REGIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: 03/13 – 03/19
Happy Monday, boys and girls! This week is a big one as even more top teams (including Chicago, Middlebury, Williams and Tufts) embark on their spring breaks. D3AS and D3Tree brought us an impressive This Week in Highlights (TWIH) earlier today, and now it’s time for your weekly Monday dose of Players of the Week (POTW).
Player: Jonathan Jemison
Results: 2-0 in singles, 2-0 in doubles, Match clincher against Amherst
Recap: I’m naming the best sophomore in the game Jonathan Jemison as my POTW this week, simply because of his match clinching win against the suddenly impressive Amherst (Hamsters). Both myself and the Guru woulda put a ton of money on the “10K man” winning that match, and he came through in the clutch on his home courts. Hats off to Jemison for keeping the #1 spot for Emory.
What’s next: Middlebury, Trinity TX, and CMS in Texas!
Honorable Mention: South Carolina Gamecocks
Favorite part of the Live Blog: RegionalAS running the show for once
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): CMS coming back from multiple 3-0 deficits and an outside source making those predictions to me via twitter
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: Seeing RegionalAS, RegionalNEC, and D3Tree’s picks go up in flames.
Player: Patrick Whaling
Team: Gustavus Adolphus
Results: 2-0 at #1 Doubles and 2-0 at #3 Singles
Recap: The biggest match in the central region this past week included #19 Gustavus vs. #36 Coe. I thought Coe was a little underrated going into the match, but the Gusties still coasted to an 8-1 win. A lot of credit should be given to sophomore Patrick Whaling, who went 2-0 on the day, which included an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win at #3 singles over the feisty James McManus. He followed up his big Friday with easy wins on Saturday against St. Johns. Much of GAC’s success is dependent on the success of 1-3 singles. Whaling is an integral part of the Gusties’ lineup.
What’s next: Gustavus heads to Texas next week and will face several ranked teams including Trinity, Middlebury, and Southwestern
Honorable Mention: Radha Vishnubhotla (Wash U)
Favorite part of the Live Blog: Holly Hauser, Ian Paik, and Brady Anderson joining the group chat.
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): Watching live streams of matches when I was supposed to be working
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: Duke losing!
Player: Princeton Carter
Results: 3-0 at #5 and #6 singles.
Recap: There were a plethora of choices this week with the NE starting out it’s spring break rampage. Some props to the honorable mentions: Chen’s only blemish was against Lil’ Lipscomb, Fung’s was dubs against Emory, Owens had an undefeated week at #5 singles, Roddy beat multiple people 0&0 and only lost his singles match against CMS, and Wolfe has already racked up plenty of 3-set/super breaker wins. BUT, Princeton Carter gets the nod due to the fact that he wasn’t in the lineup to start the year. After the matcha against CMS, Coach Fried put Carter in at #6 and the freshman responded with an easy win against Skidmore, a straight set win over Case, AND got moved up to #5 against Redlands and ended up clinching the top-10 victory for the Cards 6-1 in the 3rd set.
What’s next: Wes takes on DI Quinnipiac on Saturday before returning to DIII action with Hamilton the following Sunday and an intriguing matchup with MIT on April 4th.
Honorable Mention: Steven Chen (Wesleyan), Jayson Fung (Amherst), Gabe Owens (Amherst), Gil Roddy (Bowdoin), Kyle Wolfe (Bowdoin).
Favorite part of the Live Blog: D3 West and the Guru’s affinity for the anonymous animals. Two of the most knowledgeable people in DIII tennis history…
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): THE DRAMA! CMS’ comebacks were the headliner, but there were so many well-played and hard-fought matches. It was a dream to watch.
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: That the Blog group chat has basically turned into a gambling forum.
Player: Jake Yasgoor
Results: 6-0 at #2 doubles (with Graham Maassen) and #1 singles over the Stag-Hen
Recap: I went into this POTW fully expecting to give the nod to a Stag for the first time this season, but I decided to take a look at all of the results anyways just to be sure and HOLY CATS YASGOOR WENT 6-0 WHAT A BEAST!!! Against Case, he lost a total of 4 games in a couple flat-out eviscerations (we’re talking spleens left throbbing on the concrete here, folks). Against Bowdoin, he and Maassen kept PP in it with a 9-8 doubles victory over Jiang and Wolfe (the only doubles match the Polar Bears lost in the Stag-Hen) before edging Tercek in a 10-pointer. Against Wash U, he lost just 6 total games and cooled off a red-hot Johnny Wu in straight sets. I heard he played pretty awesome against Oxford, too, showing those Brits how we do things in the colonies.
What’s next: The Hens have four critical matches against Sewanee, Williams, Tufts, and UC Santa Cruz
Honorable Mention: Max Macey, Daniel Park, Patrick Wildman (all CMS)
Favorite part of the Live Blog: The absolute soul-sucking time drain distracting me briefly from the usual existential dread
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): CMS going 8-0 in three-set matches in the semis and finals like a bunch of bosses
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: Having all my brackets busted, so I can sit back and enjoy good basketball
Player: Elmer Van Butselaar
Team: Whittier College
Results: 5-0 at #3 and #2 singles, 4-1 at #2 doubles
Recap: After a tough 6-3 loss to Southwestern, the Poets have been on a nice run, getting wins against Hardin-Simmons, Trinity (CT), Vassar, Wheaton (MA), and Wisconsin-Whitewater all in the past week! The junior Van Butselaar has been instrumental in this, winning in singles in each match and only falling in doubles once. In singles, his most impressive wins were over William Boyd (Trinity), a senior who has improved a lot over the past few years, Juan Felipe Laso (Vassar), and Rory Calabria (UW-Whitewater). Van Butselaar is a transfer from Orange Cost C.C. and has really helped round out the Poets lineup this season. In just two years, the Poets have gone from a team that finished with a 3-17 record to a team that is right on the edge of the top 40. Guys who have been on the team for 4 years like Andrew You and Troy Chavez, guys who have come in this year and contributed, like Max and Tom Koszowski along with Van Butselaar, and first-year head coach Quinn Caldaron all deserve credit for this turnaround.
What’s next: Whittier continues their lengthy schedule with a match against Salisbury on Thursday and a SCIAC tilt against Redlands on Friday
Honorable Mention: Spencer Watanabe (George Fox): two good wins in singles against Lewis & Clark and Pacific (OR) in two Bruins’ losses
Favorite part of the Live Blog: THE ANIMALS! Including a jackalope, ifrit, chupacabra, quagga, and more.
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): The live stream. Man, was that thing awesome. It was so nice being able to flip back and forth with the scoreboard and float between the best matches. I loved when the camera would shake when a big point would happen. Also, obviously all the CMS doubles comebacks. That was legendary.
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: It was really funny following Northwestern as they got their first tournament win in school history thanks to that costly Vanderbilt foul. Since so many famous journalists / TV personalities went there (Greenberg, Wilbon, Rovell, Adande among others), it was a lot of fun following their Twitter accounts and seeing their excitement, and then following other people’s Twitter accounts as they made fun of them. As a fan of a school that didn’t even make the tournament, making fun of other fans is all I have.
Player: JT Wynne
Results: 6-2 against Wash U, Whitman, Wesleyan and Midd at 1 Doubles and 4 Singles
Recap: JT Wynne played a lot of tennis these past 7 days, and it was not just simply tennis, it was very very good tennis. Against 4, top 15 teams, he lost 1 singles match and 1 doubles match. What’s even more impressive is that all of his singles wins came in a third set or third set tiebreak after the match was clinched. It is very easy to be on the losing team and give up hope once you realize the match is over, but Wynne proved to be a tough, gutsy fighter and that will go a long way. Oh and did I mention he’s a freshman. The Skid Kids picked up a nice addition with this young man and I look forward to seeing him develop over the years.
What’s next: Next up for Skidmore are matches against two other Northeast teams, RPI and Stevens. They should be the heavy favorite in both of these matches
Honorable Mention: Jordan Krasner (W&L)
Favorite part of the Live Blog: Building up my Cryptozoology knowledge with the plethora of 37 mythical creatures joining the chat. Thank you Jackalope and Kraken.
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): The quality of tennis from all 8 teams was unreal, and the fact that there were two matches that are in strong contention for match of the year.
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: Not betting any money against real ASouth because my bracket has been officially busted and I would’ve lost.
Player: Jordan Greenwell
Team: Wabash College
Results: 2-0 in Wabash’s 6-3 win over Rose-Hulman
Recap: A year after getting crushed 9-0 on the road, Wabash hosted Rose-Hulman on Saturday and bounced back with a solid 6-3 win. Mr. Greenwell had himself a day, first pairing with Kirill Ivashchenko to avoid the doubles sweep and earn Wabash their only doubles point, a 9-7 win at #3. In singles, Greenwell matched up against the same guy he played last year in Cam Metzger (who memorably beat Tyler Kratky of Wash U last spring). In 2016, Greenwell fell in a super breaker, but this time around it was much smoother sailing for the Wabash sophomore, winning 6-2, 6-4 to help the Little Giants climb out of the doubles hole and score a nice regional win. In UTR terms, Greenwell and Metzger were only .01 apart (10.88 vs 10.87), making the comfortable win that much more impressive.
What’s next: The Little Giants welcome Wash U to town on Friday, where they will look to use their home court advantage to steal a few points from the Bears.
Honorable Mention: Kirill Ivashchenko (Wabash), Zack Ebenfeld (RPI)
Favorite part of the Live Blog: Getting contributions from everyone. The Blog really showed that not only are we strong at the top of the lineup, but we have excellent depth as well.
Favorite part of the Stag-Hen (non-Live Blog): 12 courts of free HD live streaming and accurate live scores. Thanks CMS.
Favorite part of the 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament: When I actually got an upset pick right with URI beating Creighton.