Archive for October, 2009

26
Oct
09

cats have long but successful days at NEWITTs

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When the women travel to Amherst, Smith, and Mt. Holyoke to play in the New England Women’s Invitational Tennis Tournament (NEWITTs) every fall, they know weather is going to have an affect on the tournament. Last weekend, like many years before, the weather made for a longer day than most had hoped. And for the first year women on the team, they got their first chance to live through our team motto: Enjoy the Struggle.

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With rain looming all weekend, the tournament draw was made with the plan to play all matches indoors at Mt. Holyoke and Smith. With over 200 hundred women in the tournament, the format was shortened to eight game pro sets for both singles and doubles. And just like last year, the format was a Fed Cup style, with each pair from a school would team up to play one doubles match and singles match for each player with the team winning two out of the three matches to advance to the next round. Bates had teams playing at all different times during the day, Jenna and Ashley being the first at 9am and Alex and Meg not playing their first match until 4pm. There would be a lot of sitting around throughout the day, but this also allowed the Cats to support each other.

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Because there were so many matches played over the weekend, I will highlight some of the great performances of the Cats. Alex and Meg advanced the furthest in the A flight, making it to the round of 16 losing to a strong #1 team from defending National Champion Williams. The freshman duos of Jenna and Ashley, and Katie and Jacquie showed all the doubles drills we have been doing are paying off as they won 3 out of 5 of their doubles matches over the weekend. Maria and Jean, our only team in the B flight, made it to the round of 16 proving we are much deeper team than in the past. On Saturday, Ashley came from behind in her singles match against Babson to get the win. Even though she had been playing well she was down 4-7 and knew she had to step up her play to another level if she was going to find victory. That is exactly what she did, winning 9-7 and securing the 3-0 victory for her and Jenna.

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The tournament was a great learning experience for our young team, but was also a lot of fun for the Cats to finally play against other competition after about six weeks of practice. We have a lot to look forward to in the spring season, but everyone knows how hard we have to work to take down the top teams in the NESCAC. Going through such a long two days was certainly not the easiest thing to do, but as this team grows together they will use this experience to thrive in tough situations and will definitely Enjoy the Struggle.

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15
Oct
09

cats have strong showing at wallach invitational

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The men’s team didn’t have to go far once they woke up to play in their most recent tournament, the Wallach Invitational. Our annual Bates men’s tournament was this past weekend played out at the Wallach Center. Several of the Cats did well, unfortunately we couldn’t come away with any wins in the championship matches. Amrit and Matt made the finals of the A flight doubles, only to lose to a very tough Vassar team, 8-5.  A pair of sophomores, Jeff and Sawyer, playing in the first tournament together saw some considerable success making it all the way to the championship match of the B flight doubles. They lost to the Skidmore team of Bevan and Bond, 8-4.

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Amrit and Matt made it to Sunday morning in singles, both losing in the A flight semifinals. Fenno and Ryan made it to the B flight semifinals in singles, but had to play each other once they got there. Ryan reached the semis by coming from one set behind against Keolasy from Amherst to win it in a third set match tiebreak. Zach also had to go the distance against his quarterfinal opponent, Cheng from Skidmore. He fought off three match points to eventually win it 13-11 in an exciting, back and forth battle on Saturday afternoon. The match between Ryan and Fenno was equally entertaining, with the win going to Ryan 10-6 in the third set match tiebreak.

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After this weekend the Cats realized what they need to work on over the offseason to get ready for February. We have a talented team, but it’s the training done over the next few months that will propel us to the goals we want to achieve. Now it’s time for the Cats to go to work.

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For the women, they head to Amherst to play in the NEWITT tournament this weekend, so look out for a full recap, photos, and video clips next week.

08
Oct
09

Ben and Amrit honored at football game

During the halftime of last weeks football game against Tufts, Ben and Amrit were united for the first time since graduation day back in May. They were being honored by the school for their success last spring along with the women’s rowing team. As many of you know, Ben and Amrit won the doubles National Championship in three sets against rival Bowdoin and Ben finished 2nd in the singles championship. The women’s rowing team was being honored for having the highest finish ever for a Bates team, second in the nation. Even though it was a rainy afternoon, a large crowd came to support the Cats duo as they were thanked by Bates’ President Hansen for their hard work and dedication in bringing another National Championship back to Bates. This is the second National Championship for Bobcat Tennis, the first being won in 2006 by Will Boe-Wiegaard.

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On another note, the men have their last fall tournament this weekend right here at Bates at the Wallach Center. Play will start at 9am on both Saturday and Sunday and will last all day.

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03
Oct
09

cats travel to williams to compete in wilson/ita regional championships

One weekend after the four our drive to Middlebury to play in the first fall tournament, it was time to make another long drive to western Massachusetts to play in the ITA tournament hosted by Williams. The winner of the singles and doubles draws would be crowned an ITA All-American and compete in the Small College National Tournament, something Stein and Amrit did a year ago. This tournament is arguably the hardest of all the ITA Regional tournaments held in the fall, with some of the best players in the country competing in it. Friday morning started with singles for Reiss, Max, Bettles, and Jeff. Reiss gave the Cats their first win of the day with a solid performance against Fenichell of Bowdoin. In the afternoon he played the #1 seed Lebedoff from Williams. In one of the best matches of the tournament, Reiss pushed the Purple Eph to three sets, eventually losing it 6-4 in the third. Reiss constantly put his opponent under pressure, by attacking non stop the whole match. He came up with winners that left Lebedoff and the Williams supports wondering how exactly he hit that shot. Reiss would then go on into the consolation bracket where he would defeat Kim and Sorrell from Amherst on Saturday.

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Bettles, playing in just his second collegiate tournament, won his first two matches over Meyer from Williams and White from Brandeis to reach the final 16. Unfortunately, Saturday would not be as successful as Friday, with Matt losing to Lee of Middlebury. Max and Jeff could never get things going in singles in their first round matches, losing to Laber of Tufts and O’Dell of Middlebury respectively. They pair would certainly redeem themselves when the doubles started later in the afternoon. Amrit was last to go on the court for singles, getting a bye in the first round. He would join Bettles in the round of 16 with a win over Lunghino, a freshman from Middlebury. He, just like Bettles would have a tough defeat on Saturday morning against Felix Sun of Williams, who would eventually lose in the semis. Again, the Cats would shine in the doubles draw later in Friday afternoon.

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Rupa and Bettles, fresh off their Middlebury Championship, were the #2 seeds. They started off with a convincing win against a Clark team, then stepped up their level of play in the round of 16 against the Williams duo of Meyer and Binder, winning 8-4. Going into Saturday afternoon, the pair had high hopes of reaching the semis, only to see another Williams team on fire stop the Cats in their tracks. They were upended by Petrie and Chaplin 8-2. It was certainly a learning experience for Amrit and Matt, as this was only their 7th match together.

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Like I mentioned before, Jeff and Max would redeem themselves in the doubles draw even though this was the first time they had played a competitive match together. The Cats started with a victory over the Trinity team of McConnell and Ayers, 8-6. Then as the day was turning into evening, they would face the #5 seed of Lebdoff and Chow playing on their home courts. The Cats started slow and were down a break of serve as it was apparent they hadn’t played much together. It seemed as if it was going to be an easy Williams victory when they were serving up 6-3, but that is exactly when Jeff and Max fired themselves up. The guys started ripping returns and crossing at the net on every ball. Suddenly it was Lebedoff and Chow who looked uneasy and started to press. The two teams found themselves locked in a 6-6 tie, with the Cats finding the energy after a long day of tennis to come up with the shots needed to take the lead. Nothing Williams did mattered; this was the Cats’s day as Max closed it out on his serve. It was an impressive win for the Cats, proving to themselves if they play high energy, aggressive doubles they can hang with any team in the country. Later at dinner, Jeff would say this was the most fun he had ever had on a tennis court. Unfortunately, just like Matt and Amrit, Saturday was not as fun as Friday. Max and Jeff struggled to find the recipe for success against a veteran Middlebury team of Thompson and Lee.

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The ITA Championship weekend did not go as well as the Cats hoped, but it is still very early in the season. The fall tournaments are mainly about gaining experience, and every Bobcat came away with many lessons learned. The men are back on the court Oct.10-11 right here at Bates for the Wallach Invitational. Come out and support the Cats in their final contest until February.




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