EDIT: I, ASouth, realize that this post is mad late. I had been getting things done, and all of a sudden randomly hit a wall. Whether that be because of other things, not sure it matters. Apologies for getting this out so late and I hope you still enjoy.
As the blog continues to get out the post ITA coverage, RegAS and I are here to give you the winners and not winners of the ASouth ITAs. The reasoning behind the title is because the last time I did a Winners & Losers column, I was told that I was being too mean to call people losers, which is strange because YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. Plus, I called Rafe Mosetick a loser and people actually had sympathy for him, which was surprising. So, here we are with the winners and not winners of the ASouth ITAs, and just remember, let the rackets do the talking. We’ll try and cover most, if not all, of the teams that competed. Not every player will get a mention, so if you’re not mentioned, don’t be insulted. You’ll get your chance! Off we go!
Winner – Emory’s Defense
We came into this year with a big question, and that was whether or not Emory could withstand the losses of Aman Manji and Josh Goodman. Well, they’ve started off the year with a bang. Three players really stood out to me in the tournament for the Eagles. Highly touted freshman Hayden Cassone made the semifinals before falling to his teammate Jemison. James Spaulding took out Adrien Bouchet and Alec Josepher in the main draw, before falling to his teammate, Rex Serituk! All in all, Emory could be looking at replacing Manji and Goodman with Cassone and Serituk, given that Rex didn’t play last year. Here’s to hoping that Serituk isn’t just a Fall ITA player and can actually bring the goods in the spring. Either way, there’s a potential that this year’s Emory team is better than last years (both Manji and Goodman didn’t play doubles). That’s something to be afraid of.
Are you scared of a Jemison/Cassone/Spaulding/Bouchet/Serituk/Josepher lineup? You should be
— d3AtlanticSouth (@d3AtlanticSouth) October 1, 2017
Not Winner – Excitement in Berry
Everyone knew this was going to be an Emory dominated tournament, but this was seriously an Emory dominated tournament. 6 of the 8 quarterfinalists were from Atlanta, with the remaining 2 being from Methodist and Birmingham Southern. Now, this could have been better for Emory, but honestly, there wasn’t much excitement past the Sweet 16. We used to have Schober and Sikh making waves, but not anymore. It looks like the most exciting moment was Ryan Olps (Sewanee) taking Bouchet to three in his freshman year. Good start for the frosh!
Winner – Jacob Weinacker
As I said in the preview, pretty much all I knew about this guy was that he was a senior, but after a run to the quarterfinals, he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on. Oh, and on his way to the quarters he took out Metzger (a promising freshman for Sewanee), Rubenstein of Emory and Marti-Vertiz, Millsaps’ #1, before falling to eventual finalist Rex Serituk. Hats off to this young man for a great run and look for him to make a push towards the top of the Atlantic South singles rankings.
Not Winner – Rhodes
The Lynx had one singles player and one doubles team make it out of the first round. Their singles player (Morton) pulled out before the second round match even started and their doubles team of Chatterjee/Zeders got pretty easily handled by NC Wesleyan’s projected 1st team. A team that I was very high on last year, doesn’t look nearly as promising as they did around this time last year. Another note to add, Rhodes’ former 4 star recruit, Lauture, was nowhere to be seen this past weekend. If the Lynx want to continue to take steps in the right direction, they will need the talent of Lauture in the lineup.
Winner – Mark Fallati
Has young Mark found his rhythm again? A run to the semis of his ITA seems to point in that direction. He picked up notable wins over Hopkins’ Eric Yoo and CMU’s Chaz Downing before falling to finalist Bopanna. He also ran to the quarters of doubles before falling to the eventual champions of Hagino/Hughes from Mary Wash. Swarthmore’s success will depend on Fallati and if you’re a garnet fan, you should like what you saw this weekend.
Not Winner – CNU
David Reed had a great run to the semis however and Guilford and Ruzicka had a nice run to the quarters, however the captains had some results that were concerning. Cerny lost in the first round of singles to some kid from Bridgewater College. He then paired with Reed as the number 1 overall seeds and lost their first match. However it was not just their own results that puts them into this category, it’s the fact that Mary Washington had a very strong ITA and looks poised to take back the conference. If I were the Captains, I’d get to work in the off season.
Winner – CMU’s Top of the Lineup
CMU’s current big 3 of Levine, Downing, and Boppana (freshman) were truly winners of this ITA go around. While all of us are wondering where the rest of the pieces are for CMU (we’ll get to that), these 3 had the following results. Levine won the whole damn thing, beating freshman Boppana in the finals, and Chaz Downing made the quarterfinals before losing to Mark Fallati in three sets. Levine and Downing made the finals of the doubles portion, where they dropped a match that I felt they could have won, but didn’t. Either way, Levine ended up 2nd place at Small College Nationals, Boppana basically came out of nowhere and instantly becomes a top of the lineup player for the Tartans. Chaz Downing seems to get better every year, and CMU looks like they are set with their top 3 at least. Now, with the addition of Rozenvasser (not sure if he’s injured), that would give them a top 4 that would be able to really compete with the top 8 teams. We’ll leave that for another day.
Not Winner – The Rest of CMU
I was surprised to see that Arora, Rozenvasser, and Prettyman all did not participate in this year’s ITA. All three were key contributors last year, so it is alarming they were not in this year. Also, Arora seems to be off the roster according to their website. Strange. This left a lot open for the rest of the team, and they put up a dud. Kailas Shekar and Tom Bickel, two strong recruits, fizzled out early. The rest of the CMU team didn’t make so much of a dent in the draw, and there are some serious questions coming from Pittsburgh if this their bottom. Not to mention, they lost all 3 spots against Christopher Newport…
Not Winner – Hopkins
Hopkins brought in a massive recruiting class in the hope of replacing two of their main guys from last year, Buxbaum and Dubin. As of right now, it doesn’t look like they have anyone to replace either of those guys. Their highest seed, Joshi, got ousted by Shekar of CMU who then lost in the next round. Hopkins normally sends at least 3 players to the quarterfinals almost every year, and usually one team to the doubles finals at least. Well, this year they had 1 quarterfinalist in singles and no semfinalists in doubles. Pretty concerning showing for the Blue Jays, but they can look at Cody Kim, Eric Yoo, and David Perez’s performances as some potential silver linings in what was a tough tournament for them.
Winner – The House of Vernier
Tibo of the House Vernier, First of His Name, King of The Soft Hands and the First Drop Shot, Poacher of Nets @D3Northeast
— d3AtlanticSouth (@d3AtlanticSouth) September 30, 2017
I learned during ITA weekend that Swarthmore has many, many Verniers, and they all did pretty damn solid in their respective tournaments. Thibault Vernier made the quarterfinals, which was a surprise coming from an unseeded player. He took out David Perez in straight sets before losing to eventual finalist Boppana in the QF. His brother, Simon Vernier, took out CMU freshman Kailas Shekar fresh off his win over #5 seed Joshi of Hopkins. Simon eventually lost to Michael Fleming, who had a solid tournament in itself. I’m fairly sure the other Vernier graduated already, but it’s nice to see freshman version of Vernier make the quarterfinals. Looks like Swarthmore has some solid players this year in what could be a comeback year.
Winner – UMW Middlemen
UMW has had a rough go of it in ITAs recently, but this year they were able to show that they could potentially be strong in the middle of the lineup. The aforementioned Michael Fleming took out Vernier on route to a quarterfinals appearance where he lost to eventual champion Levine in two solid sets. Matt Miles (4 seed) lost a very close match against Cody Kim of Hopkins, and Miles has shown improvement pretty much every year since he’s played. Patrick Hughes went 3 with projected #3 for CMU Chaz Downing, which is a lot coming from a player who mostly has played at the bottom of the lineup. I say that UMW could be decently strong in the 2-4 spots in the lineup, especially if someone steps up later on in the season. However, UMW may struggle at the top of the lineup, as they have a lot of guys who are talented but potentially not #1 talented.
Adding to UMW’s solid tournament was the fact they had two semifinalists in doubles, Miles/Fleming and Hagino/Hughes. Hagino/Hughes ended up winning the whole damn thing, which definitely surprised me. This duo ended up getting 7th in Small College Nats with a big win over CMS in their final match. Expect UMW to have a pretty solid top 2 doubles teams as well.
Not Winner – UMW’s Depth
This really should be more of an unknown than a not winner, but UMW didn’t really show much other than the above bullet. Most of their guys did make it out of the first round, which is obviously a good thing. With losses to Levine, Perez, and Yoo, it’s hard to say if these guys will be strong bottom of the lineup singles players or more middle of the pack. Let’s say that this one is more TBD than anything.
Not Winner – Wilkes Dream Runs
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a dream run from Courtney Murphy this year, as he got ousted by Boppana of CMU before the Murphy train could heat up. One of the best stories from last year went kaput in the early rounds, but it’s okay. We remembered what happened last year. That’s what kinda counts.
Still TBD – Sewanee, NC Wesleyan
These two teams really have a tough time getting grades/judgement in these ITAs because it is dominated by the #1 team in the nation. We saw some sweet performances from the Sewanee freshman Metzger as well as Jack Gray, but nothing to really tell me that Sewanee will be better or worse than last year. We’ll have to see. As for NC Wesleyan, their main dude Sebastian Sikh lost fairly early to an Emory player, of course. The talent gap is too big between the two teams to even think about if NC Wesleyan did well.
A lot to talk about with the ASouth ITA recap, and I tried to keep it as short as possible. Shoutout to RegAS for finishing his portion of the winners and not winners, as I certainly could not have told you many facts about Rhodes even though D3Tree tells me to get with the game. I don’t think I ever will. Again, sorry for the tardiness, but hey we out here. You guys should be somewhat used to me not living up to my article promises than all of a sudden getting out 4 in a week. ASouth OUT.
Oh, and Washington and Lee – they played too, but the story was Jordan Krasner.
— W&L Men's Tennis (@wlumenstennis) September 30, 2017