This week was definitely a little boring when it came to D3 tennis, so I got a little lazy. On Thursday, Mary Washington topped CNU 7-2 and MIT beat Brandeis 5-4. It looks like Mary Washington finally showed up for a big match. The Eagles are so hot and cold, especially in doubles, that it’s really hard to say what’s going to happen with them in any given match. This win keeps them in the rankings, and they should be able to beat Swarthmore to move up a little bit, but I still just don’t know what to say about this team. They should be way better than they are. As for Christopher Newport, a team with such scant singles depth absolutely can’t afford a doubles sweep, so the match was basically over once that happened. Since this was basically their last significant match of the season, it’s worth mentioning that after Shulman and Heyer graduate, the Captains will probably fall on even tougher times.
I don’t really have much to say about the MIT/Brandeis match. I’m surprised that it was as close as it was, but we really don’t know much about MIT. It doesn’t really matter, though, because they will probably beat Tufts, lose to Brandeis, win their conference, and bow out in the Sweet Sixteen (if they get a good draw).
On Friday, CMS topped GAC 8-1. Gustavus picked up a doubles victory, as they always seem to, but they really needed a sweep if they wanted any hope of winning that match. Importantly, Lane was still absent from the lineup, but there was also a Bernhardt sighting. I wonder if he is actually #7 on their depth chart or if he is still shaking off rust from his surgery (probably the latter). Kotrappa and Marino are now playing ahead of Johnson, whose play has been truly disappointing this year after last year’s breakout season, but the Stags will obviously be alright if he doesn’t pick it up.
A couple of these matches are going on already, but I’m going to preview them anyways.
#3 Williams vs. #23 Skidmore
Skidmore has exactly one good win, and Williams has been looking very tough. I don’t think the Ephs will have trouble with the Thoroughbreds in this one. I’m not sure what happened in the doubles, but I’m guessing they swept and are well on their way to an easy 8-1 win.
#1 Amherst vs. #15 Bates
Bates has been playing extremely well of late, and I’ll be very interested to see if they could actually give Amherst a run for their money. Kahan/Chafetz/Rattenhuber will probably be the best measuring stick to see exactly how good Berg and Bettles are. In the end, I don’t think the Bobcats on their best day can beat the Jeffs on their worst, and I’m guessing Amherst will win this one 7-2. The box score could give a pretty good indication of whether or not Bates is ready to give Bowdoin a run for their money, though.
I don’t think either Cal Lu/Redlands or Middlebury/Williams is happening today, as one happened a while ago, and the other is happening next weekend, making this the slowest mid-season week of D3 tennis of all time
#10 Bowdoin vs. Tufts
Bowdoin has looked great. Tufts, not so much. I’ll go with Bowdoin 8-1.