At the behest of the almighty D3TG, here is a weekend recap of the two matches that happened in my region plus a “guest article” about the Pacific Coast Doubles tournament that CMS always attends. As you’ll see, the guest article is more of a paragraph, but still, you gotta love a couple Stags representing DIII tennis well! Let’s start off with the team matches:
Since it didn’t seem necessary to the coaches or the ITA to include the doubles scores in the team box score, I’ll fill it in right here via the Redlands Athletics website:
1. Koenig/Rosner (UCSC) def. Cummins/Hyde (RU) 9-7
2. Lipscomb/Leahy (RU) def. Littlejohn/Bettwy (UCSC) 8-6
3. Goetz/Halabi (UCSC) def. Nanda/Brewer (RU) 8-5
I always think the Bulldogs are going to be better than they end up being, but man that is not a good result against a team that just lost to Gustavus and barely beat NCW. That being said, I think the Slugs are going to be extra tough on their home courts this year in what could be the program’s swan song, and Cruz should be commended for this win. You’ll notice that Scandalis was taken out of the lineup entirely. He can be a great doubles player and a tough out in singles, so I’m hoping this is just a temporary thing his sake. He was replaced at both #1 doubles and #5 singles with Erik Rosner. Rosner is capable of playing some very good tennis, particularly in doubles, so it’s good to see him back in the Slug lineup, even though he was on the wrong end of Cruz’ only singles loss. Koenig is clearly a legitimate #1, and he will probably be in the top 8 regionally soon. Halabi continues to impress at #2. I really thougth Hyde’s spin would have given him a lot of trouble, but a 6-0 second set indicates otherwise. A 3 and 2 win for Bettwy at #3 is also incredibly impressive. Between this and his throttling of Timmy Berg, Bettwy at 3 is clearly one of Cruz’ strong spots. Rogers is turning into a 3-set king at #4. Even though Littlejohn won at #6, it seems as though Cruz is only 4 deep right now. The bottom two aren’t as bad as, say, Bates’ bottom two, but they’ll have a hard time when they play Williams and Middlebury later.
The good news for Cruz is that their next matches are against Pomona-Pitzer, Whitman, and UT-Tyler. All three teams are having some depth issues at the moment (Whitman has some injuries, and UT-Tyler only managed 5 DI transfers I guess), and the Slugs might match up well with all of them. I’ll preview the quad later this week. As far as Redlands goes, this has to be really disappointing. Hyde and Hunt’s 6-0 sets are most disconcerting. Losing a 6-0 set to Halabi with a serve like that basically means Hyde just gave up, and Hunt’s 6-0 set to Rogers after dropping the 2nd reeks of a tank. More mental issues for the Bulldogs to start the year. Hopefully for them, they can pull it together soon, as they have a win-or-die match with Mary Washington coming up.
Speaking of disconcerting, the Bears just got absolutely thrashed by the Stags this morning. Look at those doubles scores. That’s not even close. Wood is still hot-and-cold in my opinion, but the fact that he can beat Putterman in two routine sets just speaks to how good his “hot” is. He and Dorn are going to be a tough out because it appears Dorn knows how to keep Wood’s head on his shoulders (more on that later). Butts replaced Cahill at #6 and rolled, showing once again that CMS is easily one of the top 3 deepest teams in the country. Lane’s loss is troubling, but it’s good to see another one of the highly-touted 2011 recruits playing well at #3.
For the Bears, this loss is alarming but far from catastrophic (that was their loss to Case). It was always going to be tough for them to travel down to California and compete against the Stags in a completely different climate. That would be tough going in as the favorite, let alone as the huge underdog. Parizher got a great win at #4 against Lane, and the Bears need him to be playing well to get back into tourney position. They also got a win from Farah, so their seniors, at least, are pulling their weight. The problem for Wash U, as always, is their doubles play. They failed to get more than four games in any doubles match against CMS, which is simply embarrassing. Even if the Stags are playing well, one of your three doubles teams should be able to hold 5 or 6 times to keep things remotely competitive. Now they are in some pretty big trouble as far as Pool C goes. The only ranked teams left on their schedule are Whitman, Whittier, GAC, and Chicago. Wins over all four will keep them competitive, but they might miss out on the tournament even then. The only way in for them is to do well in the UAAs by either avenging their loss to Case or beating Carnegie. Neither are outside the realm of possibility or even unlikely, but, even at #10 in the country, I see them as being “on the outside looking in” come tournament time. They would have no significant wins. Here are seven teams who would have better resumes (and two who might): Amherst, Williams, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Bates (one of whom gets the A bid); Emory, Case, and Carnegie (one of whom get the A bid); Cal Lu, (Pomona-Pitzer, and Redlands). We always say that Wash U will never get left out, but that’s bad news bears. ha. ha. ha.
Now for the guest article. You wouldn’t believe it, but this was contributed by “Anonymous” who seems to have so much to say in the comments section all the time:
“Article about Wood/Dorn from CMS on their first round match at Pacific Coast Doubles: http://bit.ly/ZSUX3b. They made it to the quarterfinals of the main draw as the only unseeded team and lost to the USC #3 team in 3 sets (6-3, 1-6, 7-5). Other quarterfinal teams were Stanford, USC, UCLA, Cal Berkeley…and the lone D3 school CMS. Wash U Puttermans made it to the round of 32 and had a close 1st set with Pepperdine. In the consolation, 3 CMS and 2 Wash U teams made it to Saturday. The 3 CMS teams each won at least one more round after that with Kotrappa/Butts making it to the semi’s. Good showing for D3 tennis vs. the D1 schools!”
Thank you for your thoughts. We would’ve ignored the tournament entirely if not for you.