Reg ASouth Roundup: Power Ranking Edition

Hello all! The fall season has winded down, and we finally have a little bit more information about all of our teams. I’m going to do an initial Reg ASouth power ranking and break down each team in the process. However before you come after me with pitchforks and keyboard jockey comments, remember, this is just preliminary and could completely change in the spring. We’ve seen teams that look great in the fall crumble in the regular season, we’ve seen star players sit for unknown reasons, we’ve seen transfers come in the spring and change the trajectory of a team’s season, so don’t put too much weight into this. Anyways, enough of me blabbering, I’ll get right into it. (Side note: I will be using year end 2017 rankings since our October 31st rankings have yet to be released by the ITA…)

 

#1 – Sewanee Tigers

National Ranking: 22

Blog Power Ranking: 24

Regional Ranking: 4

Fall MVP: Ryan Olps

Unfortunately the Tigers only played in the fall Emory ITA, fortunately, the Tigers had two players advance to the Round of 16. Freshman Ryan Olps and junior Jack Gray played some pretty darn good tennis and fell to two of the best players in the tournament, Emory’s own Bouchet and Jemison. Olps, even more impressively, pushed Bouchet to a tight 6-3 third set, while Gray lost a tight 3, 4 match to Jemison. The reason why I gave Olps the MVP is simply because he’s a freshman and proved that he can hang with the best of them this weekend. The team has reloaded with talent with the departure of Schober and will look to build on a very successful 2016-2017 campaign. Also, they have a great, but very dangerous schedule that I will elaborate more on once we get into the swing of the season previews.

 

#2 – Swarthmore Garnet

National Ranking: 31

Blog Power Ranking: 29

Regional Ranking: 8

Fall MVP: MARK FALLATI

Remember when we, and by we, I mean ASouth, was super hyped about Fallati after his stellar sophomore season and then his junior year, he kind of laid an egg? Yeah, me too. BUT HE’S BACK! At least I hope so. This is a very hot take and I will probably regret

He's baaack...!

He’s baaack…!

saying this, but I also couldn’t pass up the chance to photoshop his face to a classic cover. All kidding aside, Fallati had a great ITA with a semifinal singles and a quarterfinal doubles run and looks poised to put together a great senior season, and he has the supporting cast to do so. All three Garnet doubles teams made it to the round of 16 of their ITA and doubles is going to be the key to success. Also, another shoutout to the House of Vernier of the Land of Garnet, Tibo and Simo are legit. If Hopkins has a down year after the departure of MVP and Co., watch out.

 

#3 – CNU Captains

National Ranking: 28

Blog Power Ranking: 27

Regional Ranking: 7

Fall MVP: David Reed

Now before all you CNU fans come after me for ranking them below Swarthmore, let me explain myself. CNU drubbed Oberlin and pushed a CMU team that we ranked in the top 10 in our power rankings to a 5-4 match. The 5-4 match, really wasn’t THAT close. CMU’s depth has been in question and this match revealed their weakness. Justin Cerny went to a 3rd set, but collapsed. Third doubles won in a tiebreaker. Don’t get me wrong, CNU is a good team, but CMU isn’t THAT great. That being said, after a poor showing at ITAs (besides Reed) the Captains very much bounced back in their team matches. CNU will push Mary Washington this year, but I’m still not completely sold on the Captains. However, if CNU continues to improve and prove me wrong, their schedule is conducive to big things.

 

#4 – Washington and Lee Generals

National Ranking: 30

Blog Power Ranking: 31

Regional Ranking: 6

Fall MVP: March Zheng/Thomas Harmon

This was not the fall the Generals probably would have hoped for, but they can at least be proud of the QF ITA runs by Zheng/Harmon and Tapp/Thomas. Now that I’ve given W&L a

#lettheracketsdothetalking

nice pat on the back, I can talk a little bit about how disappointing singles was. Remember that tweet about reloading? If not it’s on the side. Sheppard had a pretty underwhelming tournament and will have some work to do in the offseason if he wants to be a dominant force. W&L picked up two total singles wins in the main draw of ITAs. That’s bad… At a quick glance of the schedule I see 7 losses to teams that are better than the Generals at this point in time, which is somewhat fine because none of those teams are in their conference. To sum it all up, I don’t see W&L moving up or down in the rankings, just losing to the teams that are better and beating some random schools on the way to another NCAA trip to Emory.

 

#5 – NC Wesleyan

National Ranking: 32

Blog Power Ranking: 34

Regional Ranking: 9

Fall MVP: Sebastian Sikh

This team is probably the one that I have the biggest question mark by this season and I’m pretty sure that’s every year for us bloggers. They have a power 6 UTR of 69, which is the same as Gustavus, Hopkins, Redlands, Trinity and Kenyon, and higher than ANY OTHER TEAM on this list. So why does their top 20 talent leave them in to 30-35 range every season? Blame it on the coaching change that seems to take place every year, blame it on lack of motivation from the players, but whatever is going on really needs to change here. I would love to see this team return to the days of individual national championships and Elite 8 appearances. Year after year, the talent reloads but the results just don’t seem to be there. With the talent of Battling Bishops, I could “boldly” predict an upset of Sewanee or Case, but with the trend of NC Wesleyan, I can’t put my faith in this squad. After reading this, most NC Wes fans are probably mad at me, so this is the time where you put in the work this offseason and #lettheracketsdothetalking in the spring. On a more positive note, Sikh had some pretty good results this fall and I would not be surprised to see the senior Swede’s name in the draw at NCAA individuals at the end of the season.

 

#6 – Millsaps

National Ranking: UR

Blog Power Ranking: UR

Regional Ranking: 10

Fall MVP: Davis Plummer

That’s a MAJOR mustache!

After this fall, I think that Millsaps is really the only team in the SAA that might be able to challenge Sewanee for the crown. Plummer got to work in the off-season and had a very

good singles run to the sweet 16 of a talented Emory ITA and made the QFs of doubles before losing to the Emory finalists of Jemison/Cassone. It’s also worth noting that Diego Marti-Vertiz had a sweet 16 singles run as well. So we know that the Majors have some talent at the top of the lineup, and according to UTR, their highest rated player Henry Friedler, didn’t even play! As the season progresses, I will be most concerned with the depth of Millsaps, but we won’t really get to see that until the spring starts up. I am high on the hard working Majors and I hope they don’t let me down this year!

 

#7 – Rhodes

National Ranking: UR

Blog Power Ranking: UR

Regional Ranking: 11

Fall MVP: None

I can’t really even pick a fall MVP because of how little we have to go on for the Lynx. As mentioned in our ASouth ITA Winners and Not Winners articles, Rhodes unfortunately fell under the “Not Winners” category because of their poor showing. They won a total of two main draw matches in the Emory ITA and Ritwik Chatterjee, a player that I thought would breakout this year, was upset in the first round. Let’s hope that this was just a bad tournament for this up and coming team. They will be fighting tooth and nail with a workmanlike Millsaps team for the second place spot in the SAA and will need to adopt that mentality if they want to continue to improve.

 

Blurb done, rant over. Who needs to proof read? Do you agree with these rankings? Are you ready to hunt me down after making seemingly negative remarks about your team? As usual, leave a comment (which no one ever does), tweet at me or send me an email! Until next time, RegASouth out!

  1 comment for “Reg ASouth Roundup: Power Ranking Edition

  1. Definitely not Felix
    November 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Really pumped to see how Felix Mann follows up his SAA Asst. Coach of the Year award. The guy is ON FIRE!!

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