Archive for February 18th, 2009

18
Feb
09

Tampa-Day 1

After an early, New England morning for both Bobcat teams, everyone was happy to see the bright Florida sun as they stepped off the plane in Tampa on Monday. The men and women traveled to the tennis capital of the world to endure several tough practices, matches, and more than one sunburn. Having spent the last few months hitting on the indoor courts of Merrill Gym, it was certainly an adjustment for the players dealing with the wind, sun, and fast courts.

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Under the shadow of both the Yankees’ Steinbrenner Stadium as well as the Big Sombrero where the Super Bowl was just held a few shorts weeks ago, the Cats had a tiring, but valuable few hours of practice. The women had little time to waste with their first match against NJCAA National Champion Hillsborough Community College coming on Wednesday afternoon.  With the morning session focusing more on singles and point play, the intensity really picked up during the afternoon doubles practice.

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Fortunately, the men have one extra day compared to the women before their match against DII Eckerd College. The main goal for the men in the morning was to find a groove on their strokes and get used to playing tennis outdoors again. The afternoon practice saw just as much hard work as the morning, also focusing on doubles.

 

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Of course what would a day full of tennis be without ending it with some conditioning. Led by senior Mike Sherman and junior Ryan Mannelly, both teams pushed through the afternoon heat to prepare themselves for those long three set matches later in the season.  To the surprise of the coaches, everyone seemed to have enough energy for a quick dip in the pool back at home as the sun set on our first day in Florida. 

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18
Feb
09

A Taste of the South for Stein & Amrit

72amritstein_mg_05982Following a thrilling run to the NCAA National Doubles Semi-Finals last May in front of an electrified crowd here at the Wallach Center, the duo of Ben Stein and Amrit Rupasinghe hoped to pick up where the left off while competing in the ITA New England Championships at Williams College in September. The All-American duo not only picked up where they left off last spring, they proved the success at the NCAA tournament was not an accident and that they are one of the top teams to beat in the nation. In the finals of the ITA New England Championships, Ben and Amrit topped the #1 Bowdoin team of Stephen Sullivan and Alex White by a score of 8-5. By winning the tournament Ben and Amrit advanced to the Small College Nationals in Mobile, AL to compete against the seven other ITA champions for an ITA National Championship in October.

 

First up for the Bobcats in Mobile would be the Johns Hopkins team of Maldow and Wang. Though it was not easy, Ben and Amrit earned a tidy 6-4, 6-4 victory to move into the semis. The Goodwin brothers of Emory would be next. The senior/freshman duo from one of the most successful programs in Division III won the first set in a tie-break 7-5. Knowing the chances had been there to take in the first, Ben and Amrit knew if they could raise their level of play the second set could be theirs. Unfortunately, it was not the Bobcats’ day, losing the second 6-2. What the pair could take away from the loss was that they didn’t play their best and were still close to advancing to the finals.

 

The following day Ben and Amrit lost another close one in the third place match to Cutler and Hoeland of Washington University, 7-6(2), 6-4. They could both taste that national championship, but through the time spent at the Small College Nationals they understand how much more work must be put in this spring to reach their goals. 




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