Clemson Tiger tennis

ClarkC

Hall of Fame
Clemson 4, Duke 3

Singles Competition

  1. Garrett Johns (DU) def. Ryuhei Azuma (CLE) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

  2. Teodor Giusca (CLE) def. Andrew Zhang (DU) 6-4, 6-3

  3. Jorge Plans Gonzalez (CLE) def. Connor Krug (DU) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3

  4. Spencer Whitaker (CLE) def. Edu Guell (DU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

  5. Niroop Vallabhaneni (DU) def. Daniel Labrador (CLE) 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-1

  6. Maxwell Smith (CLE) def. Andrew Dale (DU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Doubles Competition

  1. Niroop Vallabhaneni and Faris Khan (DU) def. Ryuhei Azuma and Spencer Whitaker (CLE) 6-1

  2. Garrett Johns and Michael Heller (DU) def. Teodor Giusca and Maxwell Smith (CLE) 6-3

  3. Jorge Plans Gonzalez and Daniel Labrador (CLE) def. Andrew Zhang and Andrew Dale (DU) 6-3
Match Notes

Order of finish: Singles -- 1 2 6 4 5 3 ; Doubles -- 1 3 2
Start Time: 10:00 am
Duration: 3:07
Notes:
ACC Men's Tennis Championship, Match 3
 
Big time win over Duke. That’s likely the highest ranked win since the 2014 season. Louisville match starting now. Let’s see if they can pull off two straight upsets
 

jcgatennismom

Hall of Fame
Most surprising wins of ACC tourney has been GA Tech beating Miami and Wake Forest (early this week GA Tech was ranked beneath GA State). Great way to end season and I guess they have chance vs UNC but too late-still wont have a winning season or ranking to get in NCAAs. GT over Wake bigger than Auburn over South Carolina-maybe I should have gone to Rome vs Athens today! Anything can happen at a conference tourney-just like Arizona lost 1st rd PaC-12 after winning regular season title. The bottom teams in conferences are really hungry and know if they lose they are done for year-they have nothing to lose by playing aggressive to last one more day. After an 11 hour day between driving and watching today, I will enjoy livestreaming and switching between ACC and SEC matches tomo!
 

Sureshot

Hall of Fame
Duke and Stanford are birds of a feather. Academic standards probably dictate whom they can recruit and academic pressures once they are in the program influence how well they do on the court. These programs will never be title contenders but they can hang around the Top 25 because of the quality of student athletes they can attract. Now player development, that’s another matter. But as grads they’ll do just fine
 
Men's assistant coach Matt Walters steps down "to pursue opportunities".

He was highly talked about before he joined Clemson but never saw the fruits of that. He also often intentionally antagonized opposing players which was a bit bush league imo. There's now a chance now to get an upgrade there.
 
Season starting soon. I see nothing in the current roster to indicate a season out of the recent ordinary which is missing the NCAA tournament and maybe be ranked in the 50s in the ITA rankings. I just don't see the strength there in the roster. Hoping I am wrong and that many players will have improved a lot for this year, which is what would be needed.
 
Why didn't Clemson participate in the ITA weekend to try to get into the indoor championship? I saw the match against Furman but I really think they need to start playing some top teams to prepare for the ACC grind.
 
The Clemson women finally ended the losing streak to SC with a dramatic 4-2 on Tuesday. I watched the entire match and it was nice to see Clemson take control of singles quickly after losing the doubles point.

The Gamecocks made a push back at one point but the Tigers responded on most courts.

Great win for the team psyche as much as anything, even if the SC women’s program is down from where it was a couple years ago.
 
Crushing loss to Northwestern today. Big chance to get a top 25 ranked win over a team missing one of their key players. Clemson took doubles rather impressively, just one point away from a 3-0 sweep.

Four of the singles courts were one-way traffic with Clemson winning at 3 and 5 (Dica rallied from 2-5 down in 1st and dominated from there to win 7-6 6-1) and Nothwestern taking courts 2 and 4 easily.

It came down to 3rd sets at 1 and 6. 6 was tough battle with Max Smith rushing the net nearly every point. Bengtsson was able to hit enough passes and make Smith work hard in the third and eventually got the break and closed it out.


I watched mostly #1. Ivan Yatsuk of Northwestern is a 6'6 big server who tries to end points quickly with winners set up by the serve. He made the winners look so easy when they were working, just the flick of the racquet it seemed, especially on the forehand side. However he was very susceptible as a defensive mover and would often miss the shot or be out of position if the rally extended past a few shots. Both he and Azuma held serve most of the time, Azuma getting the one break in set #1. Yatsuk was more solid in set #2 and got the late break to force a third.

Azuma was not able to use his better movement and more solid backhand to his advantage enough. He allowed Yatsuk to dictate the third set more and comfortably end points quickly, but he also improved in longer rallies as he out-sliced Azuma in more crafty rallies on a few occasions. Yatsuk went up 4-1, but Azuma was able to break him (thanks partially to a bad overrule by the chair against Yatsuk) to get it back on serve. Woth everyone watching the deciding court, Yatsuk immediately broke back for 5-3 and then served it out ending it on a 40-40 deciding point where he listened to his coaches instruction by taking 5% off of his powerful first serve to get it in out wide and finished off the popped up return with an overhead when he was then mobbed by teammates.

Overall a brutal loss because the ranking needed to be raised before ACC play as wins in conference will be challenging to come by.
 

ClarkC

Hall of Fame
The Clemson women finally ended the losing streak to SC with a dramatic 4-2 on Tuesday. I watched the entire match and it was nice to see Clemson take control of singles quickly after losing the doubles point.

The Gamecocks made a push back at one point but the Tigers responded on most courts.

Great win for the team psyche as much as anything, even if the SC women’s program is down from where it was a couple years ago.
Part of the reason SC is down at the moment is that their #1 player is injured. Sarah Hamner got a bad ankle sprain in January, so the doubles and singles lineups are badly affected.
 
Clemson men come in at 43 in the ITA rankings. Northwestern at 13. Just re-emphasizing how big of a missed opportunity that match was.

Clemson women are ranked 29.
 
NC State and Wake this weekend. Need to win one of them to stay in the tournament conversation area. A win Vs NC state would move Clemson up around 35. NC State is one you gotta get at home.
 
Went to the Duke and UNC men’s games this weekend.

Doubles vs Duke went to tiebreaks on all 3 courts which Duke was able to pull out. Nothing much to note in singles except for Azuma having a crushing heartbreaking loss at 1. He had a great chance to get a big ranking boosting win over #17 Johns who was not playing very well. Up 6-2 5-3 but started to play more passively and let Johns hit his flow a bit more. Azuma dropped the second set 6-7(5) and then the 10 point breaker 11-13.

UNC won one of the quickest doubles points I have ever seen. Won two 6-1 sets in just 20 minutes. But Clemson actually played pretty well in singles considering. Won three first sets. There was a brief moment where it looked like an upset was possible. 4 of the matches went to a third set. (UNC and Clemson split the straight set matches).

Azuma continued his good weekend by beating Cernoch in straight sets although he nearly gave up a lead again, up 6-1 5-1 and even had a match point he thought he won overturned by the umpire which woudlve been a 6-1 6-1 win. Allowed Cernoch to claw all the way back to a tiebreak, which Azuma was able to win 9-7 after being down 4-6 in the breaker. The match clinching point was a pretty epic rally. Good for him to get a ranked win on the board.
 
0-7 in the ACC at home this season.

Loss to Virginia up next and then at Virginia Tech Sunday. If Clemson loses to VT it will
mean a 1-11 ACC season which would be the worst ACC record for the program since 2008.

So this would be the worst season in 15 years despite all of the horrible seasons we have had since then.
 

andfor

Legend
0-7 in the ACC at home this season.

Loss to Virginia up next and then at Virginia Tech Sunday. If Clemson loses to VT it will
mean a 1-11 ACC season which would be the worst ACC record for the program since 2008.

So this would be the worst season in 15 years despite all of the horrible seasons we have had since then.
Such a great tennis history there and then this season. Ouch!

Maybe we can get Feddie to start promoting Clemson tennis. Well, on second thought, forget that! :oops:
 
Well the thing is, the “great history” is getting to be long in the tooth at this point. Go to the Hoke Sloan tennis center and the accolades on the wall are all pretty dated.

When I started this thread back in 2012, there’s no way I would’ve expected to have only two tournament appearances in 12 years after I started it. (And none in the last 10).
 
Last edited:
What does next year's recruiting class look like? Is this Robbie Weiss's 4th year? Do you think that the AD might be ready to make a change?

Yes this year is his 4th year already. The indications are that he will get another season, largely because of the players coming in and will have to deliver in season 5 next year.

The signed players to come in the fall are Noa Vukadin of Croatia (UTR 13.38) and Marko Mesarovic from Austin, TX (UTR 12.57).

Based on UTR, Vukadin should be #1 right off the bat and Mesarovic could be as high as #4.

Next season has to be the year that things come together because Azuma, Plans Gonzales and Whitaker will be seniors and have to combine with the newcomers effectively. This puts a lot of pressure on Vukadin coming in, but he really does need to be a solid #1 immediately. Azuma and Plans Gonzales being knocked down a spot would actually make for a pretty effective top 3 as both of them have been showing the most fight on the team recently, as they both had ranked wins over Louisville (Plans beat #26 Donnet in straights).

Mesarovic could be a solid 4-5 piece in the lineup which could move Whitaker down to 5.

I’m not sure if the remaining roster sports outside of the two new players. Outside of Azuma and Plans Gonzalez, the rest of the team is easily replaceable. What would be really nice is if Weiss can squeeze a solid transfer in as well, maybe a top lineup player from a smaller school to add in.

But yeah next year needs to have serious improvement, not just small improvement to like 40th ranked or something.

Clemson’s new AD, Graham Neff, did not hire Weiss and wants to make the facility upgrades worth it. Also the amazing success of the new softball program and women’s lacrosse being ranked in their first ever season this year has left men’s tennis as basically the only sport at Clemson still massively underperforming (the other poor programs, volleyball and women’s basketball showed positive signs this year) So that probably will put more pressure on Weiss that Neff will keep an eye on.
 
Last edited:
Yes this year is his 4th year already. The indications are that he will get another season, largely because of the players coming in and will have to deliver in season 5 next year.

The signed players to come in the fall are Noa Vukadin of Croatia (UTR 13.38) and Marko Mesarovic from Austin, TX (UTR 12.57).

Based on UTR, Vukadin should be #1 right off the bat and Mesarovic could be as high as #4.

Next season has to be the year that things come together because Azuma, Plans Gonzales and Whitaker will be seniors and have to combine with the newcomers effectively. This puts a lot of pressure on Vukadin coming in, but he really does need to be a solid #1 immediately. Azuma and Plans Gonzales being knocked down a spot would actually make for a pretty effective top 3 as both of them have been showing the most fight on the team recently, as they both had ranked wins over Louisville (Plans beat #26 Donnet in straights).

Mesarovic could be a solid 4-5 piece in the lineup which could move Whitaker down to 5.

I’m not sure if the remaining roster sports outside of the two new players. Outside of Azuma and Plans Gonzalez, the rest of the team is easily replaceable. What would be really nice is if Weiss can squeeze a solid transfer in as well, maybe a top lineup player from a smaller school to add in.

But yeah next year needs to have serious improvement, not just small improvement to like 40th ranked or something.

Clemson’s new AD, Graham Neff, did not hire Weiss and wants to make the facility upgrades worth it. Also the amazing success of the new softball program and women’s lacrosse being ranked in their first ever season this year has left men’s tennis as basically the only sport at Clemson still massively underperforming (the other poor programs, volleyball and women’s basketball showed positive signs this year) So that probably will put more pressure on Weiss that Neff will keep an eye on.
Mesarovic was also a pretty solid doubles player in juniors
 

jcgatennismom

Hall of Fame
Yes this year is his 4th year already. The indications are that he will get another season, largely because of the players coming in and will have to deliver in season 5 next year.

The signed players to come in the fall are Noa Vukadin of Croatia (UTR 13.38) and Marko Mesarovic from Austin, TX (UTR 12.57).

Based on UTR, Vukadin should be #1 right off the bat and Mesarovic could be as high as #4.

Next season has to be the year that things come together because Azuma, Plans Gonzales and Whitaker will be seniors and have to combine with the newcomers effectively. This puts a lot of pressure on Vukadin coming in, but he really does need to be a solid #1 immediately. Azuma and Plans Gonzales being knocked down a spot would actually make for a pretty effective top 3 as both of them have been showing the most fight on the team recently, as they both had ranked wins over Louisville (Plans beat #26 Donnet in straights).

Mesarovic could be a solid 4-5 piece in the lineup which could move Whitaker down to 5.

I’m not sure if the remaining roster sports outside of the two new players. Outside of Azuma and Plans Gonzalez, the rest of the team is easily replaceable. What would be really nice is if Weiss can squeeze a solid transfer in as well, maybe a top lineup player from a smaller school to add in.

But yeah next year needs to have serious improvement, not just small improvement to like 40th ranked or something.

Clemson’s new AD, Graham Neff, did not hire Weiss and wants to make the facility upgrades worth it. Also the amazing success of the new softball program and women’s lacrosse being ranked in their first ever season this year has left men’s tennis as basically the only sport at Clemson still massively underperforming (the other poor programs, volleyball and women’s basketball showed positive signs this year) So that probably will put more pressure on Weiss that Neff will keep an eye on.
I think about how Bobbie Reynolds has turned Auburn around (though it took a while). However, even if Clemson recruited a coach of the BR level now, he would still have trouble recruiting Southern juniors outside of SC. The best players will either go to the SEC because of all the competition and a good chance of being on a top 20 ranked team. The smart good players will go to Duke, UNC, VA, GT or Vandy. How will Clemson compete? As late as 2015 maybe a few GA kids might have been interested in Clemson, but that's not a school on many lists now. Luckily Texas and FL have a surplus of junior recruits, and kudos to Weiss from keeping one of the Stearns guys out of SC or Duke's hands. However, a southern P5 needs some guys from GA or NC in addition to SC to bolster the roster whether as lineup players or backup. Three southern P5s have #1s from Atlanta-Auburn, Duke, GT. The last Atlanta recruit to Clemson a few years back was a guy who went flew to the Caribbean to play iTF grade 5s but would lose in the 1st rd of US grade 4s. His sister played HS tennis for a local HS, but he was homeschooled. Ironically his UTR was lower than some guys on local HS teams that traded state championships back when some uTR 12s and low 13s still went to regular HS. He might have improved more playing state finals vs those grade 5s in Central America. I also have always wondered what happened to Zack Kennedy at Clemson (he ended up having a good career as a transfer at GA state). Younger southern juniors saw him and his brother win Southern 1 dubs at Rome-incredible power. I think he and Eubanks may have even gotten a WC into ATL 250 dubs one year. His freshmen year when GA juniors went to play a high level Southern sectional in the spring at Clemson, Zack's pic was no longer on the Clemson wall.

Academy coaches steer players towards certain P5s regardless of whether the player will actually play in lineup-looks good to attract new juniors to academy. Whoever Clemson recruits as coach in future, needs to win over some of the top Southern academy coaches. It's a win win for both the college and academy-the college could get a bench or lineup player requiring little or no athletic scholarship (probably smart enough to get some merit), and the academy gets pics of players signing NLI (National Letter of Intent not NIL) wearing a P5 hat and sweatshirt to post on Facebook. Clemson needs a few more 5 star/ blue chip Southerners to put on the purple and orange in addition to international and other US recruits. The team only has one player this year with .500 record in ACC play.
 
One thing I have pointed out before ( and even way back when I was team manager and a player on the team at the time agreed with me) is that the Clemson men don't seem to have any reliable recruiting pipelines. No go to well for international talent that you see other teams have or any consistent domestic pipelines either (as you pointed out). It just kinda seems like darts are thrown and hope some stick. And in the last 15 years the only times they really did stick were with the Maden brothers and Hunter Harrington happening to be from the upstate.

Now you are way more clued into Atlanta area tennis than me so I am not sure what is required to get in good there but it is interesting that you mention Zach Kennedy because I also thought he was a good piece on the team and could've been a solid lineup piece but for whatever reason it did not work out.

As far as international pipelines, Clemson needs to find one and latch on to for talent. They've had a decent amount of players from France and Spain through the years but haven't fully leaned into that. Have recently got two players from Romania and the incoming one from Croatia next year. There are lots of good players in that region so maybe that could be a bit of a regional pipeline Weiss is fomenting. I will do a deeper dive later to see exactly the country breakdown of players Clemson has had in the last 15 years.

Back when the women's program at Clemson was humming in the 2000s and early 2010s there were consistent good international pipelines where talent was coming from.
 
Idk they were honoring the 2013 national title team so it could’ve been a big crowd!

They got to see a double bagel on 6 to. One of the biggest mismatches of the season at any ACC line.
 

jcgatennismom

Hall of Fame
...Clemson men don't seem to have any reliable recruiting pipelines...No go to well for international talent that you see other teams have... or any consistent domestic pipelines either (as you pointed out) As far as international pipelines, Clemson needs to find one and latch on to for talent.
Has Clemson ever had international asst coaches? I see that all their current tennis coaches are American. I think of Minnesota that used to have the asst from Eastern Europe and would recruit players from Slovakia, Slovenia, etc. With the exception of an occasional kid from Canada, all their international recruits were from that one corner of Eastern Europe. Still bummed that program was cut-#4 in Big 10 -didnt make sense. Athletic dept had funds to send the team to Australian open in 2018 and then cut team 3 years later. The Big 10 has been weak outside their top 4-a lot of the lower teams can lose to MMs. Guess it's a good thing that USC and UCLA will join conference in near future.

Anyway, I dont think Clemson tried hard enough domestically in the past-maybe that has changed. Goffi would attend ATL jr iTF along with some other p5 coaches but dont think Clemson did. Also when my son was a southern junior, I didnt hear about Clemson reaching out to the ATL 4/5 stars while Clemson was closer geographically to ATL than some P5s that did regularly recruit from the area. Not a lot of effort to send out Emails to all the 4 star to blue chips in SC, GA, and NC. Just do blind copy-there was one ACC coach (no longer there) who once sent a mass recruiting Email with about 150 emails listed-LOL. Does the USTA still host sectional tourney at Clemson-used to be a spring one with 16s at Furman and 18s at Clemson or vice versa? I know you've said you used to work in sports info there. I dont know why hosting universities dont take better advantage of situation to provide marketing material at tourney desk, surveys, or even a focus group of parents-people would talk between matches for an Olive Garden voucher-might even for Chipotle. Might be worth Clemson finding out from academy coaches, players, and parents what their impression is of the team (if that is allowed by compliance just to have general conversation). Players and parents have their favorite unis and they change over time. To me, i can't understand why any P5 that is fully funded has trouble bringing in the right level of recruits. It means players would rather be part of a 12 man roster elsewhere and sit on the bench than play for other P5s. Coaches have to be able to sell the opportunity-play for a lower P5 and you get to play more matches and you also have the possibility of turning team around. I think SC and AL schools are more generous with out-of-state merit aid too which helps for the line 5 and 6 guys who wont get much athletic aid. Clemson needs to find a the right narrative, get enough guys to buy into that vision and the team has a chance.

A few years back I watched Clemson lose to GA State. Some years I think Liberty has been ranked about the same as Clemson. Why? Liberty has a good recruiter in Derek Schwandt (former GT asst) and an aggressive schedule for a MM with matches vs more P5s than most MMs. Liberty used to have fall trips to play invitationals in California. As a one time resident of Spartanburg (elementary school) whose parents were big Clemson football fans years ago, I hope Clemson can figure it out and provide another option for ATL and other southern players to play P5 and get to at least one round of NCAAs, Got to get to the dance-hard to recruit to school that hasnt been to dance in years.
 
Last edited:
So there it is. Clemson men lost to unranked VT 4-1 to end the regular season and confirm a 1-11 ACC record. The worst since 2008.

Azuma got another ranked win, 6-4 6-4 over Fishback. Gotta give him big props for continuing to fight and get better as the year went on and likely get himself into the ITA rankings while the rest of team crumbled around him.
 

chic

Hall of Fame
So there it is. Clemson men lost to unranked VT 4-1 to end the regular season and confirm a 1-11 ACC record. The worst since 2008.

Azuma got another ranked win, 6-4 6-4 over Fishback. Gotta give him big props for continuing to fight and get better as the year went on and likely get himself into the ITA rankings while the rest of team crumbled around him.
Felt like Dica also had a solid year(not looking at record just based on memory).
If vukadin can come in as strong as he is in paper and they actually have a strong 1,2 it seems like that could solve a lot of problems the team has had since Weiss took over.

Would be nice to see the bench/ lower lineup players making the types of strides azuma has playing a bit above their recruited level
 
Dica started the year well but ended it not as well, losing a bunch of matches including a double bagel loss vs NC State and a bizarre 0-6 6-1 6-0 loss to Notre Dame at 5. He was expected to be a bit better than he has been, missing all of last year with a serious knee injury may have set him back. His ball striking talent is evident as he probably has the best technical forehand connection on the team but doesn’t use the shot nearly as well as Azuma and Plans use theirs.

Also it’s interesting what you say about a player improving and playing better at the school. We haven’t had that in ages, probably not since Hunter Harrington who played #5 his freshman year and was an ITA top 64 ranked #1 player his senior year. Every other player over the last 10
Years has pretty much stayed the same from the time they came to Clemson until the time they left. And I can’t see anyone on the current team changing that.
 

chic

Hall of Fame
Dica started the year well but ended it not as well, losing a bunch of matches including a double bagel loss vs NC State and a bizarre 0-6 6-1 6-0 loss to Notre Dame at 5. He was expected to be a bit better than he has been, missing all of last year with a serious knee injury may have set him back. His ball striking talent is evident as he probably has the best technical forehand connection on the team but doesn’t use the shot nearly as well as Azuma and Plans use theirs.

Also it’s interesting what you say about a player improving and playing better at the school. We haven’t had that in ages, probably not since Hunter Harrington who played #5 his freshman year and was an ITA top 64 ranked #1 player his senior year. Every other player over the last 10
Years has pretty much stayed the same from the time they came to Clemson until the time they left. And I can’t see anyone on the current team changing that.
My (lowly d3) experience was that most colleges focus on recruiting and refining talent but can't commit much time on developing it in tennis.
Especially since juniors nowadays often put in heavy hours already so just increasing the load and weights doesn't guarantee anything.
I can see this if you're already mid or head of the pack but if you're 1-11 and can't get a pipeline set up maybe development is an alternate route?
(That said my team turned from 2-20 to conference winning by a new coach with a good recruitment system, but there's less competition for d3 talent).

When I was at Clemson for Weiss' first year I heard some of the then upperclassmen venting about his focus on 'directionals directionals directionals" and "always keep the racquet high on the volley" when they were playing at nettles. – so maybe he is trying to push improvement and not everyone is on board?

But I can sympathize with how much more effort it would be to try and recruit players with potential and drive than to recruit players with results. Then have to balance time improving the lower rank players with catering to your top guys so they don't leave.
Maybe with a 4-5 person coaching staff lmao
 

Sureshot

Hall of Fame
The way I see it the mid tier P5 schools are competing for a domestic talent pool that is depleted because several blue chips and 5 stars are headed to the Ivies and even academic D3s. The top tier P5s always get their plum recruits. So we have a large bifurcation. Once the mid tier programs have to dip into 4 stars, there’s a massive talent gap that begins to show. So the international route is the only real option for these programs. But that’s a lot of work and doesn’t always pan out. Not saying 4 stars can’t be developed into top college players but that requires development and most mid tier programs don’t have the time or resources for that
 
Good thoughts guys, I’ll respond later on today.

Azuma comes in at #93 in the ITA singles rankings. That brutal loss to Garrett Johns is really painful now, because that would probably would have been good enough to get near the top 64 and the national singles tournament. As I detailed a few posts back, he led 6-2 5-3 in that match and had so many chances to get the W.

He will likely have another chance for a big ranking win in the ACC tournament Vs #6 Cornut-Chauvinc of FSU ( assuming we beat BC in play in match). He lost to him the first time 6-4 6-2 so it’ll be a big ask. Also because of the tournament format, it’s very likely that FSU would clinch the match before that match even finishes.
 

chic

Hall of Fame
Good thoughts guys, I’ll respond later on today.

Azuma comes in at #93 in the ITA singles rankings. That brutal loss to Garrett Johns is really painful now, because that would probably would have been good enough to get near the top 64 and the national singles tournament. As I detailed a few posts back, he led 6-2 5-3 in that match and had so many chances to get the W.

He will likely have another chance for a big ranking win in the ACC tournament Vs #6 Cornut-Chauvinc of FSU ( assuming we beat BC in play in match). He lost to him the first time 6-4 6-2 so it’ll be a big ask. Also because of the tournament format, it’s very likely that FSU would clinch the match before that match even finishes.
Hopefully everyone else will drag their feet between each point the minute they're down a game ;)
 
Clemson women get a critical 4-3 against VT in the ACC tournament. Probably enough to be on the right side of the ncaa tournament bubble as they are one of the last 4 in at the moment.
 

ClarkC

Hall of Fame
Clemson women get a critical 4-3 against VT in the ACC tournament. Probably enough to be on the right side of the ncaa tournament bubble as they are one of the last 4 in at the moment.
Virginia Tech has a good team, but playing in the ACC, wins are hard to come by.

They have 4-3 losses to:

Duke
UNC (with some subs playing)
at Boston College
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Clemson again at ACC tournament

They have 5-2 losses to:

at Syracuse
Notre Dame
at FSU
at UVA
at Wake Forest

Finished second to last in the ACC with only a win over Louisville, but were a dangerous team over and over.
 
My (lowly d3) experience was that most colleges focus on recruiting and refining talent but can't commit much time on developing it in tennis.
Especially since juniors nowadays often put in heavy hours already so just increasing the load and weights doesn't guarantee anything.
I can see this if you're already mid or head of the pack but if you're 1-11 and can't get a pipeline set up maybe development is an alternate route?
(That said my team turned from 2-20 to conference winning by a new coach with a good recruitment system, but there's less competition for d3 talent).

When I was at Clemson for Weiss' first year I heard some of the then upperclassmen venting about his focus on 'directionals directionals directionals" and "always keep the racquet high on the volley" when they were playing at nettles. – so maybe he is trying to push improvement and not everyone is on board?

But I can sympathize with how much more effort it would be to try and recruit players with potential and drive than to recruit players with results. Then have to balance time improving the lower rank players with catering to your top guys so they don't leave.
Maybe with a 4-5 person coaching staff lmao

Getting back to this. Oh man I remember nettles. I used to play there often. I can’t believe they actually had to play there as the home courts for a season during the renovations.

That’s interesting what you say about the comments from the players. Maybe it was players recruited by Boetsch. I have no idea what the team philosophy is with strategy but it seems just by watching how they play that the focus does seem to be on more defensive and “smart” tennis. Clemson hasn’t had a tall big hitting power player in ages. Almost all of our recent players have been smaller “scrappy” guys. Yizhou Liu maybe an exception as he tended to try to hit big. Azuma also is more of an attack first player with his precise forehand that can cut some nice angles. But I have noticed that he tends to get more defensive (sometimes too much so) on the big points.

Basically we need to find a way to recruit in some big hitters. Players who maybe have more room to grow in their potential in college.
 

jcgatennismom

Hall of Fame
My (lowly d3) experience was that most colleges focus on recruiting and refining talent but can't commit much time on developing it in tennis.
Especially since juniors nowadays often put in heavy hours already so just increasing the load and weights doesn't guarantee anything.
I can see this if you're already mid or head of the pack but if you're 1-11 and can't get a pipeline set up maybe development is an alternate route?

But I can sympathize with how much more effort it would be to try and recruit players with potential and drive than to recruit players with results. Then have to balance time improving the lower rank players with catering to your top guys so they don't leave. Maybe with a 4-5 person coaching staff lmao
Dont feel so sorry for the P5s with a head coach, asst, and grad asst to recruit and develop. MM coaches may have to do it all on their own. The other option besides development is to look for the diamonds in the rough-the internationals from the lesser known countries that didnt play jr iTFs, the US juniors who only played sectionals or in state, athletic kids who started sport late. or played alternate tourneys, e.g. summer circuits or maybe just 1-2 grade 4s but went deep. On my son's MM team, there once was a 3 star walk on freshman who had only played in-state. Kid was tall-6'4' or 5". With some development of his serve, the player ended up winning 29 games his freshman year (fall/spring)-tied school record with one win vs a top 16 P5 school. Another junior who mainly played sectionals in the summer ended up playing high in the lineup at a P5 school in his home state; the guy probably would not have been recruited except he had a close 3 set loss to a player higher in the lineup on the team at a summer circuit hosted by that school. He was a 4 star TRN who ended up with a top 30 ITA ranking. Both of these players' UTRs increased 1-1.5+ between recruitment and end of 1st college dual season; most juniors' drop or stay the same their 1st year in college. Coaches outside the top teams have to keep an eye out for those lesser known in-state kids with potential as well as the late-blooming internationals. Not every junior has access to playing against or training with the best players; when those guys train 5 days a week with higher rated collegians, they can make a big jump. The top P5 schools will look for the players with ATP points, top Jr world ITF ranking, high finish at Kzoo, but there are other players out there that will take off with the right training.
 
Top