Top seeds advance to round of 16
Virginia's Frank among favorites moving on in singles draw
ATHENS, Ga. -- After seeing the exit of several singles seeds on the first day, the second day of NCAA tournament singles play saw almost all the remaining seeds advance to the round of 16.
The only seed to go out in the men’s tournament was the 9-16 seeded Costin Paval of Oklahoma. He was eliminated by Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech by a 6-3, 6-4 score.
The women’s draw also saw a 9-16 seed eliminated as Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State eliminated the 9-16 seeded Diana Nakic of Baylor by a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Men’s top seed Steve Johnson from Southern California eased into the round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Nassim Slilam of Florida, the win extended his undefeated streak to 68 matches. Johnson is looking to win a second consecutive men’s singles national championship.
“I was pretty pleased with everything all around,” Johnson said. “I served well and even though I got broke in the second set, mentally I stayed strong after getting broke in the second to break right back. I’m just happy to get through.”
Second seed Mitchell Frank of Virginia also eased into round of 16 with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 victory against Southern California’s Ray Sarmiento. Frank will play 9-16 seed Wil Spencer of host Georgia in the next round. Spencer advanced courtesy of a 6-4, 7-5 win against Virginia Tech’s Luka Somen.
The third-seeded Eric Quigely of Kentucky will also play in the next round after defeating Auburn’s Andreas Miles 7-6(4), 6-3, while fifth seed Henrique Cunha of Duke beat Daniel Nguyen of Southern California 6-4, 6-4.
The other top seed that advanced to the round of 16 was seventh seed Dennis Nevolo of Illinois. Nevolo defeated Marcel Thiemann of Mississippi 6-4, 7-6(6).
Apart from Paval all the remaining 9-16 seeds advanced to the round of 16. This group consists of Mississippi’s Nik Scholtz, Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola of Ohio State, Alex Musialek of Kentucky, Mississippi State’s Artem Ilyushin and Spencer.
The other Georgia representatives Sadio Doumbia and Ignacio Taboada were both eliminated. Doumbia lost to Neal Skupski of LSU 6-2, 6-3, while Taboada was defeated by Musialek 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-4.
Women’s top seed Allie Will of Florida also advanced to the round of 16 with as she beat Danielle Lao of Southern California 6-4, 6-4. In the round of 16 Will will face All-American Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State who defeated Kata Szekely of Tennessee 6-3, 6-4.
The round of 16 will feature the tournaments seven top seeds as all advanced after victories on Thursday.
Beatrice Capra, the second seed from Duke, needed three sets to defeat Lindsey Hardenbergh of Virginia eventually securing a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 victory. Third seed Nicole Gibbs of Stanford also took three sets to advance as she beat Florida’s Joanna Mather 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“I knew what I needed to do to win that match in the third set and I just did it,” Capra said. “I was running down every ball and I was just really working hard to win that match. Lindsey is so tough and she didn’t give me any free points so it was a great match.”
Number four seed Robin Anderson of UCLA moved into the next round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Natalie Beazant of Rice. Before Anderson’s win, fifth seed Mallory Burdette of Stanford advanced courtesy of a 6-1, 6-2 win against Washington’s Denise Dy.
Sixth-seeded Jana Juricova or California advanced with a routine 6-4, 6-1 win against Sona Novakova of Baylor, while the number seven seed Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar moved into Friday’s round of 16 after a 6-2, 6-0 win against Joelle Kissell of North Carolina State.
After Nakic’s elimination all of the remaining 9-16 seeds in the women’s draw advanced. Those making it through to the round of 16 were Southern California’s Zoe Scandalis, Lauren Embree of Florida and Cal’s Zsofi Susanyi.
While the top seeds in the singles competition experienced few problems the doubles tournament, which began on Thursday, saw several top seeds go out in the first round.
The biggest surprise of the day came with the elimination of the third-seeded team Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale of North Carolina who were defeated 7-6(2), 6-3 by Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szekely from Tennessee.
The fourth-seeded Southern California duo Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian were also eliminated after losing 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 to Michigan’s Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender.
Two 5-8 seeds were also eliminated in the first round as Jana Juricova and Zsofi Susanyi of Cal knocked out 5-8 Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie of Mississippi 7-6(3), 6-4. Also going out were the 5-8 seeded team of Kristy Frilling and Shannon Matthews who were beaten 6-1, 6-1 by Stanford’s Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay.
All of the other seeded teams in the women’s competition advanced including the top seeded duo of Allie Will and Sofie Oyen of Florida.
In the men’s tournament all of the top seeds advanced to the round of 16 including the top seeded pairing of Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola of Ohio State and second seeds Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz of Southern California.
The only seeded team in the men’s tournament to be eliminated was the 5-8 seeded Auburn duo of Andreas Mies and Alexander Stamchev who lost 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-6(2) to Pepperdine’s Alex Llompert and Finn Tearney.