Amherst vs. Wash U
If Wash U has a chance to keep this match close, they will have to take at least two out of three doubles matches. Unfortunately for them, Amherst is just better than they are at doubles, and Coach Garner knows how to get his players pumped up for the big matches. There’s not much of a chance Wash U will sneak in a couple prosets before the Jeffs know what’s going on. In singles, Wash U is pretty strong at the top, but Amherst is so much deeper it’s silly. Given what happened against Vassar, I’ll take Chafetz and Rattenhuber to beat the Puttermans pretty easily. Kahan and Jung will be too much for Chang and Farah. If Wash U has a chance at a doubles point, it’s at 3 where Parizher has been playing extremely well. I like the Jeffs to squeak by the Bears in that match, giving them a 3-0 lead heading into singles.
After that, Amherst will win at 5 and 6 pretty quickly to decide the match. It’s a shame that things will probably shape up that way because I would love to see how the Putterman/Kahan match would play out, but I’m guessing the match will be decided by the time that happens. If Wash U does manage to win a couple doubles matches, I still don’t see any other position where they can really hope to get a win in singles, except perhaps #4 where Fritz has been streaky. Nonetheless, I’m taking Amherst in a 5-0 victory.
Emory vs. Johns Hopkins
Despite their highly touted recruits, Hopkins has been flying under the radar a bit this year, and because of that, this match has the potential for an upset. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if Emory thinks they’re playing the same team they killed in March, they are sorely mistaken. Back then, Hopkins was only able to muster one singles victory, but I think they will win at least two matches if they get the chance this time. As everyone has already pointed out, the doubles matches will be the key. Hopkins hasn’t been very good, but they will need to find another gear in this match if they want to win. If they can win two doubles matches, I think they’ll win the match.
I don’t think that’s how it’s going to happen. I think Pottish will take over at #3 doubles to give them a quick 1-0 lead. The other two matches will be closer, but Emory’s #2 team has proven themselves to be one of the best in the country, and I think they will take an 8-6 victory. I also think Emory’s 1’s will have a little extra motivation to avenge their loss and do so in a 9-8 or 9-7 win. The singles matches should all be really close, but I expect Pottish to dispatch Hersh pretty quickly, giving Emory the 4-0 lead. Before Emory clinches, though, I think Hopkins will pick off two singles matches at the bottom of the lineup to keep it close before Ruderman comes up with the fifth point in two close sets. 5-2 Emory.
Williams vs. Bowdoin
When it comes to this match, I completely agree with d3tennis. It’s going to come down to whether or not Bowdoin plays like their “happy to be there.” In the last couple weeks, they’ve looked better than any team in the country outside of Amherst, and their dominant win over Trinity could be a springboard for the program into the future. If they can get to the Final Four, that will be icing on the cake (but they have to avoid thinking that way). Obviously, these teams have met before, and in each of the previous two meetings, the Cows have come away with the 2-1 lead after doubles. Despite being able to win four singles matches last time, I think Bowdoin needs to win at least two doubles matches to win this match. Fortunately for them, they are just about the only team that has shown they are capable of beating Williams at all three doubles positions.
Pena has been on an absolute tear lately, and I think he and King will start the match off right for Bowdoin by toppling Chow and Meyer. I don’t think Sun and Micheli will lose again, but I think Grindon and Lord will win their rubber match with Petrie and Shallcross to give the Polar Bears a 2-1 lead. After that, you have to take Sun at #2, but I think Pena will win this time at #1, making it 3-2 Bowdoin. I don’t think Chow will lose again for Williams, and that match will knot it up at 3-3. After that, I’m guessing the two teams will split 4 and 6 singles (I like Grindon for Bowdoin and Petrie for Williams), making the match come down to a three-setter at #3 singles. Lord has been up-and-down all season for Bowdoin, but I think he’ll be up in this match, and he’ll bring home a 5-4 victory for Bowdoin. Everything in my head is telling me to pick Williams, but I’ve picked against Bowdoin so many times this season (and been wrong so many times) that I just have to pick them in this match.
Kenyon vs. CMS
In my head, the personalities of these two teams are antitheses of each other. Kenyon is the blue-collar, hard working team from the Midwest, and CMS is the wildly talented, Holywood team from So. Cal. Don’t get me wrong, Kenyon is certainly talented, and CMS absolutely works hard. Those are just the teams’ reputations. As far as the actual match goes, it seems like it would be pretty easy to predict: Lane and Erani are on fire right now at #1, and I don’t think Griffin and Rosensteel are about to change that. The freshmen are streaky, and Williams and Razumovsky are definitely Kenyon’s best team. Kenyon’s #3 team is pretty weak, and Kotrappa and Wei play extremely fundamental doubles. Add that up, and CMS has a 2-1 lead heading into singles.
Kenyon has shown that they are capable of coming back from a 1-2 deficit against a good singles team (like they did at Indoors against Wash U), but CMS is playing too hot and confident for that to happen in this match. CMS is the clear favorite at #6, and that will probably be the first match off, giving CMS a 3-1 lead. The rest of the matches should be close. It’s tough to say where, if anywhere, Kenyon is favored. I think the experience of Burgin could lift him over Wood. Williams could also be favored over Erani, but the senior will be hard to beat in his last tournament. The battle of the freshmen at #4 could also go Kenyon’s way, but I think CMS is pretty clearly favored at #2 and #5 singles with Lane and Johnson. Johnson has picked up his play in the last couple weeks, and Lane probably should be playing #1 for the Stags. I think Lane wins in two close sets, and Johnson gets the clincher in three for the Stags before Kenyon gets a chance to win some of the other close singles matches. 5-2 CMS.