Archive for March, 2011


men’s match vs. colby

Wednesday after class the Colby Mules made the trip over to Lewiston for an afternoon match. This was the bobcats first NESCAC match of the year and everyone was excited to start conference play.

At #1 doubles Matt and Rob played a very skilled team with great touch. After 6 games it was tied 3 a piece. Then the bobcat duo took over and found their groove, winning the next 5 games and the match. At #2, Sam and Timmy came out hot and won 5 of the first 6 games. But the mules weren’t about to give up. They lead a furious comeback and really stepped up their returns on the big points. The match went to a tie-breaker and when it came down to the end the bobcats rose to the occasion and took the breaker 7-5. At #3 Ben and Jeff had a match similar to #1. They played many long games and had to work their butts off for every point. After playing even for the first 8 games, the bobcats stepped up and swept the doubles with an 8-5 win.

Going up 3-0 put the bobcats in the right mode for singles. When many teams would ease up and have a let down, the bobcats were hungry for more.  At #1 Matt Bettles did his thing mixing up pace and spin, all while looking for chances to attack the net. He executed well and put the cats up 4-0.

At #2 Rob continued his stellar play and put his foot down on the gas, never playing a loose point and maintaining focus throughout the match. cats 5-0.

At #3 Timmy matched up against a very crafty player in Matt Carroll. Timmy worked for every ball and sustained a high energy level through out the match. Carroll threw everything at Timmy: some junk, some serve and volley, and some aggressive baseline play; but none of it could throw Timmy off as he put the bobcats up 6-0.

At #5 Ben Bogard put together another strong performance, staying patient in the directionals while looking for chances to move forward. After a tough start, Ben became more comfortable with his attacking and was able to push through for a 6-4 6-1 win.

At #4 and #6 Peter and Eric played tough matches but both lost in super tie-breakers. Credit is due to their opponents who fought hard and played well in the big moments. 7-2 bobcats.

Overall it was a good way to start the NESCAC season. The Colby team is very gritty and never gives up. Our team came out and played great doubles and never let up in singles, keeping up with the high energy level that we have been stressing in practice. The men’s next match will be Saturday afternoon as we make the trip to Brandeis.


Women play #30 Brandeis

Sunday morning the team travelled to play #30 ranked Brandeis. When the doubles started, the team was still pumped up after Friday’s win over Babson and came out with fire in their eyes. At #1 Meg and Ashley found themselves in a hole 4-1 but fought back, ripping returns and playing smart doubles to earn the victory 8-6. At #2 Kristen and Erika had a long battle with many lead changes. Down 6-7, the pairing stepped up in crunch time and won the next 3 games to put the bobcats up 2-0. At #3 Jacqui and Jenna had another close one. In a match where both teams had trouble holding serve and the lead was constantly changing, the Brandeis pair was able to get a hold late which was the difference maker.

In singles, the momentum did not carry over. The experienced Brandeis team played very well and won all 6 singles matches. Some of the matches were very close like Kristen who pushed her second set to a tie-breaker, but in the end the Brandeis team just competed better today. After playing so well in doubles it definitely stung to lose 7-2 but this will only serve as motivation as we get ready for 2 big matches next weekend against Vassar and Amherst.


Home Match vs Babson

Friday after class the lady bobcats took on the Babson beavers. Charlotte’s girl scout troop wanted to help cheer on the team and they joined the introductions for todays match. Due to injury the bobcats started a new #1 doubles team, pairing Ashley Brunk with Meg Anderson. The team gelled very quickly and moved aggressively at the net to put the bobcats up 1-0 with an 8-4 win. At #2 Kristen and Erika won 8-6 by working hard for every point and ripping returns in the big moments. At #3 Jacqui and Jenna lost a close one 9-8(5).

At #1 Jacqui played Sarah Whitaker who has very big ground strokes and lots of racket skill. But after losing a tough doubles match, Jacqui was determined to get this one. How did she respond? Quite simply, she played great. She served a high percentage, played in the directionals consistently, and attacked the net successfully on short balls. Bobcats 3-1.

At #2 Meg played Rebecca Stone who is a tough competitor. There was never a short game in this match that spanned just over two hours with both players refusing to miss. In the end Rebecca came out on top and it was 3-2 bobcats. At #3 Ashley played a tough grinder in Monica Mercer. Ashley played another long match but came up just short 6-3 7-5. 3-3

At #4 Erika played Mikaela Stamas. Knowing the team needed 2 more matches to win, Erika acknowledged the pressure and chose to enjoy it. She struck the ball well as she displayed why she is a captain, coming through in the clutch with a 6-3 6-2 win. 4-3

At #5 Kristen came out hungry, wanting to get that 5th point for the team. She ripped her strokes as she glided around the court closing off balls at the net for the 6-0 first set. But her opponent wasn’t about to throw in the towel. She battled back and won the second 6-3 extending the match. In the final set Kristen got tougher with each ball and crashed the net even harder, constantly applying pressure. The first-year came through with a 6-4 third set kept the bobcats undefeated at home.

At #6 Jenna Burke played her second match in the singles lineup after losing a 3 set heartbreaker in her first. The first set was filled with long points but Jenna committed to ripping the ball and pushed the set to a breaker. Jenna worked for every point and was extremely poised as she won it 7-3. Her opponent fought back, playing with aggression and striking her forehand very well. She evened the match with a 6-4 second set. Playing her second tie breaker of the match (this time a super) Jenna was determined to get the victory. She trusted her shots and ran the right plays, intelligently using her slice approach to set up her volley. Jenna took the breaker and the team moved to 3-0 at home. The team will its next match Sunday against #30 ranked Brandeis.


women’s mid atlantic trip

On Thursday the women flew to Baltimore and got prepared for their tough matches in the upcoming days, #18 ranked Mary Washington, and #11 ranked Johns Hopkins. On Friday morning, the team piled into the van for the two hour trek to Mary Washington. After a warm up and some lunch, the match started with doubles.

At #1 Nicole and Meg had a very long match in which every game went to deuce. They played very gritty and scrapped for every point but in the end the Eagles pairing was too consistent and took the match. At #2 and #3 there was a similar story. The bobcats played well and had opportunities but we didn’t capitalize as well as we would have liked to and found ourselves down 3-0 after doubles.

In singles Jacqui started off for the bobcats playing #31 ranked Courtney Goimarac. Just like in doubles, the points were long and almost every game went to deuce. However, the experience Goimarac was too much today and came away with the victory. The bobcats had similar results at #2 and #5 singles.

The bobcats did have some success at the other singles spots. At #3 Ashley Brunk dropped a first set 6-0. When most players would have thrown in the towel, Ashley was just getting started. She put in the hard work and out toughed her opponent for a second set victory 6-2.

At #4 Erika Blauth lost the first set 6-1. Like Ashley, she beared down and did the work. She stayed disciplined and was able to win the second set 6-3. At #6 Kristen lost the first set 6-0 before coming back in the second set where she lost in a tie-breaker.

Though the bobcats lost the match, there was a lot to be gained. The Mary Washington team was ranked #18 in the nation and is a very good team, but we had chances to win and after the match the women were able to see how close we are to being a top level team. The eagles deserve their credit for putting together a solid match, and after some quick reflection, the women got ready for a quick turn around with a match the next day.

Early the next morning the women prepared for the #11 ranked Johns Hopkins team. In doubles the Hopkins pairings were simply better today. They were more disciplined and ran the high percentage plays better than we were able to and took the lead 3-0. In singles, the scores are deceiving. The bobcats played much better and made the matches competetive, but in tennis you can play a match close and still score poorly which is what happened in these matches. One player who did score particularly well was Jenna Burke in her first match in the singles line up. She was playing #6 as Nicole was taken out due to an ankle injury. Jenna played a tight first set and won 6-2. In the second her opponent was able to loosen up and started firing very accurately and took the second set 6-0. In a super tie-breaker Jenna fell 10-6. Plainly stated, the Hopkins team played better today and deserved the win. On the flip side, our team is closing in on realizing its potential and even though we lost both matches this weekend, I think we gained confidence because we were able to compete with two of the best schools in the nation. The women will be ready to go this Friday when they return home for a match against regional opponent Babson.


Men’s Mid Atlantic Trip

This past Thursday the Bobcats packed up and drove to Boston before catching their flight to Baltimore. Over the next four days the men would have three matches against perennially nationally ranked opponents. Friday afternoon and first up was Mary Washington. The Eagles are a very solid team and already have some big wins under their belt beating California Lutheran (ranked #7 in the nation) and Washington and Lee. Since the weather was absolutely perfect (65 and sunny) the match was played outside starting with doubles.

At #1 Matt and Rob played the #4 ranked team in the region Sam Wichlin and Kaz Murata. Murata is a two-time All American and Wichlin is a very strong player as well. But Matt and Rob have been improving as a pair in every match and played flawless doubles, pushing their streak to 5 consecutive doubles wins by the score of 8-1. At #2 Sam and Timmy got back on track after a tough MIT match. The pairing came ready to play and put on a very scrappy display, gutting out long points and always putting one more ball back in play to grab the victory 8-3. At #3 we came up a little short but the bobcats were up 2-1 heading in to singles.

At #1 Matt played #34 in the country Sam Wichlin. Bettles found himself down a break twice in the first set but was able to execute his game plan at the end of the first set and take it 6-4. In the second Matt got an early break and never looked back with a 6-2 second set and put the bobcats up 3-1. At #2 Rob was playing a great shot-maker in Kaz Murata. Rob played a gritty first set and won every deuce game to get the first 6-4. In the second set Murata clawed back and won the first 3 games to take the lead. Rob then refocused and went back to work and was able to pull out a very tough match 6-4 7-5. At #3 Timmy Berg reminded everyone how comfortable he is outside (being from Florida and all). After playing excellent doubles Timmy went on a tear and beat his opponent 6-1 6-2 to seal the victory for the bobcats. At #4 and #5 Jeff Beaton and Peter Yanofsky both had very close matches but came up just short losing 6-4 6-4, and 4-6 6-3 6-3 respectively. At #6 Ben Bogard played Kevin Aquino and overcame nerves and cramps to pull off a big win 7-6(4) 6-4.

The bobcats won the match 6-3 and overall the coaches were happy with the performance. We bounced back after a close MIT loss and with great intensity beat a very formidable Mary Washington team. The boys would have a day off before playing #13 ranked Johns Hopkins.

The match against Johns Hopkins started with doubles as usual. Hopkins sports a very good line up that starts with 3 strong doubles teams. At #1 Matt and Rob’s streak was snapped as they played solid dubs but a break late in the match put Hopkins up 1-0. At #2 Timmy and Sam were broken early and were unable to get it back as they lost a close match putting Hopkins up 2-0. At #3 the bobcats tried a new pairing of Jeff Beaton and Ben Bogard. Their opponents were ranked #15 in the nation Andy Hersh and Jeff Kamei. The new pairing gelled much quicker than could be expected. They battled adversity and some unlucky bounces to fight through for the win 9-7 and put the bobcats on the board.

In singles, Hopkins has 3 players ranked in the top 5o in the country. At #1 Matt Bettles won the first set 6-2 before dropping a heartbreak 7-5 10-8. At #2 Crampton’s 7 match singles win streak was snapped by #26 ranked Warren Elgort in a very close match 6-3 6-4. At numbers 3-6 the bobcats had similar luck and Hopkins took the match 8-1. The team fought well but the Hopkins team just played better today.

Monday morning the team prepared to play perennially ranked Kalamazoo College which travelled all the way from Michigan. After getting fired up from yesterday’s loss the bobcats came ready to go. #1 and #2 doubles returned to form and won matches 8-5 and 8-4 respectively. At #3 Ben and Jeff didn’t play as well as the previous day and the talented Kalamazoo pairing got an early lead and never looked back making the score 2-1 bobcats after doubles.

Timmy Berg added the first singles point for the Bobcats. Winning 6-2 6-2, Timmy looked comfortable on the courts as he relentlessly attacked his opponent and put the bobcats up 3-1. At #4 Jeff lost a tough match making it 3-2. At #1 Matt brought the bobcats closer to the team win with a 6-4 6-2 victory over the highly ranked Nate Eddy. At #5 and #6 Peter and Ben were struggling in their first sets and dropped them 6-2 and 6-3. At this same point Rob had won his first set 6-4 and dropped the second set by the same score. It looked like there could be a comeback in the making. With Kalamazoo needing to win all 3 matches, they were up a set in 2 of them and had just evened the match in the third one. At this point Rob got excited and stepped up to the challenge. Playing for what could be the deciding match his game rose to another level. He refused to miss and out worked his opponent and took the third set 6-3 and sealed the match for the bobcats. Though Peter and Ben played better second sets, they were unable to overcome their deficits and the final score was 5-4 bobcats.

Overall it was a good trip. We won two matches over strong opponents and were able to grow from the loss in the Hopkins match. We still have plenty of room to grow but the team is working as hard as ever and is determined to keep building off of each match.


Men play MIT

Last Saturday the men’s team made the trip down to Boston to play the #22 ranked MIT Engineers. At #1 doubles Matt Bettles and Rob Crampton continued their strong play as they won 8-4 against a very skilled MIT pairing. Matt and Rob’s chemistry grows with each match and being roommates probably doesn’t hurt either.

At #2 and #3 doubles the Engineers players had lots of racket skill and were able to get early breaks on the bobcats which proved to be the difference makers. The MIT courts are slightly quicker than the bobcats home court and the bobcats started a little slow in the beginning before finishing strong. However, the Engineers came to play. They had 3 very skilled doubles pairings and they played very good doubles. They made few errors and the ones they made were going after smart targets. The bobcats competed well and never hung their heads at any point and today was just one of those days where the balls didn’t fall our way. Overall, we were proud of how we competed, but MIT just played better doubles today.

Since the bobcats had lost a 5-4 heart-breaker to MIT the year before, everyone was ready to battle in singles to produce a different outcome. At #1 singles Matt Bettles won his second match of the day 6-1 6-3. Matt worked for every ball and came up with an answer for everything his opponent tried. At #2 Rob Crampton stayed hot, winning his 5th straight singles match over Larry Pang 6-1 6-4. It was a closely contested match with both players getting a little edgy but Crampton kept his cool and was able prevail by playing intelligently and putting the bobcats up 3-2.

At #3 singles Timmy Berg played Edwin Zhang. Zhang hasn’t lost in dual match play this year and today was no different. The first set was heated as both players exchanged blows but an early break in the set for Zhang gave him th first set 7-5. In the second set he was on a roll and evened the match 3-3. At #4 Jeff Beaton had a battle against Brian Oldfield. In a tough first set their were 5 breaks and Oldfield had 3 of them to seal the set 6-4. In the second set Jeff worked for every ball and produced a 3-1 lead before Oldfield started to come back. In the end Oldfield came out on top and put MIT up 4-3.

And then there were two. At #5 and #6 the bobcats had Peter Yanofsky and Kyle DeSisto. At #5 Peter won a very tight first set 6-4 while Kyle lost a close one 6-4. In the second set Peter’s opponent came back winning the second set 6-2 to push it to a third. He ended up pulling out the match but we weren’t as successful at #6 and the bobcats took their first loss in Division 3 play of the year 5-4 to the engineers.

Though everyone was bummed at the end result, we were proud of how we conducted ourselves. Our players worked hard and competed for every ball. The MIT team is very solid and deserve credit for the win. This is just a small bump in a very long road that we still have ahead of us. We have been having very intense practices and are doing the right things. Our team will continue to keep putting in the work and the results will come. Everyone is excited for this weekend as we will be outside again in the D.C. area playing Mary Washington, John Hopkins, and Kalamazoo College.


Women’s Match vs Smith

Sunday morning the women played Smith College. After winning their last two matches the women had gained confidence and it showed when play started in doubles. For the third time in as many matches, the bobcats swept the doubles dropping only 3 games and maintaining focus and intensity for the entirety of the matches.

In singles the women played even better. The bobcats swept the singles and Ashley Brunk and Kristen Doerer were able to take out some of the previous day’s frustrations on their Smith opponents. In all matches their were no slip ups. Everyone played disciplined, staying in their directionals and smothering their opponents every opportunity possible, not allowing Smith any chance for a comeback. The women will not have an opponent this weekend but will continue working hard because next week we head to the D.C. area for some tough matches.

March 2011


Bates Tennis Blog