29
May
09

Rupa bears down to close out wash u in semis

It has not been easy for any of us to go through the drama Stein has caused with his singles matches over the three-day tournament, but it has been especially hard for Amrit. He wants his teammate to win as much as anyone, but he also has to keep his focus as he watches tennis all day knowing it is he who will have to step up big in the doubles the more fatigued Ben becomes after every match. The rubber match against the Washington University pair of Hoeland and Cutler would be the time for Rupa to shine.

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This would be the third and deciding match between these two teams. The Cats won in last spring’s NCAA Quarterfinal, then the Bears got revenge in the third place match at the Small College National Tournament this past fall in Mobile, AL. With Stein having just come off a heartbreaking loss in the singles final, Rupa knew he would have to carry the Cats emotionally. Ben would obviously give all he had, but it would be Amrit who would have to bring the emotional energy. Both teams started very solid, as they traded breaks and ended up in a tiebreak. The Cats would come out on top, which was big for them to start out on a positive note.

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The second set would not go as hoped, with the Cats struggling to keep their energy up. The Bears stepped up their play and the Cats lost some of their intensity as Wash U took the second set. It was down to one final set, either the duo of Stein and Rupasinghe would end their careers here, or they would continue the amazing Bates run into the final. It would be Amrit who would have the final say. It seemed to be a rather routine set until 4-4, when Rupa, having not returned well much of the match, hit several amazing returns. He then attacked beautifully off of very solid returns from Stein, giving the Cats the much-needed break. It was then up to Rupa to serve out the biggest match of their careers. They quickly got up 40-0 after three huge serves, and then the Bears came back with two good returns. At 40-30, Amrit reached back and hit one of the biggest serves of his life as the return sailed wide giving the Cats the three set victory.

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An hour later, it would be their biggest rivals from Bowdoin waiting for them in the finals. Having lost to the Polar Bears in the regular season, there was no other team Ben and Amrit would rather face for the National Championship. 

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