#19 Trinity (CT) def. #26 Kalamazoo 6-3
This was a surprising box score, as Trinity won by dominating the bottom half of the singles lineup. We knew that depth wasn’t Kalamazoo’s strength, but it seemed like they were at least four players deep. Trinity picked up some close wins at the top of the lineup, which they needed after losing two out of three doubles matches. The fact that Zoo won 2 of 3 doubles matches is surprising in itself because that hasn’t been their strength so far this season. Overall, it was a great bounce back match for the Bantams
#5 NCW def. #27 Chicago 6-3
A little bit of a regression in the doubles department for the Battling Bishops, as they lost two out of three doubles matches to the Maroons. They responded quickly in singles, however, as they won the top four singles matches in straight sets. The ITA box score makes it look like NCW won 7-2, but I’m guessing Chicago won at #6 singles based on the score line. Another good win for NCW, but Chicago also showed signs of life in their first meaningful match since Indoors (and then they proved they were still dangerous against Carleton).
#1 Amherst def. #14 Bowdoin 7-2
This was a pretty close 7-2 match for the Jeffs, especially in doubles. It would have taken a lot, but they could have gone down 0-3, which would have been trouble. They took care of business, but it wasn’t the dominant performance I was expecting from them, and they will probably need to play better today against Cal Lu to avoid the upset, but I believe they will. Bowdoin continues to play really well. In the last week, they have beaten CMU and Wash U and have played CMS and Amherst pretty close. The enter the NESCAC schedule with a pretty firm grip on a Pool C bid.
#9 Cal Lutheran vs. #19 Trinity (CT)
This match was an absolute ass kicking, and there’s no other way to say it. I don’t understand how anyone loses a doubles match 8-1, let alone two of them. All you have to do is hold your serve! Cal Lu carried that momentum into singles by dropping just 6 games in the top 4 singles positions. I have no way to explain this box score, but I’m guessing it’s a combination of Cal Lu being really good and Trinity being a little tired. Nonetheless, this match provides evidence to the theories that Cal Lu is really good and Trinity (CT) isn’t going to make Pool C this year (again).
#27 Chicago def. Carleton 9-0
Speaking of ass kickings, Chicago absolutely spanked Carleton yesterday. They swept doubles easily, and then put the match away quickly in doubles, winning four matches without much drama. There were two close singles matches, but I would have expected a little more from Carleton. Carleton was ranked as recently as the beginning of last year, and I thought Carleton might be dangerous. They didn’t look dangerous yesterday. They showed signs of life by beating Tufts a couple days ago, but after getting swept by Chicago, they also lost to Graceland University.
4-1 on predictions this week…
#1 Amherst def. #9 Cal Lutheran 5-4
I think everyone knows that this is the story of the day, and if you want to know how it all went down, you can check the comments section below. Amherst won two out of three doubles, but Ballou/Worley kept Cal Lu in it, and the Kingsmen’s top 3 quickly put them in a good position to win by winning two matches in straight sets. Amherst needed a 3-setter at 6 to pull out the 5-4 win, but they got it. This box score begs several questions. What’s going on with Austin Chafetz? He played #1 singles against Kalamazoo. Does that mean he’s #7 on the roster, or was Garner a little too confident with his scheduling. Is Amherst actually as vulnerable as they seem? The Lords came very close to losing this match, and their match against Bowdoin was pretty close. After dominating the national championship match against Emory, I expected them to be head and shoulders above everyone this year, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Perhaps they are still shaking off the rust. Is Cal Lu a national championship contender? They’ve already beaten P-P and Redlands, but they will need to be better than both CMS and Santa Cruz to get to the Elite Eight. It appears that they have completely fixed their depth issues, as they have been very strong at 4 and 5 so far this season, but we’ll have to wait for those head-to-head matchups to know for sure.
#1 Amherst def. #26 Kalamazoo 7-2
I already talked about the most significant part of this match, Chafetz playing #1 singles. Did the Lords play straight A squad/B squad against these two schools, or did they go with a weighted A/B mixture for both matches? Not sure. Amherst’s lineup will probably be in flux all season. Kudos to the Hornets for picking off a couple matches.
#18 CMS def. #19 Trinity (CT) 7-2
The Stags can take a lot of positives out of this match with Trinity. First off, they won the match without winning at #1 doubles or #1 singles. Nobody really doubted that they would win the match, but they steamrolled Trinity from 2-6 singles, which is a good indicator for a Claremont team that has had trouble finding wins deep in the lineup for the last couple weeks. The Bantams have only ten days to get ready for the biggest match of their season against Bowdoin, and right now, there’s no reason to think they will win that one. CMS has a considerably more difficult NESCAC test against Williams next that I think we’re all looking forward to.
6-1 on predictions this week…
#27 Chicago def. Tufts 8-1
Chicago has bounced back nicely from their disappointing start. That is to say, they didn’t go in the tank entirely. If they can beat Wash U, they could climb back into the Pool C chase, but even that might not be enough. Hard to believe how weak the UAA looks this year. Tufts definitely hasn’t looked like a top 30 team so far. They will drop out of the next rankings after their loss to Carleton.
#2 Emory def. #4 Johns Hopkins 7-2
Emory kept its undefeated D3 season going yesterday in a big way, as JHU didn’t really come close in this one. Hopkins managed to get a doubles match, but they weren’t much of a match for Emory in singles, as the Eagles picked off four relatively easy straight-sets singles victories. Perhaps, the #4 ranking for Hopkins was a little premature after winning just one significant match. Top 10? Definitely. Top 5? Personally, I don’t think so. Ironically, the team that has pushed Emory the most this year was Gustavus. Emory still looks to be headed for an NCAA rematch with Amherst
#1 Amherst def. #17 Whittier 6-3
Someone said in the comments that this was a definitive “B squad” for Amherst, but that’s definitely not true. Amherst played Chafetz and Rattenhuber, and Chafetz played #1 (which sheds a little bit of light as to what a full Amherst lineup might look like). I’m tempted to agree with the commenter who said that Whittier is playing like a top 20 team because both Seneviratne and Carregha won sets (with Carregha winning in a 10-pointer). At the very least, Whittier has four players who could play on 15-20 range teams. More significantly, this shows that Amherst didn’t really play their full lineup against CLU, which kinda dampens the significance of that close loss. I feel like this whole Spring Break schedule is an intimidation tactic from Garner, and I’m helping his cause.
#3 Williams def. #18 CMS 5-4
Williams got its season started off on the right foot with an impressive victory over CMS. The Stags are definitely playing better, but the Ephs came to play today. They showed what can happen to CMS when they don’t sweep the doubles by taking two out of three and picking up two easy singles victories (followed by a third, more difficult, singles victory). Sun is probably the best #2 singles player in the nation behind Goodwin, and wins at #5 and 6 show that Williams is about as deep as anyone. The Stags got wins from Erani and Johnson today, and they will need plenty more of those if they want to jump back in the national championship conversation. For now, I would say their play is still a little disappointing.
#1 Amherst def. #13 Pomona-Pitzer
Amherst is starting to get their wheels underneath them. They played what appears to be their full doubles lineup against P-P, and swept one of the best doubles teams in the country on their home court. They proceeded to pull their top 2 singles players and dominate the singles anyways. This is definitely the most impressive the Jeffs have looked so far. I’m sure P-P won’t feel too bad about this one.
#7 NCW def. #16 Mary Washington 6-3
It looks like Mary Washington played another good tennis match today after a horrible weekend. They played solid doubles and took the lead, but couldn’t convert in singles, losing 5 of 6. The Eagles won at #4 and had opportunities at 2 and 6, but the Battling Bishops showed once again that they are a great singles team. It’s surprising that they would have gone down 2-1 in doubles in this one after playing such great doubles in their last couple matches, but MWU swept CLU, so I’m sure the Eagles just played well today. Interesting to see if MWU keeps this up or goes back in the tank. Next up for NCW is an important match against Carnegie Mellon as the Bantams look to jump back into Pool C
11-2 on predictions this week…
#17 Whittier def. #26 Kalamazoo 6-3
Whittier continued its solid play, beating Kalamazoo pretty comfortably. Another close loss for the Hornets, and it seems like they’re having a hard time winning tight matches. Whittier continues to play solid tennis up and down the lineup, and I think they might be a legitimate top 20 team, but right now, they aren’t playing well enough to beat one of the traditional SCIAC powers.