Pictured: Notre Dame Sr. Greg Andrews
The third CTO/MDTA Division 1 Men's Coaches Poll has been released and as expected there are several changes in the Top 25. One place we did not see a change was at the top spot as Brian Boland’s Virginia Cavaliers remain at #1. Virginia (4-0) has started the year off with 4 consecutive shutouts over Elon, Indiana, Boston College, and Navy and will be fully rested for the National Indoors which start a week from Friday in Houston.
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Coming in at #2 this week is the USC Trojans (4-0). Peter Smith’s crew jumps from #4 to #2 after a pair of impressive shutout wins this past weekend against #4 Georgia and #16 Florida in the Pac 12/SEC Challenge. Just as impressive was the fact that USC only dropped 4 sets against the two powers. USC makes a Friday visit to Palo Alto to face Stanford then will be off for the next week.
Billy Martin’s UCLA Bruins fall one spot from #2 to #3. UCLA (5-0) also participated in the Pac 12/SEC Challenge and remained undefeated with a 4-1 win over Florida and then won a 4-3 nail bitter over #4 Georgia. UCLA makes a trip to the Bay Area this weekend to take on St. Mary’s on Stanford.
Georgia (2-2) fell one spot from #3 to #4 after suffering a pair of defeats last weekend against UCLA and USC. Manny Diaz’s squad will return to action on Thursday to host East Tennessee State before resting up for the National indoors.
Rounding out the top 5 are Ty Tucker’s Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) who rose 1 spot from #6 to #5. The 5th ranked Buckeyes will face some tough competition this weekend with both #18 Kentucky and #8 Texas A&M coming into Columbus and it will take a solid performance from the young squad to keep their 179 match home winning streak intact.
Oklahoma (4-0), Baylor (4-0), Texas A&M (6-0), Mississippi State (6-0), and Cal (5-0) come in at 6-10. Texas (6-0), Duke (3-2), Notre Dame (6-0), Tennessee (7-1), and North Carolina (6-1) are 11-15. Florida (3-2), Pepperdine (4-1), Kentucky (5-2), Oklahoma State (6-0), and Vanderbilt (4-1) fill the 16-20 spots and coming in at 21-25 are Wake Forest (5-1), Illinois (2-2), Memphis (3-1), Columbia (5-1), and Auburn (7-1).
5 teams enter the Top 25 for the first time of the year.
- Notre Dame (6-0) was the highest riser coming in at #13 buoyed by not one but two 4-3 victories over Kentucky. Both matches were tied at 3-3 and came down to the court that Eddy Covalschi occupied and in both instances the Fighting Irish freshman from Shelby Township, Michigan came through in the clutch.
- North Carolina (6-1) enters the poll at #15 largely due to the play of its trio of freshman in Brayden Schnur, Ronnie Schneider, and Jack Murray. The 3 have combined to go 16-2 in the Tar Heels first 7 dual matches with Schnur and Schneider anchoring the lineup at #1 and #2 singles.
- Oklahoma State (6-0) comes in at #19 riding the high of a 4-2 upset over then #5 Tennessee. Jay Udwadia’s top 4 are all new additions to the Cowboys lineup with Jakob Sude, Sebastian Sachs, Arjun Kadhe, and Lucas Gerch posting a combined 10-1 dual match record with several other matches stopped due to a clinch with a win in sight.
- Columbia (5-1) checks in at #24. The Lions nearly upset #4 Georgia during the ITA Kickoff Weekend but have since rebounded and posted shutout wins over Washington, Georgia State, and DePaul.
- Auburn (7-1) is the last new entry to the poll coming in at #25 this week. Auburn’s lone loss came to #7 Baylor during the ITA Kickoff Weekend in a match that was much closer than the final score.
The biggest leaps since the last poll release were Cal (16th to 10th), Texas (17th to 11th), Duke (20th to 12th), and the aforementioned 5 that have entered the poll.
The biggest drops since the last poll release were Mississippi (11th to unranked), Kentucky (7th to 18th), Tennessee (5th to 14th), and South Carolina (18th to unranked).
Also receiving votes but not garnering enough to make this week’s Top 25 were Clemson, South Carolina, Michigan, Mississippi, and Harvard.
The MDTA (Men’s Division 1 Tennis Association) was formed last year to provide a forum for Men’s D1 Coaches to discuss issues that are unique and special to Division 1 Men’s Tennis; for more information about the MDTA you can visit their website at www.mensdivisiononetennis.org . All Division I Men’s Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches are eligible to vote in the poll though they cannot vote for their respective team. The next coaches poll will be released on February 18th.