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Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 NCAA] 5/26 Player of the Day

Julia Cancio.

During the 1st set of Doubles Final I thought,

"Clearly Julia is out of her depth. So~ weak. Slices, lobs are weak options in themselves-since it could be crushed if executed poorly- but anyhow execution, so weak. Poaching errors. DFs. Just not in the same league as those 3 others"

But she 'overcame' that lack of power to hold her service game to the win...!

But it could be safe to say that Wesleyan will defend its NCAA singles title next season. Victoria Yu might've easily been the Player of the Day lol. Especially after punishing Raventos's deadly service return passing shot attempt later in the..was it 2nd set or 3rd set.

Clearly singles final was another level. Not Div. III, more like Div. I, but actually that might be inaccurate or even rude to elite Div. III players. :)  Just rules are different, maybe!

Doubles final of course, was also altogether a different level. Fantastic.

Honorable mention to Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico. Her net defense was especially astounding during Doubles semi.

2018 NCAA] Some tidbits 5/24 and 25

Lopez during her final match against Kohrs, after making an overhead hurrahed in triumph. It was like self-proclaiming that she's the overhead queen!

Did Kohrs redshirt a season or what. I thought she would've graduated. Anyway real nice to see her play again this tournament.

That was Ashley Barrow of Mary Washington? Around a lot yesterday, watching matches.
Bowdoin's Izzy Essi? Or was it Tess Trinka lol not sure, watched Hughes vs Yu yesterday.

2018 NCAA] I was reported to the police because I took CAR pics

I took these pics

And somebody reported me lol. So I had to be dragged out during doubles final. Darren and Holly came to vouch for me but it was a faux pas of course, no help needed. I just showed these pics to the policemen and they laughed it off.

You know I always take these pics, sorta my 'annual project' during Fed Cup as well lol.
If I can attend it again, probably won't attempt it this time. Apparently too hazardous!

The 'travail' continues!  Really never should take a camera at all to the tennis venue; should use exclusively for birding.

Friday, May 25, 2018

2018 NCAA] Singles semi / Doubles quarterfinals

Somebody goes to Africa! Envy him. Leupold binoc is a good choice.

Some players play 2 singles and 1 doubles matches per day. Regular 3rd set in doubles, too. WAY tougher than 'sissy' Div. I! :p

Lamented to coach Kahan that Duke lost to Stanford!
Later coach Swain came by so said hello. 4 core players are graduating. Emory, only Harding and Fuhr I believe.

The staff updated the singles semi score real time on the board, literally seconds after the match was concluded(Y def. A). Impressed!

A girl was wearing a Nebraska sweater! Wabash?

Women's Singles - Semifinals

Eudice Chong (Wesleyan) defeats Juli Raventos (Williams) - 6-1, 6-1

C too good, simply too good. I don't think Gabby Clark defended well or had better variety than her. Just a total package. Even drop shotted and volleyed R's return.

R is a good server but even so, her serve got attacked. C's drive pace was just enormous. Even when R went on the offensive, C moved well so was able to return a lot, and could instantly switch to the offensive, attacking at will, resulting in angled drive winners. Probably not a good matchup there.

The pressure was such that R's variety was neutralized much; committed errors trying to do it, drop shot got attacked, etc.  When she approached the net, got passed. R had to applaud that one, the only time I saw one applaud today methinks haha.

Victoria Yu (Wesleyan) defeats Catherine Allen (CMS) - 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Couldn't watch both at once, so naturally concentrated on the match between the seniors. This just glimpsed from time to time.
A probably lost due to netting tons. Yes she could've won despite getting hit winners a lot, because her solid game was good enough. 3rd set wasn't too HQ, both sorta moonballing/pushing, probably both being exhausted haha. Y also committed lots of errors.
3rd set, A approached the net a lot; not sure it worked, methinks Y passed well.

Women's Doubles - Quarterfinals

Eudice Chong/Victoria Yu (Wesleyan) defeats Nithya Kanagasegar/Madeleine Paolucci (Case Western) - 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-3

Left after the 1st set. UCW won more games than the CMS team :p
Why? Because they could match power with power. Their drives looked like elite Div. I level, no kidding! Volleys were meh but their firepower were good enough. Passed well. Paolucci stood out but K also served well and made some clutch passes, 1st sp too methinks.
C was erratic, making some net errors(including just letting the ball literally land on her feet haha), and DFing.  K had trouble returning Y's serve on her backhand side.

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico/Bridget Harding (Emory) defeats Elysa Kohrs/Libby Rickeman (MIT) - 7-5, 6-4

Could've gone either way :)
R played well, including passing. Drove well. YGR wasn't playing very well at net, committing some net errors. So MIT led, but just could not consolidate the lead.  K's serve got attacked by YGR.
Did..Raventos root for MIT...haha. Just can't root for the arch-rival, eh? :)

 Anya Ivenitsky/Averey Wagman (Amherst) defeats Lindsay Brown/Nicole Tan (CMS) - 7-5, 2-6, 6-2

Could watch from the end of 1st set(had to watch the above match first).
Amherst, so good. Not exactly powerful but played verra smart. Patiently picked CMS's defense apart, and themselves defended really well. B did poach a lot but also committed some errors. CMS did commit errors a lot, but many of them probably due to Amherst team's terrific defense.

 Julila Cancio/Juli Reventos (Williams) defeats Marjorie Antohi/Claire Handa (Chicago) - 6-1, 6-1

Do I nickname R'e'ventos(I just copied from the tournament website) 'Prancing Pony' or 'Prancing Deer' lol. Can do jumping backhand nicely.
Was really impressed with C's net defense. Terrific really, returning UC duo's high paced drives with ease. R also doing a 'KK', so they pretty much dominated the net. UC's firepower did do some damage, but the Ephs's net defense was just too good. 

2018 NCAA] 5/24 pics

Birded the parking lot before the match start, and look what I found!

Bushtit! Like 4 or 5 of them. So cute!

2018 NCAA] 5/24 Some tidbits

Waiting Raventos vs Chong marquee match at SB!


Many players, nice overhead execution. Also could hit early. 

Chong applauded Ikioka?

Devila once reached Raventos's drop shot and made a executed a perfect volley. Great body balance and concentration. .

Did Smukler disguise the direction of her drives well, or just that Antohi's defense wasn't too good.

GR threw her visor during her match against Hughes.

Allen's 2nd serve can be weak.

Trinka applauded Yu?
MP perfect passing shot by Yu. Nice handshake.

Karamercan can also launch a NASA moonball.
Also sliced well, methinks Deering had trouble coping with it.

Harding as usual applauded, Boehm's nice plays.

Brown and Popa were together, Checked and they were fellow San Diego residents?

Raventos's weapon, serve and volley, also worked against Karamercan.

Kohrs drop shot and lob combo against Cardonne.  Also applauded C.
Kohrs applauded Lopez's winners. Too often? Haha.
Probably she served better than Lopez, a factor in her win?

Boehm's hi-lo slice, lethal. 1st in, in and out drive winner. She can produce good width.
Tan's variety was suspect, and DFed.

Karamercan later poached well during doubles.

2018 NCAA[ Div. I Individuals 5/25

Subway's and Cabela's 15 second ad when u turn on the stream for upper courts. Shorter than ND one but still annoying!

Luckily could watch he battle between the Spaniards.
Lazaro just too good. Her drives, too good. That's it really. Clutch at critical moments, too. Watched the 1st set before watching doubles.

Knutson just could not return Ahmed's serve.

Don't think Jokic's volleys were too good. Couldn't really disrupt UNC's defense and got attacked. Sara's underhand serve..excellent! If only she could serve as well as elite Div. III players :sobbing:
Her net game is good enough. Factor in their win.

Couldn't watch but Lahey, strong case for playing #1 next season, defeated Ena. Luisa was pushing against Ena in that dual match. She has trouble handling power players methinks. Was losing to Vogasari, didn't watch but lost to Hourigan..can she actually win at #1 position against power players? All Waves advanced so far, into elite 8, and who lost vs GT. Ace shouldn't lose in that kind if situation. Lack of killer instinct? Who knows.
She had a lucky draw so far, avoiding power hitters. Next Hartono though, one of the top contenders to win it all. Excellent power hitter.

Doubles Q;

ASU vs LSU(defeated OM)
OSU(defeated SU) vs WINTHROP

ASU surprise quarterfinalist, upsetting NCSU team in mtb.

Looking forward to Chong vs Raventos marquee match :)  C fell against B's attack, wonder if her ankle is all right.

2018 NCAA] Singles Quarterfinals

Chong too good. Not only offense. Her defense was also stellar. Can't find any weakness at this level. Serve, overhead, slice(generally had no problem reacting to Boehm's low slices)..
So B either got hit countless winners, angled ones, or made errors. Not sure she held once. Serve could be better? But methinks she served decently, just not good enough to threaten C.
Most points were long enough, testament to B's terrific defense. She was aggressive, and wasn't bad either, overhead execution was good as well. But overall, C kept plugging to B's bh side, and eventually, B crumbled, sinking the slices or allowing sharp angled winners on her fh side, etc.

Yu also, too good. Better drives, didn't really break down, scored countless winners hitting the sidelines, etc. It wasn't as one-sided as the above match since Hughes could score plenty of winners herself. But still, Y was the better mover and hitter overall. Also made less UEs.

Difference between R and C, probably serve? C's serve was at times unstable. R aced in critical moments. C's power was good enough. Probably R moved better but C wasn't bad in that department, since she could gain the initiative with her power drives. But R's variety, too good. Her net approach timing was excellent. 

Couldn't watch Kohr vs Allen because it was separated from other 3 matches(which were clustered around nicely to my benefit lol). Only watched mp. Surprisingly easy win by A.

2018 NCAA] Individual Day 1

NCAA Individual, really quite impressive. I don't miss Div. I much at all, frankly lol. As I said methinks the level has improved from last time I watched here in 2014 or 2015. Plenty of players would've challenged Clark. Methinks Chong can certainly beat her.

More authoritative than Div. I in that they play proper 3rd set in doubles! ITA will try to destroy it as well(the Next Frontier!), so should enjoy it while I can lol.

I'll probably add some tidbits later, have to watch Div. I singles now; who's the best Spaniard, Lazaro or EPS:)

Women's Singles - Round One

Eudice Chong (Wesleyan) defeats Sarah Ikioka (Redlands) - 6-1, 6-3

I was powerful herself. Good match.
Briana Hartmann (Gustavus) defeats Ella Riddle (Linfield) - 6-3, 2-6, 7-5

Evenly matched.

Heather Boehm (Middlebury) defeats Bridget Harding (Emory) - 6-0, 6-3

As I said B was quite aggressive, didn't give H too many chances to attack; proper tactic. H's fh drives were dangerous, but B's exceptional court coverage and slices 'overcame', resulting in H's errors.
That 3rd game in the 2nd B leading 2-0 took ages to finish. Guess who won, B. Mental game is strong as well...!
Checked ITA results and H rarely got routed by that kind of once-sided score. Rebecca Ho, Raventos, Chong..very few could achieve that feat. 

Nicole Tan (CMS) defeats Johanna Ranta-Aho (Christopher Newport) - 7-6 (3), 6-3

JRA was a good player, certainly could attack.

Juli Raventos (Williams) defeats Clementina Davila (Sewanee) - 6-4, 6-1

Mina Karamercan (Tufts) defeats Grace Deering (Wash U) - 6-1, 6-4

Really enjoyed this, HQ match, both aggressive hitters.

Camille Smukler (Amherst) defeats Marjorie Antohi (Chicago) - 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Last match standing so could watch a lot, half dozing haha(didn't have much sleep the other night). A allowed many winners, some painting the corners. Gutsy performance by S but A could certainly improve on her anticipation. A not only had firepower, at the last moment could actually keep the ball in play, so it didn't seem too good for S. Did well to finish it.

Caroline Casper (Pomona-Pitzer) defeats Libby Rickerman (MIT) - 6-3, 6-3

Again impressed with C's excellent hitting. No wonder she ruled the West past 2 seasons(probably not this season?). Reminded me of Bartoli. Aggression, especially bh good. R didn't play that bad, C was just too good.

Lauren O’Malley (John Carroll) defeats Cori Sidell (Carnegie Mellon) - 6-3, 6-4

Seemed pretty even.

Catherine Allen (CMS) defeats Gabrielle Kitchell (Wis-Whitewater) - 6-4, 7-5

K is a good player. Almost seemed to be pushing/guiding the ball on her fh, but sent deep. Good movement and anticipation. Fh slice. Can pass. Nice overhead. I wonder whose slice is better, Allen or Boehm.

Daniela Lopez (Emory) defeats Diana Aboubakare (Kenyon) - 7-5, 0-6, 6-4

A 'only' had variety but it was apparently good enough against a good hitter like L. Remarkable.

Elysa Kohrs (MIT) defeats Mary Cardone (Southwestern) - 6-4, 6-2

C herself was a good hitter. K had to slice at times to return those strong drives.

Victoria Yu (Wesleyan) defeats Nithya Kanagasegar (Case Western) - 6-1, 6-3

K was herself a good hitter. Nice quality match.

Tess Trinka (Bowdoin) defeats Caroline Kutach (Trinity TX) - 6-3, 6-3

T was a good slicer and mover. Better player yet K moved well, hit bh well..gritty performance.

Lindsay Brown (CMS) defeats Claire Handa (Chicago) - 6-2, 2-6, 6-4

Only watched a bit of the 2nd. H was leading with her power so that's quite a result by B.

Katherine Hughes (Middlebury) defeats Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (Emory) - 6-2, 6-3

H too good yesterday. Almost flawless?

Women's Singles - Second Round

Eudice Chong (Wesleyan) defeats Briana Hartmann (Gustavus) - 6-0, 6-2
Heather Boehm (Middlebury) defeats Nicole Tan (CMS) - 6-2, 6-0

Juli Raventos (Williams) defeats Mina Karamercan (Tufts) - 6-3, 6-4

That was really some firepower by K. Not an easy win by R, at all. She had to summon all her resources to overcome that power game. Herself as aggressive, served well, variety also good enough, passed well..

Caroline Casper (Pomona-Pitzer) defeats Camille Smukler (Amherst) - 6-4, 7-5

Too bad couldn't watch this, soon doubles started so had to head to lower courts.

Catherine Allen (CMS) defeats Lauren O’Malley (John Carroll) - 6-0, 6-4

O was quite good herself. 

Elysa Kohrs (MIT) defeats Daniela Lopez (Emory) - 6-4, 7-5

K not only can attack the sidelines at will; her variety is also exceptional. Had to be her very best because L returned everything lol. Such a gritty performance.  As usual attacked well. She hits overheads probably better than the majority of elite Div. I players..haha.

Victoria Yu (Wesleyan) defeats Tess Trinka (Bowdoin) - 6-1, 6-2

Thought it was HQ. T sliced well. Probably watched the 2nd set. Y will no doubt play #1 for Weslayan, and should be one of the top contenders to win NCAA singles next season. Another elite Texan!

Katherine Hughes (Middlebury) defeats Lindsay Brown (CMS) - 1-6, 6-3, 6-2

B was very aggressive yesterday; one of the more impressive performances. But probably H's offense prevailed.

Women's Doubles - First Round
Eudice Chong/Victoria Yu (Wesleyan) defeats Catherine Allen/Caroline Cox (CMS) - 6-1, 6-1

Too powerful. Attacked C's serve. C did play better in the 2nd, had to play aggressively.

Nithya Kanagasegar/Madeleine Paolucci (Case Western) defeats Ashley Barrow/Kait Brogan (Mary Washington) - 6-1, 6-2

P shot of the day, 'attacking' that NCAA logo plate at the end of net, hit perfectly haha. UMW player(dunno who) bh sliced very well, even attacking with it. K was quite powerful, passing, etc.

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico/Bridget Harding (Emory) defeats Mina Karamercan/Otilia Popa (Tufts) - 7-5, 7-6 (2)

So evenly matched. P really stood out with her aggressive net play. She crumbled at tb committing errors, but without her terrific performance, couldn't have forced to tb in the 1st place.

Elysa Kohrs/Libby Rickeman (MIT) defeats Sarah Ikioka/Elizabeth Johnson (Redlands) - 6-2, 1-6, 6-2

I's aggression stood out and J also played very well. That was not an easy win, at all. In the end, K prevailed.

Anya Ivenitsky/Averey Wagman (Amherst) defeats Bridgid McGuire/Jillian Wallace (Wis. - Whitewater) - 6-0, 6-3

WWW team weren't bad at all. Some terrific sharp angled slices. They also defended quite well.

Lindsay Brown/Nicole Tan (CMS) defeats Katherine Hughes/Skylar Schossberger (Middlebury) 6-4, 7-6 (3)

Mostly watched the 2nd set and terrific quality. Both teams SO aggressive. Methinks T played well, B can't do it on her own against this good Middlebury team.

Marjorie Antohi/Claire Handa (Chicago) defeats Izzy Essi/Tess Trinka (Bowdoin) - 6-4, 0-6, 6-4

Bowdoin's fine defense was a good match against UC's firepower. UC committed gazillions of errors haha, but they eventually prevailed.

Julila Cancio/Juli Reventos (Williams) defeats Courtney Ollis/Cori Sidell - 6-0, 6-1

On Heather

She needs a nickname.  How about 'La bohème' lol. Famous Opera, pinnacle of art in that vehicle. Defense, slice, pass as an art form. Why not :)

Have to watch Div. I tennis so briefly. I'll probably have to write yesterday's recaps today evening or something.

 Heather Boehm (Middlebury) defeats Bridget Harding (Emory) - 6-0, 6-3
 Heather Boehm (Middlebury) defeats Nicole Tan (CMS) - 6-2, 6-0

Shockingly dominating performance yesterday. She even seems to have that killing instinct, albeit allowing H to win some games leading 4-1 or something. The mark of an elite, of course.

Her slices. Slices can be punished because it's slow. Opponents also have time to react. So could be sitting ducks. Many good slicers fall into this trap, for example Dani Lao.
Her slices rarely gets attacked. Means, her court vision is extraordinary! Ditto to her passes.
She can moreover use hi-lo slice to lure the opponent to the net, thereby opening up the court; as I said, slice as defensive and offensive weapon. The reason why I mentioned Graf.

That big step I mentioned. She's reacting to high-paced drives that seem un-returnable. She doesn't have much time to set up for those slices. And she does it! Watching the opponent! Sending deep! As I said not sure I've seen that kind of effective big step+slice combo, at any level. Am I exaggerating, maybe so. But it's damn impressive nonetheless.

Once against Tan, sprinted to return her drop shot or something, and managed to reach it; plus lobbed it JUST SO, barely sailing over jumping Tan. Perfect winner. Absolutely stunning, one of the Shots of the Day.

Now, Chong could be an altogether different animal lol. Harding and Tan are excellent attackers(both can hit flat with considerable pace), but C's power could be another level.  Definitely could be crushed, her slices mercilessly attacked, if she doesn't watch out. Key, like against Harding yesterday; attack! She was aggressive, thereby also could impose her slicing and passing game more effectively.

Let's she how she performs. Marquee match of the day no doubt.