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Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 08:02:00 am »
If Stanford ends up beating Michigan, it'll likely start like many other contested matches this year: get the doubles point (doubles has been much more successful this year than last year) and get a quick win from Higuchi to go up 2-0.  Then, just get two more points however you can--often, it's Lord at #2, Lampl at #4, or Arbuthnott at #5, but every player has clinched a dual match this year, including Doyle (vs. Texas and ןɐɔ in the Pac-12 championship match) and Davidson (against Under Stanford Control (again) and Oklahoma State).

True to form, Stanford won the doubles point handily, with the #1 combo of Taylor Davidson and Emily Arbuthnott winning 6-1 and the #3 pair of Caroline Lampl and Emma Higuchi winning 6-0.  Higuchi was then the first to book a win, 6-0, 6-2 at the #6 spot to make it 2-0. 

In singles, Stanford won first sets from Melissa Lord at #2, Taylor Davidson at #3, and Emma Higuchi at #6, who has since won.  Here's a brief update, with a reminder that Stanford needs just two more wins to win the match: 

#1: Doyle lost the first set 6-3, but won the second 6-1, with the third yet to start.
#2: Lord is up 6-4, 5-4 and will serve for her match.
#3: Davidson won her first set 6-4, her game deserted her in the second and she lost it 6-1, and she now leads 2-1 in the third.
#4. Lampl lost her first set 7-5 and trails 3-2 in the second set. 
#5. Arbuthnott lost her first set 6-3, but turned on the gas in the second set and won that set 6-0 to force a third.  She is on serve in the third set, down 1-0.

Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 08:23:29 am »
Stanford 2, Michigan 0

After a great start, things have tightened up noticeably, with four of the five remaining matches into a third set and Stanford hoping Lampl can push her match into a third set. 

#1: 3-6, 6-1, 2-2.  Four straight breaks of serve to open the third set.  Doyle to serve next, so hopefully she can consolidate. 
#2: 6-4, 5-7, 1-0.  Lord was serving at 5-2 in the second, but lost five straight games.  That's a disheartening and surprising drop in form.  I hope she's not injured.  She has never lost at the NCAAs.  That said, she broke Minor to start the third set, so perhaps she's back on track. 
#3: 6-4, 1-6, 4-3.  Davidson can be streaky and feeds off emotion. After a bad second set, she's right back in it now.
#4. 5-7, 5-4. A slow mover.  Lampl is fighting, though.  If she wins her second set and Stanford needs the point, she'll win her match.  She hasn't lost at the NCAAs, either.  (She and Lord were both undefeated last year in Stanford's run to the title.)
#5. 3-6, 6-0, 3-3.  Arbuthnott hasn't been able to keep up the pressure she put on Ruder-Hook in the second set. 

Offline BobK

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 08:31:47 am »
3-0 as Davidson wins.   

Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 08:34:00 am »
Stanford 3, Michigan 0

Davidson closed out a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win to make the overall match 3-0 and put Stanford one match away from the win.   

#1: 3-6, 6-1, 2-4.  Fahey has started to assert herself in the third set here. 
#2: 6-4, 5-7, 3-1.  After her drop in form at the end of the second set (losing five straight), Lord is back in the driver's seat. 
#4. 5-7, 6-5.  Lommer will serve to force a second-set tiebreak.  Michigan desperately needs to get a point on the board to build some momentum, but Caroline Lampl sure isn't an easy out.
#5. 3-6, 6-0, 4-3.  After two uneven sets in terms of play, the third set is very close. 

Offline 2006alum

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2017, 08:37:52 am »
Regardless of outcome, it's pretty crappy that they had a west coast team start one of the first matches. It couldn't have been later than 6 a.m. PST when we had to take the court for warmups, which is really dang early if you're 19.

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Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 08:43:33 am »
Stanford 3, Michigan 1

Doyle falls 3-6, 6-1, 2-6 to Fahey and Michigan is now on the board, but Arbuthnott is serving for the match. 

#2: 6-4, 5-7, 4-3.   
#4. 5-7, 6-6 (up 5-4 in the TB).  Lampl hoping to extend her match and give Lord or Arbuthnott time to close theirs out.
#5. 3-6, 6-0, 5-4.  Arbuthnott now with a chance to serve out the win. 

Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2017, 08:47:46 am »
And there it is!  Stanford wins 4-1 as Arbuthnott shuts the door on Ruder-Hook, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.  At the time, Lord led her third set 4-3 and Lampl led in her second-set tiebreak, so there were more opportunities out there, but Stanford's tradition of strong freshman play on the back courts continues.

Offline 2006alum

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 08:50:18 am »
And there it is!  Stanford wins 4-1 as Arbuthnott shuts the door on Ruder-Hook, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.  At the time, Lord led her third set 4-3 and Lampl led in her second-set tiebreak, so there were more opportunities out there, but Stanford's tradition of strong freshman play on the back courts continues.

Whew! Thanks for the updates, and congrats to the Women's team!

Offline BobK

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 08:52:28 am »
A wonderful morning.   That's for the updates.   On to Sunday

Offline Spiny_Norman

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2017, 08:54:03 am »
Nice job with the updates, ColoradoTree.  Lord did not look injured.  She just had a really tough opponent.

Next up - #2 North Carolina on Sunday at 12 pm eastern/9 pacific.  UNC blitzed Duke 4-0.  They won the doubles point then swept #1, 2 and 3 singles in straight sets.
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Offline fullmetal

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2017, 09:19:49 am »
UNC again?  The Stanford ladies will take their cue from Solly Thomas and put the hurt on 'em ;)

Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2017, 09:31:19 am »
Some thoughts on the Michigan match:

1. Stanford absolutely cruised in doubles, so there was no issue for them about having to play a match against a top-10 team at 6am body clock time.

2. Higuchi continues to dominate, and she hasn't lost a dual match all year. It's getting a little ridiculous how automatic she is.  Don't be surprised if she vaults Arbuthnott in next year's lineup, much like Lord vaulted Lampl this year.

3. Stanford needed to win three singles matches, and they got three first sets--from Higuchi, Lord, and Davidson. 

4. Good fight from the players who lost their first sets, as Arbuthnott stepped on the gas after losing her first set 3-6, taking the second 6-0 and squelching any thoughts of a comeback by winning 6-4.  Doyle also won her second set, and Lampl was on the verge of winning hers. 

5. An uneven outing from Lord, who was cruising and actually had a chance to close out her match before Higuchi did, but she then lost five straight games to lose the second set, before getting back on track in the third.  She was up 4-3 when her match was abandoned, so no guarantee that she would have won, but I'd say better than even odds. 

6. Doyle lost her rematch with Michigan's Fahey from last year's NCAA quarterfinal, when Doyle clinched Stanford's 4-3 win with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4) win at the #3 spot.  Doyle showed some nice fight by decisively taking the second set in this match after losing the first, but she didn't have enough left. 

7. Lampl may not always win, but she never goes down easily.  After losing her first set, she got to a second set tiebreaker, which she led 6-5 when it was abandoned.  With a win there, I feel like she would have gotten Stanford a fourth point if the team needed it. 

8.  Davidson has been really up and down all year, winning solidly against top players and scuffling against unranked ones.  She can be streaky, but she's also a passionate player that seems to find an extra gear in the NCAA tournament (she's now 9-1 all-time in NCAAs, per the official team Twitter account).  She certainly showed that today, getting a tough first-set win before getting smoked in the second and then turning it on in the third. 
 
9. Lord and Lampl continue their NCAA unbeaten streak (each is 8-0), while Higuchi is now 2-0 in her young NCAA career (she would be 3-0, but Idaho forfeited the #6 singles spot in the first round this year).  Arbuthnott is now 2-1, and Doyle falls to 7-7 in her NCAA career, and she hasn't registered a NCAA win since her quarterfinal win over Michigan's Fahey last year. 

Offline Spiny_Norman

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2017, 09:41:53 am »
Doyle falls to 7-7 in her NCAA career, and she hasn't registered a NCAA win since her quarterfinal win over Michigan's Fahey last year.

Going to be really tough to stop that streak on Sunday vs UNC. She plays the #2 player in the country Hayley Carter. 

Stanford lost to UNC 4-3 in the NCAA semifinals in 2014. Carter was playing in the #2 slot that year and blitzed Krista Hardebeck 6-2, 6-1.  Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle both played in that match as freshmen and won.  But Stanford lost the doubles point in that match.  The doubles point may be as crucial again on Sunday.
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Offline oldalum

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2017, 10:09:46 am »
It couldn't have been later than 6 a.m. PST when we had to take the court for warmups,
even worse, I think the match (not warmups) started at 6 a.m. PST.

Offline ColoradoTree

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Re: NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2017, 10:36:43 am »
Up next, as Spiny_Norman notes, is North Carolina.  That match will be at 12pm ET/9am PT (so, not as bad as today, for either the players or the fans back in California), and you can follow along through the same link on the University of Georgia athletics website. 

Some details about the teams:

* UNC is the #2 overall seed in the tournament, despite being ranked #4 in the ITA rankings.  Stanford, by contrast, is the #7 seed while being ranked #6, so it's much closer than you'd expect to see from a 2-7 matchup. 
* UNC is 33-2 on the year, while Stanford's win over Michigan gives the Cardinal a 24-2 record.  Both teams lost to #1 Florida, while UNC also lost to #8 Georgia Tech and Stanford lost to #12 Pepperdine (which, by the way, is an excellent team that is better than its ranking--it dominates the weak WCC, so the Waves can't get enough quality wins to climb higher in the rankings).   
* Common opponents:  Oregon (Stanford won 7-0 and 4-0, UNC won 4-0); Texas (Stanford won 4-2, UNC won 4-0); ןɐɔ (Stanford won 4-3 and 4-1, UNC won 4-2); and Florida (Stanford lost 4-1, UNC lost 4-2).  Not a ton to learn there, except to underscore that this is a close matchup. 
* UNC cruised 4-0 today, to be sure, but some of that is an accident of timing.  They won in straight sets at the top 3 courts, but Duke won the first sets at the 4, 5, and 6 courts.   Duke was close to booking a win at the #4 court as UNC was serving out a 6-4, 6-4 win at #3, so if Duke could have extended that match and sent that match to a third set, all of a sudden you're looking at a 3-1 match with #3 going to a third set and Duke leading at #5 and #6.  Momentum is a crazy thing in every sport, but it definitely exists in college tennis, too.   

That reveals an interesting matchup issue.  UNC is very strong at the top 3 courts, while Stanford is strong on the back courts.  It wouldn't at all surprise me to see UNC win at the top 3 spots with Stanford winning the bottom 3 spots and doubles being the deciding factor. 

The matchups:

Singles

* At #1, #38 Caroline Doyle faces #2 Hayley Carter.  Carter is nasty.   Spiny_Norman is absolutely correct not to expect a win here. 
* At #2, we should see a very competitive match, as #28 Lord faces #18 Sara Daavettila.  Lord has been ranked as high as #8 this year, so she can absolutely do it.  Lord, at her best, is the best player on the team--she found a crazy high gear in January en route to winning the Freeman Memorial Championships, where she beat four players currently in the Top 50.  Sure would be nice for her to find that on Sunday!
* At #3, #54 Davidson plays #35 Jessie Aney, and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Davidson dominated her.  I also wouldn't be surprised if Davidson lost in straight sets.  But more likely, it'll be something like today, with it going the distance after a couple of uneven sets. 
* At #4, #90 Lampl plays #74 Alexa Graham, who was trailing 7-5, 4-1 (30-love) when her match was suspended today.  This should be a very even match.  But it's NCAAs, so I'm not betting against Lampl.
* At #5, Arbuthnott is unranked (which is bizarre, given how terrific she's been this year) and she plays #100 Makenna Jones.  By ranking and considering the stakes, you'd expect this one to be close.  That said, Arbuthnott crushed Jones 6-1, 6-3 at the Freeman Memorial Championships (a preseason tournament).  The match was outside the main bracket, however, so it's not terribly predictive.  A positive data point, though. 
* At #6, #71 Higuchi plays unranked Chloe Oullet-Pizer.  Anything other than a Higuchi straight sets win is now surprising to me, and no reason to think that won't continue on Sunday. 

Basically, UNC should win at #1 and Stanford should win at #6, but the other four singles matches should be competitive. 

Doubles:

Before that, though, we'll know how things stand in doubles:

* At #1, UNC will be favored (the duo of Carter and Aney is ranked #4, while Davidson/Arbuthnott are ranked #39)
* At #2, Doyle and Lord are ranked #46, and UNC's duo of Cassandra Vazquez (who doesn't play singles) and Graham is unranked, but UNC has shuffled its doubles lineups this year a decent amount, so they haven't really picked up enough rankings points as a team to be ranked.  Vazquez played part of the year with Aney, and the points they earned together are still good enough for the #78 ranking nationally. 
* At #3, Higuchi/Lampl vs. Jones/Daavettila.  Daavettila played part of the year with Carter, and the points they earned together are still good enough for the #27 ranking nationally. 

Thus, for Stanford to win the doubles point, we'll need wins from the #2 and #3 spots, which will be difficult but doable. 

All in all, UNC is probably favored, but not heavily.  It's not hard to envision a scenario where Stanford wins a tight doubles point, gets a quick win from Higuchi to go up 2-0, and gets two more wins somewhere from 2-5, and pulls out a 4-2 or 4-3 win.