2016-2017 Projections

rastapasta

New User
Last year, I made predictions regarding the top 16 teams going into the season and how I felt they would stack up for the actual season. As I enjoyed making this last year, I thought it would be fun to make a tradition out if it. I'll be breaking this up into multiple posts, but I thought I'd kick things off with a little breakdown of last years projections.

Here were my ranking predictions:
  1. Virginia
  2. TCU
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Ohio State
  5. Georgia
  6. Wake Forest
  7. North Carolina
  8. Baylor
  9. Texas A&M
  10. USC
  11. UCLA
  12. Illinois
  13. USF
  14. Texas
  15. Duke
  16. Columbia
And here is where they actually finished in the 2015-2016 season with the absolute difference in placement in parenthesis:
  1. Virginia (0)
  2. UCLA (9)
  3. TCU (1)
  4. Ohio State (0)
  5. North Carolina (2)
  6. Oklahoma (3)
  7. Georgia (2)
  8. Wake Forest (2)
  9. USC (1)
  10. Texas A&M (1)
  11. Texas (3)
  12. USF (1)
  13. Illinois (1)
  14. Columbia (2)
  15. Baylor (7)
  16. Duke (1)
My general rule of thumb is that any guess within 2 placements is considered decent. By these criteria, my predictions were fine sans UCLA exceeding expectations and Baylor doing the opposite. I simply underestimated UCLA's depth, whereas I felt my Baylor prediction was at least excusable with the cards I thought they had going into the season.

I'll be giving my thoughts on the 2016-2017 season in future posts here. Looking forward to another exciting season.
 
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rastapasta

New User
Some general thoughts on the top 16 teams as well as their lineups:

Virginia lost Shane and Styslinger, but gain a very strong Soderlund. I don’t see their singles lineup losing any steam, but we’ll see how their doubles lineup changes with the two losses.
  1. Soderlund/Kwiatkowski
  2. Soderlund/Kwiatkowski
  3. Altamirano
  4. Ritschard
  5. Aragone
  6. Wiersholm
UCLA lost McDonald as well as Sell, but gain Zhu whose futures results have impressed me. However, losing McDonald bumps everybody up a spot, while losing Sell bumps the lower half up another. It also doesn’t help that both these two were pretty much guaranteed wins at their respective spots. UCLA will be good again this year, but I expect them to drop.
  1. Redlicki
  2. Brymer
  3. Staggs/Zhu
  4. Staggs/Zhu
  5. Di Giulio
  6. A. Rapp
TCU returns all starters from the previous year and gain Alastair Gray. I’m a fan of the talent they already have and think they have a shot for the title with another year of experience. My gauge for Gray could use some more research, but he had a high ITF ranking as well as wins over several good players.
  1. Norrie
  2. Rybakov
  3. Nunez
  4. Gray
  5. Lopez/Nava
  6. Lopez/Nava
OSU lost Diaz as well as Steinbach and gain a couple recruits who I don’t see cracking the starting lineup. I predict Mendez and RS freshman Seelig to step up this year, and, from my knowledge, they should fill those positions adequately. Joyce will probably not retain the same magic he had at 6 and Pollanen is on and off, but I still think OSU will be very good.
  1. Torpegaard
  2. Di Feo
  3. Pollanen
  4. Joyce
  5. Mendez
  6. Seelig
UNC loses Schnur as well Clark, but gain Blumberg and Soendergaard. Both are high-end recruits, so I expect them to still be in contention for the title. Contrary to last year’s lineup, I put Kelly ahead of Murray as I was overall more impressed by his play.
  1. Blumberg
  2. Soendergaard
  3. Schneider
  4. Kelly
  5. Murray
  6. Kodali
Oklahoma is a more difficult prediction for me. I was originally under the impression that Harris would be leaving, but that does not seem to be the case. I knew Alvarez and Roddick would be gone, but I was surprised not to see Mora or Biro listed on the roster. The freshman will have to step up as there are signs of blood in the water.
  1. Harris
  2. Papa
  3. Ghilea
  4. Bragusi
  5. Bertsch
  6. Restifo
Georgia loses Smith, Wood, and Wagland and gain Diaz, Loeb, and Ponwith. Reinberg had a very impressive fall, so I expect him to be taking one of the vacant spots. The last position is up in the air with several freshman in contention. My gut tells me Ponwith, but we shall see.
  1. Montgomery
  2. Oosterbaan
  3. Duncan
  4. Zielinski
  5. Reinberg
  6. Ponwith/Diaz/Loeb/Phillips
Wake Forest is one of teams I feel is improved this year. Chrysochos, Mansouri, and Seraphim all performed exceptionally this past fall. They lost Ho and Bogaerts, but gain impressive players in Lazarov and Gojo. I felt Ho was too high at 3 and Bogaerts faced ailments towards the end of the season, these additions may what Wake needs to take home a championship
  1. Chrysochos
  2. Mansouri
  3. Lazarov
  4. Gojo
  5. Seraphim
  6. Uspensky
Cal loses Wikberg and gains several recruits with Hoffman sporting the best fall. The returning starters all had good fall performances minus a missing Nishimura, so expect them to be strong again this year.
  1. Lakat
  2. Goransson
  3. Griffith
  4. Bergevi
  5. Nishimura
  6. Hoffman
Florida loses Hidalgo and Watson, and gain several freshman. Hidalgo is a significant loss, but I think Perez will hold his own at 1. I chose Ingildsen and Guillin to fill the vacant spots and giving Ingildsen the edge over Kessler for the 4th singles spot.
  1. Perez
  2. Orkin
  3. Perez-Blanco
  4. Ingildsen
  5. Kessler
  6. Guillin
TTech takes a hit from losing their 1&2 singles players. Fortunately they had some solid players on the bench last year who should do respectably at their spots. Their higher positions will really need to step up if they want to stay competitive with the other top teams.
  1. Bisht
  2. Cailleau
  3. Sendegeya
  4. Curry
  5. Thomson
  6. Mylnikov
USC was a wild card team for me last year due to the amount of young/unproven players they had. Added experience and addition of Holt to replace DeVroome makes me really like this team. There’s a slew of players who I think are capable of filling the last spot.
  1. Holt
  2. Crystal
  3. L. Smith
  4. Devine
  5. Forget
  6. ?
I wasn’t very familiar with their team until last year, and I am a fan. I thought losing Ismailov during the season would have doomed them, but they proved they had the depth. All their starters are returning, so they will still be able to compete throughout the lineup. If Cash and Kadhe can step it up a notch, they have a chance of taking out the top teams.
  1. Cash
  2. Kadhe
  3. Gerch
  4. Finzleberg
  5. Meraut
  6. Mendoza
Texas A&M lost Adams, Vincent, and Withrow and gain Habib. Habib’s fall results are encouraging and should definitely make the singles lineup. My biggest concern is the 6 singles spot as I’m not sure who will is strong enough to fill the position.
  1. Rinderknech
  2. Arconada
  3. Catanzariti
  4. Habib/Lunkin
  5. Habib/Lunkin
  6. ?
Northwestern lost Baev and Horoz. Zieba had a shaky fall, but I expect him to rebound and play at 1. Stary had the most standout performance among the freshman by winning the Big Ten Singles tournament, so I could see him ahead of Van Dixhorn. The last spot seems up for grabs.
  1. Zieba
  2. Shropshire
  3. Kirchheimer
  4. Stary
  5. Van Dixhorn
  6. Seidman/Volk/Ephron/Lorenzini
Texas will be the most improved team on this list in my opinion. With the majority of starters returning, the addition of Ito, Sigsgaard, and Telles should do wonders.
  1. Goldhoff/Ito/Sigsgaard
  2. Goldhoff/Ito/Sigsgaard
  3. Goldhoff/Ito/Sigsgaard
  4. Scott
  5. Ortiz
  6. Telles
 
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jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
UNC very strong at 3 down, top 2 I am still not so sure, Blumberg if he indeed plays 1 will be interesting but looking at other top lineups I think most beat him. We shall see.
 

rastapasta

New User
And here are my relative ranking projections for last year's top 16 with their position change in parenthesis:

  1. UVA (0)
  2. Wake Forest (+6)
  3. TCU (0)
  4. UNC (+1)
  5. UGA (+2)
  6. OSU (-2)
  7. Texas (+9)
  8. Cal (+1)
  9. USC (+3)
  10. OU (-4)
  11. Florida (-1)
  12. Oklahoma State (+1)
  13. UCLA (-11)
  14. Northwestern (+1)
  15. Texas Tech (-4)
  16. A&M (-2)
If I had to break the teams into tiers, it would be 1-3, 4-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16.

Notable movements:

Wake Forest (+6): Relative to their talent, I thought Wake could have finished higher last year. I thought that Ho was a weak 3 and an ailing Bogaerts didn't help towards the end of the season. Lazarov and Gojo should fill that void.

Texas (+9): Huge bump with the freshmen. Their lineup is deep, but I want to see more results to determine if their top lineup can compete with the championship caliber teams.

OU (-4): Their top 4 are well-oiled machines, but their bottom 2 are question marks and will determine if they cement their position in the top 10.

UCLA (-11): After last year's predictions, I might get some flack for this. McDonald and Sell were keys to their success, as they almost never lost their positions. Losing these bumps everybody else up, and don't seem quite as threatening.
 

sammyp99

Rookie
I was hitting with a guy that plays at Baylor last week. He was mentioning how strong Texas and TCU were going to be. Should be a great year for college tennis.
 

tennisfan17

Semi-Pro
I was hitting with a guy that plays at Baylor last week. He was mentioning how strong Texas and TCU were going to be. Should be a great year for college tennis.
If you dont mind me asking, who did you hit with? i know a few of the baylor players myself after hitting with them and living in waco for two years.
 

SouthernCourts

Semi-Pro
Rasta, came here looking for info on college tennis this year, and you delivered big-time. If you'll indulge me in a couple of extra questions, I live in the research triangle of North Carolina and plan to follow the local teams (Duke, UNC, maybe State, definitely Wake when they're in town). What do you expect from Duke this year? I saw they didn't make your top 16. And other than UVa and UNC, any other ACC teams worth looking out for?

Will you do a similar post for the women? And if not, any info you have on ACC teams would be great. Thanks again.
 

rastapasta

New User
Rasta, came here looking for info on college tennis this year, and you delivered big-time. If you'll indulge me in a couple of extra questions, I live in the research triangle of North Carolina and plan to follow the local teams (Duke, UNC, maybe State, definitely Wake when they're in town). What do you expect from Duke this year? I saw they didn't make your top 16. And other than UVa and UNC, any other ACC teams worth looking out for?

Will you do a similar post for the women? And if not, any info you have on ACC teams would be great. Thanks again.
Good questions SouthernCourts. As a disclaimer, my posts are not necessarily who I think are the top teams, but just an analysis on the teams who finished in the top 16 the past season. There are a couple teams I do not expect to stay on this list. I'm not well-versed with all the ACC teams, but I'll give you my thoughts.

Duke had a rough last year and I wasn't surprised. They graduated a significant amount of their starting lineup and had a very young, but talented team. I attribute most of their losses to inexperience and Alvarez not playing as well as he could. I do think that this is will be a rebound year for them with a strong freshmen class, added experience, and Alvarez's recent performances.

Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and FSU each lost 3+ starters where NC State lost their 2 and 3. They each have some solid recruits, but I'd say these teams all lose steam.

Overall, Georgia Tech and Duke should be the ACC teams to be on the lookout for. Georgia Tech was underrated last year and should be improved. Duke has the talent and are still a bit of a wildcard, but they will be a fun team to follow. I do think the gap between them and the big three is significant, but I also think they will have some bright moments this year.
 

jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
Rasta, came here looking for info on college tennis this year, and you delivered big-time. If you'll indulge me in a couple of extra questions, I live in the research triangle of North Carolina and plan to follow the local teams (Duke, UNC, maybe State, definitely Wake when they're in town). What do you expect from Duke this year? I saw they didn't make your top 16. And other than UVa and UNC, any other ACC teams worth looking out for?

Will you do a similar post for the women? And if not, any info you have on ACC teams would be great. Thanks again.
FYI, Duke has been a really tough visit due to construction the last couple of seasons, plan to walk a long distance from where you get to park.
 

UhhCanJenGo

New User
OSU: disagree. John McNally will be in the starting lineup, JJ Wolf very well could be as well (probably doubles). Both will make instant impacts.
 

rastapasta

New User
I just finished a men's preseason top 25 on my site - rastapasta and I think alike - I too am big on Wake & Texas.
Great post TopDawg, a lot of information that I was unaware of. I'm most excited to see how Texas pans out this year. I initially wrote Baylor off after last year's issues and graduates, but I'll be putting them on my radar as a team to look out for.
 

rastapasta

New User
OSU: disagree. John McNally will be in the starting lineup, JJ Wolf very well could be as well (probably doubles). Both will make instant impacts.
I was under the impression that McNally and Wolf would not be playing until next season. Both are very talented players and would be in the starting lineup.
 

TopDawg

G.O.A.T.
Wolf was added to the roster today though he's been nursing a wrist injury so he might not play immediately. McNally isn't coming until next fall.
 
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