NCAA men's tennis: 3 individuals, 2 doubles teams on to round of 16
Three Pac-12 men’s tennis players are moving on to the round of 16 in the singles bracket while two doubles teams are on to the second round after the conclusion of Thursday’s play at the NCAA tennis championships hosted by the University of Georgia at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Fresh off an upset of the No. 8 seed, Ben MacLachlan was at it again Thursday, taking down Oklahoma’s Andrew Harris 7-5, 6-4. The Kiwi who held it down for Cal at No. 1 singles all year will now square off against Vanderbilt’s Ryan Lipman. Lipman upset 9-16 seed Yannick Hanfmann of USC in the first round.
The perfect day continued for the Cal men in doubles action, as Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton would not let the tide roll over them, downing 5-8 seed Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura of Alabama 7-6(5), 6-4. As a result of their efforts, Bayane and Melton get an unseeded duo in the round of 16 – NC State’s Ian Dempster and Robbie Mudge (of course, that’s not to say that the Wolfpack will be any easier).
— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 22, 2014
Smiles all around in Bruinville as well – nobody in blue and gold dropped a match Thursday (on the men’s side, at least). Second-seeded Marcos Giron edged past Virginia’s Ryan Shane 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Mackenzie McDonald defeated Duke’s Jason Tahir 6-4, 6-3 (UCLA runs the ACC!). All that was left to take care of was some doubles competition, and those two were up to the task again – this time as a team:
Men's Doubles R32: Giron-McDonald (UCLA) def. MacMaster-Nguyen (Harvard), 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(6) #NCAAMWT
— NCAA Tennis 2014 (@NCAATennis2014) May 23, 2014
Some battle there. Giron and McDonald as a doubles team move on to face the second-seeded tandem of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennesee. Individually, Giron gets Georgia’s Nathan Pasha and McDonald will be confronted with Ole Miss Rebel Nik Scholtz, a 9-16 seed in his own right. Oh, and remember that dude who top-seeded Clay Thompson lost to Wednesday in the first round, Roberto Cid? Well he’s still kickin’; Cid defeated Drake’s Alen Salibasic to move on to the Sweet 16.
Winning the national championship apparently took its toll on the Trojans (understandably so), as USC is now completely out of both brackets on the men’s side. Jonny Wang dropped a two-setter (7-5, 6-2) to Texas A&M’s Shane Vinsant in singles action, while the top-seeded doubles team of Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento were upset by North Florida’s Jack Findel-Hawkins and Norbert Nemcsek in two sets (6-4, 6-1) as well.
— USC Men's Tennis (@USCMensTennis) May 22, 2014
Both No. 1 seeds in doubles and one of the No. 1 seeds in singles play (counting both the men’s and women’s brackets) have already been eliminated from the NCAA tennis championships. The Pac-12 has the infamous distinction of being the conference home to all three of the top seeds that made first-round exits -- UCLA’s Clay Thompson in men’s singles, UCLA’s Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady in women’s doubles (Anderson had to retire because of a nosebleed, according to junior tennis and college tennis journalist Colette Lewis) and USC’s Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento in men’s doubles. As an aside, check out this infographic from the NCAA on the rise of opening-round upsets at the NCAA tennis championships over the last five years.
The Pac-12’s three singles players in the third round on the men’s side are second best, trailing only the SEC’s seven. However, the Pac-12 will have a chance to take a serious chunk out of the SEC’s stranglehold, as all three of the Pac-12’s singles matches are against SEC foes on Friday.