Familiar Foes Set to Meet in Quarterfinals of ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship
Baylor pulls lone upset of day one
CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 13) - The stage has been set for blockbuster quarterfinal matchups at the 2015 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship, hosted by the University of Illinois at Midtown Athletic Club. Saturday's quarterfinals will feature two NCAA quarterfinal rematches (Virginia vs. Baylor & Oklahoma vs. UNC) and a rematch of the 2014 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship (USC vs. Ohio State).
Mitchell Frank, Virginia
(3) Virginia 4, (14) TCU 0
The No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers raced out to big leads on all three doubles courts, and were able to hold on for wins at second and third doubles before registering straight-set wins at the Top 3 singles positions for a 4-0 victory. Virginia head coach Brian Boland knows the importance of being prepared for a first-round match.
"It's always good to get through the first match of the tournament, particularly against a team as good as TCU," Boland said. "I have a great deal of respect for their team. We really had to battle throughout the doubles point, but that was critical because we were up in all three matches and they kept battling and it became pretty interesting. I thought it was critical to pull that out."
(11) Baylor 4, (6) Duke 1
Tony Lupieri and Vince Schneider were strong in the third sets of their singles matches at third and sixth singles, respectively, to power the No. 10 Baylor Bears past the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils. After Baylor claimed the doubles point, No. 9 Nicolas Alvarez of Duke knotted the match up with a 6-4, 6-2 win at first singles. Max Tchoutakian (No. 67) put Baylor back ahead with a win at second singles before Lupieri and Schneider closed the door on a 4-1 win.
"You look at the draw and there are a lot of really tough first rounds today," Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said. "It's hard to really pick a favorite in a lot of the matches. We feel fortunate to get through. Vince's opponent was a warrior. He really made it hard on us and I'm proud of Vince for finding a way to get to the finish line."
Spencer Papa, Oklahoma
(2) Oklahoma 4, (15) Ole Miss 1
Oklahoma freshman Spencer Papa kept Ole Miss from inching any closer to an upset, clinching a 4-1 win for the Sooners with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(8) win over Rebel senior William Kallberg at fourth singles. Along with the doubles point, Oklahoma also picked up wins at third and fifth singles.
"He's [Spencer] really figured out some ways to win matches while also getting better as a tennis player," Oklahoma head coach John Roddick said. "Today he beat a guy who's a senior and has probably been in that situation 15-20 times. What an effort to come through that after losing his serve twice in the third and trailing 5-2 in the breaker."
(7) UNC 4, (10) UCLA 2
Depth was key for the North Carolina Tar Heels, who recorded their points at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles. A decisive loss in the doubles point did not slow the Tar Heels, as freshman Jack Murray (No. 104) cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win at fifth singles to even the match at 1-all. UNC head coach Sam Paul said Murray's win, "gave everybody a boost," and the Tar Heels took three of the next four matches to move onto the quarterfinals.
"We've been so strong at one, two and three," UNC head coach Sam Paul said. "The depth of our team has improved. For Oystein [Steiro] to come in and win in straight sets helped us a lot. He got off quickly and hit the ball really well. For Robert Kelly, a freshman, to come through after being down a break in the third is huge."
Roberto Quiroz, USC
(1) USC 4, (16) Penn State 0
The top-seeded USC Trojans swept No. 22 Penn State 4-0 to earn their spot in the quarterfinals. With the doubles point in hand and first sets in hand in each singles match, USC head coach Peter Smith let his players stay the course.
"I'm thinking to myself, 'I'm not saying anything," Smith said. "They're doing great. I could tell as soon as we got into singles our comfort level was very high. You just keep on trying to coach them up, do the right things and keep going."
The Trojans did just that, with No. 7 Yannick Hanfmann, No. 24 Roberto Quiroz and Eric Johnson turning in straight-set singles wins to move USC into the next round.
(8) Ohio State 4, (9) Texas 3
In the day's most exciting match, No. 8 Ohio State topped No. 9 Texas for the second-straight year at this event. This year's 4-3 win was just slightly closer than last year's 4-2 triumph. Kevin Metka provided the clinching point for the Buckeyes once again, this time when they had no one else left on court. Doubles partner Ralf Steinbach (No. 68) also provided a late win for Ohio State, in a match that featured bouts of serve-and-volley tennis from both players.
"Those guys [Metka and Steinbach] come to play," Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker said. "That's what Metka does for us. He lost one 7-5 in the third set two weeks ago at Texas A&M in a 4-3 loss. Today he played a freshman and came up big at 5-all."
Farris Gosea, Illinois
(5) Illinois 4, (12) California 0
Host Illinois (No. 5) took the momentum from a narrow escape in the doubles point to earn three decisive singles victories in a 4-0 win over No. 13 California. No. 37 Tim Kopinski, No. 69 Aron Hiltzik and No. 46 Aleks Vukic won at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 singles, respectively, to push the Illini into the quarterfinals.
"We were really fortunate to get out of the doubles point saving two match points," Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. "We had a number of break opportunities in that match, but didn't convert. Against good teams, we have not won many doubles points. I think that gave our guys a lot of confidence going into singles."
(4) Georgia 4, (13) Columbia 3
The No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs came within one match of being upset by No. 15 Columbia, but battled back to win both three-set matches in a 4-3 win on Friday. The Lions put the pressure on by winning three of the first four singles matches, including No. 13 Winston Lin's 6-2, 6-4 triumph over No. 17 Wayne Montgomery at first singles. With the match on the line, Bulldogs Nick Wood and No. 21 Austin Smith prevailed for Georgia. A carryover game penalty from Wood's match was assessed to Smith's second singles match with Smith leading 5-2, giving him a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win and the team victory.
Asked about their quarterfinal match with host Illinois, where the crowd will be heavily in the Illini corner, Georgia head coach Manny Diaz said, "I think our guys are going to be inspired by it. There's nothing better than having a great crowd that cares about good, quality tennis, even it's a partisan crowd against you. This is a great atmosphere to play in and we're fortunate to be in it tomorrow."
Matches will begin at 9am tomorrow, with main draw action starting at 12pm. The full schedule can be foundhere.
For complete coverage of the 2015 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, or like the ITA Facebook page for updates and news from Chicago. Use the hashtag #ITAIndoors for all tweets about the event, and search the term "ITAIndoors" to find others who are tweeting about the event.
About the ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championships
The ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship is held annually each February. The men's event began in 1973 and will be held for the 41st time in 2015. The event features 16 participating teams: the 15 schools who won both of their matches during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and the host school. The tournament is held over four days, and begins on Friday with first round play, followed by quarterfinals on Saturday, semifinals on Sunday and the final on Monday.
About Midtown Athletic Clubs
Midtown Athletic Clubs is a leader in the upscale fitness club and sports resort industry. What began as a single tennis club in Chicago in 1970, Midtown is now comprised of 10 full-service tennis and fitness facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Locations in Illinois include Chicago, Bannockburn, Oak Park, Palatine and Willowbrook. Other clubs are operated in Atlanta; Overland Park, KS; Rochester, NY; Weston, FL; and Montreal, QC. Midtown features a variety of dynamic tennis programs, the latest cardio and strength training equipment, group exercise classes, personal training and spa services. The clubs offer a warm, inviting environment and provide a special place to connect with family, make new friends and get fit. For more information on Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, call (773) 235-2300 or visit www.midtown.com/chicago.