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Monday, September 25, 2017

NE Regional ranking

From ITA

Oracle/ITA Division I Rankings - Northeast
 Administered by the ITA
 June 7th, 2017

 Rank School
 1 Dartmouth College
 2 Harvard University
 3 Cornell University
 4 University of Pennsylvania
 5 Boston College
 6 Brown University
 7 Syracuse University
 8 Princeton University
 9 St. John's University
 10 Yale University

 Rank Player School
1 Jessica Livanu St. John's University
2 Gabrielle Knutson Syracuse University
3 Kana Daniel University of Pennsylvania
4 Miranda Ramirez Syracuse University
5 Lexxi Borr Boston College
6 Asiya Dair Boston College
7 Erica Oosterhout Harvard University
8 Marika Cusick Cornell University
9 Taylor Ng Dartmouth College
10 Alyza Benotto Brown University
11 Alexandra Solovyev Columbia University
12 Dayna Lord Brown University
13 June Lee Harvard University
14 Jacqueline Crawford Dartmouth College
15 Ashley Zhu University of Pennsylvania
16 Kristina Mathis Dartmouth College
17 Carol Finke Yale University
18 Alex D'Ascenzo Cornell University
19 Anna Morozova St. John's University
20 Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva University of Connecticut

Rank Doubles Team School
1 Taylor Ng / Kristina Mathis Dartmouth College
2 Gabrielle Knutson / Miranda Ramirez Syracuse University
3 Jessica Livianu / Anna Morozava St. John's University
4 Caroline Joyce / Nicole Kalhorn Princeton University
5 Dayna Lord / Alyza Benotto Brown University
6 Erica Oosterhout / June Lee Harvard University
7 KylieWilcox / Dasha Possokhova Boston College
8 Marika Cusick / Alex D'Ascenzo Cornell University
9 Tanja Stojanovska / Margarita Kotok University at Buffalo
10 Alexandra Solovyev / Adi Milstein Columbia University

Miho Kowase's last 2 seasons in NTI & NCAA(singles)

2/7/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Denise Starr #13 California Loss 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 
2/6/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Courtney Colton #4 Vanderbilt University Win 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
2/5/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Galina Bykova Fresno State U 6-2, 5-4 uf

5/21/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Kelsey Laurente #10 Oklahoma State University Win 6-0, 7-6 (2)
5/19/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Kendal Woodard #9 Georgia Tech Win 6-4, 7-5
5/14/2016 Dual Match Pos. #4 Alaina Miller #23 UCLA Win 6-3, 6-1

2/12/2017 Dual Match Pos. #5 #65 Makenna Jones #5 North Carolina Win 6-2, 7-5
2/11/2017 Dual Match Pos. #5 Carla Tur Mari #10 Oklahoma State University Win 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
2/10/2017 Dual Match Pos. #5 Roos van der Zwaan #14 Auburn University U 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 

5/22/2017 Dual Match Pos. #4 #51 Caroline Lampl #2 Stanford Win 3-6, 7-6 (0), 7-5
5/21/2017 Dual Match Pos. #4 #101 Sabrina Federici #7 Texas Tech University Win 6-4, 6-1
5/19/2017 Dual Match Pos. #4 #116 Silvia Chinellato #15 University of South Carolina Win 7-5, 6-2

Almost guaranteed win, as impressive as DiLorenzo. Even won NCAA doubles with D.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ohio State's extraordinary run

What a run past two seasons.

2016
NTI semifinal loss to eventual champ Cal., 3-4
NCAA quarterfinal loss to eventual finalist Oklahoma State, 2-4

2017
NTI semifinal loss to UNC, 3-4
NCAA semifinal loss to Stanford, 3-4.

Just wow. Of course DiLorenzo made it happen, but those seniors last season..so solid in lower positions. Miho Kowase, Gabriella De Santis, Sandy Niehaus, Ferny Angeles Paz(except Niehuas all foreigners. As I said, without foreigners, teams with 'lesser name values' can't compete with the very best, who can recruit top juniors with ease or 'impunity' lol. Baylor, Cal., TAMU, Vandy, Oklahoma State..the list goes on and on)..OSU will surely miss them.

I see that newcomers did rather well at Debbie Southern Fall Classic. Midwest duel will continue to be interesting(I really want to bird there lol, haven't been to that area!).

On NFC selection criteria

I'll mention here just one;

SINGLES

"24 ITA Regional Championships Presented by Oracle Finalists."

As I said they expanded this year(same number as NCAA, in fact; 64, 32), and this is the most notable result. All finalists are guaranteed playing NFC.

So, NOTHING is on the line in the singles final match. Maybe rankings.

Doubles is just marginally less 'lenient'; not all but 6 finalists will make it, and possibly more, could get 4 spots(will contend with WAATC Quarterfinalists and Regional semifinalists).

I'll probably, as usual, skip the final day in SD lol.

Sanford and Lohan plays NFC

They just punched the ticket to IW, winning respective tournaments, Oracle and MTC.

Morning birding at Village Green was a disaster! The Firewheel tree was taller than I expected, so had to crane my neck...you know the rest. Hurt too much, after 3-day extravaganza birding and tennis watching! Dessi was already there but we just couldn't spot Northern Parula and Blackpoll Warbler...FYI Kentucky Warbler was not found today at SD: glad I didn't make the trip.
I really admire fellow birders, they're so 'intrepid'. Birding rain or shine, for long hours, day after day. I salute you, comrades!

Shibahara seemed quite upset after the loss(only managed to watch from the penultimate point). But she can make NFC anyway? Weaker WAATC field, Quarterfinalists guaranteed entry to NFC.. It went to the very distance lol, wonder how it went.

Now, MTC. I was wondering who would 'take advantage of' this tournament, and Lohan did, traveling all the way from Miami(fellow 'hurricane refugee' like Dani Collins?! Hope the Floridans stay safe there)!  Wasn't a particularly easy road to the win, she rather struggled against fellow WAATC players Andrei(ULM) and Jeanjean(Arkansas).
 The other finalist was the more unusual? one, SU's Miranda Ramirez, she defeated Jurasic of Arkansas.

Yufei Long from Iowa scored a huge upset, beating Oparenovic of Arkansas. Alexis(I thought it was Lexi lol) Keberle likewise(she's a good recruit by Wisconsin), upset Kononova of North Texas. You really can trust the Midwest 'products'!

Overall, the field is too weak there(similar problem all across the board..in fact both Oracle tournaments, Masters and NFC; natural consequence of expanding the draw. The first Oracle was a true elite event, also playing 'proper' doubles).

I thought many MW elite colleges like OSU, MICH, NU, ND would take advantage of the ticket to NFC, but nope. MTC gotta try harder next time, otherwise it's not really 'worthy'. At least Oracle in Malibu had multiple WAATC MD players, despite both winners of the event, Oracle Masters and MTC, getting to play NFC.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

2017 NCAA] Singles Finalists beat..

Minor def.

Lohan
Talaba
Ahmed
Daavettila
Campbell

Not an easy road at all. All excellent players.

Woolcock def.

Lazaro
Lord
Valle Costa
Danilina
Perez-Somarriba

I guess Danilina did the heavy work for her haha, beating Carter and Perez, but you can only play who's in front of you.


2017 NCAA singles, elites lost to

Sharma didn't play.

DiLorenzo lost to Ahmed
Carter lost to Danilina
Perez lost to Danilina
Shibahara lost to Campbell
Stefani lost to Livianu
Daavettila lost to Minor
Lushkova lost to Fahey
Shankle lost to Lahey
Neel lost to Lahey
Chi lost to Horvit
Lord lost to Woolcock

2017 WAATC, NFC

Top players are absent: DiLorenzo, Minor, Sharma, Stefani..

Perfect chance for 'lesser' players to take advantage and sneak in a slam(including doubles: DiLorenzo won NCAA)! Like USO this year lol.

Who'll 'rise' to the occasion??!

Fossa Huergo on a roll

Fossa Huergo def. Cerezo-Codina (VT): 6-1,6-2
Fossa Huergo def. Valenstein (TTU): 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

Slaysman conquered G16 doubles with Shibahara, so no surprise her doing well in doubles.

2017 Oracle Day 3(last day for me)

No pics today, thought of taking pics of Ruddy Turnstone foraging on the seashore at Malibu Lagoon with Willets and Snowy Egrets, but was too lazy.

Pretty much impressed with everybody. Already exhausted(I actually dozed watching Consolation semis at Pepperdine lol). How am I going to 'endure' the 'rigor' of WAATC then. The traffic will be horrific as usual..

Naturally first watched Consolation semis at Pepperdine.

Really wanted to watch both matches to conclusion, but had to have a peek of the marquee match O'Louglin vs Pothier, too bad. So left after like 40 minutes(almost the end of the 1st set methinks)

Stiteler def. Petrei

Forgot to mention this but S is like Ahmed. Similar 'breathing regimen'!  Pretty much everybody was aggressive today, both as well. S was quite a good hitter, was rather impressed, this match and especially the semi match. Hit aggressively yet could also keep the ball in play.

Herrero Garcia def. Grigoryan

G really surprised me today. No wonder won yesterday? Such a good hitter. Could nail winners at will, so sharp. Even drop shotted well? Both served well, so the match was quite tight.I

====

So drove to MRC, and who 'greeted' me(joking, we didn't exactly say hello lol) at the entrance to the building, a tall girl...really looked like Dani 'Regina' Collins. But can't be? So shrugged and climbed the other entrance.

Now a bit later I was resting on the comfy chair inside the clubhouse. Who sat(with her coach?) right next to me...it WAS her!!! Imagine my surprise lol. I really should've asked her about her newly 'minted' weapon during her senior year, that devastatingly effective drop shot, but totally forgot about it then. Soon coach Sampras-Webster came by and they hugged each other, so I vacated the seat to 'hog' a favorable seat at court 6(Ahmed vs Sanford) which was to be started soon.  Aaah, I really should've at least said hello..shoulda, shoulda, oh well.

Was that USTA coach(can't remember her name right now)...unfortunately didn't bring my bino. After a while a small raptor hovering overhead was also spotted, couldn't quite make it out, American Kestrel or..dunno, can't be Cooper's Hawk..

====

Anyway, marquee match; O'Loughlin def. Pothier

Arrived and O won the 1st. But didn't I say marquee match...went to 3rd. Enjoyed their excellent variety of course.
I thought O had to attack, because otherwise P will, and she can hit early. Both served well. O made some costly errors later in the 2nd set TB(she was actually leading), and P made a fantastic approach volley winner, bending her knee nicely to boot, to take that set.

And O wasn't discouraged at all. Unflappable. Did not relinquish her aggression, and played actually superbly. She really has good form(follow through), whether serving or driving. Could hit early, and after gaining the initiative, made choice net approaches and finished superbly once there('Flying Irish'?? Paraphrasing Wagner lol). The more powerful player, and her aggression certainly bore fruit, whether driving effectively or approaching the net.

I thought P might try serve and volley, rarely attempted it methinks, dunno if she tried in the 1st set. O once made the shot of the day, running full tilt to the net to reach a short ball, and nailing a bh dtl passing shot winner, with perfect composure.  P later eventually broke down, committing UEs. O was just playing too well by then, making superb play after play. Nice handshake.

Mathis def. Sunjic

I really tried to watch lol. Structurally almost impossible to watch both matches at the same time! I was contorting myself throughout the matches..!
So from my seat, couldn't see the score of this match, but the match was rather tight methinks. S played quite decently methinks. Nice handshake, as well, by S.
She was very much a tourist herself, taking pics(her coach too) of the venue after the match! :)

====

So, while waiting for the MD semis to start; was thinking of Kaitlyn Ray. To my surprise? she actually materialized right there and then...! Haha. So she'll be providing expert commentary tomorrow, like last year, I guess.

====

Sanford def. Ahmed
Shibahara def. Miyazaki

Both semis went to 3rd, and by then I had enough :p Had to watch Consolation semis at Pepperdine so left, I was already feeling 'guilty' of 'hogging' such a good seat lol. Lots of people were standing, like last year. Some players were actually right behind me(for example the 'protagonist' of yesterday's marathon match!). The Waves came, Gulbe, Lahey and Failla, etc.

All 4 semifinalists were excellent servers; the reason the matches went to the distance. Sure Miyazaki committed DFs from time to time, but overall, excellent, especially considering her size. 

I haven't actually watched M much, but glad I did, contorting myself uncomfortably, leaning to glimpse that match lol. She really is one heck of a hitter. Not only can she hit early(she's not a big hitter per se), she's such a smooth hitter, and say like Juricova, can step into the court, robbing the response time off her opponents. Good variety, as well. Quite a nice touch, managing to retrieve difficult balls, etc.

Probably like O'Loughlin, Shibahara kept the pressure on, kept slugging. Probably served a bit more solidly(aced, etc.), and despite committing errors here and there(including net approaches), her drive pace was such that M had to allow quite a lot of drive winners.

Not sure Sanford was the better player against Douglas(where will she go?) during that EB final. But one thing; she was very strong at important points.
Felt similarly today. Even when she faced break points and such, at those important moments made fine plays, finally managing to hold her service games. Serve, verra good. Made big serves at critical points.
Probably was the better hitter. The pace she produced was just enormous. So penetrating, especially on her bh side(one of the shots of the day was her bh winner painting the corner. Didn't even hit hard on that one, rather 'guided' with pin-point precision..).
A was hitting with all her might, yet..

Still A's aggression enabled to win her fair share of drive winners and forcing FEs, and I really began to appreciate...her defense! For her size...moved so well, did she learn that from 'Iron Maiden' or what haha.  Bent her knees to good effect, so could handle S's monstrous pace.
And, was that her experience. S couldn't return a short ball at the penultimate 2nd set point, and at the next point A sent a wicked short slice, to great effect, again elicited S's error.
Definitely gave her all, it was not without effort. Quite resourceful, which was possible in the first place because she had various weapons in her arsenal. Drop shot, net approaches..harassed S to the end.

Both attempted drop shots from the get-go, was surprised, and S used it rather sparingly to good effect later. You know whom I was reminded of; 'Regina'! Haha. Doubly effective since Collins is ultra aggressive from the get-go, pinning her opponents far back behind the baseline!

====

Consolation semis

I was too tired by then so went home after the 1st set. Alas, had to endure the hellish traffic...

O'Loughlin vs Mathis

Didn't know M was such a good hitter...! I thought Taylor Ng's graduation would be keenly felt, but M seems poised to 'assume the baton'. O really had to up her level to win that 1st set.

Stiteler vs Herrero Garcia

What a tournament for S lol. Points were long, and both were just driving terrific.

====

That's it, probably won't go there tomorrow. As I said Ray will provide expert commentary, TOO CROWDED, no doubles, only 2 singles matches and it's just damn too far for that. But SD is even farther..ugh. 

Hungry for doubles! Looking forward to WAATC PQ doubles, again at Pepperdine next week(yeah I'm forgoing 2 excellent birding opportunities on that day, the 30th, Pelagic birding and Warbler hunt. The 'sacrifices' I make!).