Archive for April, 2009


Cats ride past mules to 9-0 victory

Back on campus after the long trip to Hamilton and Williams, it was time for the men to face NESCAC rival, the Colby Mules.  This was a must win for the Cats since Colby was behind us in the NESCAC standings and to make the NESCAC tournament we had to take care of business against those teams behind us. Just like every match, we felt if we could get up 3-0 our day would be much easier.


Stein and Amrit had a tough match ahead of them, playing the #5 regionally ranked team of Brown/Chin. This was a very important match if Ben and Amrit are to make it to the NCAA national tournament. The Cat duo jumped on the Mules early and never let up, making a strong team feel like they had no chance. It was one of the best performances of the year by the doubles team, winning it 8-2. Ryan and Max did their part by not even letting their opponents on the board. Every time you looked over to the second court it seemed as if you saw one of the Cats hitting a winning return or put away volley. The drama came at the #3 spot as Fenno and Jeff struggled to put two solid games together. In the end, they found a way pick up their play and get the third point. There are going to be matches like this where nothing seems to go your way, but it was great to see the Cats pull it out.


In singles, the Cats gave the Mules no hope as Max clinched the match 6-3, 6-0. Playing almost all offense and never letting up on the pressure, Reiss wasn’t far behind Max, taking his match by a score of 6-2, 6-3. Fenno and Jeff also made quick work of their opponents, and it came down to Amrit at #2 to see if the Cats could get the shutout. After a strong and dominating performance in the first, Chin picked up his level of play in the second set. Amrit came back from being down a break to get the set to a tiebreak, where he played the best tennis of the set, winning it 7-3.











It always feels good to get a shutout, especially against rival Colby. The Cats were feeling good going into a long weekend against two more NESCAC foes, Trinity and Wesleyan. The results of those matches would let us know where we stood in postseason play. 



cats have winning day at hamilton


Two weekends ago the Cats set out on another road trip, hoping it would be better than the bus fiasco that occurred the last time we left campus. After a long week of exams, Bates students scattered to beaches, islands, or the comfort of their home. Not for the Cats, both teams hopped in vans and were on their way to play NESCAC foe Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. Even though it wasn’t a vacation for the Cats, everyone was excited to get back on the court after a week of tests and studying in the library. After a stop in Albany for dinner, we arrived at the hotel ready to catch up on some sleep so we would be fresh for the Continentals.










n1222050102_30213554_2956025On a bright and sunny day, the played first, wanting to get back on track after a tough loss against Bowdoin a few weeks earlier. Ben and Amrit really started to find their All-American form in this match, as they won easily at the #1 spot. Ryan and Max were off the court even faster as they took care of business winning 8-0. We knew winning all three doubles points would make the singles much easier, so it was time for Jeff and Fenno to step up. They were playing well, but as the first two matches came off everyone realized that #3 doubles had only played a few games. The reason for this was in the first game of the match with Hamilton serving, the game went to an estimated 18-20 deuces. It actually became quite comical, as the players and fans could not believe no one could clinch the opening game. The Cats finally came through to get the win on a great poach by Zach off a dipping return by Jeff. They quickly got through the rest of the games as they won 8-2, putting us right where we wanted to be going into singles.










The singles went just as we hoped with everyone winning and finishing the match 9-0. This was the kind of match we wanted coming out of exam week, a good challenge but nothing we couldn’t handle. After the men wrapped things up, it was time for round two as the women took the court in the afternoon. The women were looking to replicate the dominance the men showed in the morning.n1222050102_30213563_3057942

In doubles, the #1 pair of Caryn and Alex showed how much they have improved as they took the match with relative ease 8-4.  Jean and Meg did not want to be outdone winning at #3 by a score of 8-2. Brooke and Erika were having a tough time with a very good Continental #2 team, and just couldn’t find the winning formula to get the Cats’ the third point. It was then time for singles, with the talk from Coach focusing on worrying about what we control. We needed to play every point as hard as we could and let the result take care of itself. The Cats performed this game plan to perfection.











In a match that they could have made much harder, the Cats were very professional in their approach in the singles as they headed towards a 7-2 victory. Caryn did a great job of holding off a tough opponent, winning 6-4, 6-4. Alex served and volleyed her way to an easy victory at the #2 spot, capturing back-to-back NESCAC wins. Broke and Erika redeemed themselves by winning hard fought matches at #4 and #5. Jean served, up 5-4, in both the first and second sets, a time where many players let their nerves get the best of them. Not Jean, she came through and held her serve both times for a 6-4, 6-4 victory. All in all, it was a very good performance by both teams as they headed into a break week full of important matches. 



meet the bobcats-jean gulliver


1. Where are you from and where did you go to high school?

Falmouth, Maine and I went to Falmouth High School

2. What is the coolest city you have ever been to?


3. You were abroad last semester, where were you and what was the most fun thing you did while there?

I was in Berlin, Germany. The whole semester was amazing, but the best part was traveling with friends on the weekends.

4. What is your favorite Commons meal?

Chana Masala

5. What brand of toothpaste do you use?


6. Besides tennis, what is one thing that most people can’t beat you at?

I am a master at the board game Scattergories.

7. What has been your favorite class at Bates?

Political Psycology

8. What are a couple of your favorite movies?

The Graduate, Father of the Bride, Roman Holiday

9. If you could have any job, money not being an issue, what would it be?

First Lady ( it will be a little difficult to achieve).

10. Do you like the summer or winter better?



Meet the bobcats-Zach Fenno


1. Where are you from and where did you go to high school?

I am from Armonk in Bestchester,NY and I attended the Masters School.

2. What is the coolest city you have ever been to?

The coolest city I have ever been to is Amsterdam.

3. You were abroad last semester, where were you and what was the most fun thing you did 
while there?

I was abroad in Valencia Spain.  The most fun thing I did while abroad was probably 
the traveling around Europe on the weekends.

4. What is your favorite Commons meal?

My favorite commons meal is Marcia’s Zucchini pasta.

5. What brand of toothpaste do you use?

Oral B, brush like a dentist.

6. Besides tennis, what is one thing that most people can’t beat you at?

Disc Golf

7. What has been your favorite class at Bates?

Political Psychology with Morgan Marietta, the man.

8. What are a couple of your favorite movies?

Anything with Rob Schneider, Coach Carter, Bourne Ultimatum

9. If you could have any job, money not being an issue, what would it be?

SportsCenter analyst.

10. Do you like the summer or winter better?

Summer, 3 years in Maine…Enough said.


fans of the match

It is time for another installment of the “Fan of the Match” portion of the blog. The Cats want to thank all the fans for continuing to come out and support us, we definitely have some of the best fans in the NESCAC. Here are the fans who have been outstanding over the last few matches.


The women’s match at Tufts on March 28th:

Laura Harris ’07-She has been to almost every match in the Boston area, and it is great to see our young alumni coming out to cheer us on. 

The women’s match at Connecticut College on April 5th:

Liz Flemming ’08 and Mallika Raghavan ’08-Both ladies played a large role on this team over the past four years and found a way to make it to New London to give the women a pre-match pep talk. We might need them to come back every match after the great performance by the team in a 7-2 win.

The men’s match against Bowdoin on April 9th:

Meaghan Doyle ’12-A constant supporter of the Cats, it was only a matter of time before she received this award. 


The women’s match against Trinity on April 11th:

Lexy Smith ’09-Lexy is our first two time winner, but she deserves it as she sat through almost 3 hours of tennis on the Saturday before exam week. 


Thanks again to all the fans, it makes the matches a whole lot more fun for us when we have great crowds. We have 5 home matches next week so we look forward to seeing you soon.


cats fight through sickness as they battle bowdoin and trinity


After a long weekend on the road, it was back to the classroom for the Cats as everyone had papers and projects due before exam week. The men also faced their rival, the 11th ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears on Thursday. It was the spring opener at the Wallach Tennis Center, and although sick and tired, the Cats were excited for the challenge. Several of the guys had been unable to practice all week as a viral infection was being passed through the team, hitting some at the beginning of the week and others a few days after. With the stands packed for a highly competitive, highly energetic doubles portion of the match, the Cats couldn’t find a way to get past the Bears as they went down 0-3 after the doubles.











The Cats did not fair much better in singles, as there was just not enough energy left in the tank to beat such a strong team like Bowdoin. The men needed to be at their peak condition and it just wasn’t there for them on this day. There were a couple strong performances; Amrit lost 10-6 in a 3rd set breaker after winning a tight 2nd set 7-6. Ryan did an excellent job at the #4 spot to fight back and win the 2nd set only to lose it in a 3rd set breaker. What the guys could be proud of was the way the competed, which we talk about as being something they can control. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, but we believe we will have our chance at them again.











On Saturday, the women faced Trinity in an important NESCAC contest with playoff implications.  In the all important doubles, the Cats were close at both #1 and #3, but couldn’t get the victory losing the set 8-6 in both matches. After such tightly contested doubles matches, we knew we were right there and just needed some points to go our way. Caryn and Alex led the charge at the beginning, giving the rest of the Cats hope for a comeback. Caryn won the 1st 6-4 and Alex 6-2. Caryn struggled in the 2nd, but regained her winning form as she fought through adversity to win 9 of the last 11 points for a 10-7 victory in the 3rd set. Alex, playing her best singles match of the year, won the 2nd easily, 6-2. Those watching most likely didn’t know exactly how sick Alex was, but her toughness showed as she came through for her team to get a big win. For the rest of the women, it was not to be. Both Erika and Meg had been fighting illness as well during the week and just like their male counterparts, didn’t have the energy they needed against a quality opponent.


As always, there was great parent support for the women and the picnic that had been planned for after the match was moved inside. Even though it was a tough loss and a long week for the women, the home cooking seemed to make everyone feel a little better. We were also celebrating the early birthday of Jean, who turned 21 this past week. It did take her a while to blow out all 21 candles on the cupcakes, but once she finally did everyone was able to enjoy the treat.


Both teams look forward to getting back on the court against Hamilton on Sunday, and there are a full slate of home matches during the April break week. We would love to see everyone at them, especially our last home matches, Sunday, April 26th against Wesleyan. 



cats bury camels in sand; have deja vu on ride home

To begin, it is important to have read the previous post before you read this one. The trip from two weekends ago was worth of two posts.

The ring of the wake up call was not a welcome sound on Sunday morning, but the Cats knew the task ahead of them, get back on the winning track against the Camels of Connecticut College. We hurried through our continental breakfast, and then onto the beautiful bus that had saved us the night before and was now here to take us to the courts. Little did we know our riding in style would soon leave us, only to see our nightmare return. First on the court was the men’s team playing against an improved Camel team.

On another windy day, we knew winning the doubles would be an important part of getting the victory. Every match was a tight one, with Ryan and Max first off with an 8-5 win, then Jeff and Fenno winning 8-6, followed by Ben and Amrit with the same score. The guys played fundamentally sound throughout which is why they won the big points in the pressure situations. Being up 3-0 entering the singles always takes some of the pressure off, but each Cat knew he didn’t want to be the one to give up the first point. Jeff came up big stepping in at the #6 spot and barely let his opponent play a ball, winning 6-1, 6-0.  Stein was outdone by only one game by his freshman teammate, beating his opponent 6-2, 6-0. The rest of the Cats played exceptionally strong and stayed focused mentally which was an emphasis before the match. Eventually the guys stepped off the court with an 8-1 victory. Now it was time to sit back and relax to see if the women could make it a two for two against Conn.











Brooke and Erika came through with the best match and biggest win of the day when they secured the third doubles point winning at #2 9-7. In a match that was back and forth, down 6-7, the Bates duo found a way to win a very tight last three games. Just like for the men, being up 3-0 takes some of the pressure off, but it was still not going to be easy to get the victory. Caryn started things off great, taking care of her opponent in one of her best wins this year, capturing it 6-3, 6-1. Meg clinched the match for the Cats after winning a tough first set 7-5; she then made quick work of the second 6-2.  Brooke and Erika then stepped up again getting us two more victories for a final score of 7-2, giving the women their first conference win.











After a sunny, successful day of tennis it was time to head home with our favorite bus driver, Wes. Unfortunately, the same bus came along with Wes. The bus company assured us they had repaired the clutch so that we would arrive home safely without problems. It did get us further than 100 yards down the road this time.











Though it wasn’t the most comfortable bus, it seemed as if we were actually going to make it home, and as we crossed the bridge into Maine we could taste the finish line. Ironically, at the same time we could smell something burning. So here we were again, 10:30 on a Sunday night, pulled over on the side of the highway with a “fixed” clutch that no longer could get us to move faster than 20 mph. At least this time we knew the routine, another bus would come from Lewiston to pick us up to take us home. We would have to sit on the stranded bus for almost two hours until another brand new chariot arrived. The Cats did feel a little more trapped this time not being able to explore outside, as they would have to find ways to entertain themselves on the bus. Meg and Ryan, thinking of the classes they had the next morning, tried their luck at hitch hiking, but had no success. Our new bus, which was just like the one that had rescued us the night before, arrived just after midnight and got us home around 2:30am. One has to wonder if we had been in one of these new buses from the beginning maybe none of this would have happened. As I said in the previous post, our men and women really took these mishaps in stride and handled it all with great maturity, even though they were forced to start the week before finals off with only a few hours of sleep. They understood this was not something they could control, and getting mad would not improve the situation. Maybe there is a reason why we drove vans to the matches for all those years.











One bright spot on the ride home was the excellent meal we found in the quaint, cozy town of Putnam, CT. Someplace Special gave us the best meal we have had all season, with some of the friendliest waitresses you can find. They are known for their burgers, which I can attest to. They have a wide selection of food and drinks, perfect for the family or just a night out. We want to thank them for being so hospitable to the 20 of us who surprised them on a late Sunday night. They can be found at



the day that would never end

Two weekends ago, both teams left Bates on a rainy afternoon to play Amherst College and Connecticut College. Unlike many tennis programs around the nation, we are lucky enough to take a bus to most of our matches. They are more spacious than vans, you can watch a movie, and we can all ride together, so everyone was looking forward to the drive. That luck I just spoke of, well our luck ran out as soon as we boarded.










The bus, which would be the focal point of the weekend, was not the newest or nicest or most high tech vehicle I have ever been in. It looked as if it was around 25 years old, even though I have no proof except from the design of the 1980’s upholstery inside.  Most of the buses we have taken have been automatic shifting, this one was manual and it seemed as if there was going to be trouble shifting in and out of gears from the very beginning. As we headed out of Lewiston, our driver, Wes, was having some problems with the gearshift but we eventually got going on our way to Massachusetts. We arrived at our hotel on Friday night with our focus directly on the Amherst teams we were facing the next day.











It was cold and windy as the women took to the sea of courts that is the Amherst tennis complex. The Amherst women are one of the top teams in the country every year and had just completed a successful spring break trip to California. We knew taking them down would not be easy as they are a veteran team with a lot of big match experience under their belts. With fans and players alike struggling to stay warm under the grey sky, the Amherst women took the early 3-0 lead after doubles. As short rain delays continued, the Cats played with great focus and determination to not let the conditions bother them. It was great to see four of our first year players getting experience against a very solid team. Meg, Brooke, Elizabeth, and Maria contributed in singles and learned a great deal.  It was not meant to be for the Cats on this day, and the women happily found refuge from the elements in our “trusty” bus as the men took to the courts.











Just like the Amherst women, the Amherst men are national contenders every year with a team that has enough players to play two team matches in a day. This would be a good test for our men who had not lost since the beginning of the season. For those of us who had been apart of the women’s match, we didn’t think it could get any colder but the wind picked up causing the temperature to drop. The doubles was an absolute battle of mental toughness, as each player had to worry about the wind on every movement of the ball. As chairs were blowing onto courts left and right, the Cats got down 2-0 early losing at #2 and #3 doubles. As Ben and Amrit played their longest match of the season both teams watched on knowing how important this third doubles point was. After several nerve-racking and exciting points, the Cats duo came through big to win it in a tiebreak 9-8. The decision was made to move to the indoor facility at Hampshire College since the Amherst indoor courts aren’t suitable to play a match on.

dsc00799The Hampshire courts would not be as friendly as we hoped, but we did have several solid performances. Ben lost 6-4 in the third set at #1 and Max lost with the same score in the third at the #3 spot. We played with much more composure and maturity than we did in our last loss, understanding that this was a step forward even though it was a hurtful loss.

As we all hustled to board the bus so we could get to dinner and eventually to Connecticut College so Ryan could see his Tar Heels play and continue their march towards a national championship, we heard that familiar sound of the gears grinding while Wes tried to shift. Since we eventually got on the road the previous night, most of us thought this part of the journey would be no different. The only thing different about this part was we only traveled 100 yards before the bus would no longer go. Kind of a big difference. So there we were, stuck on the campus of Hampshire College at 8 o’clock at night, with nothing to do but wait until the bus company could bring us a new bus from over two hours away.











This was not the ideal way most of us wanted to end a long, frustrating day of tennis, and I would expect most teams to complain and gripe about being stuck in this situation. The Cats were different, they found ways to entertain themselves and make the most out of it. Food was an obvious concern, so a call was made out to a local pizza place, asking them if they could deliver 11 pizzas to the “Bus that is not moving.” Our hunger was satisfied an hour later when a tower of pizza boxes made their way into the crippled bus.  The pepperoni slices even seemed to help crack the first smile on the face of Wes. After dinner, some Cats slept, others used the time to explore Hampshire College. The rest gathered around Coach Gastonguay to hear stories of bus trouble that previous Bates tennis teams had experienced. Now these current Cats would have their own story to tell.











At around 11pm, our new bus arrived, and what a grand site it was. This was the way to travel in style, with a spiral staircase to greet you as you entered, clean smelling air, and practically a TV for every seat.  So we left Wes and Hampshire College behind as we headed on our two-hour drive to New London, CT. It was as if we were driving on air the whole way there and once we arrived at the hotel it was straight to the rooms for some much needed sleep. Each Cat dreaming tomorrow would have to be better than the day that would never end. And we all thought Sunday was until we crossed back into Maine….


a message from our AD, kevin mchugh


I’m writing to let you know that Bates has filled the position in Alumni & Parent Programs that will be working with the Friends of Bates Athletics program.  They offered the position to Susan Harriman last week, and she has accepted.  Many of you may know Sue already from her from her terrific work in Alumni & Parent Programs and the Bates Fund.  Sue is a very valuable member of the Advancement staff and she is excited about this new opportunity.  She has already started transitioning into her role with the Friends of  Bates Athletics while finishing out the year with her current set of responsibilities in the Bates Fund. Thus, your patience is asked as she balances her new responsibilities  with some of her existing ones.

For more information about Friends of Bates Athletics please go to the following link:


meet the bobcats-Sam woods


1.Where are you from and where did you go to high school?

Cambridge NY, Cambridge Central

2.What are a couple of your favorite movies?

Blues Brothers

3.What is the best class you have taken this year?
Northern Baroque Art
4.What is the coolest city you have ever been to?
New York City
5.What is your favorite Commons meal?
Reubens and Cheesecake Ice Cream
6.What is the song getting the most play time on your ipod?
Rescue Me Fontella Bass
7.Red Sox or Yankees? And are you excited about opening day?
Indian, No
8.What are your plans for the summer?
Swing and Sway
9.What do you think the best thing about Bates is?
Safe Ride

10. What is your favorite book?

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

April 2009


Bates Tennis Blog