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Monday, May 30, 2016

San Gabriel River - Whittier blvd. pics

Red-tailed Hawk

House Finch
Blue Grosbeak male
Scaly-breasted Munia male

Scaly-breasted Munia female
House Sparrow, likely a juvenile?
female Oriole, not sure which, Hooded or Bullock's

Ew. Did it escape a predator's attack

Black-chinned Hummer
Blue-bellied lizard

Florida underachieving?

Had to bird at least once during the Memorial Day holidays, so left after Collins led Carter 3-0 in the 1st, Missed the doubles as well, too bad. Will post bird pics at San Gabriel River - Whittier Blvd and Whittier Narrows Nature Center later.

Anyway, Florida.

Should've or could've won Team NCAA in 2010, 2015, 2016.  In each of those years, was considered one of the most talented teams yet failed to win. Lost in 2010 in the Final to Stanford 3-4, lost to Vandy 3-4 in the semi? in 2015, and lost to Stanford 3-4 in the Rd of 16 this year. Maybe we should count 2013 as well, again losing to Stanford 3-4. Stanford is really competitive against Florida, it seems. Truly the One Top.

In fact Florida was extremely lucky Ahn was injured in 2011. Stanford was roster-wise one of the best teams ever during those years, 2011 and 2012. In 2012 USC upset Stanford in the Quarterfinal, doing the job for Florida lol.

Next year Neel comes in. The talent and depth is now truly comparable to Stanford 2011/12. Porter again could sit, and she's G16 National singles champ and G18 EB doubles champ lol.
So naturally the pressure is all on them.

Updated elite 8 & final 4

Copied from my original post

Elite 8 appearances

9; Juricova
6; Anderson
5; Loeb
4; Mijacika, McDowell, Vallverdu, Mosolova, Cossou, Barte, Gullickson, DyWill, Gibbs, CapraHerring, Elbaba, Collins / Carter
3; Chifchieva, Falconi, Sanchez, Secerbegovic, Lesniak, Embree, Santamaria, Van Nguyen,Wagner / Manasse / Austin, Lohan
2; Broosova, Chan, Muresan, Niedermayerova, Boren, Susanyi, Ahn, Chi, Addison / Zhao, Woolcock, Lee
1; Burdette, Ormond, Nze, Johansson, Munch-Soegaard, Marand, Boonstra, Cohen, Cecil, McKenna, Petukhova, Burdette(L), Whoriskey, Eichkorn, Andersson, Zsilinszka, Frilling, Mather, Bartenstein,  Burdette(M) Ellis, Tan , Cako,  Lao, Suarez-Malaguti, Weatherholt, Guarachi,Sanchez-QuintanarMar, Macfarlane, Kowase, Schutting, Jullien, Oyen, Stancu, Tere-Apisah, Koroleva, Beazant, Scandalis, Bektas, Goldfeld, Hardebeck, Altick, McPhillips, Garcia, Nauta, Yurovsky, Campbell, Brady, Doyle, Eidukonyte, Davidson, Lushkova, Kuhlman, Perez, Adamovic, Shaffer / DiLorenzo, Stefani

Final 4

6; Juricova
5; Anderson
4; Gibbs
3; Mijacika, Dy, Gullickson, Will, Loeb, Wagner, Collins, Carter
2; McDowell, Chifchieva, Vallverdu, Mosolova, Barte, Falconi, Embree, SusanyiElbaba, Manasse, Austin, Lohan
1; Munch-Soegaard, Cohen, Ormond, Cossou, Nze, Johansson, Chan, Sanchez, Cecil, McKenna, Muresan, Broosova, Lesniak, Mather, Tan, Burdette(M), Ellis, Lao, Weatherholt, Guarachi, Cako,Niedermayerova, Oyen, Schutting, Stancu, Tere-Apisah, Scandalis, Santamaria, Herring, Goldfeld,Van Nguyen, Addison, Chi, Eidukonyte, Zhao, Woolcock, Kuhlman, Perez, DiLorenzo, Stefani

Sunday, May 29, 2016

2016 NCAA Semis

Collins again attempted drop shots at critical moments. At least 3, when I watched, and elicited Stefani's errors twice(got passed once). Takes guts to do it against a good mover like Stefani lol.

Still it wasn't an easy finish. Should be interesting to see who'll challenge Stefani's supremacy in the West next season. Could be from the Freshmen class, Shibahara, Higuchi, Arbuthnott..

Lohan served well, one of the reasons she could have a tight match against Carter. Her ultra solid game remind me of Sara Daavettila. The two Cavaliers, Eidukonyte and Capra graduate, but she could face stern challenge from the Blue Devils and those two Tar Heel freshmen, Daavettila and Sanford.

Lohan does seem to have similar limitation as Scandalis; attacks weren't good enough. She could actually outlast Carter, which is itself a testament to her ability, but when she tried to finish the match by attacking later in the 2nd, she failed, making errors and such. She plays rather safe, that is, with big margin; she doesn't attack the lines that often. So methinks when she tried to overcome that comfort zone, it backfired. Still that was a courageous attempt, and if she does manage to sharpen her attack, she could be even more formidable.

Carter's exquisite defense contributed to her win, as usual, and she as usual applauded Lohan's winners(some players applauded the opponents' fine plays, such as Berg).

Harrison served well, one of the reasons the Bruins were able to win the 1st set. McPhillips' net attacks were very successful, as well.
But dunno, methinks eventually Austin's huge groundstrokes carried the day; the Bruins dumped the return, aided by Keegan's net presence(and size).
The Bruins were actually seeking for revenge lol, since they lost the National 3-4PL match against Austin/Carter.  So, the Gators are aiming to win another slam after Oyen/Will won the NIIC. Wonder when was the last time the Gators won NCAA doubles; Lisa Raymonds?

Manasse is one of the few players who can actually hit overheads well lol. Doesn't need bounce, although she did mishit a couple. Overall methinks the Bears were pretty active at net, probably more so than the Tar Heels. Especially Starr's volleys were quit effective. This match was probably the decider for the year-end #1 spot.
From the middle of the 2nd set the internet connection became real unstable, so just quit watching, too bad.

Miami players advanced to singles semis in all 3 slams this season; Lohan to the final at WAATC, Wagner to semis at NIIC, Lohan to semis at NCAA.
And ACC players really dominated the scene, overall. As you know Collins won WAATC, Eidukonyte lost to DiLorenzo in NIIC final, and NCAA is an ACC affair as well, between Collins and Carter.
Not only Carter, Wagner also advanced to singles semis 3 times. Miami will definitely miss her.

2016 NCAA Quarterfinals Doubles


Errorerrorereoreroereoeroeroeoreorororrererrror. Lol.  Practically all matches were a blowout.

Please don't try hitting overhead before bounce. You're just not that good. 8 in 10 they mishit, netting or sending the ball high away lol(not only in yesterday matches, in singles as well).  Waiting for the bounce and finishing it calmly(if you can) should be a more prudent choice.

UCLA def. UK

Atrocious. UK's volleys were horrendous. They should do better, since they had a terrific Fall. Disappointing.

UF def. ASU

ASU led 4-1 then collapsed. Panoho couldn't handle the pace most times. Wasn't accustomed to it? Tentatively returned and sank tons. Serve wasn't ideal either. And both couldn't even attack Austin's serve, netting, etc. Austin passed sharply, cross court. Osborne was a better and aggressive hitter than Panoho and she's a decent server herself. Wonder who she'll team up with next season.  Slaysman is having a terrible year lol in singles(lost to Frazier at USONPQ), but at least she'll contribute much in doubles.

CAL def. FSU

Actually finished last among the 3 matches, although Mayar was playing horrendously.
All semifinalists except UK team are slam winners. UCLA won first, two years ago at NIIC. CAL won WAATC last year, followed by UNC at NIIC.

UNC def. USC

USC team is really exciting to watch. As they said in the interview, first strike tennis, and that's Berg's tennis too(Berg always has been ultra aggressive, during juniors. So also commits tons of errors lol). But in this match, errors abound lol. And probably Carter's reach prevailed lol, such as passing shots, etc. Kay didn't even have to do much.
Coach Epley has knowhow in doubles(MML is one of his prize students), so USC should do well in doubles next season as well. Is Cochran injured? Didn't play much this season, but she was a very good doubles player during juniors. Zogg also has nice touch, and R is a fine player too.

2016 NCAA Quarterfinals singles

Scores from official website

Women’s Singles Quarterfinals Agate

Of course had to concentrate on doubles which were played at the same time. So basically missed all first sets, etc.

#1 [1] Hayley Carter (North Carolina) def. #47 Katarina Adamovic (Oklahoma St.), 4-6, 6-1, 6-0

Adamovic isn't a hard hitter per se, but she can actually take charge of points; can move the opponents around efficiently.
Her blowing kisses at the crowd acknowledging the support after the match finish was one of the highlights of the day.
Carter now has advanced to singles Final 4 in all 3 slams.

#8 [8] Sinead Lohan (Miami (FL)) def. #10 [9-16] Breaunna Addison (Texas), 6-2, 6-4

Lohan's 2nd singles slam semi appearance. And she's only a sophomore. Approaching legend status, tied with Austin(Austin made semis in her first two slams last season, WAATC and NIIC).

#6 [7] Luisa Stefani (Pepperdine) def. #28 Kennedy Shaffer (Georgia), 6-1, 6-4

First to finish, so couldn't really watch what with doubles. They hugged at net after the match! Shaffer is a cool gal haha.

#2 [2] Danielle Collins (Virginia) def. #13 [9-16] Jasmine Lee (Mississippi St.), 7-5, 6-3

Collins is rather unique among the semifinalists in that she's more of an attacker(whereby all 3 are primarily known for their good defence). But what an attacker! I've praised her enough, but in this match also, just as in Oracle and WAATC, she wasn't afraid to try variety, slicing, etc. One of the premier attackers in the league, yet she can be patient as well.  She really has progressed leaps and bounds at college, even though she wasted her first year at UF.  Can she tie with Loeb winning 3 singles slams, ending her illustrious career.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Best player in the West, Luisa Stefani

She's imo upgraded version of Zoe Scandalis.
Both aren't flat hitters, are good servers, very good movers/defenders, and like to come to the net. But Stefani is the better attacker, and has better touch.

For example;

Scandalis lost 2,2 to Altick in Team NCAA last year.

Stefani just defeated Altick in 3.
And this years' Alitck is supposedly the better version(Senior MIP of the year, NIIC Quarterfinalist).

Hence, a legitimate slam contender(Scandalis made it to WAATC singles semifinal and doubles final).

Just look at her singles results this season; conquered California, nay, the West(defeated Addison as well). Against Manasse, met 3 times lol, trailing 1-2.
Won the Regional, but didn't play NIIC.

(from ITA)
DateEventRnd/PosOpponentOpponent SchoolResultScore
5/27/2016NCAA DI Women's Individual ChampionshipsRound of 16#14 Frances Altick #5 Vanderbilt UniversityWin4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5/26/2016NCAA DI Women's Individual ChampionshipsRound of 32#50 Sadie Hammond University of TennesseeWin6-0, 6-2
5/25/2016NCAA DI Women's Individual ChampionshipsRound of 64#92 Gabriela Porubin #30 Wichita State UniversityWin7-5, 6-3
5/21/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#7 Maegan Manasse #2 CaliforniaWin6-2, 7-6 (5)
5/19/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#10 Breaunna Addison #20 University of Texas at AustinU7-6 (2), 5-2
5/14/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#27 Giuliana Olmos #21 University of Southern CaliforniaWin6-1, 6-0
5/13/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Marianna Petrei University of IdahoWin6-3, 6-2
4/30/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Jana McCord Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaWin6-0, 6-4
4/29/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Danielle Silva Santa Clara UniversityWin6-1, 6-2
4/23/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#124 Andrea Ka Univ. of San FranciscoU3-6, 5-3
4/22/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Danielle Silva Santa Clara UniversityWin6-2 6-1
4/16/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Marta Stojanovic University of San DiegoU6-3, 5-2
4/15/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Mayci Jones Brigham Young UniversityWin7-5, 6-3
4/9/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Sophie Whittle Gonzaga UniversityWin6-2, 6-1
4/8/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#73 Lucia Butkovska University of PortlandLoss6-2, 6-3
4/2/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Viktoriya Dzyuba University of the Pacific (California)Win6-1, 6-1
4/1/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Jana McCord Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaWin6-1, 6-0
3/26/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Jessica Perez Loyola Marymount UniversityWin6-3, 6-4
3/22/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#46 Taylor Davidson #1 StanfordWin6-4, 6-1
3/19/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#7 Maegan Manasse #2 CaliforniaLoss6-3, 6-3
3/12/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#45 Martina Frantova #40 North Carolina StateWin6-2, 6-2
3/10/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Ebba Unden #62 Long Beach State UniversityWin6-0, 6-3
2/27/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#20 Andie Dikosavljevic #12 Auburn UniversityWin6-2, 6-2
2/26/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#10 Breaunna Addison #20 University of Texas at AustinWin6-3, 6-1
2/18/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#17 Catherine Harrison #25 UCLAWin4-6, 7-6 (4), 10-8
2/15/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#35 Desirae Krawczyk #22 Arizona State UniversityWin6-1, 4-6, 6-0
2/7/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Tamitha Nguyen San Diego State UniversityWin7-5, 7-6 (2)
1/29/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#27 Giuliana Olmos #21 University of Southern CaliforniaWin4-6, 6-2, 6-2
1/23/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#112 Despoina Vogasari University of HoustonWin6-4, 6-2
1/22/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#3 Francesca Di Lorenzo #6 Ohio State UniversityWin2-6, 6-4, 6-3
10/19/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipFinal#17 Catherine Harrison #25 UCLAWin7-6(8), 6-4
10/18/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipSemifinalsJessica Failla #21 University of Southern CaliforniaWin7-5, 6-3
10/17/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipQuarterfinalsPalina Dubavets #56 UC Santa BarbaraWin6-2, 6-4
10/17/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipRound of 16#117 Madison Westby #21 University of Southern CaliforniaWin6-2, 6-1
10/16/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipRound of 32Mickey Hsu Cal State NorthridgeWin6-3, 6-1
10/16/20152015 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Southwest Regional ChampionshipRound of 64Sarah Nuno Cal State FullertonWin6-1, 6-1
10/9/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsConsolation#1 Hayley Carter #4 North CarolinaLoss4-6, 6-0, 6-4
10/9/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsConsolation#26 Joana Eidukonyte #35 Clemson UniversityWin6-2, 7-5
10/8/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsRound of 32#9 Stephanie Wagner #10 University of Miami (Florida)Loss6-0, 7-5
10/7/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsRound of 16Skylar Kuykendall #18 LSUWin6-2, 6-3
10/6/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsRound of 32#28 Kennedy Shaffer #7 University of GeorgiaWin6-4, 6-1
10/6/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsRound of 64#85 Yulia Shupenia #66 DePaul UniversityWin6-0,6-0
10/4/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsRound of 16#56 Lauren Chypyha University of Wisconsin, MadisonWin6-3, 6-3
10/3/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships#93 Sarah Dvorak #15 Texas Tech UniversityWin6-2, 7-6
10/3/2015Riviera/ITA Women's All-American ChampionshipsSemifinals#92 Gabriela Porubin #30 Wichita State UniversityWin6-0, 6-4
9/19/20152015 Oracle/ITA MastersQuarterfinals#7 Maegan Manasse #2 CaliforniaLoss7-5, 6-2
9/18/20152015 Oracle/ITA MastersQuarterfinals#32 Astra Sharma #5 Vanderbilt UniversityWin4-6, 7-5, 7-5

On 2016 NCAA Individuals

Singles Quarterfinalists this season




Woolcock, Collins, Lohan, Lee made two times. Only Collins graduates.

And per team;

2; UGA(Perez, Shaffer), Miami(Wagner, Lohan), UF(Austin, Woolcock), UVA(Collins, Elbaba), VU(Campbell, Altick)

So you can see UGA and UF could do well next season.
Of the Freshmen, only DiLorenzo and Stefani made it(D won NIIC).

ACC boasts most players, Carter, Lohan and Collins.
SEC and Big 12, two each.
Stefani represents California, she was the best California player this season. No Pac 12 players, is this a record or what lol.


It's really too bad the current Doubles Queen, Alabama's Routliffe couldn't make it, with Daniell.

California and Pac 12 teams boast 7 teams in the Sweet 16. This even without USC and Stanford lol. But majority actually came from non Pac 12 lol, 2 PEPP teams, UCSB and FSU.

SEC follows by 5(the best in any Conference), UA, USC, UF, MSU, UK, this even without Alabama, VU and UGA teams.

Both OSU teams(Ohio and Oklahoma) didn't make it, which dominated the Dual season(including NCAA).

Another notable absence is Duke(what happened to Capra, was she injured? Too bad).

Doubles Quarterfinalists


Both Pepperdine teams lost but challenged the winners, UF and Cal. Expect them to do well again next season. Hanna Chang is quite versatile(rather similar to Jean R, both committing many errors lol), so they might do even better.

USC defeated Auburn(when was the last time USC made elite 8? Is it their first? No. Cal power!), and FSU defeated UVA. UCSB won the 1st set against UNC, MSU against UK, UT against ASU.

So two slam winners are still alive, Carter/Kay and Harrison/McPhillips(both NIIC winners).
FSU's Ahmed sisters are looking to replicate former Bulldog legend Kucerkova/Petukhova's achievement(they won two slams methinks?).

On Stanford's chronic 'underranked' problem

I've said it's ALL Stanford's fault;
(All college Scores from ITA)

4/20/2016 #21 University of Southern California Win 4-2
 4/16/2016 #2 California Win 4-3
 4/9/2016 at #68 Washington State University Win 5-2
 4/8/2016 at #51 University of Washington Win 6-1
 4/3/2016 at #2 California Loss 4-3
 4/2/2016 #58 University of Oregon Win 7-0
 3/26/2016 #59 University of Utah Win 7-0
 3/25/2016 University of Colorado Win 7-0
 3/22/2016 #9 Pepperdine Loss 4-3
 3/12/2016 #25 UCLA Win 5-1
 3/5/2016 at #22 Arizona State University Loss 4-3
 3/4/2016 at #74 University of Arizona Win 5-2
 2/28/2016 #3 University of Florida Win 4-3
 2/19/2016 #43 Fresno State Win 7-0
 2/13/2016 #31 TCU Win 7-0
 2/5/2016 Saint Mary's College of California Win 6-1
 1/30/2016 at #5 Vanderbilt University Loss 4-1
 1/29/2016 #42 University of Mississippi Loss 4-3
 1/25/2016 Santa Clara University Win 7-0

Lost to Ole Miss, VU, ASU, PEPP, and Cal. Didn't play NTI either.

So stop whining about your ranking and suck it up since you fully deserve it anyway. I really dunno why the reporters didn't raise THIS 'aspect' during the interview lol. Did they do their homework or what?

But let's delve it a little deeper, shall we?

Here's Zhao's Dual singles results(again from ITA):

4/20/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#27 Giuliana Olmos #21 University of Southern CaliforniaWin6-4, 6-2
4/16/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#7 Maegan Manasse #2 CaliforniaWin6-1, 6-4
4/9/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Maria Biryukova #68 Washington State UniversityWin6-0, 7-5
4/8/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Stacey Fung #51 University of WashingtonWin6-2, 6-1
4/3/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#7 Maegan Manasse #2 CaliforniaLoss7-5, 6-4
4/2/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Nia Rose #58 University of OregonWin6-2, 6-7 (5), 10-7
3/26/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Margo Pletcher #59 University of UtahWin3-6, 6-1, 10-0
3/25/2016Dual MatchPos. #1Nuria Ormeno Ruiz University of ColoradoWin7-5, 7-6 (5)
2/28/2016Dual MatchPos. #1#4 Brooke Austin #3 University of FloridaWin6-3, 3-6, 7-5

She played only 9 matches, and before April, mere 3 matches!

I mean, Gibbs did the same, but at least she played more;

4/19/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Anett Schutting #2 CaliforniaWin6-2, 6-2
4/13/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Jacqueline Cako #22 Arizona State UniversityWin6-4, 7-5
4/12/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Lacey Smyth #74 University of ArizonaWin6-3, 6-1
4/3/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Katie Le Santa Clara UniversityLoss6-7 (1), 6-3, 1-0 (8)
3/30/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Sabrina Santamaria #21 University of Southern CaliforniaLoss6-1, 6-4
3/29/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Robin Anderson #25 UCLALoss6-4, 6-2
3/24/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Tereza Bekerova #59 University of UtahWin2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (7)
3/23/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Julyette Steur University of ColoradoWin6-3, 6-2
3/10/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Aeriel Ellis #20 University of Texas at AustinWin2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (1)
3/9/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Liudmila Vasilieva #68 Washington State UniversityWin6-1, 6-1
3/8/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Andjela Nemcevic #51 University of WashingtonWin6-4, 6-0
3/2/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Anett Schutting #2 CaliforniaWin6-2, 6-2
2/24/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Lauren Embree #3 University of FloridaU
2/23/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Yana Koroleva #35 Clemson UniversityWin6-2, 6-2
2/7/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Stephanie Hoffpauir University of San DiegoWin6-2, 6-2
2/2/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Lorraine Guillermo #9 PepperdineLoss7-5, 6-1
1/31/2013Dual MatchPos. #1Megan Heneghan UC DavisWin6-3, 6-3

Played 17 matches.

There must be a restriction on playing NCAA Team; shouldn't be only confined to Individual.

I mean, you might play pro matches during the Fall; but once the Dual season starts, you gotta commit, man!  What did Zhao do during all those early months this year?

(from ITF)

Why is this allowed? Doesn't ITA have the guts to confront this blatant abuse of the system? They have the 'guts' to destroy doubles yet are afraid to tackle this issue? Freaking hilarious.

Gotta play at least half the Dual matches, or more. Minimum 12 matches could be a good idea. Unless she's injured.

Let's see what ITA does about this 'problem' this Summer.