by Bobby Knight. Pictured UCLA's Marcos Giron
Quarterfinal Sunday is here after the Round of 16 saw all the higher seeded teams advance though some had a harder go at it than others. All 8 winners on Friday won the doubles point but I think we could see as many as 3 teams take the doubles point on Sunday yet come up short.
It looks like weather could play a role on Sunday with temperatures expected to be in the 60s with a 70% chance of rain but hopefully a pocket of dry weather comes through that allows these matches to take place outdoors.
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USC (1) vs. Texas (9) – 12pm EST – USC had very little trouble on Friday rolling over Columbia 4-0 while Texas won a 4-1 match over Cal that saw Texas pick up 3 straight set wins while trailing on the remaining courts. USC is 26-4 in doubles while Texas is 17-10 so you’ve got to think USC will have the upper hand to grab the first point. I don’t see Texas having a legitimate shot at an upset without taking the doubles point.
1. Yannick Hanfmann vs. Soren Hess-Olesen – Hanfmann is 15-4 splitting time between 1 and 2 while Hess-Olesen is 19-2 playing all matches at #1. Should be a great match between 2 hard hitters. Prediction: DNF with Hess-Olesen (TX) leading.
2. Ray Sarmiento vs. Lloyd Glasspool – Sarmiento is 15-7 splitting time between 1 and 2 while Glasspool is 15-7 playing all matches at #2. Glasspool has struggled a bit lately and I don’t see Ray having much trouble in this one. Prediction: Sarmiento (USC) in 2.
3. Roberto Quiroz vs. Adrien Berkowicz – Quiroz is 23-1 playing primarily at 3 while Berkowicz is 17-7 splitting time between 3 and 4. Roberto has been in plenty of big matches this season and has only dropped 1 – this won’t be #2. Prediction: Quiroz (USC) in 2.
4. Max De Vroome vs. George Goldhoff – De Vroome is 15-4 playing primarily at 4 while Goldhoff is 12-13 playing at 3 and 4. Goldhoff had dropped 4 of 6 going into the NCAAs but has now won 3 in a row including the clincher against Cal. I think De Vroome will be just a tad too much and will push USC through to the semifinals. Prediction: De Vroome (USC) in 2.
5. Eric Johnson vs. Nick Naumann- Johnson is 21-3 playing at 4, 5, and 6 while Naumann is 20-3 playing all but 2 matches at #5. Prediction: DNF with Johnson (USC) leading.
6. Michael Grant vs. Clement Homs – Grant is 12-2 playing 9 of those matches at 6 while Homs is 13-3. Prediction: DNF with Homs (TX) leading.
Prediction: USC 4-0
Virginia (4) vs. Baylor (5) – Noon EST – Neither team had too much trouble punching their spot to the quarterfinals with Virginia cruising past Notre Dame 4-1 while Baylor overwhelmed Illinois 4-0. These teams met in the regular season with Virginia rolling to a 6-1 victory indoors in Charlottesville though at least 4 of the individual matchups will be different this time around. Virginia is 23-4 in doubles while Baylor is 24-5 so whoever takes the point will take the momentum into singles. Virginia has such a deep lineup that they can lose the doubles point and still win the match however if Baylor drops the point I do not see them overcoming it. Virginia’s normal lineup has Mac Styslinger in at 4 but I believe he won’t play in this one and they’ll slide Kwiatkowski, J Shane, and Aragone up a spot especially since both Kwiatkowski and Justin Shane would be facing an opponent that they’ve already beaten.
1. Alex Domijan vs. Julian Lenz – Domijan is 25-1 splitting time between 1 and 2 while Lenz is 24-3 splitting time between 1 and 2. Lenz is coming off a dominating performance against Illinois’s Jared Hiltzik while Domijan’s match with Notre Dame’s Greg Andrews went unfinished though Domijan was closing in on the victory. Prediction: Domijan (UVA) in 3.
2. Mitchell Frank vs. Patrick Pradella – Frank is 14-3 and Pradella is 12-5 with both splitting time between 1 and 2. Frank cruised past Ryan Bandy on Friday while Pradella was up a set on Farris Gosea. Prediction: Frank (UVA) in 3.
3. Ryan Shane vs. Diego Galeano – Shane is 18-2 playing primarily at 3 while Galeano is 16-7 playing primarily at 3. Shane led Quentin Monaghan on Friday while Galeano took out Tim Kopinski in straights. When Ryan Shane is on his game he is almost unbeatable. Prediction: Shane (UVA) in 2.
4. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski vs. Michel Dornbusch – Kwiatkowski is 20-1 splitting time between 4 and 5 while Dornbusch is 14-6 at 4, 5, and 6. Kwiatkowski knocked off Eddy Covalschi 6-2 6-2 on Friday while Dornbusch beat Blake Bazarnik 6-4 6-4. These two met at #6 singles in the regular season meeting and Thai-Son won 4-6 6-3 1-0 (5). Prediction: DNF with Kwiatkowski (UVA) leading.
5. Justin Shane vs. Mate Zsiga - Shane is 16-4 playing at 4, 5, and 6 while Zsiga is 19-6 playing at 3, 4, and 5. Shane handled Eric Schnurrenberger 6-2 6-2 on Friday while Zsiga was a game away from finishing off Ross Guignon. These two met at #4 singles in the regular season meeting with Shane winning 6-4 6-3. I think Zsiga fairs better this time around and get the win. Prediction: Zsiga (BU) in 2.
6. JC Aragone vs. Tony Luperi – Aragone is 9-0 playing in a fill in role at 6 while Lupieri is 17-5 playing at 4, 5, and 6. Lupieri was a game away from dropping his match on Friday to Julian Childers while Aragone did not play. Prediction: Aragone (UVA) in 2.
Prediction: Virginia 4-2
Oklahoma (2) vs. North Carolina (7) – 4pm EST – Oklahoma had no trouble on Friday against a Kentucky team that was missing it’s #1 Tom Jomby while North Carolina beat Georgia 4-2 despite there being over 2000 Georgia fans in the house. This should be the closest of the 4 quarterfinal matches with not much separating these two teams. North Carolina comes in with a 26-6 record in doubles while Oklahoma is 21-8. The doubles point will be crucial for both but I think North Carolina finds a way to take it.
1. Guillermo Alcorta vs. Brayden Schnur– Alcorta is 20-5 including 12-5 at 1 while Schnur is 18-4 with all those wins at #1. Alcorta cruised past Kentucky’s Alejandro Gomez 6-1 6-2 while Schnur knocked off Austin Smith 6-2 3-6 6-2. I think the OU senior will be just a bit too much for the UNC freshman. Prediction: Alcorta (OU) in 3.
2. Ronnie Schneider vs. Axel Alvarez – Schneider is 22-5 playing primarily at #2 while Alvarez is 19-4 splitting time between 1 and 2. Schneider is coming off a 7-6 6-3 win over Nathan Pasha while Alvarez led Beck Pennington. Prediction: Alvarez (OU) in 2.
3. Brett Clark vs. Dane Webb – Clark is 21-6 (6-0 at 2 & 15-6 at 3) while Webb is 23-2 splitting time between 3 and 4. Clark won the decider against Georgia beating Garrett Brasseaux 6-4 7-6 while Webb eased past Jerry Lopez 6-3 6-3. Webb has yet to lose a match this year when playing a full best of 3 sets using regular scoring and I don’t see it happening on Sunday. Prediction: Webb (OU) in 2.
4. Oystein Steiro vs. Andrew Harris – Steiro is 13-10 splitting time between 3, 4, and 5 while Harris is 19-4 splitting time between 3 and 4. Steiro suffered a straight set defeat to Ben Wagland while Harris defeated Kevin Lai 6-1 7-5. Prediction: Harris (OU) in 2.
5. Jack Murray vs. Austin Siegel – Murray is 19-7 splitting time between 4 and 5 while Siegel is 12-7 splitting time between 5 and 6. Both Murray and Siegel had big leads in their matches on Friday but were unable to finish before the teams clinch. I like the Tar Heel freshman in this one. Prediction: Murray (UNC) in 3.
6. Nelson Vick vs. Alex Ghilea – Vick is 14-6 splitting time between 5 and 6 while Ghilea is 9-5 splitting time between 5 and 6 as well. Vick lost in straight sets to Hernus Pieters while Ghilea had a set lead over Ryuji Hirooka. Prediction: DNF with Ghilea (OU) leading.
Prediction: Oklahoma 4-2
Ohio State (3) vs. UCLA (6) – 4pm EST – UCLA rolled past Tennessee on Friday while Ohio State needed a late rally to beat Florida 4-3. These two last met a year ago in the NCAA Semis in what was the 2nd best match of the tournament (UVA/UCLA #1) but I don’t think this one will come anywhere close to approaching that one. Ohio State must take the doubles point to put any pressure on UCLA because otherwise this one could finish quickly. Ohio State comes in at 28-8 in doubles while UCLA is 20-9.
1. Peter Kobelt vs. Clay Thompson – Kobelt is 22-5 on the year playing every match at #1 while Thompson is 15-3 splitting time between 1 and 2. Kobelt is coming off a 6-4 7-6 win over Florent Diep while Thompson’s match went unfinished with him leading Hunter Reese. Prediction: DNF with Thompson (UCLA) leading.
2. Herkko Pollanen vs. Marcos Giron – Pollanen is 11-13 with 17 of his 24 matches coming at #2 while Giron is 14-2 splitting time between 1 and 2. Pollanen went down in straights to Gordon Watson while Giron rolled over Mikelis Libietis. Prediction: Giron (UCLA) in 2.
3. Ralf Steinbach vs. Mackenzie McDonald – Steinbach is 26-5 with the majority of those coming at #4 and #5 though he has gone 5-1 at #3 while McDonald is 16-4. Steinbach lost on Friday to Maxx Lipman while McDonald’s match with Jarryd Chaplin went unfinished though McDonald led. Prediction: DNF with McDonald (UCLA) leading.
4. Chris Diaz vs. Gage Brymer – Diaz is 11-16 with the majority of those matches coming at #3 while Brymer is 17-3 with all but 2 of those matches at #4. Diaz fell on Friday to Diego Hidalgo while Brymer rolled over Brandon Fickey 6-2 6-2. Prediction: Brymer (UCLA) in 2.
5. Hunter Callahan vs. Adrien Puget – Callahan is 30-3 playing 23 of those at #6 then moving up to #5 while Puget is 3-0 after returning from injury. Callahan beat Elliott Orkin 6-2 7-5 while Puget beat Andrew Dromsky 6-4 6-2. Prediction: Puget (UCLA) in 2.
6. Kevin Metka vs. Karue Sell – Metka is 28-4 with 16 matches at #4 (12-4), 9 at #5 (9-0), and 6 at #6 (6-0) while Sell is 13-2 with 10 of those 15 matches at #5. Metka came from 4-1 down in the 3rd to defeat Mike Alford while Sell’s match against Bartosz Sawicki went unfinished though Sell was in winning position. Prediction: Sell (UCLA) in 2.
Prediction: UCLA 4-1