INTERCOLLEGIATE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ohio State University & Racquet Club of Columbus - November 3-6, 2005
Thursday, November 3rd, 2005-Day One
I rarely sit down to watch the number one seeds the first day of the tournament. The only reason I ended up in front of top-seeded Ryler DeHeart of Illinois and Mislav Hizak of Embry-Riddle was because I thought I would rest my wrist between the matches that I planned to cover. It's been a long three weeks of recovery for my dominant hand so hanging out and watching the defending champion quickly dismiss the ITA Small College champion seemed like a good idea, however, that was not what I saw. Instead, I saw Ryler not at his best and the talented Mislav in top form. Up until 5-4 in the final set when Ryler had a break point, the crowd was still expecting him to pull it through. It was not to be and he succombed, 6-3,6-4.
Two more Illini lost today, but in a very different circumstance. Seeding for the fall is not always true to form and that's how Marc Spicijaric and Monte Tucker, undefeated this season, ended up with a first round match against the No. 1 team of Marco Born and Andreas Siljestrom of Middle Tennessee. It was an incredible display of doubles talent from all four, with the (much) taller team Blue Raiders taking an early 4-1 lead. Marc and Monte were not ready to give it up and they gave it their all to bring it up to a 7-6 lead. After giving up a match point, they ended up in a tiebreaker, which Marco & Andreas commanded to a 9-8(7/3) finish.
Though there were no upsets in the men's doubles and only the one in the singles, it was not so easy today at the Racquet Club of Columbus for the men. Nine of the sixteen men's singles matches went to three sets, with tiebreakers everywhere. For awhile it looked like the second seed would go the way of the first as it took All-American champ John Isner of Georgia 7-6(3),6-7(2),6-4 to get past Pepperdine's Pedro Rico. Third-seeded Lars Poerschke needed to go to 5-7,6-2,6-2 before defeating Bryan Koniecko of host Ohio State and Boise State's Luke Shields was pushed by Jonathan Stokke to 6-3,3-6,6-3. It was also down to the wire for Alex Slovic of Washington and Raian Luchici of North Carolina with Raian prevailing, 5-7,6-4,7-6(4).
With one team containing a two-time doubles winner at the Indoors and the other containing an NCAA doubles winner, I knew the match between Cristelle Grier/Alexis Prousis and Alice Barnes/Anne Yelsey would be a good one. Cristelle had brought home the title for Northwestern with (now injured) Audra Cohen while Alice had won the year-end championships with Erin Burdette against Anne Yelsey & Amber Liu. The doubles may not have been as powerful as what the men were playing, but it was fun to watch with longer points and well-placed volleys. The Stanford duo left with an 8-6 win. There was just one upset in the women's doubles -- North Carolina's Jenna Long/Sara Anundsen defeated No. 2 Lucia Sainz/Kathrin Winterhalter of Fresno State, 8-4.
William & Mary coach Kevin Epley was jumping between courts 8 and 10 to watch his "two Meghans" play. (I'm not quite sure why they put Catrina Thompson and Robin Stephenson between the two Tribe players). It was down to tiebreakers in the end with Megan Muth prevailing after some great points against California's Stephanie Kusano, 6-4,7-6(0). Megan Moulton-Levy, on the other hand, lost the breaker and the match to fourth-seeded Alice Barnes, 6-3,7-6(4). The only surprise in the women's singles draw was Diana Srebovic of Florida's quick 6-2,6-1 win over seventh-seeded Suzi Fodor of California.
I'm sure tomorrow's matches will bring more unexpected results as I am going to try to get some photos and interviews done between play.
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