Courtesy of Cracked Racquets.

ITA Kickoff Weekend means the spring dual match season is in full swing and this weekend of college tennis did not disappoint. Some of the usual suspects (Wake Forest, USC, Ohio State) booked their spots to Chicago while others pulled off some big-time upsets to earn an indoors berth. I’ll be recapping the noteworthy upsets that happened this past weekend.

Michigan Regional

The Michigan Wolverines were the host of the regional which was in my opinion the most entertaining to watch. The 24th ranked Wolverines started things off with a dominant 4-1 win over NC State. The other opening round match between Baylor (11th ranked) and Georgia (12th ranked) was quite entertaining with Baylor prevailing 4-2. The Bears won the doubles point with wins 6-3 wins on courts 1 and 2 but singles was hotly contested. The Bears went up 3-0 with a quick win on court 5 by Sven Lah over Walker Duncan and a 7-6, 7-6 win by Constantin Frantzen over Blake Croyder on court 6. However, Georgia did not go away as Jan Zielinski (2nd ranked) defeated Johannes Schretter (33rd ranked) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 on court 2 while Emil Reinberg (15th ranked) arguably upset an unranked Roy Smith (ranked 332 ATP) on court 1. However, Matias Soto stopped Georgia’s momentum via a 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 clinch over Phillip Henning on court 4. Shout out to our own (and the prize of Michigan) Alex Gruskin for his extensive coverage of this regional.

The Baylor Bears kept the momentum rolling in the next round with a 4-1 win over the host Wolverines. The Wolverines had the momentum early with a doubles-point clinching 7-6(5) win on court 1.

However, the Baylor Bears proved to be too strong on the singles court. Baylor’s Will Little (17th ranked) topped Myles Schalet 7-6(9), 6-0 on court 3 while Matias Soto earned a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win on court 4 over Connor Johnston. Lah then added a win 6-4, 7-6 over Patrick Maloney on court 5. While Schretter followed that up with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 clincher on court 2 over Andrew Fenty.

NC State rebounded quite nicely in their consolation match with a great 4-3 upset of Georgia. The ‘Pack started things off with clutch doubles as Georgiy Malyshev and Tadas Babelis clinched it over Emil Reinberg and Alex Dias 7-6(5) on court 3

The ‘Dawgs looked to flip the script in singles as Walker Duncan earned a quick 6-1, 6-1 win on court 5 over Robert Turzak while Henning added a 6-3, 6-4 victory of his own. Igor Saveljic added a 6-3, 6-4 win for NC State to even the match at 2-2 but the rest of the matches would go to 3 sets. Zielinski scored a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Babelis on court 2 to put Georgia up 3-2 but Malyshev evened the match on 6 with a 3 set win over Croyder. Alexis Galarneau sealed the upset for NC State with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 clinch over Reinberg.

Texas A&M Regional

The Virginia Cavaliers (16th ranked) emerged out of the Texas A&M regional after dispatching the Aggies 4-3 on Sunday. The ‘Hoos won a clutch doubles point clinched by Carl Soderlund and Matthew Lord 7-6(5) on court 1 over Austin Abbrat and Juan Carlos Aguilar to get the 1-0 advantage.

Valentin Vacherot secured the only straight set win of the day with a 6-2, 6-3 win over super freshman Brandon Nakashima on court 1. Barnaby Smith then got a 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 win over Gianni Ross to make it 2-1 Aggies. UVA’s Ryan Goetz then evened the match on court 6 in a freshman battle over Alex Vedri 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. Henrik Wiersholm then followed that up with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 win on court 6 but freshman Austin Abbrat responded to even the match at 3-3 with a 3 set win on court 5 over Aswin Lizen. However, the veteran Carl Soderlund clinched the win on court 2 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 over Aguilar.

Florida State Regional

The Tulane Green Wave had a great weekend that started off with an absolute WAR of a match against Tennessee (18th ranked) that resulted in a 4-2 upset. Tennessee won a straight forward doubles point with 6-2 wins on courts 1 and 3. Tyler Schick quickly evened the match with a 7-5, 6-1 in on court 5 but the rest of the matches were 3 set battles. Dane Esses added a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 win on court 4 to put the Wave up 2-1. Tennessee’s Adam Walton picked up a singles win for the Vols over Hamish Steward on court 3 but Luis Erlenbusch followed with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Scott Jones on court 2 to make it 3-2 for the Wave. Ewan Moore then clinched the upset with a 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(6) thrilled over Timo Stodder (45th ranked).

Tulane kept the momentum going as they earned another 4-2 upset over host Florida State (19th ranked) in the next round. FSU won a quick doubles point and Lucas Poullain added a 6-2, 6-4 win over Erlenbusch but the Wave fought right back and reeled off 4 straight wins capped by a 7-6, 6-2 win by Schick on court 5.

Oklahoma Regional

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17th ranked) also upset the home team to book a trip to Chicago as they defeated Oklahoma (13th ranked) 4-2. The Irish won the doubles point with a 6-3 win on 3 and a 6-4 win on 1. Will Howells made that lead 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win on court 5 but Spencer Papa made the score 2-1 with a straight-set upset of Alex Lebedev (16th ranked) on court 1. ND’s Tristan McCormack then made the score 3-1 with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Ferran Calvo on 4 but Alex Bakshi was quick to respond with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Axel Nefve. The match was then clinched on court 6 by Guillermo Cabrera 7-5 in the third over Stefano Tsorotiotis.

TCU Regional

The Oklahoma State Cowboys (20th ranked) pulled off the best comeback win of the tournament over Arizona State in their opening round match. The Sun Devils quickly went ahead 3-0 by winning the doubles point and getting singles wins from Makey Rokotomalala and Will Kirkman. OSU’s Brady Draheim got the Cowboys on the board with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Tim Ruehl to start the comeback and Mathieu Scaglia added a 7-6, 7-6 win over Nathan Ponwith on court 2 to make it 3-2. Maxim Tybar then evened the match on court 3 over Justin Roberts after coming from a set down and Artur Dubinski got the special clinch recognition with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Dominik Kellovsky on court 1.

The Cowboys then seemed to run out of gas in the next round as they fell 4-0 to host TCU (22nd ranked) in a preview of Big 12 play. The Frogs won the dubs point with 6-3 wins on courts 2 and 3 and Senior Reese Stalder made it a quick 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Tybar on 3. Bertus Kruger (65th ranked) followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win of his own on 4 and then All-American Alex Rybakov (14th ranked) clinched the win 6-3, 6-1 over Dubinski on court 1. The Frogs definitely left a statement as the match only lasted 1 hour 37 minutes.


That wraps it up for this week. To read more updates from Cracked Racquets, head over to www.crackedracquets.com.

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