1. Adam Putterman was an absolute beast this weekend on the singles court. Winning the tournament without dropping a set? That’s incredibly impressive, especially when you consider that every single opponent he faced from the Round of 16 on was very good. Though his team underperformed compared to Kenyon, this is his second year winning this tournament, and with Ballou out in California, he might be the favorite to win the ITA Fall Nationals. Putt made a huge improvement between his sophomore and junior years, and it appears he may have done it again. Bravo.
2. Kenyon looks very good and very deep. I seem to have a tendency to underestimate them, and it’s probably because their school is in the middle of nowhere. But even without Razumovsky in the tournament, they got two players in the semis and five into the round of 16. Phenomenal debut for Turlington, but we’ll get to that more later.
3. UAA Revival with Case and Chicago. Chicago never seems to do very well here, but two of their unseeded players made great runs. Sebada battled his way to the quarterfinals with a couple hard-fought victories, and freshman Jake Crawford toppled C.J. Williams on his way to the Round of 16. Case was even better. Even with Drougas falling early, they managed to get a player in the semis and another in the quarters. Putterman mowed both down, but I would say that’s a good sign for the Spartans.
I’m not really sure what, if anything, to make of the doubles tournament. Prosets are so unreliable, but usually one team jumps out and says, “Look! We’re playing fantastic doubles.” You could make the argument that Kenyon did that. Without Raz in the lineup (still), they managed to win the tournament with their #3 doubles team, and got another team in the semis. Since they struggled with doubles for the bulk of last year, it’s good for them to find at least one team that will work for them once the season starts. I’m not sure if Heerboth and Turlington will play #1 for them, but that’s a fantastic tournament for them, and it’s great for Kenyon to find a way to get Heerboth on the doubles court. He’s not a traditional doubles player, but he’s a craft lefty, and it’s about time. Case also had a good doubles tournament. If it’s not for the Earlham team, they probably have two teams in the semis, but that’s a big “if” I guess. Still, it’s a good sign for them, since they need to play great doubles if they want to break into the top 15. Wash U underwhelmed in doubles, as usual. If you take away one weekend in May from last year, they’ve been terrible on the doubles court. I would expect them to put things together when the season starts, though.
Since they’re not a top 30 team, they probably won’t read this, but huge congratulations to Earlham’s Anton Bartashevich and Jack Ventura-Cruess. Coming out of nowhere to make the final in one of the most competitive regionals in the country is mighty impressive. We’ll have to keep an eye on them when the season starts.