Archive for February, 2011


Men’s first match: St thomas university

The men’s season kicked off against #15 ranked NAIA  St Thomas University. This being the men’s first team match, and most players being first-years, the coaches weren’t quite sure what to expect. Play started in doubles and the Bobcats started off with a bang. At #1 Matt Bettles and Rob Crampton came out playing disciplined doubles. They served high percentage first serves, made cross court returns, and scrapped for every ball. Their hard work and commitment to the basics earned them the 8-4 victory over the #13 nationally ranked St Thomas pairing.

The St Thomas team bounced back as they played solidly at #3 and evened the match at 1-1. At #2 first-year Timmy Berg paired with senior captain Sam Woods. The mix of Sam’s experience and Timmy’s talent made for a very impressive combination. They played many long, hard-earned points with their overall grittiness and decision to make one more ball every point the difference maker for the 8-5 win.

Unfortunately singles did not go quite as well. The St Thomas team seemed played tough and were able to lock up the top 2 singles spots over #14 ranked Matt Bettles and #49 Timmy Berg. At #3Rob Crampton gutted through bad cramps to push his match to a third set but in the end he was unable to overcome having to fight off not only a solid opponent but his own body. At 5 and 6 the bobcats started first years Peter Yanofsky and Eric Ruta. Their youth was evident as both started slowly and found themselves in too deep of holes. Both played much better second sets and showed promise for their next match, but came up short today.

When it was all said and done Bates came up short 7-2. The doubles was impressive and the overall team spirit throughout the match should be praised. No one hung their heads and everyone saw the potential that awaits if we keep working as hard as we have been. The Bobcats went back to hotel to regroup and get ready to take on #5 in division 2 Lynn College the next day.


Womens match: bobcats vs bobcats

Coming off a tough match against Northwood the women’s team looked to bounce back against the St Thomas Bobcats (ranked #14 in the nation in NAIA). Play started off with doubles and the coaches decided to switch all three doubles teams around in order to try and find a better team dynamic between the pairings. At  #3, Jacqui Holmes and Lucy Brennan (playing in her first ever match) played a solid match but lost a nail biter 8-6. At #2, Kristen Doerer and Erika Blauth came up just short 8-5 with a break late in the match being the difference maker.

Knowing that being down 3-0 after doubles is usually a guarenteed loss, there was a lot of pressure on the new #1 pairing of Nicole Russel and Meg Anderson. Being down 6-3 it looked as if the 3-0 deficit was about to happen. Fortunately for the bobcats, this new pair thrived under the pressure. Crushing returns and crashing the net they clawed their way back and got a roll, winning the next 5 games to give the bobcats their first point in the match leaving them down 1-2 after doubles.

Unfortunately the momentum gained after that exciting doubles match did not carry over to singles. The St Thomas team had very strong, experience players in their line up and though the Bates players fought admirably, the St Thomas players were better on this day and claimed 1-5 singles.

At #6 Kristen Doerer played an incredibly long match. Her match started at 3:30 pm and it wasn’t till 6:00 that she grinded out the 6-1 6-3 victory. Though the score looks like a convincing victory, Kristen had to battle for every game with her mental toughness and patience being the difference makers.


Northwood University

After months of hard work, the bobcats were able to start team practices on Tuesday, February 15th. With only four practices under their belts, both teams headed down Sunday night to Boca Raton, Florida to kick off the season. While the men got settled in their hotel, the women’s team set up camp at Nicole’s house (where her mother made a delicious meal for everyone).

At 9:00 AM sharp both teams departed for Northwood University where the women would play their first dual match of the year. We arrived early and both teams got a good hit as they tried to adapt to playing outdoors after months inside on the Merrill Courts. After the hit the teams grabbed a quick lunch we returned to the Northwood Courts and the women put on their game faces.

Northwood University is a NAIA school ranked #10 in the nation, but they still play under the 9 point scoring format (6 singles 3 doubles) and the match started with doubles. Bates jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as sophomore Nicole Russell and sophomore captain Jacqui Holmes played almost flawlessly at #3 doubles. Nicole was very aggressive at the net and was able to take advantage when Jacqui bombed her serves and Bates won the match 8-0.

Northwood quickly responded with their own 8-0 win at #2 doubles. At #1 doubles first-year Kristen Doerer paired with junior captain Meg Anderson for a closely contested match. The Bates pair came out hot and were able to get up a quick break. However, the experienced Northwood team fought back and were able to take the match 8-5.

With Bates down 2-1 after doubles everyone knew it was going to be a battle if we were going to win. At #6 singles Kristen got some revenge as she became more accustomed to being outside and put in the work to take down her opponent. At #5 Nicole kept up her strong play from doubles and also emerged with a victory.

 At #4 junior captain Erika Blauth settled into her game and out-worked her opponent to claim the third singles victory for the bobcats. At #1 Jacqui  played senior Fiorella Moggia from Ecuador. Jacqui put up a great fight and her fitness showed as she ran down almost every ball. However, the senior’s experience proved to be the x-factor and the Seahawks claimed their first singles victory. At #3 sophomore Ashley Brunk came out firing and she claimed an early first set lead. Her opponent upped the ante and went on a tear that helped her claim the first set and a large lead in the second set. After some tips from Coach Gastonguay, Ashley’s play began to rise as she dictated from the baseline and quickly claimed the next few games. Then, just as Ashley had done, her opponent raised her game and the intensity rose. Both players continued to their strong play but the lead in the second set was too much to overcome and the Seahawks evened the match score at 4-4.

The last bobcat left on the court at #2 was Meg. Playing a strong baseliner with a big serve Meg was in a for a tough match-up. After trading breaks of serve in the first set, her opponent’s steadiness was too much and Anderson lost the first set. In the second set Meg got down a break early and it looked like the Seahawks were going to cruise through to the victory. Then Meg battled back. With the support of her teammates on the sidelines, she seemed to get a second wind. When many players would back off at this point and hope their opponent would lose the match, Meg played to win. She ran down every ball, making some tremendous gets and attacking on short balls. Down 4-5 and a match point, Meg was clutch and refused to let anything by her as she finally broke serve. But her opponent would not be denied. She too went for the win and in a very exciting fashion pulled out the next two games for the 7-5 second set and the 5-4 match victory for Northwood.

Though it is always rough to lose a close match like that, the bobcats showed a lot of fight and anyone in attendance had to be impressed by the effort, fitness, and intensity with which they played. The coaches understand that this was the first match, and were very satisfied with the approach the women took today. Tomorrow is expected to be another beautiful day in Florida as both the men and women will travel to St Thomas University, hungry for their first victories of the season.

February 2011


Bates Tennis Blog