special because they are able to chair all of these since the USTA Texas and the officials host a chair certification school during the event.

It is just another sad rule that needs to go away. Allow the tournament committee on site to waive this when the coaches agree, that’s all.
END OF RANTING FOR THE NIGHT I THINK

Oh well, that’s enough. It is time to move on. I hope to run some updated numbers on the remaining teams and see what the odds are to reach the semis.

One interesting thing to note, don’t you find it interesting that the only two teams that get to play unseeded teams are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, Texas and Ohio State? Not only that, but they get to play teams supposedly weaker conference opponents or at least teams they had an easier time with.

Of course on the women’s side it is also the No. 3 seed, Florida, who gets the only non-seed, conference foe, Mississippi.

Trinity beats Kenyon, advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

The Trinity University Tigers men advanced to the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships quarterfinals with a 5-2 third-round victory over the Kenyon College Lords Sunday at the Whitewater Regional at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Trinity (18-9), ranked No. 13 in the nation, will take on No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps May 25 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. The three-day team championship concludes May 27. Kenyon, ranked ninth nationally, ended its season with a 20-7 record.

The Tigers, led by first-year head coach Russell McMindes (a former Trinity standout), will make its 13th appearance in the Elite Eight since 1993. Trinity last advanced to the national team event in 2007.

Trinity, which won its 14th straight match, clinched Sunday’s round of 16 tilt at No. 4 singles, as junior Cory Kowal beat William VandenBerg 6-1, 7-6 (2). Kowal, from Austin, Texas (Anderson), also clinched the Tigers’ 5-0 win over Carleton College on Saturday.

The Tigers opened Sunday’s match with a 2-1 lead after doubles. Ben Carroll and Don Murray gave the Tigers the edge by winning No. 3 doubles, with an 8-4 victory over VandenBerg and Paul Burgin. Erick DelaFuente and Max Frey beat Kenyon’s Tomas Piskacek and Jeremy Polster 8-2 at No. 2 doubles. The Lords took No. 1 doubles, with Michael Greenberg and Charles Brody beating Kowal and Bobby Cocanougher 9-8.

DelaFuente captured No. 3 singles, defeating Polster 6-2, 6-3, and Carroll beat Brody 6-4, 7-5 at No. 6.

Two matches were halted after the clinch by Trinity: No. 2 singles, Cocanougher, Trinity, vs. Piskacek (6-2, 4-6, 0-2); and No. 5 singles, Murray, Trinity, vs. Burgin (6-7 (5), 4-3).

Trinity is competing in its 17th NCAA Tournament. Former coach Butch Newman, now Trinity’s Director of Tennis, led the Tigers to 16 straight NCAA postseason tournaments. He also guided the Tiger men and women to the 2000 NCAA Team Championships.

Following the team tournament, three Tiger players will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, also at Oberlin, from May 28-30. Frey, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla. (Holland Hall), has a slot in the 32-draw singles tournament. Kowal and Cocanougher, a junior from Southlake, Texas (Carroll), are in the 16-draw doubles event.

Trinity 5 Kenyon 2
Singles
1. Michael Greenberg, KC, defeated Max Frey, TU, 6-4, 6-4
2. Bobby Cocanougher, TU, and Tomas Piskacek, KC, 6-2, 4-6, DNF
3. Erick DelaFuente, TU, defeated Jeremy Polster, KC, 6-2, 6-3
4. Cory Kowal, TU, defeated William VandenBerg, KC, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
5. Don Murray, TU, and Paul Burgin, KC, 6-7 (5), DNF
6. Ben Carroll, TU, defeated Charles Brody, KC, 6-4, 7-5

Doubles
1. Greenberg/Brody, KC, defeated Cocanougher/Kowal, TU, 9-8
2. DelaFuente/Frey, TU, defeated Piskacek/Polster, KC, 8-2
3. Carroll/Murray, TU, defeated VandenBerg/Burgin, KC, 8-4

Baylor eliminates Rice, 4-0

The eighth-ranked and seventh-seeded Baylor men’s tennis team punched its ticket to the 2010 NCAA Championship round of 16 with a 4-0 shutout of No. 33 Rice (15-11) on Sunday afternoon at the Baylor Tennis Center.

“I really think as a group we are playing our best tennis right now,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “I think that is pretty evident to anybody that has watched us this year. We are a better team than we were even two weeks ago.”

Baylor (22-6) improves to 37-11 all-time in NCAA Championship play and moves to 11-0 in second round tournament matches. The round of 16 appearance will be the ninth-straight for Baylor and the program’s 11th-trip all-time.

To get out of the second round, the Bears had to win a very competitive doubles point that came down to the last match on. Rice won the first match of the day when Oscar Podlewski and Dennis Polyakov took out Sergio Ramirez and Maros Horny, 8-4, at the No. 3 spot. The Baylor duo won the first three games of the match, but then the Owls responded by winning eight of the next nine games to claim the match. The loss was the Baylor pair’s first of the season, after starting dual match play 6-0.

Baylor would rebound as Attila Bucko and Jordan Rux handled Rice’s Isamu Tachibana and Bruno Rosa, 8-4, on court two. The match was tied at three, before Baylor won six of the next seven points to earn the victory. Bucko and Rux are now 7-4 in dual match play and have won two straight, after losing their previous two.

Baylor’s win at No. 2 left the doubles point hanging in the balance with the Bears’ No. 1 and 28th-ranked duo of Roberto Maytin and Denes Lukacs leading Christian Saravia and Michael Nusslein, 6-4. Maytin and Lukacs would go up, 7-4, but then Rice ran off two straight wins to pull the match to 7-6. Lukacs then held serve to give the Bears an 8-6 win and the doubles point.

“We didn’t play great in the doubles,” Knoll said. “If you ask Rice I don’t think they would tell you they played great, but as they say in Kansas it ain’t a beauty contest. The thing that was clear is that our one team fought hard. Without playing their best tennis, they fought over numerous break points where they could have folded and let it get away from them. They did a good job of sticking in there and that gave us a lot of momentum.”

It was the seventh doubles point Baylor has won in its last eight matches and moved the Bears to 20-0 in matches when they win the doubles point.

In singles, the 35th-ranked Rux came out and kept the momentum rolling in Baylor’s favor as he dominated Nuesslein at the No. 2 position. Rux opened the match by running out to a 4-0 lead in his first set and then slamming the door by winning eight of the next 11 games to take a 6-1, 6-1 win. It was the Kerrville, Texas, product’s first win since April 24 against Texas Tech and it raised his dual-match record to 16-7.

“Jordan Rux could be a good tennis player,” Knoll said. “Today he was a good tennis player and I think if he could put that out there every day then we are going to be real excited about what he could do for the program.”

Julian Bley was next off the court for the Bears as he claimed a 6-3, 6-2, win at the sixth spot in the lineup over Saravia. The Baylor sophomore jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the match, before Saravia tied it at three, however the Veitshoechheim, Germany, native, would answer back by winning six games in a row and then cruising to the win. Bley has won six straight matches and is 17-3 in dual match play.

Dominik Mueller closed out the victory for Baylor with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win at court four. Mueller was leading 4-2 in the second, before his opponent Podlewski came back to take the lead 6-5. The Baylor senior was up to the challenge as he won the next game to send the match to a tiebreaker and then claimed a 7-5 win in that tiebreaker to take the match.

Mueller moves to 26-6 in dual match play and claims sole possession of third place on the all-time singles win list at Baylor with 120 career wins. Currently, Mueller trails Benjamin Becker (141) and teammate Denes Lukacs (132) on the list.

The Bears now own a three-match win streak over Rice, but still trail 25-6 in the all-time series.

Baylor will now travel to Athens, Ga., to face 10th-ranked Texas A&M (25-6) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Friday, May 21 at 3 p.m. (ET). It will be the third matchup between the Bears and Aggies this year with A&M winning once during the conference season in College Station, Texas, 6-1 and once at the 2010 Big 12 Championship in Austin, Texas, 4-1.

“It is kind of something we expect,” Knoll said of his team’s win. “I think one thing that is nice is I have been to Athens as a coach more times than I can count, so I know what is going on and I think that experience will help our group. I don’t think there are going to be any surprises for us down in Georgia. We’ve just got to go down there and try to keep playing well. We are absolutely as pumped up as we could be.”

2010 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships
#8 Baylor 4, #33 Rice 0
Sunday, May 16 – Men’s NCAA Second Round – 12 p.m.
Baylor Tennis Center • Waco, Texas
RECORDS: Baylor 23-6; Rice 15-11
SINGLES
1. #14 Denes Lukacs, BU vs. #26 Bruno Rosa, Rice DNF
2. #34 Jordan Rux, BU def. Michael Nuesslein, Rice 6-1, 6-1
3. Attila Bucko, BU vs. Sam Garforth-Bles, Rice DNF
4. Dominik Mueller, BU def. Oscar Podlewski, Rice 6-2, 7-6(5)
5. Roberto Maytin, BU vs. Isamu Tachibana, Rice DNF
6. Julian Bley, BU def. Christian Saravia, Rice 6-3, 6-2

DOUBLES
1. #28 Lukacs/Maytin, BU def. Saravia/Nuesslein, Rice 8-6
2. Bucko/Rux, BU def. Tachibana/Rosa, Rice 8-4
3. Podlewski/Dennis Polyakov, Rice def. Ramirez/Horny, BU 8-4

FINISH ORDER: Singles: 2,6,4 Doubles: 3,2,1

Carnegie Mellon ends UT-Tyler men’s season

#8 Carnegie Mellon 5, Texas-Tyler 1
May 15, 2010 at Pittsburgh, Pa.
Singles competition
1. Alex Nemerov (CMUM) vs. David Ashlock (UTTMEN) 6-7 (5-7), 3-1, unfinished
2. Bobby MacTaggart (CMUM) vs. Joshua Chavez (UTTMEN) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
3. James Muliawan (CMUM) def. Adam Chirhart (UTTMEN) 6-3, 6-3
4. Duke Miller (CMUM) def. Kevin Wright (UTTMEN) 6-4, 6-3
5. Jon Spero (CMUM) def. Brad Fenter (UTTMEN) 6-2, 6-0
6. Harsha Rao (CMUM) vs. Austin Gonzales (UTTMEN) 6-1, 2-6, 1-2, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. James Muliawan/Jeremy King (CMUM) def. David Ashlock/Andrew Reznik (UTTMEN) 8-4
2. Alex Nemerov/Bobby MacTaggart (CMUM) def. Brad Fenter/Nick Kreines (UTTMEN) 8-3
3. Adam Chirhart/Joshua Chavez (UTTMEN) def. Nikola Ljuboja/Duke Miller (CMUM) 9-8 (7-1)

Match Notes
Texas-Tyler 16-7
Carnegie Mellon 21-5; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,4)
2010 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championship – Regional Final
Carnegie Mellon Advances

UT-Tyler women eliminated by Pomona-Pitzer

The University of Texas at Tyler was eliminated from the 2010 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships with a 5-2 second round loss to Pomona-Pitzer at the Claremont, Calif. Regional on Friday.

UT Tyler (17-4) earned its only two points from a win by Emily McRae and Sydni Hermsdorf at No. 2 doubles and a No. 5 singles win from Lauren Giovannini.

Pomona-Pitzer, ranked No. 7 in the country, advances to the Round of 16 and improved to 17-3 on the season.

The Patriots earned a spot in the NCAA Championships with their third-straight American Southwest Conference title. UT Tyler beat Whitworth in the first round to advance to Friday’s match.

2010 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship
#7 Pomona-Pitzer 5, #29 Texas-Tyler 2
May 15, 2010 at Claremont, Calif. (Pauley Tennis Complex)

Singles competition
1. Siobhan Finicane (PPC) vs. Michelle Hagler (UTTWOMEN) 6-3, 5-1, unfinished
2. Jaime Solomon (PPC) def. Lauren Nielsen (UTTWOMEN) 6-0, 6-1
3. Kara Wang (PPC) def. Sydni Hermsdorf (UTTWOMEN) 6-2, 6-2
4. Nicole Holsted (PPC) def. Ashley Albro (UTTWOMEN) 6-1, 6-1
5. Lauren Giovannini (UTTWOMEN) def. Jessica Hsu (PPC) 6-1, 6-0
6. Zoe Fisher (PPC) vs. Brittany Trich (UTTWOMEN) 6-4, 1-4, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Jaime Solomon/Kara Wang (PPC) def. Ashley Albro/Michelle Hagler (UTTWOMEN) 8-1
2. Emily McRae/Sydni Hermsdorf (UTTWOMEN) def. Nicole Holsted/Emily Kawahara (PPC) 8-6
3. Jessica Hsu/Zoe Fisher (PPC) def. Lauren Nielsen/Heather Harmon (UTTWOMEN) 8-1

Match Notes
Texas-Tyler 17-4; National ranking #29
Pomona-Pitzer 17-3; National ranking #7
Pomona-Pitzer advances to Round of 16 in NCAAs
UT Tyler ends its season at 17-4 overall

Trinity blanks Carleton, faces Kenyon for chance at Elite 8

The Trinity Tigers men’s tennis team opened the NCAA Division III Whitewater Regional with a 5-0 second-round victory Saturday over the Carleton College Knights.

Trinity (17-9), which won its 13th straight match, will take on the winner of Kenyon and host Wisconsin-Whitewater at noon Sunday in the third round. The winner of Sunday’s match will advance to the NCAA Championships Tournament, to be held May 25-27 at Oberlin, Ohio.

The Tigers, who received a first-round bye, won three tightly played doubles matches. Bobby Cocanougher and Cory Kowal edged Dan Vollman and Winston Park 9-8 (6) at No. 1 doubles. Erick DelaFuente and Max Frey beat Peter Dunn and Paul Cooper 9-8 (5) at No. 2 doubles. Ben Carroll and Don Murray completed the sweep by defeating Austin Jiang and Jon Aranda 8-4.

Cocanougher beat Park 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. The clincher for the Tigers came at No. 4 singles, with Kowal emerging as a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Vollman.

Four of the singles matches did not finish, as the dual match was halted after the fifth point was won: No. 1, Frey vs. Dunn; No. 3, DelaFuente vs. Jiang; No. 5, Murray vs. Alexander Chin; and No. 6, Carroll vs. Cooper.

Trinity is led by first-year head coach Russell McMindes, a former Tiger standout. He was voted the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year, leading the Tigers to a 15th SCAC Championship. The Tigers beat DePauw 5-3 in last month’s tourney at North Little Rock, Ark., and gained the NCAA automatic bid.

The Tigers are playing in their 17th NCAA Tournament, and the first since 2008. Coach Butch Newman, now Trinity’s Director of Tennis, guided the Tigers to 16 straight NCAA Tournaments. Trinity’s men and women captured the NCAA Championships in 2000.

TRINITY 5, CARLETON 0
Doubles
1. Bobby Cocanougher/Cory Kowal, Trinity, def. Dan Vollmann/Winston Park 9-8 (6)
2. Erick DelaFuente/Max Frey, Trinity, def. Peter Dunn/Paul Cooper 9-8 (5)
3. Ben Carroll/Don Murray, Trinity, def. Austin Jiang/Jon Aranda 8-4

Singles
1. Frey, Trinity, vs. Dunn, did not finish
2. Cocanougher, Trinity, def. Park 6-1, 6-1
3. DelaFuente, Trinity, vs. Jiang, did not finish (6-2, 4-3)
4. Kowal, Trinity, def. Vollman 6-1, 6-4 (clinch match)
5. Murray, Trinity, vs. Alexander Chin, did not finish (4-6, 3-1)
6. Carroll, Trinity, vs. Cooper, did not finish (7-5, 1-0)

Bautista, Aggies punch ticket for Sweet 16

Freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) led the 10th-ranked and 10th-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team to a 4-2 victory over 18th-ranked Mississippi in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship held Saturday before a crowd of 226 fans at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

It was sweet redemption for the Aggies (25-6) who fell to the Rebels (19-8) in the NCAA Round of 16 just a year ago in College Station, site of the 2009 national championships. A&M punched its ticket for its 10 overall trip to the Round of 16 in school history. It marked the first back-to-back appearance for the Aggies since the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

A&M continues on a record-setting run having won 18 of its last 20 matches and registering its second-ever 25-win campaign which is second only to a program-best 27-4 record in 2001. The Aggies will face the winner of either No. 7 Baylor or Rice (who play each other on Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. (CT) in Waco, Texas) in the Round of 16 scheduled for Friday, May 21 at 2 p.m. (CT) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

The Aggies fought through close matches for the doubles point as Bautista and sophomore Colin Hoover (Victoria, Texas) went up a service break at four-all and held on for an 8-6 victory over Ole Miss’ Adrian Forberg Skogeng and Harry Fowler at the No. 3 line. No. 34-ranked senior co-captain Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) and junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) sealed the win with an identical result over Jonas Lutjen and Tucker Vorster at No. 2. They are currently on an eight-match win streak which is tops on the team.

In singles play, A&M won four of the first six sets and seemed to have the match under control, but Ole Miss rallied to split sets and force a third set on all four of the Aggie-led courts. Ole Miss’ Tucker Vorster, ranked No. 97 nationally, defeated No. 39-ranked junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.), 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 2 line, to the level the playing field at one-all.

Marcus Lunt breezed through his first set against Harry Fowler, but split the second and broke at four-all in the third to help the Aggies regain the lead with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 victory at No. 6 singles. No. 33-ranked Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss answered with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 decision over sixth-ranked junior All-American Austin Krajicek at the No. 1 line to tie things up again at two-all.

Alexey Grigorov placed A&M right back on top by gaining a break at three-all in the third set and holding serve including two service aces in the deciding game versus Jonas Lutjen, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.

With two courts remaining in play and the Aggies needing one more win to keep their postseason run alive, Bautista broke at five-all in the second set and served for match point in the third set as Adrian Forberg Skogeng hit the ball into the net on his second return. Bautista has compiled an impressive 19-8 record in dual matches and clinched both of A&M’s first-and second-round victories including a 4-0 rout of Prairie View A&M on Friday night.

“It was a tough match today,” said Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton after the four-hour and 10-minute battle with the Rebels. “We came out and won the doubles. Then, it looked like we were in control, ahead in three or four singles matches, and then things started going Ole Miss’ way. They fought us well and for a moment, it looked like we weren’t going to win the match. Our guys did a good job of coming back.

“I thought Marcus (Lunt) was key for us at No. 6. He was down 4-2 in the third set and came back and won. That was a huge momentum swing for us. This is the first match this year where we’ve lost No. 1 and No. 2 singles and still won the match. That just shows we have a lot of guys contributing on this team. We wanted to go to Athens so badly. As a result, we got a little tight there for awhile in the match, but then the guys relaxed and played good tennis towards the end. I’m so proud of this team and what we’ve accomplished so far this year.”

With the victory, A&M also closed out its season at home with a school-record 19-1 mark at the Mitchell Tennis Center surpassing the previous best of 18-1 in 2003.

“Congratulations to Texas A&M,” Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick said. “They have a great team and a great program. We fought hard. It was a great college match. We just came up short today.”

Live scoring and results for the Round of 16 will be posted on the internet on host University of Georgia’s official website at: www.georgiadogs.com or the NCAA website at: www.NCAA.com.

(10) TEXAS A&M 4, (18) MISSISSIPPI 2
NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship
Second Round
May 15, 2010
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
Attendance: 226
SINGLES
No. 1 – (33) Marcel Thiemann (Ole Miss) def. (6) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M), 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 – (97) Tucker Vorster (Ole Miss) def. (39) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M), 6-3, 6-4.
No. 3 – Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M) def. Jonas Lutjen (Ole Miss), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
No. 4 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) vs. Chris Thiemann (Ole Miss), 6-3, 4-6, 5-4, DNF.
No. 5 – Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M) def. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (Ole Miss), 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 6 – Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M) def. Harry Fowler (Ole Miss), 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.

DOUBLES
No. 1 – (5) Dadamo-Krajicek (Texas A&M) vs. (20) C. Thiemann-M. Thiemann (Ole Miss), 7-6, DNF.
No. 2 – (34) Grigorov-Lunt (Texas A&M) def. (61) Lutjen-Vorster (Ole Miss), 8-6.
No. 3 – Bautista-Colin Hoover (Texas A&M) def. Forberg Skogeng-Fowler (Ole Miss), 8-6.

ORDER OF FINISH
Singles: 2, 6, 1, 3, 5*
Doubles: 2, 3

SMU women drop second round match to Stanford

The No. 31 SMU women’s tennis team (24-5) lost to No. 8 Stanford, 4-0, in the second round of the NCAA Championship at the Taube Family Tennis Center on Saturday. The Mustangs fell behind early when they dropped the doubles point and were unable to rally in singles play to extend their season.

“I give all the credit to Stanford, they are a great team,” said head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner. “They are one of the best teams we have faced since I’ve been here and I expect them to do well in Athens. They just came out and played better than us in doubles to set the early tone. On the other hand, we set out to fight as hard as we could and I thought we did that, but they are just really good. Overall, I was very proud of how we played.”

Veronica Li took out senior Sophie Quist 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 6 position before No. 4 Hilary Barte further extended Stanford’s advantage to 3-0 following a 6-0, 6-4 victory over No. 28 Marta Lesniak at the No. 1 spot of the lineup. The loss was just the third for Lesniak on the spring and only her fifth overall this season.

“This was one of the toughest matches that Marta has played in her college career. In the first set, Barte made every shot. Then in the second set, Marta regrouped and was able to keep herself in the match. Unfortunately, she didn’t win, but I liked the way she battled and she can learn from this as she heads to the NCAA singles championship.”

No. 33 Mallory Burdette sealed the victory for the Cardinal (22-1) with her 6-4, 7-5 triumph on court three over freshman Katerina Vankova, rallying from a 5-2 deficit in the second set to grab the win.

“Shahzoda Hatamova and Aleksandra Malyarchikova both battled and played so hard today, it was unfortunate that they didn’t get to finish their matches. Sophie gave everything she had and that is all we have ever asked of her. She has been a spectacular student-athlete and has been a leader by example during her time at SMU. She will be missed.”

The Mustangs’ 24 wins on the season are the second-most in program history, trailing only the 28 notched by last season’s Conference USA Championship squad. Longbotham Meisner concludes the season with a career mark of 82-23. The 82 wins are currently third all-time in program history, just 12 away from Owen McHaney’s program record of 94.

“Overall we are still a young team. Five of our six core players this season were underclassmen. This was a good lesson for us to see what a very good team looks like and it showed us what we need to do going forward to get to that level. I am proud of our season as a whole.”

Lesniak’s No. 28 ranking is the highest ITA ranking for a singles player in C-USA and therefore she received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship. Her season will continue beginning May 26 in Athens, Ga.

Check www.smumustangs.com for complete draw information and coverage of the NCAA Singles Championship.

No. 8 Stanford 4, No. 31 SMU 0
DOUBLES
1. Barte/L. Burdette (STAN) def. Lesniak Malyarchikova (SMU), 8-4
2. M. Burdette/Tan (STAN) def. Hatamova/Vankova (SMU), 8-2
3. Cieplucha/Quist (SMU) vs. Li/McVeigh (STAN), 6-2, DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1

SINGLES
1. No. 4 Hilary Barte (STAN) def. No. 28 Marta Lesniak (SMU), 6-0, 6-4
2. No. 83 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) vs. Aleksandra Malyarchikova (SMU), 7-5, 3-0, DNF
3. No. 33 Mallory Burdette (STAN) def. Katerina Vankova (SMU), 6-4, 7-5
4. Shahzoda Hatamova (SMU) vs. No. 58 Stacy Tan (STAN), 6-2, 2-6, DNF
5. Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) vs. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU), 6-2, 4-2, DNF
6. Veronica Li (STAN) def. Sophie Quist (SMU), 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 3*

No. 16 Texas blanks Arkansas

No. 16 Texas (19-5) claimed a tight doubles point and added singles wins from Krista Damico, Caroline Larsson and Vanja Corovic en route to a 4-0 win over No. 24 Arkansas (18-10) Saturday in the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships.

The Longhorns earn a spot in the NCAA round of 16, where they will meet top-seeded Baylor.The Horns and Bears will square off on Thursday, May 20 at 5 p.m. Central at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Texas opened the match by winning two of three doubles contests to secure the doubles point.Sophomore Amanda Craddock teamed up with Damico to post an 8-5 win at second doubles over Anouk Tigu and Valentina Starkova.Arkansas responded with a win at third doubles, where Claudine Paulson and Stephanie Roy defeated UT’s Sarah Lancaster and Larsson by an 8-6 count.

The outcome of the doubles session came down to the No. 1 doubles slot, where Corovic and Aeriel Ellis matched up against the Razorbacks’ duo of Kate Lukomskaya and Kelly Sundaram.Corovic and Ellis trailed by a 6-3 count at one point, but the Texas tandem rallied to win six of the next seven games and pulled out the doubles point with a 9-7 win.

Damico made short work of the Razorbacks’ Lukomskaya at second singles and emerged with a 6-2, 6-3 win to stretch the Texas lead to 2-0.Larsson trailed by a 4-3 count to Arkansas’ Starkova at sixth singles but took the set’s last three games to claim the set, 6-4.Larsson cruised to a 6-1 second-set win to stake Texas to a 3-0 lead.

At third singles, Texas’ Corovic posted a 6-0 opening-set win over Arkansas’ Emily Carbone.Corovic and Carbone were tied at three in the second set before Corovic broke free and took the set’s final three games to win the set, 6-3 and lock up the match-clinching point for the Longhorns.The remaining matches were suspended.

NCAA Championships – Round of 32
No. 16 Texas 4, No. 24 Arkansas 0
Headington Family Tennis Center – Norman, Okla.
Doubles – Order of Finish:2, 3, 1
1 #49 Vanja Corovic/Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Kate Lukomskaya/Kelly Sundaram (UA) – 9-7
2 Amanda Craddock/Krista Damico (UT) def. Anouk Tigu/Valentina Starkova (UA) – 8-5
3 Claudine Paulson/Stephanie Roy (UA) def. Sarah Lancaster/Caroline Larsson (UT) – 8-6

Singles – Order of Finish:2, 6, 3
1 #24 Aeriel Ellis (UT) vs. #29 Anouk Tigu (UA) – 6-3, 5-6, susp.
2 #63 Krista Damico (UT) def. #125 Kate Lukomskaya (UA) – 6-2, 6-3
3 #75 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. Emily Carbone (UA) – 6-0, 6-3
4 Maggie Mello (UT) vs. Kelly Sundaram (UA) – 6-4, 2-6, 2-2, susp.
5 Sarah Lancaster (UT) vs. Stephanie Roy (UA) – 7-5, 3-1, susp.
6 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Valentina Starkova (UA) – 6-4, 6-1

POST-MATCH COMMENTS
Texas head coach Patty Fendick-McCain
On winning the doubles point
“We were down6-3 at No. 1 doubles, but Aeriel Ellis and Vanja Corovic got it together.They played great tennis and came back to win the match.It was a tense doubles session, and we knew it would be a huge point.We got the win from Amanda Craddock and Krista Damico at No. 2 doubles, and Aeriel and Vanja played great down the stretch to get us the point.”

On the singles winners
“Krista was on fire from the very beginning.She did not let up.She played great tennis and was able toexploit her opponent’s weaknesses.Caroline Larsson was down 4-3 in the first set and was struggling.Her opponent was playing very well, but Caroline picked up her game about 10 levels and finished strong.Vanja Corovic’s match was a grinder .She played a great counter-puncher, and Vanja had to play some good tennis to get out of that one.

No. 14 Tech falls to No. 20 OU

After beating No. 20 Oklahoma on three occasions this year, the No. 14 Texas Tech men’s tennis team couldn’t make it a fourth time as it suffered a 4-2 loss to the Sooners in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday afternoon at the Headington Family Tennis Center.

For the first time in the four matches this year, Oklahoma (18-7) won the doubles points over Tech (22-6). The Sooners won at No. 3 first as Blake Boswell and Lawrence Formentera downed Vitor Manzini and David Gonzalez, 8-3. Tech was then victorious at No. 2 as Gonzalo Escobar and Andre Stabile defeated Ionut Beleleu and David Pultr, 8-5. The doubles point came down to the No. 1 spot with the match tied a 6-6 before OU’s 18th-ranked tandem of Andrei Daescu and Costin Paval broke serve to go up 7-6 over 17th-ranked Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia. OU’s duo then served out the match to win 8-6 and claim the doubles point for the Sooners.

In singles, the Red Raiders had to pull 17th-ranked Carvalho from the lineup due to an injury that has been bothering him for the last week. Tech had to move everyone up a spot and insert Gonzalez in at No. 6 for the second-straight match.

OU took a 2-0 lead with a win at No. 3 singles before Tech got on the scoreboard with a win at No. 5 as Raphael Pfister beat George Chanturia, 6-0, 6-1.

The Sooners went up 3-1 by winning at No. 6 and then Tech made it 3-2 with a win by Manzini, 6-4, 6-2, against Pultr at No. 4. OU took the last win at No. 2 as 65th-ranked Beleleu dropped Garcia, 6-4, 6-3.

“I’m incredibly disappointed for Ray (Raony Carvalho) and for the team,” head coach Tim Siegel state. “It’s very unfortunate we weren’t able to have Ray today, but I’m very proud of this young team and what we’ve accomplished this year. We fought until the end and almost pulled it out without our No. 1 player (Carvalho). Oklahoma played well and deserved the victory – the best of luck to them.”
#20 Oklahoma 4, #14 Texas Tech 2
NCAA Championships – Second Round
Headington Family Tennis Center
Norman, Okla.
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. #18 Daescu/Paval (OU) def. #17 Raony Carvalho/Garcia (TTU), 8-6
2. Escobar/Stabile (TTU) def. Beleleu/Pultr (OU), 8-5
3. Blake Boswell/Formentera (OU) def. Manzini/Gonzalez (TTU), 8-3

Singles (order of finish: 3, 5, 6, 4, 2)
1. #37 Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) vs. #29 Andrei Daescu (OU), 1-6, 5-4, unfinished
2. #65 Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. Rafael Garcia (TTU) (TTU), 6-4, 6-3
3. #74 Costin Paval (OU) def. Andre Stabile (TTU), 6-1, 6-1
4. Vitor Manzini (TTU) def. David Pultr (OU), 6-4, 6-2
5. Raphael Pfister (TTU) def. George Chanturia (OU), 6-0, 6-1
6. Lawrence Formentera (OU) def. David Gonzalez (TTU), 6-0, 6-4