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Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 Pepperdine Kick-off 1st day

As usual pressed for time(have to bird the Lagoon again. Yesterday was truly challenging, northerly gust blasting me in the morning! Spotted female Common Goldeneye, that was the bird of the day), so briefly;

Windy, but methinks the girls served pretty well overall, all 4 teams.

Result from Pepperdine website.

#3 PEPPERDINE vs. UNLV

Doubles
1. #3 Maddox/Sherif vs. Zhu/Huang - 4-5, unfinished

The Waves again having trouble with service return; as usual returned aggressively, and missed many. Zhu quite impressed me yesterday.

2. #8 Stefani/Runglerdkriangkrai def. Moroi/Yang - 6-3

3. Lahey/Milovanovic def. Bogoslavets/Artiga - 6-4

I think this Rebel team volleyed well. Lahey at #3, and still gave the Waves a hard time.

Order of finish: 2, 3*

Took about 42 minutes to finish. By the way, today's final match is scheduled to start 'mere' 3 hours after the consolation match. That's probably what ITA intended implementing no-ad and cutting a quarter of doubles match; to establish the 'Maginot Line' for the Dual match, 3 hrs lol.

By the way the Rebels defended quite well. In fact, all teams. You really need that extra something(more firepower or variety or point construction, whatever) to decisively win the points, or, don't miss at all(iron will).

Singles
1. #8 Stefani vs. Carol Yang - 6-1, 5-4 unfinished

S attacks were pretty sharp. Y bh very good as usual(passing, etc.)

2. #21 Lahey vs. Zhu - 4-6, 1-2 unfinished

Lahey missed tons, but Z was really good.

3. #22 Sherif def. Artiga - 6-1, 6-4

Wait a minute I thought it was Huang not Artiga?  Whoever it was lol, S was just too good. Drop shot was effective because she was pummeling the opponent(hence pinning her behind the baseline) from the get-go, as usual.

4. Gulbe v. Bogoslavets - 6-3, 3-3 unfinished

G let the balls pass her by twice.

5. Milovanovic def. En Pei Huang - 6-0, 6-2

6. Runglerdkriangkrai def. Kenic - 6-2, 6-1

Order of finish - 5, 6, 3

Was very impressed with the UA team. Oparenovic had two mps(for the whole match as well). So you know the staggering depth of SEC.

Scores from Pepperdine website;

NC STATE 4, ARKANSAS 3

Doubles
1. Frantova/Rogers (NC State) def. Hudson/Jeanjean (Arkansas) - 6-3

So this is Jeanjean. Had nice variety. H volleyed quite well, too. At first it was a break-fest. Impressive firepower by the Packs. Moldovan too could hit quite flat with pace. Nice manners by both Packs, Frantova and Rogers, applauding the opponents' fine plays.

2. Moldovan/Wiktorin (NC State) def. Oparenovic/Jurasic (Arkansas) - 6-3

I was quite impressed with W, especially at net. Both Packs defended real well at net. In fact methinks the overall level of this match was quite high. O/J had no problem attacking with huge drives, etc.

3. Rebol/Stenta (NC State) vs. Cepelyte/Arakawa (Arkansas) - 3-4 unfinished

A was looping the ball much, concentrating on control I guess. And she poached quite well.
I thought Reami was playing, not Rebol? Reami is tall but don't think she generated much pace on her serve.

Order of finish: 1,2

Doubles was probably the decider. I actually was hoping NCSU to meet PEPP doubles, but UA so impressed me.

Singles:

Two really good jumping bhs, by Frantova and Hudson.

1. Frantova (NC State) def. Oparenovic (Arkansas) - 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-5

Dunno how the AO final match between those Legends Fed & Nadal went, but no matter; thoroughly enjoyed this match.

F really is a heck of a hitter. Probably one of the flattest hitters in the league; and didn't miss much, either. Bh slice, very good.
So O was on the defensive lots of times, but she played very smart. First of all she could return very well, deep, to discomfit F at times. Threw junk? balls, mixed it up with variety, and in turn could attack quite sharply. I was even reminded a bit of Di Lorenzo.
F kept up her aggression to the end, even facing those mps. Another example of the 'will' and the skills backing it up.

2. Wiktorin (NC State) def. Hudson (Arkansas) - 6-7 (6), 7-6 (2), 6-4

That 'leg through' again, haha(H of course).
Haven't seen W much(Claremont ITF methinks), but she seems to have improved much. I mean playing #2 itself, and she was the star yesterday(can we say the Star is Born?!). Missed some net approach volleys like Rogers, but what composure, with controlled aggression. Could attack the lines, and she controlled lots of points with her aggression. Hudson upped her level later(with aggression hitting) so that's quite a win by W. When she faced bp later in the 3rd, she hit a deep 2nd serve with pace(and H was waiting inside the baseline), causing H to mishit. Good serve was probably another crucial factor in this upset. Kept up the aggression to the last, securing the win.

H is such a veteran(multiple slam appearances like WAATC) that I thought W didn't have much chance in the first place. So you have to give big props to W.

3. Jeanjean (Arkansas) def. Reami (NC State) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

Can't really say, R certainly could produce pace. Netted some bhs methinks. I need to see Reami more, haven't really seen her play much since her National G16 doubles win with Russo. 'Target species' today! Certainly J is a big add for the Hogs, playing #1 doubles and #3 singles.

4. Jurasic (Arkansas) def. Rogers (NC State) - 6-2, 7-6 (7)

Also impressed with J. Could produce impressive pace on her drives. So the 2nd set was quite exciting(since R herself is an aggressive flat hitter). As I said R netting some of her approach shots didn't help. Methinks this was a HQ match.

5. Arakawa (Arkansas) def. Moldovan (NC State) - 7-5, 6-2

M had a MTO later. I thought  NCSU at #5 would be real competitive but A won, quite a feat. I need to watch A more, another target species today.

6. Rebol (NC State) vs. Cepelyte (Arkansas) - 6-4, 6-3

C was more aggressive but R returned every one of those attacks, the Triumph of the Will(Riefenstahl's timeless classic!).

Order of finsh: 5, 6, 4, 3, 1, 2

NCSU needs to do better at singles 3-5 to have a chance against the Waves. Methinks the Waves' #3 and #6 are too strong(Ahmed and Jean R).  If they can win the doubles point, that is. NCSU singles #1 and 2 are competitive enough(wonder how Stefani would handle Frantova's pace. Oparenovic handled those well. F would have to serve well in the first place to keep it up, since S is an excellent server), but the Waves' depth could be too much.  Anyhow, should be exciting, looking forward to it.
Now, to birding.

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