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I know they are foolish but what is your better ranking system? :wink2:
We aren't being paid to come up with the rankings ;)

The ITA rankings are pretty worthless; I've stopped putting any stock in them. For those of you who aren't familiar with College Tennis Today and Bobby Knight who runs the site, he has some incredible coverage of college tennis primarily covering men's tennis. He has been doing 2016 season previews for all of the top teams and they are impressively thorough. I won't go in to that much detail but thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts/questions/predictions on this year's top teams :)

#1 Vanderbilt - After a historic run to the title last year as the underdog, how will Vandy transition from being the hunter to being the hunted? Thankfully for the Commodores, they return their top 4 from last year's winning lineup. Vandy's strength last year was their depth - they were solid at all 6 positions. Of the 4 returning starters, #3 Altick actually had the most impressive fall winning the Ohio Valley Regional beating teammates Campbell and Sharma in straight sets in the SF and F. She had two good wins in New York over Yurovsky and Perez before falling to Woolcock. I expect to see those 3 (Campbell, Sharma, Altick) rotating among the top 3 and don't expect the order to be solidified until late in the season. A few questions for the Dores as they begin the 2016 season: Will we see Sellyn back in the line up? She redshirted last year but the year before was playing #1. She didn't play any fall matches so it remains to be seen but if she's healthy that will be a very solid addition to Vandy's line up. Lastly, who will step up to play #6? (Or #5 and #6 if Sellyn doesn't play). If Sellyn doesn't play then the Dores will struggle to be competitive at #5 and #6 with their only plausible options being Yates, Conteras, and Dvorak. I expect we'll see Yates followed by Conteras in the depth chart. Overall: If Sellyn is healthy and in the lineup, I think Vandy will remain one of the top teams this year but I don't think they will repeat as NCAA champions. Without Sellyn I see a NCAA SF finish at best.

#2 USC - Many picked USC to win it all last year but they fell short losing to Vanderbilt in the SFs. This year's USC squad loses two key players to graduation: Santamaria and Scandalis, both played at the top of the lineup while at USC and provided strong leadership to an otherwise young USC squad last year. The good news for USC, however, is that one of their biggest strengths last year was their bottom of the lineup where they had 3 freshman (Westby, Smith, Xepoleas) who had stellar debuts.The three freshman combined for a 43-13 dual match record. None of the three had a breakout sophomore fall so a big question for the Trojans will be how these three fair if they have to move up in the lineup. The other player returning from last year's lineup is Gugu Olmos who played mostly at #2 last year with great success (11-1). I expect Olmost to anchor the Trojans at #1 this year even though she didn't have a great fall season. She went 1-5 with her only win coming in her first match of the year against #9 Wagner. It should be noted that her 5 losses all came to top 20 players including Collins, Carter, and Elbaba. I expect Failla (FR), Katz (JR), and Valdes (FR) to compete for the remaining 2 spots. These 3 don't come close to replacing Santamaria or Scandalis. They'll be able to plug the holes in the lineup but after Olmos (who is no where near a lock at #1) the level drops off and so far it looks like #2-#6 are all pretty even which is great for depth but those players would all be suited at #4-#6 better. Against top teams I expect USC to struggle in the middle of the lineup. Overall: A solid team that will contend for the pac-12 title and whose depth will probably take them far. Based on the teams this year, I could see USC possibly making the final but as it stands right now I'd be surprised if they bested last year's NCAA SF result.

#3 Florida - Watch out, the gators return all 6 of their starters from last year plus Danilina from Russia who had decent fall results. The big story on the Florida roster is the stellar fall season Woolcock had. She had wins over #1 Eidukonyte, #9 Wagner, teammate #11 Austin, #10 Fabikova, and reached the QFs of Riviera and the SFs of NIIC. She's currently in Australia playing WTA qualifying (thanks to WC's). Based on her fall form I expect to see her at #2 behind Austin as the season begins. The gators are extremely strong top to bottom with Austin one of the best players in the country despite not having the fall she probably hoped. In the middle of the lineup will be Kuhlman (who went 16-5 at #2 last year), Morgan (17-4 at #3 last year) and Keegan (6-2 at #4, 8-1 at #5). That leaves the Gators will 3 decent options for #6: Liang who had a solid fall, Porter, or Danilina. Overall: On paper right now I think this is the strongest team and they are my early favorite to win the NCAA title. Even if you gift their opponents the doubles point, you'd be hard pressed to find another team that would be favored to take 3 singles points against this squad.

#T-4 Georgia - Georgia enters the season facing the big loss of Lauren Herring who has held down the #1 spot for the Dawgs since Chelsey Gullickson. The remaining 5 players all return with the majority of UGA's roster being sophomores. Taking Herring's spot will most likely be last year's #2, the hard-hitting lefty from down under Ellen Perez. Perez has the biggest forehand in college and great hands at net and when she's on her game she can reach unplayable levels but...that doesn't happen often. Perez's freshman season was solid but sometimes plagued with errors and occasional lethargy. It appeared in the fall that Perez had begun to harness her power and get in better shape and it led to solid results beating #9 Wagner, and #2 Di Lorenzo. Georgia needs Perez firing on all cylinders for a chance to win it all. Georgia did have one player with a breakout fall: Caroline Brinson who was a solid #6 for the dawgs last year going 15-3 at that position.. Brinson won the Southeast Regional beating Kuhlman, teammate Shaffer, Keegan, and Wagner. Expect to see her higher in the line up this year. The remainder of UGA's lineup will be made up of 3 sophomores and senior Garcia. Garcia has played at the top of the line up for much of her time at UGA. She struggled last season, going through quite a losing streak, but seemed to regain form towards the end of the season. Her fall results were okay, nothing too encouraging or discouraging, so I expect we'll still see her in a similar position this year. Shaffer played #3 and #4 last year (switching with Garcia) and was 8-4 and 8-2 at those respective positions. Her fall results were okay but the main concern should be injuries. She's quite injury prone and it's important she stay healthy throughout the season. The last of the sophomore trio who started in the top 6 is Hannah King. King struggled with injuries towards the end of her junior career but really seemed to round into form towards the end of the season. She played primarily at #5 last year and went 14-2. She didn't have a great fall (went 4-5) but I expect for her to continue to be a solid bottom half of the lineup contributor. Lastly, another sophomore, Gould or Patterson will play #6. Gould saw some action early on last year and went 5-1 in dual matches but quickly dropped out of the top 6; Patterson didn't play in a dual match last year. Based on fall results I expect Gould to play primarily #6. Overall UGA is similar to USC for me. A decent #1 and then 5 strong, not too unequal players, all of whom would be best suited playing #4 - #6 on a championship winning team. I expect UGA to have competitive matches with Vanderbilt and Florida in the SEC but see them probably finishing their season in the QFs.

#T-4 North Carolina - UNC loses reigning NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb and their #3 Caroline Price. Combined with Hayley Carter, the heels went an astonishing 70-11 at the top 3 spots last year. Arguably the strongest top 3 in the country. Needless to say the loss of Loeb and Price hurt. Their achilles heel last year was the lower half of the lineup so the big question this season is how UNC makes up for two huge losses at the top of the lineup. Currently ranked #6, Hayley Carter will take over at #1 for the Tar Heels. Carter has had an incredible collegiate career so far and continued her success this past fall with only 3 losses (Yurovsky, Elbaba, and Di Lorenzo). There's no question Carter will hold down the #1 position, the bigger question is who fills the other top of the lineup spots? Now a senior, it seems Kay has perennially played #3 or #4 for the heels (she went 16-8 at #4 last year). Could she step up in her senior year to play #2? Maybe but she only went 3-3 in the fall season and didn't have any wins to suggest she's ready to play #2 at a top 5 school. Perhaps the more likely option is freshman from Minnesota, Jessie Aney. The highly touted blue chip recruit had a solid fall season going 9-3. However 8 of those wins came against unranked players, the only ranked win was over #55 Mai El Kamash from Ole Miss. Rounding out the UNC top 6 will most likely be seniors Dai, Vialle, and Baylor Transfer James-Baker. Dai went 8-4 at #5 last year and 4-2 at #6 while Vialle went 6-1 at #5 and 6-4 at #6. Both Dai and Vialle will have to step it up in their senior seasons and perform better than last year to strength UNC's lower line up since their top 3 won't be as strong as last year. James-Baker didn't see much action last season at Baylor but did go 5-3 at #4 and had a clutch win over Skylar Morton to beat UVA in the round of 16 of last years NCAAs. Other lineup options for UNC include Vazquez and freshman Ouellet-Pizer. Both had some decent results in the fall so I wouldn't be too surprised to see them rotated into the lineup especially over James-Baker. Overall: I don't think this UNC team is a top 5 team. They just don't have the necessary firepower. I expect them to drop to around 8-12 by the time the season is over. I predict they'll make the R16 and maybe squeak into the QFs with a good draw.

I'll preview the remaining top 10 teams this weekend and feature some dark horses as well. Let me know your thoughts! Excited to start the season! :bounce: (Forgive any typos please)

To come:
#6 Cal
#7 UVA
#8 Stanford
#9 UCLA
#10 TAMU

Dark Horses/Notable:
#12 OK State
#13 Miami
#16 Duke
 

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Almalgamete - I haven't always agreed with you in the past, but I would have to say your analysis of the top 5 preseason teams is spot on.
 

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We aren't being paid to come up with the rankings ;)

The ITA rankings are pretty worthless; I've stopped putting any stock in them. For those of you who aren't familiar with College Tennis Today and Bobby Knight who runs the site, he has some incredible coverage of college tennis primarily covering men's tennis. He has been doing 2016 season previews for all of the top teams and they are impressively thorough. I won't go in to that much detail but thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts/questions/predictions on this year's top teams :)

#1 Vanderbilt - After a historic run to the title last year as the underdog, how will Vandy transition from being the hunter to being the hunted? Thankfully for the Commodores, they return their top 4 from last year's winning lineup. Vandy's strength last year was their depth - they were solid at all 6 positions. Of the 4 returning starters, #3 Altick actually had the most impressive fall winning the Ohio Valley Regional beating teammates Campbell and Sharma in straight sets in the SF and F. She had two good wins in New York over Yurovsky and Perez before falling to Woolcock. I expect to see those 3 (Campbell, Sharma, Altick) rotating among the top 3 and don't expect the order to be solidified until late in the season. A few questions for the Dores as they begin the 2016 season: Will we see Sellyn back in the line up? She redshirted last year but the year before was playing #1. She didn't play any fall matches so it remains to be seen but if she's healthy that will be a very solid addition to Vandy's line up. Lastly, who will step up to play #6? (Or #5 and #6 if Sellyn doesn't play). If Sellyn doesn't play then the Dores will struggle to be competitive at #5 and #6 with their only plausible options being Yates, Conteras, and Dvorak. I expect we'll see Yates followed by Conteras in the depth chart. Overall: If Sellyn is healthy and in the lineup, I think Vandy will remain one of the top teams this year but I don't think they will repeat as NCAA champions. Without Sellyn I see a NCAA SF finish at best.

#2 USC - Many picked USC to win it all last year but they fell short losing to Vanderbilt in the SFs. This year's USC squad loses two key players to graduation: Santamaria and Scandalis, both played at the top of the lineup while at USC and provided strong leadership to an otherwise young USC squad last year. The good news for USC, however, is that one of their biggest strengths last year was their bottom of the lineup where they had 3 freshman (Westby, Smith, Xepoleas) who had stellar debuts.The three freshman combined for a 43-13 dual match record. None of the three had a breakout sophomore fall so a big question for the Trojans will be how these three fair if they have to move up in the lineup. The other player returning from last year's lineup is Gugu Olmos who played mostly at #2 last year with great success (11-1). I expect Olmost to anchor the Trojans at #1 this year even though she didn't have a great fall season. She went 1-5 with her only win coming in her first match of the year against #9 Wagner. It should be noted that her 5 losses all came to top 20 players including Collins, Carter, and Elbaba. I expect Failla (FR), Katz (JR), and Valdes (FR) to compete for the remaining 2 spots. These 3 don't come close to replacing Santamaria or Scandalis. They'll be able to plug the holes in the lineup but after Olmos (who is no where near a lock at #1) the level drops off and so far it looks like #2-#6 are all pretty even which is great for depth but those players would all be suited at #4-#6 better. Against top teams I expect USC to struggle in the middle of the lineup. Overall: A solid team that will contend for the pac-12 title and whose depth will probably take them far. Based on the teams this year, I could see USC possibly making the final but as it stands right now I'd be surprised if they bested last year's NCAA SF result.

#3 Florida - Watch out, the gators return all 6 of their starters from last year plus Danilina from Russia who had decent fall results. The big story on the Florida roster is the stellar fall season Woolcock had. She had wins over #1 Eidukonyte, #9 Wagner, teammate #11 Austin, #10 Fabikova, and reached the QFs of Riviera and the SFs of NIIC. She's currently in Australia playing WTA qualifying (thanks to WC's). Based on her fall form I expect to see her at #2 behind Austin as the season begins. The gators are extremely strong top to bottom with Austin one of the best players in the country despite not having the fall she probably hoped. In the middle of the lineup will be Kuhlman (who went 16-5 at #2 last year), Morgan (17-4 at #3 last year) and Keegan (6-2 at #4, 8-1 at #5). That leaves the Gators will 3 decent options for #6: Liang who had a solid fall, Porter, or Danilina. Overall: On paper right now I think this is the strongest team and they are my early favorite to win the NCAA title. Even if you gift their opponents the doubles point, you'd be hard pressed to find another team that would be favored to take 3 singles points against this squad.

#T-4 Georgia - Georgia enters the season facing the big loss of Lauren Herring who has held down the #1 spot for the Dawgs since Chelsey Gullickson. The remaining 5 players all return with the majority of UGA's roster being sophomores. Taking Herring's spot will most likely be last year's #2, the hard-hitting lefty from down under Ellen Perez. Perez has the biggest forehand in college and great hands at net and when she's on her game she can reach unplayable levels but...that doesn't happen often. Perez's freshman season was solid but sometimes plagued with errors and occasional lethargy. It appeared in the fall that Perez had begun to harness her power and get in better shape and it led to solid results beating #9 Wagner, and #2 Di Lorenzo. Georgia needs Perez firing on all cylinders for a chance to win it all. Georgia did have one player with a breakout fall: Caroline Brinson who was a solid #6 for the dawgs last year going 15-3 at that position.. Brinson won the Southeast Regional beating Kuhlman, teammate Shaffer, Keegan, and Wagner. Expect to see her higher in the line up this year. The remainder of UGA's lineup will be made up of 3 sophomores and senior Garcia. Garcia has played at the top of the line up for much of her time at UGA. She struggled last season, going through quite a losing streak, but seemed to regain form towards the end of the season. Her fall results were okay, nothing too encouraging or discouraging, so I expect we'll still see her in a similar position this year. Shaffer played #3 and #4 last year (switching with Garcia) and was 8-4 and 8-2 at those respective positions. Her fall results were okay but the main concern should be injuries. She's quite injury prone and it's important she stay healthy throughout the season. The last of the sophomore trio who started in the top 6 is Hannah King. King struggled with injuries towards the end of her junior career but really seemed to round into form towards the end of the season. She played primarily at #5 last year and went 14-2. She didn't have a great fall (went 4-5) but I expect for her to continue to be a solid bottom half of the lineup contributor. Lastly, another sophomore, Gould or Patterson will play #6. Gould saw some action early on last year and went 5-1 in dual matches but quickly dropped out of the top 6; Patterson didn't play in a dual match last year. Based on fall results I expect Gould to play primarily #6. Overall UGA is similar to USC for me. A decent #1 and then 5 strong, not too unequal players, all of whom would be best suited playing #4 - #6 on a championship winning team. I expect UGA to have competitive matches with Vanderbilt and Florida in the SEC but see them probably finishing their season in the QFs.

#T-4 North Carolina - UNC loses reigning NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb and their #3 Caroline Price. Combined with Hayley Carter, the heels went an astonishing 70-11 at the top 3 spots last year. Arguably the strongest top 3 in the country. Needless to say the loss of Loeb and Price hurt. Their achilles heel last year was the lower half of the lineup so the big question this season is how UNC makes up for two huge losses at the top of the lineup. Currently ranked #6, Hayley Carter will take over at #1 for the Tar Heels. Carter has had an incredible collegiate career so far and continued her success this past fall with only 3 losses (Yurovsky, Elbaba, and Di Lorenzo). There's no question Carter will hold down the #1 position, the bigger question is who fills the other top of the lineup spots? Now a senior, it seems Kay has perennially played #3 or #4 for the heels (she went 16-8 at #4 last year). Could she step up in her senior year to play #2? Maybe but she only went 3-3 in the fall season and didn't have any wins to suggest she's ready to play #2 at a top 5 school. Perhaps the more likely option is freshman from Minnesota, Jessie Aney. The highly touted blue chip recruit had a solid fall season going 9-3. However 8 of those wins came against unranked players, the only ranked win was over #55 Mai El Kamash from Ole Miss. Rounding out the UNC top 6 will most likely be seniors Dai, Vialle, and Baylor Transfer James-Baker. Dai went 8-4 at #5 last year and 4-2 at #6 while Vialle went 6-1 at #5 and 6-4 at #6. Both Dai and Vialle will have to step it up in their senior seasons and perform better than last year to strength UNC's lower line up since their top 3 won't be as strong as last year. James-Baker didn't see much action last season at Baylor but did go 5-3 at #4 and had a clutch win over Skylar Morton to beat UVA in the round of 16 of last years NCAAs. Other lineup options for UNC include Vazquez and freshman Ouellet-Pizer. Both had some decent results in the fall so I wouldn't be too surprised to see them rotated into the lineup especially over James-Baker. Overall: I don't think this UNC team is a top 5 team. They just don't have the necessary firepower. I expect them to drop to around 8-12 by the time the season is over. I predict they'll make the R16 and maybe squeak into the QFs with a good draw.

I'll preview the remaining top 10 teams this weekend and feature some dark horses as well. Let me know your thoughts! Excited to start the season! :bounce: (Forgive any typos please)

To come:
#6 Cal
#7 UVA
#8 Stanford
#9 UCLA
#10 TAMU

Dark Horses/Notable:
#12 OK State
#13 Miami
#16 Duke
great insights! thanks for sharing!
 

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I'll preview the remaining top 10 teams this weekend and feature some dark horses as well. Let me know your thoughts! Excited to start the season! :bounce: (Forgive any typos please)

To come:
#6 Cal
#7 UVA
#8 Stanford
#9 UCLA
#10 TAMU

Dark Horses/Notable:
#12 OK State
#13 Miami
#16 Duke
Anxiously awaiting these additional updates!

Many thanks for what you've already posted. Love your insights.
 

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I like Florida, Stanford, and Cal this year. UVA, Vandy, and USC are darkhorses for me. I can't wait for the season to start.
I agree that Florida looks strong.

My Cal Bears have a chance IF senior Lynn Chi comes back and can play well enough to be 3 or 4 in singles. She would also help the Bears with another doubles team--otherwise Cal would be weak at #3 doubles.
 

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We aren't being paid to come up with the rankings ;)

The ITA rankings are pretty worthless; I've stopped putting any stock in them. For those of you who aren't familiar with College Tennis Today and Bobby Knight who runs the site, he has some incredible coverage of college tennis primarily covering men's tennis. He has been doing 2016 season previews for all of the top teams and they are impressively thorough. I won't go in to that much detail but thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts/questions/predictions on this year's top teams :)

#1 Vanderbilt - After a historic run to the title last year as the underdog, how will Vandy transition from being the hunter to being the hunted? Thankfully for the Commodores, they return their top 4 from last year's winning lineup. Vandy's strength last year was their depth - they were solid at all 6 positions. Of the 4 returning starters, #3 Altick actually had the most impressive fall winning the Ohio Valley Regional beating teammates Campbell and Sharma in straight sets in the SF and F. She had two good wins in New York over Yurovsky and Perez before falling to Woolcock. I expect to see those 3 (Campbell, Sharma, Altick) rotating among the top 3 and don't expect the order to be solidified until late in the season. A few questions for the Dores as they begin the 2016 season: Will we see Sellyn back in the line up? She redshirted last year but the year before was playing #1. She didn't play any fall matches so it remains to be seen but if she's healthy that will be a very solid addition to Vandy's line up. Lastly, who will step up to play #6? (Or #5 and #6 if Sellyn doesn't play). If Sellyn doesn't play then the Dores will struggle to be competitive at #5 and #6 with their only plausible options being Yates, Conteras, and Dvorak. I expect we'll see Yates followed by Conteras in the depth chart. Overall: If Sellyn is healthy and in the lineup, I think Vandy will remain one of the top teams this year but I don't think they will repeat as NCAA champions. Without Sellyn I see a NCAA SF finish at best.

#2 USC - Many picked USC to win it all last year but they fell short losing to Vanderbilt in the SFs. This year's USC squad loses two key players to graduation: Santamaria and Scandalis, both played at the top of the lineup while at USC and provided strong leadership to an otherwise young USC squad last year. The good news for USC, however, is that one of their biggest strengths last year was their bottom of the lineup where they had 3 freshman (Westby, Smith, Xepoleas) who had stellar debuts.The three freshman combined for a 43-13 dual match record. None of the three had a breakout sophomore fall so a big question for the Trojans will be how these three fair if they have to move up in the lineup. The other player returning from last year's lineup is Gugu Olmos who played mostly at #2 last year with great success (11-1). I expect Olmost to anchor the Trojans at #1 this year even though she didn't have a great fall season. She went 1-5 with her only win coming in her first match of the year against #9 Wagner. It should be noted that her 5 losses all came to top 20 players including Collins, Carter, and Elbaba. I expect Failla (FR), Katz (JR), and Valdes (FR) to compete for the remaining 2 spots. These 3 don't come close to replacing Santamaria or Scandalis. They'll be able to plug the holes in the lineup but after Olmos (who is no where near a lock at #1) the level drops off and so far it looks like #2-#6 are all pretty even which is great for depth but those players would all be suited at #4-#6 better. Against top teams I expect USC to struggle in the middle of the lineup. Overall: A solid team that will contend for the pac-12 title and whose depth will probably take them far. Based on the teams this year, I could see USC possibly making the final but as it stands right now I'd be surprised if they bested last year's NCAA SF result.

#3 Florida - Watch out, the gators return all 6 of their starters from last year plus Danilina from Russia who had decent fall results. The big story on the Florida roster is the stellar fall season Woolcock had. She had wins over #1 Eidukonyte, #9 Wagner, teammate #11 Austin, #10 Fabikova, and reached the QFs of Riviera and the SFs of NIIC. She's currently in Australia playing WTA qualifying (thanks to WC's). Based on her fall form I expect to see her at #2 behind Austin as the season begins. The gators are extremely strong top to bottom with Austin one of the best players in the country despite not having the fall she probably hoped. In the middle of the lineup will be Kuhlman (who went 16-5 at #2 last year), Morgan (17-4 at #3 last year) and Keegan (6-2 at #4, 8-1 at #5). That leaves the Gators will 3 decent options for #6: Liang who had a solid fall, Porter, or Danilina. Overall: On paper right now I think this is the strongest team and they are my early favorite to win the NCAA title. Even if you gift their opponents the doubles point, you'd be hard pressed to find another team that would be favored to take 3 singles points against this squad.

#T-4 Georgia - Georgia enters the season facing the big loss of Lauren Herring who has held down the #1 spot for the Dawgs since Chelsey Gullickson. The remaining 5 players all return with the majority of UGA's roster being sophomores. Taking Herring's spot will most likely be last year's #2, the hard-hitting lefty from down under Ellen Perez. Perez has the biggest forehand in college and great hands at net and when she's on her game she can reach unplayable levels but...that doesn't happen often. Perez's freshman season was solid but sometimes plagued with errors and occasional lethargy. It appeared in the fall that Perez had begun to harness her power and get in better shape and it led to solid results beating #9 Wagner, and #2 Di Lorenzo. Georgia needs Perez firing on all cylinders for a chance to win it all. Georgia did have one player with a breakout fall: Caroline Brinson who was a solid #6 for the dawgs last year going 15-3 at that position.. Brinson won the Southeast Regional beating Kuhlman, teammate Shaffer, Keegan, and Wagner. Expect to see her higher in the line up this year. The remainder of UGA's lineup will be made up of 3 sophomores and senior Garcia. Garcia has played at the top of the line up for much of her time at UGA. She struggled last season, going through quite a losing streak, but seemed to regain form towards the end of the season. Her fall results were okay, nothing too encouraging or discouraging, so I expect we'll still see her in a similar position this year. Shaffer played #3 and #4 last year (switching with Garcia) and was 8-4 and 8-2 at those respective positions. Her fall results were okay but the main concern should be injuries. She's quite injury prone and it's important she stay healthy throughout the season. The last of the sophomore trio who started in the top 6 is Hannah King. King struggled with injuries towards the end of her junior career but really seemed to round into form towards the end of the season. She played primarily at #5 last year and went 14-2. She didn't have a great fall (went 4-5) but I expect for her to continue to be a solid bottom half of the lineup contributor. Lastly, another sophomore, Gould or Patterson will play #6. Gould saw some action early on last year and went 5-1 in dual matches but quickly dropped out of the top 6; Patterson didn't play in a dual match last year. Based on fall results I expect Gould to play primarily #6. Overall UGA is similar to USC for me. A decent #1 and then 5 strong, not too unequal players, all of whom would be best suited playing #4 - #6 on a championship winning team. I expect UGA to have competitive matches with Vanderbilt and Florida in the SEC but see them probably finishing their season in the QFs.

#T-4 North Carolina - UNC loses reigning NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb and their #3 Caroline Price. Combined with Hayley Carter, the heels went an astonishing 70-11 at the top 3 spots last year. Arguably the strongest top 3 in the country. Needless to say the loss of Loeb and Price hurt. Their achilles heel last year was the lower half of the lineup so the big question this season is how UNC makes up for two huge losses at the top of the lineup. Currently ranked #6, Hayley Carter will take over at #1 for the Tar Heels. Carter has had an incredible collegiate career so far and continued her success this past fall with only 3 losses (Yurovsky, Elbaba, and Di Lorenzo). There's no question Carter will hold down the #1 position, the bigger question is who fills the other top of the lineup spots? Now a senior, it seems Kay has perennially played #3 or #4 for the heels (she went 16-8 at #4 last year). Could she step up in her senior year to play #2? Maybe but she only went 3-3 in the fall season and didn't have any wins to suggest she's ready to play #2 at a top 5 school. Perhaps the more likely option is freshman from Minnesota, Jessie Aney. The highly touted blue chip recruit had a solid fall season going 9-3. However 8 of those wins came against unranked players, the only ranked win was over #55 Mai El Kamash from Ole Miss. Rounding out the UNC top 6 will most likely be seniors Dai, Vialle, and Baylor Transfer James-Baker. Dai went 8-4 at #5 last year and 4-2 at #6 while Vialle went 6-1 at #5 and 6-4 at #6. Both Dai and Vialle will have to step it up in their senior seasons and perform better than last year to strength UNC's lower line up since their top 3 won't be as strong as last year. James-Baker didn't see much action last season at Baylor but did go 5-3 at #4 and had a clutch win over Skylar Morton to beat UVA in the round of 16 of last years NCAAs. Other lineup options for UNC include Vazquez and freshman Ouellet-Pizer. Both had some decent results in the fall so I wouldn't be too surprised to see them rotated into the lineup especially over James-Baker. Overall: I don't think this UNC team is a top 5 team. They just don't have the necessary firepower. I expect them to drop to around 8-12 by the time the season is over. I predict they'll make the R16 and maybe squeak into the QFs with a good draw.

I'll preview the remaining top 10 teams this weekend and feature some dark horses as well. Let me know your thoughts! Excited to start the season! :bounce: (Forgive any typos please)

To come:
#6 Cal
#7 UVA
#8 Stanford
#9 UCLA
#10 TAMU

Dark Horses/Notable:
#12 OK State
#13 Miami
#16 Duke
AWESOME work :) Would love to see you preview Ohio State :p They're going to be good this year with Di Lorenzo on fire.
 

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She just beat Robin Anderson at this week's ITF tournament. How many years does she stay at tOSU before she turns pro?
CiCi Bellis killed Di Lorenzo 3 and 0 at the Daytona challenger today, which likely illustrates 2 things: (1) Di Lorenzo's game still needs to develop and (2) people like me should even further discount Bellis' statement that she plans to attend Stanford in 2 years, and reduce our excitement at the prospect of her as a Card accordingly.

Muhammad also schooled Zhao 2 and 2, so Carol should seriously think about completing her degree at Stanford as well, before turning pro.
 

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Oooh, excited that Lynn Chi played today--2 singles matches even! She played at #4 and then #3. Definitely showed some rust, but wow, I've missed that backhand!

And she played #3 doubles with freshman Maria Smith. Did not get to see them play, but I think that's a more promising tandem than what Cal had in the fall.

Go Bears!
 

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Oooh, excited that Lynn Chi played today--2 singles matches even! She played at #4 and then #3. Definitely showed some rust, but wow, I've missed that backhand!

And she played #3 doubles with freshman Maria Smith. Did not get to see them play, but I think that's a more promising tandem than what Cal had in the fall.

Go Bears!
Why are they not playing at Freeman or NCTC?
 

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She just beat Robin Anderson at this week's ITF tournament. How many years does she stay at tOSU before she turns pro?
She's from the Columbus area and her sister played college. I really think that she'll stay all 4 years. At least 2. I'm also being biased, but unless she completely dominates, I don't see her turning pro just yet.
 

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It's going to be an interesting first half of the spring season for Stanford, and Lampl, Lord, and Yee will all likely be in the line-up to start, as Zhao is training with the Canadian national team and will be unavailable until March/April, as detailed in the link below. I see Stanford losing at least a few matches prior to Zhao's return, and it'll be interesting to see how the team then performs at the NCAAs, especially given the likelihood of another low seed, leading to potential tough early match-ups in the tournament.

https://gostanford.exposure.co/five-storylines-to-follow
 

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It's going to be an interesting first half of the spring season for Stanford, and Lampl, Lord, and Yee will all likely be in the line-up to start, as Zhao is training with the Canadian national team and will be unable until March/April, as detailed in the link below. I see Stanford losing at least a few matches prior to Zhao's return, and it'll be interesting to see how the team then performs at the NCAAs, especially given the likelihood of another low seed, leading to potential tough early match-ups in the tournament.

https://gostanford.exposure.co/five-storylines-to-follow
I would be surprised if they lost 3 matches, maybe two at the most. The Freshman Trio is untested but so was Zhao/Davidson/Doyle.
Unless Yee is not 100%, I think their line-up is deep enough to put up a good fight without Zhao.

This will only make the team stronger down the road to play one slot higher now then later this season when Zhao returns.

We shall see. :grin2:

Davison, Doyle, Hardebeck, Lampl, Lord, and Yee is not bad of a line-up as a backup.
 

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I would be surprised if they lost 3 matches, maybe two at the most. The Freshman Trio is untested but so was Zhao/Davidson/Doyle.
Unless Yee is not 100%, I think their line-up is deep enough to put up a good fight without Zhao.

This will only make the team stronger down the road to play one slot higher now then later this season when Zhao returns.

We shall see. :grin2:

Davison, Doyle, Hardebeck, Lampl, Lord, and Yee is not bad of a line-up as a backup.
I would be thrilled if Stanford only lost 2 matches, but they almost surely will play Florida, USC and UCLA all before Zhao returns, and those could all be losses, although #2 USC had a surprisingly difficult time beating #59 UCSB yesterday with its starting line-up all playing...on USC's own courts! (No. 2 USC Women Fight Back For Season-Opening Victory - University of Southern California Official Athletic Site), so who knows how strong they really are. If Zhao doesn't return before 4/16, you can throw 2 matches against Cal in the equation as well. Only 2 losses in those 5 would be great. Pepperdine (#19) and Clemson (#20) are up in March as well, and they could be tricky without Zhao.

I think the freshmen class is a solid one (after all, it was rated #1) and I had really high hopes for it, but only Lampl performed well in the fall, with a 5-2 record. Lord was 6-4, with Yee 3-4. Not exactly confidence inspiring. This class definitely isn't on par with the class of Zhao/Davidson/Doyle.

Does anyone know what happened to Yee last year? She apparently had a serious injury, and she hasn't recovered since. She was #1 for the couple of years prior to the injury, but now struggles in matches. She's lost a couple of close ones to solid players, but she lost to #83 Donika Bashota 6-0, 6-1 on 10/26 and didn't have terribly convincing wins against unranked players.

My money is on Florida this year, especially if Woolcock and Danilina continue to impress the way they have lately. Danilina was a bit underwhelming in the fall (especially for once being ranked the #3 junior in the world), but she's totally turned it around of late.
 

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I would be thrilled if Stanford only lost 2 matches, but they almost surely will play Florida, USC and UCLA all before Zhao returns, and those could all be losses, although #2 USC had a surprisingly difficult time beating #59 UCSB yesterday with its starting line-up all playing...on USC's own courts! (No. 2 USC Women Fight Back For Season-Opening Victory - University of Southern California Official Athletic Site), so who knows how strong they really are. If Zhao doesn't return before 4/16, you can throw 2 matches against Cal in the equation as well. Only 2 losses in those 5 would be great. Pepperdine (#19) and Clemson (#20) are up in March as well, and they could be tricky without Zhao.

I think the freshmen class is a solid one (after all, it was rated #1) and I had really high hopes for it, but only Lampl performed well in the fall, with a 5-2 record. Lord was 6-4, with Yee 3-4. Not exactly confidence inspiring. This class definitely isn't on par with the class of Zhao/Davidson/Doyle.

Does anyone know what happened to Yee last year? She apparently had a serious injury, and she hasn't recovered since. She was #1 for the couple of years prior to the injury, but now struggles in matches. She's lost a couple of close ones to solid players, but she lost to #83 Donika Bashota 6-0, 6-1 on 10/26 and didn't have terribly convincing wins against unranked players.

My money is on Florida this year, especially if Woolcock and Danilina continue to impress the way they have lately. Danilina was a bit underwhelming in the fall (especially for once being ranked the #3 junior in the world), but she's totally turned it around of late.
Florida? TV you need to put them Stanford shirts you own and give it to Goodwill if you got money on them Gators! You should know by now that the underdog always wins and with Florida favored this year, I don't think they stand a chance to be the front runner and still be last standing. Remember what happened in 2010 and 2011?

This is why I say Stanford will be tough to beat.
First, they have a deep line-up, first time since Gibbs and Ahn were playing #3 and #4, with Tan at #5.
Second, Zhao/Davidson/Doyle are DUE in a big way to grab that title. It took Gibbs and Ahn their junior year to do it and I think this trio will follow in their footsteps. Only one Stanford team did not win a title in a 4 year span and I don't think ZAD wants the pressure build into their senior year.
Third, Hardebeck is a big wildcard in their line-up. She was the difference in her freshman year when she won the title and was the deciding factor, especially when she teamed up with Dillon to win at #3 doubles. I got a hunch that KH will go out in style and note that she's playing well right now. She may be the catalyst to light the fire as she's the only representative with a ring, aside from Kostas, who did not start.
Fourth, they win at least every 3 years...2010/2013/2016
Fifth, I am usually right about my predictions. >:)

Another thing, forget about the fall as it has nothing to do with what happens in the Spring when they're playing for all them marbles. The Fall is just a warm-up. Yee is a baller. She will own #6, which I have a hunch Lele will place her. Lord will step it up at duals, individual tournaments mean nothing when you she has her team cheering her on. You know how loud it gets at Stanford. Those first 3 matches are at home, so do I need to explain this to you???
The match at Berkeley against Cal will be enough time for Carol to get back because MM does NOT mess around and I honestly think Cal, not USC or UCLA will be their strongest PAC-12 opponent.

Oh, maybe they lose to Florida which is a good thing because the season winner is the post season loser, but I don't expect them to lose to a So. Cal team and I don't care what SS says, you hear me Slick?
 
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