Kalamazoo def. Wisconsin-Whitewater 8-1
I’m not trying to diminish Kalamazoo’s win, but this was a classic let down match. Whitewater probably wasn’t used to having something to defend, and that’s exactly what they had to do against Zoo. Maybe they got nervous, or maybe they got cocky, thinking they would be able to beat Kalamazoo easily. Whatever the case, they definitely didn’t play their best doubles, which is what they needed to beat the Hornets.
I expected that Kalamazoo might have been the stronger team in singles, but I never would have thought they would sweep the Warhawks. If you combine this win with their win over Rhodes, I think it’s pretty obvious that the Hornets belong in the top 30 when the rankings come out on Thursday. Before today, Kalamazoo had really struggled in doubles, but if they have gotten that straightened out, they are seriously dangerous. They only have one more chance to move up in the rankings against Trinity (CT), and they will have a helluva battle with Gustavus. Regardless, they are a team I wouldn’t want to see in the round-of-32.
#17 Carnegie Mellon def. Luther 7-2
#16 Depauw def. Luther 6-3
There’s not much to learn here except that Luther just isn’t that good. They have two really good tennis players, which makes it look like they are reasonably close to beating a lot of teams. But they aren’t. I will talk much more about these two teams tomorrow, but until then, I will suspend judgment.
#15 Redlands def. #24 Brandeis 8-1
I haven’t seen the box score, so I don’t know where Brandeis won, but it doesn’t really matter. Redlands is looking really good so far this year, and they already have two really easy wins over ranked teams. Brandeis is looking really bad this year, and they will probably be falling out of the rankings fast, perhaps by Thursday. Redlands plays Trinity (TX) in two weeks, and that will be the first real test for them. These West region teams are looking really good so far this year, and I’m particularly excited for the NESCAC March migration to see how they stack up.
#5 CMS def. #26 Bates 7-2
Not much to learn from this match that we didn’t already know: Bates has three very good tennis players. If they can find wins anywhere else in the lineup, they will be able to beat other ranked teams, but they do not have the depth to hang with the top 15. If I were their coach, I would spend literally all of my practice time working on doubles, because a doubles sweep is about the only way they beat a top 15 team, Every time I write about this team, I think about whoever predicted Bates would finish 3rd in the NESCAC and chuckle.