The #1 team in the nation continues to roll in the NCAA team tournament. Today the team advanced to it’s first tennis Final Four EVER. Given the strength of past Wake teams, this stat is a bit surprising at first, but I can’t think of any other team that’s more deserving of this feat than this team.
After cruising through their first two rounds against Navy and South Carolina, they stayed home to play Columbia (indoors nonetheless due to this weather) and while things seemed easier on paper, the 4-1 win was anything but easy. The next task? Illinois, a team that Wake had already beaten this year, however this team was on a torrid run and absolutely WORKED TCU in a match that at the very least they should’ve won 4-3 if not lost, on paper.
I’ll be very honest, I thought this one would be a tougher than usual match. I thought the Deacs would lose a couple on the lower end of the lineup, maybe even at line 1 but simply put things away with lines 2-4 after winning the doubles point. This team laughed at me.
The Deacs emphatically took the doubles point by winning at line 3 and clinching at line 1, while being up at line 2. Things got a bit interesting in singles. The Fighting Mark Smiths roared back in singles by taking 3 of the 6 first sets. Things would quickly turn around as Skander Mansouri kept on is roll with a straight set victory at line 3. The trustworthy freshman wonder Bar Botzer won a tight 2 set match at line 4. At this point all Wake needed was one more win. On line 5 Alan Gadjiev was down 6-7, 4-3 against someone who’s run the past few months rivals Petros Chrysochos’. Borna Gojo had split sets at line 1 and was up 3-1 in the 3rd. So that left us with Petos at line 2, who had split sets, and Christian Seraphim who hadn’t reallyu looked right in singles since he returned from injury. Petros was up 5-4 and was returning with 2 set points but neither was needed. Serpahim had won his first set 6-4 and was serving up 6-5 in the second. And then this happened
Here’s a look at the point that sent the Deacs to the semifinal! pic.twitter.com/hr5mNUr5R7— Wake Men's Tennis (@WakeMTennis) May 20, 2018
WIth that point history was made and now the team plays tomorrow against the number 5 seed, Texas A&M, who took out Florida in an absurdly close match. The matchup has been pushed up to 2pm to avoid any rain, but definitely to avoid any graduation receptions. I’m gonna go ahead and pick Wake to win this one, whether it’s outdoors, but especially if this match ends up being played indoors. I’m going to say a win via doubles point and then Gojo, Bar, and Petros to clinch. Wake drops a couple of lines but advances 4-2.
The other side of the bracket is interesting. It’s a matchup between #2 UCLA and #3 Ohio State. Two absolutely stacked teams, but that’s the price to pay to win a national championship.
What do you guys think is going to happen? Regardless I hope to see you all at 2pm tomorrow to cheer on the Deacs make the finals.
As always, #GoDeacs