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CTO's 2013 ITA Season Kickoff Preview/Predictions
Thursday, 01/24/2013
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Seattle, WA -- This weekend kicks off the start of 2013 dual match season with all the heavy hitters in action.  Despite this being qualifying for the National Indoors 7 of the 15 regionals will be held outdoors.  6 of outdoor sights will be in the warmer weather climates with the exception being Mississippi State who has just 2 indoors courts so they’ll be outdoors where temperatures are expected to be in the 50s.  While many of the 1 versus 4 matchups will be lopsided most of the 2 versus 3 matchups will be very competitive and we will see several 4-3 and 4-2 contests.   10 regionals get started on Friday with the other 5 starting on Saturday.   I think we’ll see at least 3 hosts not make it through to Seattle with Illinois, Cal, Stanford, and Kentucky on upset alert.  Below is a brief synopsis of each regional with my take on who I think will pull through.

USC Regional (Outdoors) – Los Angeles, California – Friday/Saturday
#69 Fresno State vs. #60 Georgia Tech – 1 pm est
#2 USC vs. #66 San Diego State – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Georgia Tech over Fresno State 4-1 – Fresno State lost its top 5 from a year ago and just doesn’t have the roster to beat Georgia Tech. 
•    USC over SDSU 4-0 – Trojans get the easy shutout.
•    USC over Georgia Tech 4-0 – Trojans take doubles and the bottom of the lineup will get off the court first with several 6-2 6-1 scores.


Georgia Regional (Indoors-4 courts) – Athens, Georgia – Friday/Saturday
#32 VCU vs. #34 Minnesota – 2 pm est
#6 Georgia vs. #39 Vanderbilt – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    VCU over Minnesota 4-1 – Rams too tough for Minnesota at 2, 3, and 4.
•    Georgia over Vanderbilt 4-1 – Only Vandy point comes from Lipman
•    Georgia over VCU 4-1 – Dawgs take the double point and get wins from Wagland, Pasha, and Pieters


Stanford Regional (Outdoors) – Palo Alto, California – Friday/Saturday
#29 Texas Tech vs. #27 San Diego – 2 pm est
#10 Stanford vs. #26 Texas A&M – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    San Diego over Texas Tech 4-3 – I think this will be a very tight match where the team that takes the doubles point takes the match.  I like USD’s top 3 of Kalaydijan, Spinosa, and Visy to win.  I’ll go with Tech at 4, 5, and 6 in singles.   I’ll take USD in doubles largely due to the experience they have playing in the past whereas most of Texas Tech’s players just got to campus 2 weeks ago.  
•    Texas A&M over Stanford 4-2 - Going with the upset here in another tight match.   Junior Ore seems to be playing well and I think Shane Vinsant and Harrison Adams come up big for A&M. 
•    Texas A&M over San Diego 4-2 – Aggies win the doubles point and find a way to pick up 3 wins in singles.


Cal Regional (Outdoors) – Berkeley, California - Friday/Saturday
#14 Cal vs. #38 Boise State – 1 pm est
#20 Michigan vs. #35 Santa Clara – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Cal over Boise State 4-0 – too much depth for Cal this year
•    Michigan over Santa Clara 4-0 – Michigan just too strong and deep for Santa Clara with the bottom of the lineup getting 3 quick wins.
•    Michigan over Cal 4-3 – This should be one of the better matches of the weekend with several 3rd sets.  I’ll take Michigan in the mild upset with the Wolverines taking the doubles point and getting wins at 1, 2, and 5.


Virginia Regional (Indoors) – Charlottesville, Virginia – Friday/Saturday
#1 Virginia vs. #63 North Florda – 6 pm est
#55 Arkansas vs. #62 Georgia State – 3 pm est

Predictions:
•    Virginia over UNF 4-0 – Easy win for the Hoos
•    Arkansas over Georgia State 4-1 – Several close matches but Arkansas pulls through.
•    Virginia over Arkansas 4-0 – UVA in a different class than Arkansas.


Duke Regional (Indoors)– Durham, North Carolina – Friday/Saturday
#5 Duke vs. #46 Middle Tennessee State – 10am est
#37 Northwestern vs. #43 Virginia Tech – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Duke over MTSU 4-0 – Blue Devils roll at home.
•    Virginia Tech over Northwestern 4-2 – Bjerrehus and Contini lead the Hokies to the win.
•    Duke over Virginia Tech 4-0 – Duke punches its ticket to Seattle with a routine win.


Ole Miss Regional (Indoors-3 courts)– Oxford, Mississippi – Friday/Saturday
#13 Ole Miss vs. #44 Columbia – 3pm est
#36 Louisville vs. #41 NC State – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Ole Miss over Columbia 4-0 – Rebels take the doubles point and 1,2, and 3 singles
•    NC State over Louisville 4-2 – Very close match but NC State gets it done.
•    Ole Miss over NC State 4-0 – Rebels too strong for the Pack.


UCLA Regional (Outdoors) – Los Angeles, California – Friday/Saturday
#3 UCLA vs. #57 Cal Poly – 4pm est
#57 BYU vs. #50 South Florida – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    UCLA over Cal Poly 4-0 – Bruins cruise past the Mustangs
•    BYU over USF 4-2 – Hard fought match but Kawka, Pierce, and Goryachkov get it done for the Cougars
•    UCLA over BYU 4-0 – Bruins overpowering in a shutout win.


Illinois Regional (Indoors) – Champaign-Urbana, Illinois – Friday/Saturday
#18 North Carolina vs. #24 Tulsa – 2pm est
#16 Illinois vs. #19 Tennessee – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    UNC over Tulsa 4-2 – Very competitive match but UNC gets by with singles wins at 1, 3, 4, and 5.
•    Tennessee over Illinois 4-1- Vols get the doubles point and singles wins at 1, 3, and 6.
•    Tennessee over UNC 4-2 – Vols find a way to get it done with John Collins clinching it.


Kentucky Regional (Indoors-4 courts) – Lexington, Kentucky – Friday/Saturday
#9 Kentucky vs. #47 Michigan State – 1pm est
#17 Texas vs. #40 South Carolina - 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Kentucky over Michigan State 4-0 – Cats top 3 gets it done.
•    Texas over South Carolina 4-0 – Horns take care of business with all straight set wins.
•    Texas over Kentucky 4-2 – UT pulls the upset with Hess-Olesen, Whitehead, and Naumann getting the Horns the 3 singles wins they need after taking the doubles point.


Mississippi State Regional (Outdoors) – Starkville, Mississippi – Saturday/Sunday
#11 Mississippi State vs. #25 LSU – 2pm est
#21 Auburn vs. #23 Indiana – 3o minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Mississippi State over LSU 4-0 – MSU’s freshmen pave the way to the shutout.
•    Auburn over Indiana 4-1 – Monette picks up the lone win for IU
•    Mississippi State over Auburn 4-1 – MSU just a little better at the key spots



Pepperdine Regional (Outdoors) – Malibu, California – Saturday/Sunday
#7 Pepperdine vs. #53 Denver – 1pm est
#33 Florida State vs. #45 Drake – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Pepperdine over Denver 4-1 – Denver keeps this one close but Fanselow and company are too strong 
•    Drake over Florida State 4-3 – If Ghorbel plays for Drake after sitting out last week’s MWC Individuals I think Drake pulls the upset.  If he does not this could swing to a 4-3 FSU win.
•    Pepperdine over Drake 4-1 – Waves too strong at the top 4.

Oklahoma Regional (Indoors) – Norman, Oklahoma – Saturday/Sunday
#28 Harvard vs. #30 Notre Dame – 11am est
#8 Oklahoma vs. #31 Memphis – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Notre Dame over Harvard 4-1 – Irish pushed by the Crimson but pull through.
•    Oklahoma over Memphis 4-1 – This could be a very competitive match that might finish 4-3 if everything were played out.
•    Oklahoma over Notre Dame 4-0 – Sooners have a much easier time with this one after getting all they want from Memphis.


Ohio State Regional (Indoors) – Columbus, Ohio – Saturday/Sunday
#4 Ohio State vs. #72 East Tennessee State – 10am est
#64 Miami FL vs. #71 Louisiana-Lafayette – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Ohio State over ETSU 4-0 – Buckeyes roll over the Bucs.
•    Miami over ULL 4-1 – Canes pushed some but pull through.
•    Ohio State over Miami 4-0 – Buckeyes with too much firepower at home.
 

Florida Regional (Outdoors)– Gainesville, Florida – Saturday/Sunday
#12 Florida vs. #56 St. John’s – 10am est
#42 UNC Wilmington vs. #52 South Alabama – 30 minutes after match 1

Predictions:
•    Florida over St Johns 4-0 – Gators cruise at home.
•    UNC Wilmington over S Alabama 4-2 – Daniel Leitner and Alex Bernard get wins for the Jags but it’s not enough to overcome Rafael Aita, Kosta Blank, Kaue Pereira, and Pedro Mol as the Seahawks get the win.
•    Florida over UNC Wilmington 4-2 – Gators pushed hard but they find a way to get it done. 


CTO Correspondent, Bobby Knight.
You can follow me on Twitter @B_Knight77. 

2013 MEN'S PREVIEW - ACC | BIG 10 | BIG 12 | PAC-12 | SEC




Patrick Barthe

January 25 2013 at 07:33:01 AM

Awesome stuff Bobby! The previews are great too.

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