Archive for May, 2009



17
May
09

Ben and Amrit heading to Cali for NCAAs

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Last week the doubles team of Ben and Amrit were selected to represent the Northeast region at the NCAA Championships in Claremont, CA. This is the second year in a row they will be representing Bates at the national tournament, as they made the semis last year and finished second in the region behind the #1 team from Amherst. The doubles tournament is made up of the top 16 teams in the nation, four from each region. The round of 16 will start this coming Friday at the Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps Colleges. They had an outstanding year with a 20-6 record, including wins over the #1 team from Amherst, the #1 team from Middlebury, and the #1 team from Johns Hopkins, all who will join Ben and Amrit in Cali.

Stein was also selected to play in the NCAA Singles Championships after barely missing out the last two years. The top 8 from each region will meet in Claremont and the round of 32 will also start on Friday, May 22. He is 17-6 on the year, and expects to get a few more wins to add on to his career total.

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You can follow along with the Cats each day right here on the blog starting from our 6am flight on Wednesday morning, until their last match.

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13
May
09

Cats finish season with awards banquet

With the season unfortunately over, it was now time to remember and celebrate the good parts of the year during our team banquet. A local favorite, Gippers Sports Bar was a great place for us to get together one final time as a team. After some good food, Coach Gastonguay wanted to thank every Cat for the time and energy he or she put into the season. From the two a day practices in Florida back in February, to the 7:30am indoor practices the women had during the winter months, or the five matches in seven days the men had during April break. It was all hard work, but if you asked any of the Cats I’m sure they would say it was all worth it.

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Of course, the season could not have been what it was without the leadership of our seniors. All four have done so much to move the Bates Tennis program forward to the best it has ever been. On the women’s side, we have a great group of first years that now have the experience of a full NESCAC season under their belts as they go into their sophomore year. Joining those sophomores will be another talented recruiting class and they will all be led by a strong group of senior women. On the men’s side, the class of 2010 had five players in the top six of our lineup this year, and they will only continue to improve. Joining them will be several strong freshmen for next year that we expect to make an immediate impact.

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There were a couple of awards to be given away, an MVP and Bobcat award for each team. On the women’s side, Caryn received the MVP because of her leadership we have talked so much about, and for the level of play she was at during the final weeks of the season. She played one of the hardest schedules in the nation at the #1 spot, and she handled it with great maturity. Alex received the Bobcat Award because she has to be one of the most competitive players you will ever meet. During the sickness that hit both teams the weeks after our infamous bus breakdown trip, the women had a tough loss to Trinity. In that match, Alex played with what we would later find out was pneumonia. She not only played, but won in convincing fashion. It showed the heart she plays with every match, and we couldn’t ask for more from a Bobcat.

On the men’s side, Ben won the MVP after one of the most successful seasons in the history of the program. He was one of the only players in the NESCAC to play both one singles and one doubles, and will be representing Bates in both at the NCAA National Championships in Claremont, CA. It was an easy decision to award Max the Bobcat Award. The fight he showed in every match, never giving up and always finding a way is exactly what we want out of every member of the team. He has been our silent leader all year.

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A slideshow of all the pictures taken during the year was the last part of the banquet. The Cats hadn’t seen many of the pictures, so some were certainly a surprise. Most of the players got pretty tired of all the picture taking this season, but after the slideshow I think most of them felt it was worth it.

It is an exciting time for Bates Tennis and the expectations continue to rise every season, I know most of us can’t wait to get things going again in the fall.

05
May
09

seniors shine in last home match

At this time of year there are a lot of lasts; last class of the semester, last exam of the year, and last tennis match of the season. For seniors, all of these are not just the last of the semester, year, or season; they are the last of a career.  The final home match for our seniors was last Sunday against Wesleyan. There are four seniors Bates Tennis will be saying goodbye to in 2009, all having dedicated a great deal of their time to improving the program during their time at Bates. Caryn was the only senior on the women’s team, carrying the responsibility of leading a young team through the toughest conference in the nation. Ben, a two time All-American, has helped take the program to new heights by continuing to be a national presence in doubles and singles. Mike Sherman, has exemplified what it means to be a Bobcat for Bates Tennis. He cares more about the success of his team and this program than he cares about anything else. Matt Chamberlin, was always ready to do the extra things for the team. If anyone needed and extra hit, he was there. If anyone needed a racket strung, he was there. As coaches we could call on him whenever we needed something. As a group they had one last match to show the home crowd what they could do on the court.

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It was going to be long day of tennis on Sunday, so we decided to have a team cookout the night before to make sure everyone was ready for the big day. One of the great amenities about the new dorm Bates just built is the huge grill out on the patio. With Coach Gastonguay playing the role of grill master, it was a great way for the teams to get together before classes resumed for short term. Full of burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream, the Cats were ready for the visiting Cardinal.

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The women would play in the morning session and start with a hard fought win at #2 doubles by Brooke and Erika. Being down 2-1 after the doubles is not where we hoped to be, but knowing all our women would not stop fighting gives a coach belief in his team. Unfortunately we couldn’t pull out the victory for Caryn, but we had our chances with three matches losing at least one set in a tiebreak. The lone singles victory came by our captain, Caryn, who has been playing the best tennis of her career here at the end of the season. After being down 3-0 and 4-1 in the first set, she rallied back to win the last five games to take the set. Her consistency and shot making had her opponent frustrated well into the second set. Caryn found herself up 4-1 in the second set, and then the realization of the moment she was in hit her and allowed her opponent to bring it back to 4-4.  Like she has done all year, Caryn found a way to get the last two games and win her final collegiate match.

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The men were next, as the afternoon started to heat up, so did the doubles. Having not lost a match in over three weeks, Stein and Amrit had no intention of letting the Cardinal duo get even close. After a relatively easy win at #2 for Ryan and Max, Fenno and Reiss came through in a tough one at #3 to give the Cats the much needed 3-0 lead after doubles. In singles, it was time for the seniors to shine. Stein showed great focus in beating a tough opponent in O’Connell 6-1, 6-3. Then, Sherman at the #6 spot won with a score of 6-3, 6-0. Sherman was out early in the season due to injury, but we couldn’t keep him off the court as he became a player assistant, helping guide his teammates through their matches. As much as he liked coaching his teammates, it was obvious he wished he could be out there earning points for the team. So on Sunday, he found himself doing just that, winning the clinching match and assuring the Cats the final spot in the NESCAC tournament. So even though it was the last home match for Stein and Sherman, it would not be their last college match, as the men would travel to Williams for the conference tournament.

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This program cannot thank these seniors enough for what they have done in their four years here. They have shown great leadership, both on and off the court, as well as represented Bates Tennis better than we could have asked. It is not going to be easy having these four leave our campus, but we are proud to send them out to do great things knowing that they will always have a place in their memory for the Cats.




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