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College Tennis Weekend Preview & Predicitions
Friday, 02/22/2013
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2.22.2013 Preview.jpg
Florida hosts Baylor as top 25 teams match up.

Courtesy of CTO Correspondent Bobby Knight - We’re just 4 days removed from the Men’s National Team Indoor Finals but many of the teams that participated in the 4 day tournament won’t have time to rest as they return to the court this weekend to face a ranked foe.  The weekend’s feature match takes place later today when USC hosts UCLA just 6 days removed from their 4-3 NTI Semifinal thriller.  When these two tangle you know you’re going to see some fireworks.  Texas A&M is hoping to rebound from a poor showing at the NTIs but will face some tough competition with a pair of Top 20 teams coming to College Station.   There is a Top 20 matchup in Gainesville on Saturday with Florida hosting Baylor while Stanford and Cal meet in Berkeley on Sunday.  Follow live scoring of each match at the provided links.

Friday:
#51 Clemson at #21 Auburn – 3pm est./2pm cst. – Live Scoring - In the battle of the Tigers I look for the Auburn Tigers to get the win in a fairly close match.  I’ll take Auburn in doubles and in 3 of the top 4 singles matches.  Prediction:  Auburn 5-2

#27 Texas Tech at #24 LSU – 4pm est./3pm cst. – Live Scoring – 2 teams only separated by 3 spots in the rankings and it should be a close one.  LSU’s Olivier Borsos has lost 5 straight at 1 while Tech’s Vitor Manzini comes in with a 3-5 record at 1 so this one could go either way.  I like LSU’s Chris Simpson at 2, LSU’s Stefan Szacinski at 3, and Tech’s Francisco Zambron at 4.  Tech’s Raphael Pfister is off to a 7-1 start splitting time between 5 and 6 and I like him to get win 8.  I like LSU’s Mark Bowtell to pick up a win at 5 or 6 giving each team 3 singles victories.  I’ll take LSU in doubles which gets them the tight win.  Prediction:  LSU 4-3

#39 Boise State at #26 San Diego – 4:30pm est./1:30pm pst. – Live Scoring - Toreros get it done at home with the bottom of the lineup coming through.  Prediction:  San Diego 4-3

#17 Tulsa at #14 Texas A&M – 6pm est./5pm cst. – Live Scoring & Video – Texas A&M is coming off a disappointing weekend in which they went 0-3 at the NTIs while Tulsa picked up a 6-1 win over Arkansas.  If Texas A&M can get motivated in front of the home crowd they should pick up the win however if they are still in a haze from last weekend it could go the other way.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-3

#3 UCLA at #2 USC – 6pm est/3pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - These 2 will be hard pressed to top last week’s match which saw 5 of 6 singles matches go 3 sets.  It’d be easy to say that things will go the same way but it rarely works out that way.  I’m sure Ray Sarmiento is looking forward to getting back outdoors after going 0-3 last weekend.  Ray has a 13-1 record outdoors this year and I look for him to rebound and get a win over his likely opponent, Dennis Novikov.   Many of the other matchups including doubles are toss-ups that could go either way.  If Billy Martin keeps Dennis Mkrtchian at 4 he’ll have a hard time finding a way to beat Yannick Hanfmann.  I think Karue Sell gets the win at 6 and Adrien Puget wins at 3 for UCLA while I’ll go with Max De Vroome in a slight upset over Clay Thompson at 5.  Prediction:  USC 4-3 

#72 Oregon at #19 Washington – 8pm est/5pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - Oregon is off to an 8-0 start though they’ve yet to face a team inside the top 50.  Washington is coming off a 4-1 win over Florida which concluded a 1-2 weekend at the NTIs.  The Huskies are too strong and will hand Oregon its 1st loss of the year.  Prediction:  Washington 6-1

Saturday:
#25 Notre Dame at #4 Ohio State – Noon est. – Live Scoring & Video - Notre Dame usually gives Ohio State a competitive match but the Buckeyes will be looking to rebound from their heartbreaking loss to Virginia in the NTI semis.  I don’t see Ohio State having any problem in this one.  Prediction:  Ohio State 6-1

#20 Baylor at #16 Florida – 1pm est. – Live Scoring - Florida is coming off a tough weekend that saw them go 0-3 at the NTIs while Baylor skipped the NTIs and stayed outdoors and filled its schedule with some lower ranked teams.   The Gators are hoping for a better performance from their big 3 of Bob van Overbeek, Florent Diep, and Stephane Piro but the 3 across the net from them will be every bit as good as the players they saw last weekend.  The Bears welcomed Julian Lenz back into the fold after missing a few months with some injuries and he has looked very strong at 1 in his last 3 matches.  Baylor’s January admits, Patrick Pradella and Tony Lupieri, have looked very good thus far as well playing in the 2 and 3 spots.   A year ago Florida steamrolled Baylor 6-1 but I have a feeling we’ll see that score flipped and it’ll be Baylor that will roll.  Prediction:  Baylor 6-1

Check back tomorrow and I’ll preview the Sunday slate which is highlighted by the Oklahoma/Texas A&M tilt in College Station. 

Sunday:
#24 LSU at #4 Ohio State – Noon est. – Live Scoring & Video

#7 Pepperdine at #29 Florida State (Bradenton, FL) – 1pm est. – Live Scoring

#30 Indiana at #33 Vanderbilt – 1pm est/Noon cst. – Live Scoring

#49 Virginia Tech at #38 Louisville – 1pm est. – Live Scoring

#48 South Carolina at #34 VCU – 1pm est.

#66 Georgia Tech at #21 Auburn – 2pm est./1pm cst.

#8 Oklahoma at #14 Texas A&M – 2pm est./1pm cst. – Live Scoring & Video

#28 Stanford at #12 Cal – 4pm est./1pm pst. – Live Video


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