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West Coast Cav

Joined: 11/14/04 Posts: 1242
Likes: 75

Question/Thought on Ritschard moving up to #2 Singles for Post Season Play

Forgive the rest of this lengthy post if AR moving up recently just had to do with potentially qualifying for NCAA Singles play and not a potential post-season strategy. But if Coach Boland is tweaking things a bit, which started with the Wake Forest match, it does present an intriguing opportunity for UVa to increase its odds of winning the close matches in this year's expcted NCAA Final Four matchups (Wake and Ohio State), provided of course they both get there.

By moving CA and CS down to #3 and #4, respectively, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where UVa doesn't win at least 3 of the bottom four singles matches, and likely sweep all 4 of them. Even switching HW and JCA at the #5 and #6 singles slots in anticipation of those likely Final Four matchups might also be on Boland's radar.

Wake and Ohio State both have very strong #1's and #2's, and that is not to say that TSK or AR will not compete and perhaps get win(s) there, but it wouldn't matter if they did. UVa would be a prohibitive favorite to win 4 of the 5 points from doubles and #3 to #6 singles. AR has a big game and may play better against elite competition. AR has also struggled to close out 3 setters in many of our big matches at lower singles slots. Using AR against an incredibly strong #2, who may likely beat any of our players on that day, would save CA and CS for slightly weaker players to beat down the pecking order. I noticed in the Wake match that Bresky moved Gojo up to play AR at #2 and dropped Mansouri to #3 to play CA. Was that an agreed upon plan going in by both coaches for reasons (NCAA singles qualifying?) that I am not aware of, or was that Bresky responding to a strategic shift by Boland? Bresky switched Mansouri and Gojo back for the next mach and everyone thereafter.

Final questions, I believe a team's order of singles players (#1-#6) are established at the beginning of the tourney and can't be changed? Is that correct? If so and if there is something to do this theory/strategy, I would not be surprised if Coach Boland does out AR at #2 and wonder if Bresky does the same.

Has there ever been a big issue in past NCAA tourneys of teams' stacking lineups? I have followed our tennis team for about 15 years now (graduated in 80's) since they have become so great, and the depth and talent of this year's team just made me wonder about this with the recent lineup changes. Based on past NCAA tourney heartbreaks, I would expect USC may have done some type of "stacking" (I put nothing past them, including being coached to make bad line calls to win tight matches and get in the other teams' head).

Anyway, here's to going for another natty in 2017!!!

Posted: 04/20/2017 at 01:48AM


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