Pomona-Pitzer, Bates, and the Pool C Bubble

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Bates playing under the lights at P-P

Lost in the excitement of the National Indoors this weekend was perhaps the most significant match of the season so far (as far as post-season implications goes). Three days after losing the Cruz in their season-opener, the Bobcats went into Pomona’s tennis complex and came away with a season-defining victory. A few things to consider:

A) This was Pomona-Pitzer’s first match. As far as I’m concerned, Bates is a 10 to 15 team at least this year, and they underperformed against Cruz in their first match. Everyone underperforms in their first match. I know this was just Bates’ second match, but that first match is an entirely different animal, so let’s cut them some slack.

B) Bates is a matchup nightmare for P-P. Pomona’s strengths are high doubles and high singles. Those happen to be Bates’ strengths as well, but Bates is just stronger. If Bates is stronger where P-P is strong, that just means Bates is a better tennis team, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that P-P won’t be able to beat teams this year.

C) P-P is hurting from graduation more than we had hoped. After Weicherts’ and Sabels’ respective Falls, I had hoped that they would be able to collectively fill the shoes left by Meyer. They certainly can, but nobody is really there to fill the shoes they leave at 2 and 3 at the moment. Nevertheless, P-P always gets better throughout the season.

Those aren’t necessarily excuses for P-P, just things to think about. As far as implications go, this could be disastrous for the Sage Hens. They have plenty more opportunities against Pool C teams, but the loss to Bates could prove pivotal. Case basically just locked down a Pool C spot for themselves, and Cal Lu is looking great. The tournament committee won’t leave at Wash U. If P-P cannot beat Cal Lu, Midd, Bowdoin, or Case (in the Sage-Hen), they could end up on the outside looking in, even with victories over the likes of Mary Wash, Whitman, Redlands, blah blah blah. There’s a lot of tennis to be played, but we saw how much early-season head-to-heads mean at the end of last year. Personally, I think Pool C looks like this right now:

1. Amherst (in all likelihood)

2. Middlebury

3. Case Western

4. Cal Lu

5. Bowdoin

6. Bates

7. Wash U

Putting that in print is absolutely ludicrous so early in the year, but that’s not good for P-P.

As far as Bates’ match against CMS goes, their match was pretty much a mirror-image of last year. Bates can clearly compete at the top of the singles and doubles lineup against anyone, but the bottom is still a problem. More thoughts from this match:

A) Bates is four deep this year. This is very significant. Did you see what Bates was able to do with three singles players last year? Now that Planche is showing the full benefit of a year of training, they are even more dangerous. It’s too bad the two players coming in next year couldn’t get there early, or we would have a national championship contender on our hands. Regardless, I would say the Bobcats could beat just about anyone on the right day.

B) Dorn probably isn’t the world beater some imagined he would be. This phenomenon happened with Lane and every DI transfer ever. Everyone seems to think they will dominate DIII. Just because Dorn started in the SEC doesn’t make him better than everyone. He’ll be a great #2, I’m sure, but we also need to start giving DIII players a little more credit.

C) Lane is back. I had heard from like four different people that Lane wasn’t playing this year, but we always knew this was a possibility. Once he gets back into form, CMS is going to be scary. CMS is always scary, but can they capitalize on that scariness with a national championship? We will see.

  4 comments for “Pomona-Pitzer, Bates, and the Pool C Bubble

  1. D3 Fanatic
    February 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    It will be very interesting to be sure.ithink the WashU loss to Case is more damaging than te Pomona loss to Bates only because Pomona still has matches against a majority of those teams ahead of them in both Pool C and nationally as well. Meanwhile WashU only has a handful of matches against ranked opponents that are common opponents to Pomona. If they can’t beat Whitman which I consider them the underdog in, then this could finally be the year they don’t qualify. Of course we said that last year as well….

    • d3tennisguy
      February 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Wash U’s loss is definitely more damaging. I don’t really see how a win over Whitman would even help them at this point. I also completely forgot about CMU, which has to fit somewhere in the top 5 at the moment. Ruh roh

  2. Anonymous
    February 25, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Here is an attempt at making sense of rankings (top 21) – where all teams are above teams they beat and below teams to which they lost…the following teams need to be added to this logical order: Wash U (somewhere behind Case), Amherst (somewhere behind Carnegie), Whitman, Middlebury, Redlands in that strength order somewhere in the mix. Those three have no results and that was their order going in. I kept Williams, Bowdoin where they were since no reason for them to move down. Although I would be fine with say a Cal Lu moving ahead of Bowdoin.

    1. Kenyon
    2. Emory
    3. Williams
    4. CMS (win over Bates, no reason to drop)
    5. Bowdoin
    6. Cal Lu (wins over JHU, Trinity)
    7. Hopkins (wins over Gustavus, Amherst, NCW, no losses to teams lower than them, their wins better than Trinity/Case’s wins)
    8. Trinity TX (wins over Gustavus, UCSC this not as good as Hopkins wins)
    9. Case (wins over Wash U, NCW, UMW)
    10. Carnegie (win over Amherst, ahead of Tyler based on assumption this is a better win than Gustavus. However if you put Amherst below Gustavus in rankings Carnegie/Tyler should be flipped)
    11. Tyler (win over Gustavus)
    12. Gustavus (win over UCSC, loss to Hopkins, Tyler, Trinity TX, all teams above them)
    13. UCSC (loss to Gustavus, Trinity TX, teams above them, win over Bates)
    14. Bates (win over Pomona, loss to UCSC)
    15. Pomona (loss to Bates)
    16. NCW (loss to UCSC, JHU, Case, Kenyon, win UMW)

    As I think about this more I would place Wash U and Amherst right in front of Pomona (all of those three have a loss and Wash U and Amherst finished last year ranked ahead of Pomona). And then I would put Whitman, Middlebury, Redlands right behind Pomona (since Pomona was ranked above them at year end). A bit unfair to these three to drop without results but other teams below them had wins to move up (Case, Tyler, Carnegie, Gustavus). Plus those three will have their chances here going forward.

    My attempt at a logical top 21.

  3. Anonymous
    February 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Pomona lost. First match of the year or not. Bates playing outdoors is tough. Pomona is not a top 15 team this year.

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