Pictured Marcos Giron. Bruins clinch the 2013 Pac-12 regular-season title.
By Bobby Knight - B-R-U-I-N beatdown!! After dropping the doubles point UCLA took it to USC in singles play picking up 4 quick wins from Marcos Giron, Clay Thompson, Adrian Puget, and Dennis Novikov to knock off their crosstown rivals. Giron led Emilio Gomez 6-0 2-0 when Gomez retired at 2, Thompson beat Eric Johnson 6-2 6-3 at 5, Puget beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-1 6-4 at 3, and Novikov took out Ray Sarmiento 6-4 6-2 at 1.
USC did pick up a couple of singles wins after UCLA clinched it with Roberto Quiroz winning a 3rd set supertiebreaker at 4 and Johnny Wang winning in straight sets at 6 so we did get another 4-3 final though this one was suspense free.
After a wild and crazy Thursday in Oxford things leveled out on Friday in the Quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament as the top 4 seeds all advanced to the semifinals. Florida wasted little time and shutout South Carolina 4-0 with the Gators grabbing the doubles point and picking up straight set wins from Stephane Piro, Florent Diep, and Michael Alford at 1, 2, and 4. In the 2nd quarterfinal it was Tennessee getting past Vanderbilt 4-1. The Vols ran away with the doubles point and picked up singles wins from Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese, and Jarryd Chaplin at 1, 2, and 3. Vandy’s lone point came from Rhys Johnson at 6. In the 3rd match of the day Texas A&M rebounded after dropping the doubles point to Alabama by picking up 4 straight set wins from Jeremy Efferding, Junior Ore, Harrison Adams, and Shane Vinsant at 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Crimson Tide had a great run over the previous 2 days and I imagine the gas tank was starting to run low. In the final match of the evening a tired Kentucky squad, that probably didn’t get to sleep until after 4am, put up a great fight but came up just short losing to the #1 seed Georgia Bulldogs by a 4-3 score. Georgia took the doubles point and picked up wins from Ben Wagland, Nathan Pasha, and Garrett Brasseaux at 2, 3, and 6 with Pasha providing the clincher in a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over Charles Minc. Kentucky got wins from Anthony Rossi, Kevin Lai, and Beck Pennington at 1, 4, and 5.
ACC: There weren’t a ton of close matches to speak of as Virginia, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Clemson all won easily though North Carolina did upset Wake Forest 5-2 as the Tarheels took the doubles point and picked up singles wins from Brett Clark, Nelson Vick, Oystein Steiro, and Stuart DePaolo.
Big 10: Ohio State, Michigan, and Illinois all won easily though Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Northwestern were all pushed hard in their wins over Nebraska, Iowa, and Purdue.
Saturday will be a pretty light day of activity though there are a few duals in the Pac 12. The headliner takes place in Palo Alto as Stanford hosts its Bay Area neighbor Cal. The SEC Tournament has reached the semifinals so those 2 matches should be entertaining as well.
Follow along at the live scoring links below.
#18 Cal at #42 Stanford – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - http://www.streamingtennis.com/Cardinal/livescoreboard1.html - Cal knocked off Stanford in Berkeley 5-2 back on February 24th and will try to sweep the regular season series while the Cardinal looks to make it a split. Cal’s strength is its top 3 and I see Ben McLachlan, Christoffer Konigsfeldt, and Campbell Johnson sweeping those 3 spots and the Bears will pick up another point from Greg Bayane at 4 to come away with the win. Stanford will take the doubles point and win at 5 and 6. Prediction: Cal 4-3
#33 Washington at #43 Oregon – 4pm est/1pm pst – No Live Scoring - This will be the 2nd meeting this year between these 2 as Washington took the first encounter 5-2 back on February 22nd. Oregon has had a nice year and pulling off an upset in its regular season finale would be sweet but Washington isn’t going to go down quietly. Oregon will need the doubles point to have a shot in this one and I see the Ducks taking the point and picking up wins at 2, 4, and 5 to pull off the upset win. Prediction: Oregon 4-3
Live Scoring @ http://www.olemisssports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm
Live Blog @ http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/2013-SEC-Championship-blog.html -
SEC Tournament Home Page @ http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/2013-SEC-Championship.html
#14 Florida vs. #7 Tennessee – The Gators came into Knoxville on March 17th and came away with a 4-3 upset in a match that was decided by a close 3rd set at #6 singles. Both teams got off the court on Friday in less than 3 hours so fatigue shouldn’t be much of an issue. I look for the Vols to take the doubles point this time and I like Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese, and John Collins at 1, 2, and 4. I think Florida will have the upper hand at 3 and 5 but it won’t be enough. Prediction: Tennessee 4-1
#12 Texas A&M vs. #2 Georgia – The Bulldogs won the regular season meeting in Athens by a 4-1 score though the Aggies have started to turn it around lately by winning 4 straight. If Georgia gets the doubles point this one could go quickly but I think Texas A&M will claim it and put up a fight in a few spots but Georgia will be too much and pick up wins from KU Singh, Ben Wagland, Nathan Pasha, and Garrett Brasseaux. Prediction: Georgia 4-1