I don’t really have a whole lot of time right now, so I’m just going to go with the easier of the two wrapups. Since this is essentially Whitman’s regional, they’re the only team that I have to talk about.
Things went about as you would have expected them to go for Whitman for the first three rounds, but then it got a little screwy. They got five players into the quarters, which is just a little worse than they normally do, but they only managed two semifinalists. After last year when they had all four semifinalists, this had to be a little disappointing. Even more surprising were the players who made it to the semis for Whitman. One of Whitman’s top two, Jeff Tolman, was mysteriously absent from the tournament. As a senior, it’s unlikely that he is abroad, but let’s hope for Whitman’s sake it’s not injury. Whitman’s top gun, Andrew La Cava, was upset in the quarters by a high 2-star from their previous recruiting class, Colton Malesovas. Whitman’s other semifinalist was Andy Riggs, who transferred from Stevens Tech. Long story short, Malesovas went on to win the tournament.
This result is stunning, but we probably shouldn’t overreact. Two years ago, Cocanougher wont he Texas regional after all. It’s probably just a semi-fluky win. Now, if I’m Whitman, I can interpret these results in one of two ways. I can say, “Look! Another one of our 2-star recruits made a huge improvement and is now one of the better players in the country. Wong only made it to the finals because he got hot on the right weekend, and that Pacific guy got the easiest draw imaginable. We got another transfer who will definitely start for us, and between Malesovas, Rivers, Sadeghi, La Cava, and Tolman, we’re gonna have a phenomenal singles lineup.” You can also say, “Look. Last year we completely dominated this tournament, and now we let some of our conference opponents into the semis and finals. What is going on here? Without Tolman, we could be in trouble.” How Malesovas does in a couple weeks could go a long way towards defining how people look at these results.
It was your typical doubles tournament for Whitman. They got 4 doubles teams into the quarters, three into the semis, and both finalists. Without Tolman, La Cava and Rivers were the natural pick to be the top doubles team if you didn’t go with La Cava and Tesmond. The guys who won is absolutely dominated the whole tournament, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it means they are probably one of the better doubles teams in the country, but it’s bad because it means Whitman only has one really good doubles team. For the past two years, their #2 team has been about as good as their #1, and it will be interesting to see what happens if they can’t rely on points from #2 doubles.