Archive for April, 2011


Easter Weekend Matches

Last week the Bobcat Women had 3 matches in 4 days which started by taking on #12 ranked Bowdoin at home. Play started with doubles and the Bobcats came ready to compete. At #1 Meg and Jacqui played an hour and a half battle but were unable to take down the Bowdoin pair. At #2 Ashley and Nicole played their best match thus far. Nicole ripped returns through the middle and Ashley was aggressive at the net as the two moved well off each other’s shots for the 8-5 win.

 At #3 Kristen and Erika played an up and down match with both teams taking trading leads before the match went to a tie-breaker. Kristen did a great job moving at the net and Erika blasted clutch returns, as she hit her biggest at 6-6 for a winner. The bobcats took the breaker 8-6 and went into singles with a 2-1 lead.

In singles the Bears showed why they were #12 in the nation by taking all 6 spots. But the bobcats were in every match. At #2 Meg battled well and lost 6-4 6-3 with just one break in each set being the slight difference. At #5 Nicole lost 8-6 and at #3 Erika had some chances as well. Overall we worked very hard and competed well but Bowdoin’s singles was too strong today.

The next day the bobcats made the trip to Connecticut to play Trinity. The bobcats played strong doubles but were only able to take 1 point as Meg and Jacqui pulled off a come-from-behind 9-7 victory by playing disciplined through the middle and moving aggressively on big points.

In singles Jacqui had a long match with Trinity #1 Hillary Hoyt but in the end came up a little short. At #2 Meg played a 2 and a half hour match where she gutted out a 7-5 6-4 victory by choosing to do the work and refusing to miss. At #5 Nicole played a great match but came up short 8-6 in the second set tie-breaker.

On the 23rd the team made the trip to Connecticut College where the Bobcats would play on three very fast indoor courts due to inclement weather. The bobcats were up for the challenge and Meg and Jacqui continued their strong doubles play from the Trinity match and rolled to an 8-3 victory. At #3 Kristen and Erika played another 90 minute battle with both teams exchanging leads before the bobcats stepped up in crunch time with a late break and hold for the 9-7 win.

In singles play the girls had a tougher time and lost the first 2 in close matches. At #3 Erika went three sets but just ran out of time as her Conn opponent seemed to get better as the match wore on. At #4 Ashley had a great match, with her opponent having a very similar style of play. They played for almost 3 hours before the match was decided in Conn’s favor 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.

At#5 Nicole Russell gave the bobcats a burst of energy and she beat her opponent 6-0 6-0. She played incredibly disciplined and focused, and did her best on every ball. At #6 Kristen played a long match against former high school teammate but came up short in the second set tie-breaker.


Men vs Middlebury

After the women’s match the weather had cleared up and the men got to play their first outdoor home match of the year versus #1 in the country Middlebury. At #1 doubles Matt and Rob played nationally ranked pairing Brantner Jones and Andy Peters. Matt and Rob were fired up to play a top opponent and they brought everything they had. The served high percentage, gutted out long points, and hit some of the sickest volleys ive seen this year. The level they played was national championship caliber and they took the match 8-4.

At #3 Middlebury got some quick revenge as they won 8-1. At #2 the bobcats were sporting a new pairing with our most experienced players, Sam and Jeff. Playing the very skilled pairing of Lunghino and Farah it was a very up and down match. Each team was up a break at certain points in the match and the audience was captivated at the quality of play. A late break in the match proved costly and the bobcats fell 9-7.

In singles the bobcats fought at every spot but the Middlebury team was more disciplined today and that was the difference maker. Though most of the matches were close, like Kyle’s (6-3 6-4) or Rob’s (3-6 6-4 10-8), the bobcats dropped all 6 spots. Middlebury played very well and earned the win. The biggest key in this match was they kept their depth when we didn’t and they were a little more disciplined in the long points than we were. There is a reason they are #1 in the nation, but the bobcats are hungry for another shot at them in NESCACs in a few weeks. The bobcats next match will be against #15 ranked Trinity.


Women vs Middlebury

On Sunday the women took on #10 Middlebury inside on the Merrill courts. Play started with doubles and at #1 Meg and Jacqui played a great match. Both were extremely aggressive crashing the net and played very intelligent doubles overall. The match was very close and a couple points didnt fall our way and they lost a close one. At #2 Nicole and Ashley started a little slowly but then picked it up and played at a very high level the rest of the way. However, it was a little too late and their opponents never gave them an opening to come back. At #3 Kristen and Erika had another heartbreaking battle and though they also played well, they came up just short 8-6. Though we lost all three doubles spots, there was marked improvement from our last match and our teams are really starting to gel.

Singles went a similar path. At all 6 spots we played solid tennis. We worked for every ball, played disciplined, played with a lot of positive energy, and fought like crazy. Unfortunately the score doesn’t always indicate how close a match was and this was one of those cases. We lost all 6 singles but were very proud of how we produced. Erika and Nicole both pushed their opponents to tie-breakers. Middlebury is a very strong team and they deserve credit for the level at which they competed. However, this match gave everyone a lot of confidence knowing that we can play with anyone in the country. The women will take on Bowdoin at home this Wednesday in what is sure to be another tough match.


Bobcats vs Mit

On Saturday the Lady Bobcats travelled to MIT for their first outdoor match in a while. MIT was hosting its admitted students weekend and there was quite an atmosphere for the match as the courts were in the center of the action. Despite the distractions the Bobcats got ready to enjoy the struggle and the beautiful day.

In doubles MIT came out firing and took the top two spots quickly. At #3 Kristen and Erika put up a valiant fight in their match. Every game was long in this match that extended just past 90 minutes. In the end the Engineers pulled out the victory 9-7. At #4 Jenna and Adrienne took out the MIT pairing 8-2 with a strong display of disciplined doubles.

In singles the Bobcats had some intense matches. Jacqui gutted it out for a while with her talented opponent before falling in a close one. Meg, Ashley, and Erika also had similar results. At #5 Nicole Russell lost her first set 6-1. In the second she put on her game face and competed the best she has all season and took the set 6-2. The third set was a super tie-breaker and she fell just short 10-8. At #6 Jenna had a close first set 7-5 but was unable to get over the hump in the closely contested second set. In exhibition play, Adrienne won both her matches 8-5 and 8-2 respectively.


Lady bobcats vs mules

On Wednesday the Colby Mules came to Bates for an afternoon match against the lady Bobcats. After a 5-4 Bates victory last year this was expected to be an exciting match which certainly lived up to its billing. Following the warm-up the Bobcats were tossed a curve ball, finding out that they would be without Meg for the match (thankfully Meg is better now). Doubles teams changed, line ups shifted, and we were interested to see how the team would respond to the adversity.

Now playing #1 doubles, Nicole and Ashley had a tough match up. They started slow and found themselves down a break. But they stayed positive and got disciplined and fought back for the win 8-5. At #2 Erika and Kristen came ready to play. They ripped their returns and pounced on sitters, never giving their opponents a second look, taking the match 8-3. At #3 Jenna and Jacqui had another close one. In a match that started with 12 straight breaks of serve, the Mules were finally able to hold. Then the Bobcats raised their play and both teams held the rest of the way to force a tie-breaker. In the breaker the bobcats played well, being aggressive and going for their shots. They earned two match points but the Mules stepped up on those points and capitalized on their first chance to take the breaker 8-6.

Determined to avenge a tough doubles loss, Jacqui played tenaciously at #1 and took the first 6 games from her opponent. The second set was slightly closer but Jacqui kept her foot on the gas and never let up to put the Bobcats up 3-1. Erika had a tough matchup at #3 and the score was tightened up 3-2. At #4 Nicole Russell gave the Bobcats their 4th point dispatching her opponent 6-1 6-3 by playing disciplined directionals and getting gritty when she needed too.

At #2 Ashley played the closest match of the day. Playing almost a 2 hour first set, she ended up falling short in a tie-breaker. Both players were crushing the ball refusing to miss and a couple of points here and there made the difference. The second set Ashley fought through cramps in both legs and played admirably but her opponent was able to take advantage. At #5 and #6 the Mules played tough and took both matches in straight sets. The Bobcats will travel to MIT this weekend to play the Engineers.


Bobcats head to New York

The lady bobcats went to New York this past weekend to take on #19 ranked Vassar and #2 ranked Amherst. First up was host school Vassar College. At #1 doubles the bobcats sported Meg and Jacqui, playing together for the first time. They played well but were unable to capitalize on their chances and came up just short. At #2 and #3 the bobcats battled well. Nicole and Ashley teamed up again (they were partners last year) and played a solid match against a formidable Vassar pairing but a break late in the match put the bobcats down 2-0. At #3 Kristen and Erika fought but were unable to come back from an early deficit and Vassar took the match.

 The Vassar indoor surface is much different from what we have in Merrill. The court is much quicker and tends to hit and shoot off the court. But the bobcats didn’t complain and refused to make any excuses going into singles play. The Vassar facility has 5 indoor courts and every bobcat competed admirably. Meg played through a migraine, and everyone dealt with some form of adversity in their match but kept their heads up. Erika played the longest match but came up just short. Overall we competed well and continue to improve and build on each match.

Later that afternoon the bobcats got to go outside to take on #2 ranked Amherst. The bobcats lost the match 9-0 but that doesn’t reflect at all on how we played. This was the best the bobcats have played and competed all season, and we did it at every spot. Losing Meg to severe migraines, everyone had to move up a spot but no one made excuses or complained. The bobcats enjoyed the struggle, played disciplined, and made the Amherst Jeffs earn every point. Though we lost both matches we are pleased with the continuous progress this team is making and are looking forward to our next match at home versus Colby.


Men’s match vs Brandeis

This past Saturday the bobcats made the trip to Brandeis. At #1 doubles Matt and Rob took on the #5 ranked team in the region, Simon Miller and Nick White. The bobcat duo brought a lot of energy to the match and got a break on the first game. The rest of the set was played like a chess match with each team making changes and then adapting to their opponents adjustments. In the end Matt and Rob gutted out the 8-5 win. At #2 and #3 the Brandeis teams brought the energy and flat-out played better doubles than we did and took the matches 8-4 and 8-3.

In singles Matt and Rob took on their doubles opponents who were hungry for some vengeance. At #1 Matt played Simon Miller. Matt played a tight first set and came up short 6-3. In the second set he made a comeback and gave himself a few opportunities but was unable to capitalize and Simon pulled out the 7-5 second set. At #2 Rob had a long battle with Nick White. Losing a tough first set 7-5, Rob fought back in the second and evened the match with a 6-4 win. In the third Nick got an early break and it was the difference maker for the third set win 6-3.

Down 4-1 the bobcats needed to make a stand. At #3 first year Timmy Berg played David Yovanoff and was composed under the pressure. Working hard for every ball Timmy won a tough first set 6-4. In the second set Timmy had to fight even harder and pushed the set to a tie-breaker where he refused to miss and played clutch in the big moments for a 10-8 win.

At #4 Jeff Beaton was in for his own battle. In a very long first set he pulled out a 7-4 tiebreaker. In the second set his opponent made a comeback and evened things 7-5. In the third set super breaker Jeff regained his focus and stayed poised, taking the match 10-7. At #5 and #6 Peter and Ben had tough matches but both came up just short. The next match for the bobcats will be against #1 ranked Middlebury.

April 2011


Bates Tennis Blog