“Survive and advance”, is the motto throughout March Madness, and it rings true in every NCAA tournament that exists.
Both Wake Forest teams came through, albeit in different manners, to advance to round 2.
In one of the more evenly matched pairings on paper leading into the tournament, Furman proved to be a formidable foe for Wake. The Paladins took the doubles point, and even blanked Wake at line 2, while taking the top singles spot and up a set in the second singles match.
From the beginning, I thought the biggest strength of this team wouldn’t be the star power of the Campana sisters, who have been very good in their own right, but more so the depth that this team has. That was put on display yesterday, and was much needed, as they had to claim all 4 remaining singles matches.
To be honest 3 out of the 4 were very lopsided. Eliza Omirou, Anna Brylin, and Brooke Killingsworth lost a combined 8 games. All three took care of business, which will be important later, but all eyes seemed to turn to Casie Wooten at line 6 who has had her fair share of clinches this year.
After going down a quick break in the first, Wooten realized she had a pretty good strategy to use to make her way back into the match: just get the ball back and deep. While a strategy like that sounds easy, her opponent liked to dictate points which isn’t the easiest to deal with. However, with that strategy, you’re just more likely to miss shots going for it all, and it allowed Wooten to fight and turn the tide. Wooten actually found herself a set and a double break up, before her opponent fought back to get back on serve. A deciding point was all Wooten needed in order to secure victor for Wake.
The next round is going to be tough for this team. UGA is hosting this regional and is the #3 national seed. Wake is going to have to get a better showing at doubles and rely on getting some first sets to get the ball rolling. If they can steal one here, then all bets are off for the rest of the tournament. First ball is at 4pm.
Not much to recap from R1 from the guys. Just took care of business from start to finish. Kudos to South Carolina State on their season, but this one was just out of their league.
Coming up next for the men? Ohio State. Again, a team that has no business being a 2 seed anywhere, much less against a top 10 team, will be the next test. Just like their sister team, Wake needs to win the doubles point here. I think they have a fair chance at taking 4 singles matches, but with their draw, make it easier on yourself. Ohio State ran with a funky lineup at the bottom yesterday, but the matches I’m most interested in are #1(Henri Squire vs McNally), #2(Eduardo Nava vs Kingsley), and #6(Sid Banthia vs probably Robert Cash).
First ball here is at 5pm, tickets are sold out but just like for the women, the team twitters will put out a livestream.
Let’s grab 2 monstrous victories and make some noise.