Wow, what a great day in DIII Tennis today, as the first day of Indoors did not disappoint. D3Tennis and I will be going over a recap of all of Indoors at the end of the weekend, so we don’t need to get into the results today as much as what we expect tomorrow. I’m definitely expecting an even better day of tennis with maybe another upset!
#2 Kenyon Lords vs. #6 Cal Lutheran Kingsmen
Today’s matches showed all of us what it means to have star power on your team. It also showed us what it means to come into a match fully prepared with fire in your bellies. What will make this match great tomorrow is the fact that both of these teams have an “us against the world” mentality, and that is driven off their two best players, Burgin (Kenyon) and Ballou (CLU). These guys are leaders, and it is going to be AMAZING to see these two go up against each other. Let’s start with doubles, where I am really expecting big things out of the #1 matchup. Raz/Williams are coming off a “semi” disappointing loss today, while Ballou/Worley absolutely smacked Hopkins. Both these teams play great fundamental doubles, have shot-makers, and have been playing together for at least a year. I expect a tough battle, and I’m going Cal Lu at 1. Something else today proved was that Cal Lu has a legit #2 team in Treacy/Nichols. This is going to be another battle, especially with Burgin at 2 dubs. This match here is my swing match, because if Cal Lu gets this one, things could get really interesting. I’m going to take CLU at 2. At #3, Kenyon overwhelms CLU a bit here, as I have a lot of faith in the Ye/Heerboth team. Kenyon takes this one 8-6.
So with a 2-1 doubles lead, CLU will search for 3 singles to clinch. Again, Ballou/Burgin is going to be an unreal match. I just don’t have the balls to go against Ballou here. At #2 singles, it’s clear that Raz has the advantage against Worley, who has struggled at 2 ever since last year. Raz is a legit #1 as we all know, and he should take this pretty easily. #3 singles looks to be another good match – we have Heerboth who obviously had a great summer and is on a tear right now, vs. Nichols who took Hwang the distance. I think maybe a little fatigue might set in for Nichols, especially against a backboard like Heerboth, and Kenyon takes this one to the tune of 7-6 6-2. At 4, we have an opportunity match for the Kingsmen. Treacy is on a roll, and Williams struggled a bit today against a weaker 4 from NCW. Coming off a big win against Reiter, I’m leaning towards Treacy but very, very close. Williams is a proven veteran and has his share of big wins, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls this one out. For now, I go CLU. At #5, we have a clear favorite for Kenyon here. Rosensteel had a breakout freshman year at this same position, and his game is well-suited for the indoor courts. Millet has struggled as of late, getting torched by Lim. Rosensteel in a rout. And we come down to #6, which as you can see I have as the match decider. These were battles for both teams today. D3Tennis and I are in agreement that we don’t expect Ye to be in the singles lineup tomorrow. I’d like to see Kaye or Turlington here, but probably Kaye. And to be honest, I think Kaye gives them their best shot. He’ll be fresh and ready to go, and I’ve never viewed Sousa of CLU as a mentally ready player. Kaye takes this one 6-4, 6-4 to win it for the Lords. (Note: If Ye plays, this becomes a toss-up. I’ve seen Ye struggle in singles from time to time).
Let’s hope the match is as good as I predict!
#1 Emory Eagles vs. #5 Trinity Tigers
This part is written by D3TG in 5 minutes because YOLO.
Obviously, Emory is Emory, so they probably end up winning this match, but this one could actually be really interesting. There was a brief moment in the GAC match when the Eagles were in danger of getting swept (as in, all the doubles were on serve 20 minutes in). Trinity has proven themselves to be a superior doubles team to GAC. If Trinity can get hot… like, for example, if their #1 doubles team reels off 8 straight games to put the pressure on… they could easily get the sweep here. Unfortunately, I think Emory has a clear advantage at #3 doubles, but the Tigers will take a 2-1 lead into singles somehow.
From there, I think Skinner will win, but Emory will dominate just about everything else. Halabi must be playing very well, but I don’t think he’s as good as Ruderman. DelaFuente is always dangerous, but come on. Curtis proved himself to be quite clutch this evening, but No… just no. This is what happens when I only have 5 minutes. Let’s go with Emory 6-3.
#3 Hopkins vs. #7 NC Wesleyan
This really shouldn’t be a match, but who knows how Hopkins comes out considering they have nothing to gain anymore from being in this tournament. They need to hold serve here to keep their ranking in the right place. What will be interesting here is doubles. NCW has the advantage at 1, and we saw that JHU 2 and 3 are shaky at best. I expect NCW to come out here with a 2-1 lead. Moving to singles, I have to take NCW at #1. But from there on out, I’m going with Hop the rest of the way. Let’s see what Hopkins does with their lineup here, particularly at #4-5, because I feel Lim as proven that he can hold his own at 4. Either way, I see the rest of the singles going to JHU for a 6-3 win. Sound familiar?
#8 Gustavus Adolphus vs. #5 UCSC
Again, 5 minutes by D3TG. Expect sloppiness.
I know everyone is making a big deal about Cruz being exhausted from the Trinity match, and I’m sure they will be. Everyone is ready to compare this year’s Slug’s to 2011 Cal Lu. And Lord knows that makes a whole lot of sense. I just don’t think Cruz is going to lose this match. GAC lost to Trinity 7-2. Cruz lost to Trinity 5-4. Even with this match being played on GAC’s home courts, Cruz has already played a match on them, and I can’t imagine GAC having a very hostile crowd so early on a Saturday.
That being said, GAC probably does have the advantage in doubles here. I don’t know how long Cruz can count on Halabi and Goetz getting points for them at #3, but it’s probably not very long. I don’t see Donkena and Smith-Dennis losing this one. #2 could be interesting, but I’ll say Cruz wins #3 and loses 1 and 2 like today. After that, I think Koenig takes over at #1, Halabi continues his hotness at #2, Bettwy eeks out a close one at #3, and Rogers recovers for a win at #4. I see GAC winning at #5 and #6, incidentally, so hopefully they play this one in a weird order so we can have a surprise finish. More likely, I’ll be wrong about a lot of this, and it will be a tense finish anyways!!! Wahoo. Cruz 5-4. Gnight.