Pictured: Illinois's Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon
For the 2nd weekend in a row Illinois took out a Top 10 at home with this week’s victim being #7 Kentucky. It looked like Illinois was going to jump out to a 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point but Kentucky’s Grant Roberts and Anthony Rossi rallied from a 7-5 deficit at #3 doubles to take the deciding match 8-7 (4). Illinois came roaring back in singles with Bruno Abdelnour, Farris Gosea, and Jared Hiltzik finishing their matches in straight sets. Hiltzik cooled off the red hot Tom Jomby at #2 singles with a 7-5 7-6 win. Anthony Rossi and Charles Minc got straight set wins for Kentucky at 1 and 5 setting the stage for the decider at #3 singles. Illinois’s Tim Kopinski provided the clincher with a 6-1 4-6 6-3 win over Kentucky’s
Alejandro Gomez to send the Illini crowd into a frenzy for the 2nd time in 8 days.
The Battle for the River Hills Cup was just as fierce as expected with Mississippi State
outlasting rival Ole Miss 4-2 in a dual that lasted nearly 6 hours. There were just 3 indoor courts in use which meant that only 3 singles matches were played at a time which added a few hours to the length of the match. The Bulldogs looked like they were going to get a quick 4-0 shutout when James Chaudry served for the match at 3 up 5-4 in the 3rd but Rebel William Kallberg fought back to get the break in a game where Chaudry double faulted twice. Then in the tiebreak Chaudry led 6-2 with 4 more match points but Kallberg erased them one by one and pulled it out 10-8 to put the Rebels on the board. The Rebs rode the momentum to 1st set wins at 4 and 5 but State’s Stefen Vinti took the 1st set 6-0 at 6 to turn the tide back to the Maroon and White. State’s Jordan Angus rallied after dropping the 1st set at 4 to Johan Backstrom 4-6 by taking the 2nd set 6-1 then opened up a 5-1 lead in the 3rd but then Backstrom won 3 straight games to get it to 5-4. Angus finally closed the door by holding at love to seal the victory for State.
In Day 1 of the Battle of Nor Cal versus So Cal it was USC
who both posted 7-0 shutouts over Cal and Stanford. The UCLA/Stanford dual was the much closer of the 2 with 5 of the 6 singles matches going to a set tiebreak or a 3rd set while USC rolled up 5 straight set victories over Cal with just the #1 singles match between Ray Sarmiento and Ben McLachlan going the distance with Sarmiento pulling out the 6-3 3-6 6-3 win.
Duke knocked off Tennessee 4-1 as Blue Devil freshmen Josh Levine
provided the clincher at #6 singles with a 7-5 6-3 win over Taylor Patrick. Patrick led 5-3 in the 1st set but Levine rallied to take 4 straight games to close out the set. Duke’s Raphael Hemmeler cruised to a 6-3 6-1 win at 4 over UT’s John Collins and Duke’s Jason Tahir thumped UT’s Ed Jones 6-0 6-0 at 5. Chris Mengel was out of the lineup for Duke as was Jarryd Chaplin for Tennessee.
Oklahoma put together a dominating performance against Tulsa with Costin Paval, Axel Alvarez, Leonard Stakhovsky, and Peerakit Siributwong all winning in straight sets. The Sooners also captured the doubles point in route to this 5-1 victory.
Florida took care of business and rolled over state rival Florida State 5-2. The Gators had no problem in doubles winning 8-3 at both 2 and 3. Florida won 5 1st sets and finished 4 matches in straight sets with Florent Diep, Stephane Piro, Gordon Watson, and Michael Alford all winning.
In Day 2 of the Battle of Nor Carl versus So Cal both USC and UCLA posted 6-1 wins over Stanford and Cal. Nolan Paige picked up Stanford’s lone point by winning a supertiebreaker over Max De Vroome at 4. Cal got its lone point from Campbell Johnson who took out Adrian Puget 7-5 6-1.
Now let’s take a look ahead to what’s in store for Sunday. Don’t forget to follow live scoring of each match at the provided links.
#21 Michigan at #9 Duke
– Noon est – Live Scoing
@ http://www.goduke.com/fls/4200/livestats/xlive.htm?SPID=1839&DB_OEM_ID=4200 – Duke put together a solid performance against Tennessee and I expect them to come out strong against Michigan as well. The match between Evan King and Henrique Cunha at 1 should be a good one. The 2 best matchups for Michigan are at 2 and 3 with Vlad Stefan and Alex Petrone slightly favored against Fred Saba and Michael Redlicki. Prediction: Duke 5-2
#14 Tennessee at #36 Wake Forest
– Noon est – Live Scoring
@ http://www.wakeforestsports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - The Vols suffered their 1st setback of the year falling to Duke while Wake Forest ran its record to 8-1 with a 5-2 win on Friday over South Carolina. The Deacs will keep this close but Tennessee will find a way to get the win. Libietis, Reese, and Fickey get singles wins after the Vols take the doubles point. Prediction: Tennessee 4-3
#4 Ohio State at #15 Texas A&M
– 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring/Video
@ http://www.aggieathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=632703&SPID=93240&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27300&ATCLID=205363580 – Both teams come into this matchup with undefeated records which is the norm for Ohio State but has been unexpected for Texas A&M. I can’t see an upset happening here; Ohio State is just too strong at both the top and bottom of the lineup. A&M’s best chance at getting on the scoreboard is at 3 or 4 singles with Harrison Adams or Shane Vinsant . Prediction: Ohio State 6-1
#68 TCU at #17 Tulsa
– 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring
@ http://www.tulsahurricane.com/livestats/m-tennis/TulsaTennis.html -Tulsa has been up and down this year losing 3, winning 3, then losing Friday to Oklahoma while TCU is coming off a 5-2 win over Stanford. I’ll go with Tulsa at doubles and 1, 5, and 6 singles to win a close one. Prediction: Tulsa 4-3