I’ve been really slacking on the articles end of things, but thank goodness, we have the newer, better version of me to pick up the slack. Here he is to give a thorough look at one of the bigger Florida matches this year: Tyler vs. Kenyon.
I’m not sure if you remember, but last year these teams met in the second round of the Stag-Hen where Kenyon overcame a 1-2 doubles deficit to take 4 singles matches, including a 3 setter at #4 singles to clinch. http://athletics.kenyon.edu/sports/2016/3/12/kenyon-5-texas-tyler-4.aspx?id=1545
Both of these teams will desperately want to win this match, as a top-20 ranking is very much on the line. As we go through this match-by-match analysis, you will notice the similarities in UTR in the singles match-ups, which implies how important doubles will be in this match. Kenyon just got swept by Trinity (Tx.) and Amherst, and in fact haven’t held a doubles lead this season against ranked competition. This is a worrisome trend especially since UTT historically has had strong doubles teams.
#1 Arthur Fagundes/Vinicio Hadlich v. Weston Noall/Alex Rieger: Despite Kenyon’s struggles in doubles so far this season, Noall and Rieger are not playing poorly by any stretch of the imagination, but this is a very formidable doubles team for UTT and I don’t see them losing. UTT 8-6
#2 Pablo Gomez/Joey Fischer v. Peter Hazlett/Jacob Zalenski: This one probably won’t be close because Gomez and Fischer are a great fundamental doubles team. UTT 8-2
#3 Vinicio Hadlich/Ryan Elwood v. Tristan Kaye/Nicholas Paolucci: UTT has played a variety of teams at this position so far and to me that generally means they are struggling at this spot. Luckily for them, this Kenyon team has struggled as well, but just for the sake of keeping this interesting lets say Kaye/Paolucci ride an early break to keep the Lords in this one. Kenyon 8-5
#1 Arthur Fagundes (UTR 12.60) v. Nick Paolucci (UTR 12.18): As I’m typing this, Paolucci just beat Zykov of Amherst in a breaker to add to back-to-back wins over Mayer and Lambeth (Trinity Tx.). Fagundes, however, is one of the best players in the country and I think with his playing style he’ll thrive in the Orlando Heat. UTT 7-5, 7-5
#2 Vinicio Hadlich (UTR 11.67) v. Jacob Zalenski (UTR 11.99): Zalenski has played a lot of high-caliber opponents pretty close thus far, including a recent win over Maassen (before he got worked by Bessette). I don’t know much about Hadlich sooooo #ThrowWhatYouKnow. Kenyon 6-3, 7-5
#3 Daniel Rodriguez (UTR 11.30) v. Michael Liu (UTR 11.97): I think the UTR speaks for itself in this match up. Liu has been having a pretty good season so far and I like him to take it to the freshman in this one. Kenyon 6-4, 6-2
#4 Pablo Gomez (UTR 11.58) v. Weston Noall (UTR 11.54) (60% reliability): Gomez struggled against his Stevens opponent today whereas Noall has had pretty mixed results. I can see Noall getting off to a strong start, but this one drawing out deeper into the match. Kenyon 6-1, 7-6
#5 Joey Fischer (UTR 11.69) v. Mike Roberts (UTR 11.68): Hard to draw a lot out of UTT’s results against non-d3 competition but at the end of last season Joey got his name on the radar by taking down Jivkov, Ho (both Whitman), and Macey (CMS). I think he outlasts Roberts in three. UTT 7-5, 6-7, 6-4
#6 Jose McIntyre (UTR 11.17) v. Peter Hazlett (UTR 11.03): Hazlett doesn’t really have a lot of performances to judge his performance of off, whereas McIntrye has started of the season undefeated against random Texas competition. Gonna go with the UTR here. UTT 6-4, 6-4
So there you have it! UTT will take a doubles lead and grind out a couple close matches in order to exact revenge in a 5-4 victory over the Lords. However, this could also be that match where Kenyon finds another level just when we all started to count them out.