There are some matchups happening this weekend that are worthy of recognition, but once Indoors starts, I will probably not pay attention to anything else. Here are my predictions for those matches:
#21 Wisconsin-Whitewater @ Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo has proven that they are tough, especially on their home courts, but there’s a really safe way to view this match: Whitewater beat Chicago 5-4. Kalamazoo lost to Chicago 5-4. Whitewater swept Chicago in doubles. Chicago swept Kalamazoo in doubles. I think these two teams will end up splitting the singles, but Whitewater has been really good in doubles and Kalamazoo has been atrocious. Unless something has changed drastically in the way the Hornets play doubles in the last week, I have to take the Warhawks in this one. 6-3.
#17 Carnegie Mellon vs. Luther
Luther got demolished by Whitewater two weeks ago. Sure, Whitewater is especially good this year, and CMU might be in for a down year, but I just can’t pick the upset in this one. Luther apparently has two good singles players, but if they can’t win in doubles, they have no chance. This is the first look we’ll have at CMU this year, but until they prove that they’re especially bad this year, I’ll have to go with the Tartans by a score of 7-2.
#24 Brandeis @ #15 Redlands
Redlands starts its D3 schedule tomorrow against Bates, but I think it’s safe to say that Bates is significantly better than Brandeis this year after the Judges’ loss to Oxy. The only way I see this match being close is if the Bulldogs completely let down after a big win tomorrow. Again, Redlands have looked good this year so far, but they are prone to weird performances. Plus, the Judges will definitely be acclimated by the time they play Redlands. I think Brandeis will play its best match of the trip against Redlands but still lose 8-1.
Luther @ #16 Depauw
I consider CMU and Depauw to be a lot alike this year. Both teams competing for a Pool C bid and flying a little bit below the radar. The difference is that Depauw now has a significant blemish on its record already, so they have to play balls-to-the-wall for the rest of the season if they want to make the tournament. I think they will eventually have to take their foot off the gas, but there’s no way that happens in their first big match after the upset. Depauw, 8-1.
#26 Bates @ #5 CMS
Bates, quite simply, has no chance to win this match. It’s scary to me that the Stags can use teams ranked in the 20′s as warm ups, but they have certainly have a well-planned schedule this year. 9-0 Claremont.
#17 Carnegie Mellon @ #16 Depauw
If you ignore the state of Minnesota, this is the match of the weekend. After being upset by Case last weekend, Depauw absolutely cannot afford to lose this match, but the Tartans need it almost as bad. Losing to a Pool C competitor is always incredibly damaging. Given Chicago’s start, Pool C looks a little bit more open to both of these teams, but neither can afford to lose this one. Depauw has the slight advantage of playing on their home courts, but that didn’t help them last weekend. CMU, however, hasn’t played a significant DIII match yet. I think CMU wins a 5-4 thriller.