Archive for May, 2011

06
May
11

Women play Williams

For the last match of the year the women made the trip to Williams College to take on the defending national champions. The Ephs still look to be in championship form as they swept the doubles. We played pretty well, but were just unable to win many of the big points.

In singles we played much better the with similar scores. The bobcats were in every point and in every game but the experienced Ephs just played the big points a little better. Ashley was playing a very tough match, at 2-2 30 minutes into her match before she rolled the same ankle she had at Tufts just a few days earlier. Though she showed a lot of heart and wanted to keep playing, we saw that it was purple and twice the size of the other ankle and couldn’t let her go through with it. Kristen’s match was a lot like the others, she played the longest match and was in every game but just couldn’t seem to get the last point. When it was all said and done the bobcats lost 9-0 and the season was coming to a close. There are some comments I’d like to make about what this team did this year, because our record is very deceiving.

This team grew tremendously throughout the year. When we made our trip out to Baltimore, we took on teams ranked roughly 10-20 in the country and honestly, I think we played a little scared and didn’t expect much from ourselves. But over the season this teams belief and expectations changed. They worked their butts off and not only believed they belonged on the court, but that they could win. We did some great things like taking the doubles point off a top 10 team in Bowdoin, or giving Middlebury all they could handle. Then closing out the year playing #5 Tufts dead even for almost 5 hours. This team is incredibly tight-knit and since our oldest players are juniors, we will have the entire team back next year to build off where we ended. Another year of experience added with two top recruits coming in next year will only help this team get better. Great year bobcats, get excited for next season!

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03
May
11

Women play #5 Tufts

Last Wednesday the women went to Tufts to take on the #5 Jumbos. At #1 Meg and Jacqui broke in the first game to give them an early lead but the Jumbo pairing broke back to even things up. Their match would have many long deuce games but in the end things fell the Jumbos way. At #2 Nicole and Ashley had a very exciting back and forth match. They were down early before Nicole started things off hitting back to back winners off returns. Ashley then ripped a few down the middle and evened things up at 3-3. The very next game Ashley ran back to chase a lob and rolled her ankle in a divot in the back of the court. After a couple of minutes with the trainer and adding an ankle brace, Ashley was determined to play through the pain. Both teams continued to break serve until Ashley served up a solid game to put the cats up. A couple of games later the bobcats had clawed their way to 7-6 40-15. Unfortunately the Jumbos scrapped together two great points and never gave the cats another opportunity to break as they won it 9-7. At #3 Erika and Kristen played yet another tough long match but this time found themselves on the short end 8-4.

In singles the bobcats would get swept but in my opinion it was the best singles we played all year top to bottom. Jacqui played the defending national champion and played her dead even in most games but just didn’t score well. In Erika’s #3 match she played a great first set and gutted out a 7-6 (7-5) tie-breaker. The second set was just as long and though she scrapped for everything she came up short 7-5. The third set tie-breaker was very high level tennis, with both players refusing to back down and gunning for points. In the end she lost this three-hour match 10-7 but she fought on every ball and it was really a proud moment for us as coaches to see how her game has grown over the year.

At #4 Ashley’s ankle had just about enough tennis for the day and though she tried her best, she just couldn’t move. She gutted it out for the entire match and did her best for her teammates, but the Jumbo player was too much today. At #5 Nicole played in seemingly endless points. Both players hit heavy, deep, and consistent for the entirety of the match, refusing to miss in this battle of wills. She had great focus against her very steady opponent and the match was decided by a break in each set 6-4 6-3.

At #6 Kristen reached a new level of play today. Not only did she strike the ball the best she has all year, but she did so consistently and with great footwork. In all, she was playing with the whole package. However, her opponent Edwina Stewart from England is no slouch. Kristen started down 3-0 before fighting back to even things up and even pushed herself into the lead. she was up 5-4 and had a set point but it eluded her this time and she dropped the first set 7-5. In the second they played so long that the lights had to be turned on. Like all the other matches it was a very high level of play, and like the others, Kristen came up just short.

In my opinion today was a very successful day. Yes it would have been better if we had won, but you learn a lot more in losses than in wins. Today we learned that we can play with anyone. Tufts has the chance to win nationals this year and we gave them all we could handle and the girls really believed they could do it. This team has grown a lot over the year and though we didn’t have the result we hoped for (a team win) we are getting there and it is only a matter of time.

03
May
11

Easter Weekend Matches

The men’s team travelled to Hartford, Connecticut to take on Trinity in their first of three consecutive matches. The Bantams defended their home court well in doubles. At #1 Matt and Rob had their 4 match win streak snapped by Anson McCook and Richard Bonfiglio as the Trinity pairing fought off many break chances and claimed the win. The bobcats sported a new pairing at #3 with Timmy and Kyle teaming up. The combination gelled quickly and they got their first win 8-5 gutting out many long deuce games.

At #1 Matt battled his opponent and a stomach virus but McCook stayed tough from the doubles win and came away with the singles victory. At #2 Rob played Bonfiglio who had defeated him earlier in the year at the Middlebury Invite. It was a long match but Rob was ready for the challenge and put in the work for the 6-3 first set. In the second Bonfiglio got even more disciplined and refused to miss pushing the match the a super tie-breaker. As he has done many times this year, Rob was clutch and worked for every point and earned the breaker 10-7. At #3 Timmy played a tough counter puncher in David Dessau. The first year put in the work and enjoyed the pressure, pushing through for the 6-4 6-4 win. The bobcats would drop 4-6 singles against the #15 ranked Bantams and would prepare for the next days match against Connecticut College.

The next day rain forced the match to be played indoors on the quick Conn College surface. Both teams have big servers in their arsenal and in doubles they were on display. At #1 Matt and Rob gutted out a tough 8-6 win against a pairing with lots of racket skill. At #2 Sam and Jeff got down a break early but never panicked, coming back from a 3-6 deficit to work for the 9-7 win. At #3 the bobcats completed the sweep as Timmy and Kyle played solid all the way through for a 8-5 win.

At #1 Matt played a flawless first set winning 6-0. In the second his sickness to catch up with him and his opponent raised his level of play. The combination of those elements even the match at a set a piece and a third set awaited. Both players refused to budge and continued to hold serve, pushing it to a third set tie-breaker. Needing this win to stay in contention for singles nationals, there was a lot of pressure on Matt. He rose to the occasion and out-toughed his opponent for the 7-2 win. At #2 Rob gutted out another tie-breaker 7-5 7-6(4). At #3 Timmy was rock solid and rolled for another win 6-0 6-4. At #4 Jeff earned a third victory for the bobcats in a tie-breaker 6-3 7-6 (5). At #5 Ben won the 4th match for the bobcats by tie-breaker 6-4 3-6 10-8. Kyle’s match was not as close as he played very aggressively and never stepped off the gas for the 6-3 6-0 win.

The next day the team went to Amherst to take on the #4 ranked Lord Jeffs. In doubles Matt and Rob (#4 in the region) took on the #1 team in the region Wes Waterman and Moritz Koenig. The pairs battled for an hour outside before rain pushed the match indoors. At 5-6 with 11 straight holds the bobcats were broken in a long deuce game and that was the difference maker. It was a great set by both teams and in a short pro-set 1 bad game can be the entire match. At #3 Timmy and Kyle played another exciting match. They got down a break early then got it back before moving indoors. Once inside Amherst broke back and though the cats had 2 more break points they were unable to convert and Amherst swept doubles with a 8-6 win at #3.

In singles the Lord Jeffs would sweep all 6 spots but there were many close matches and positives to take away from it all. Matt battled through his virus and gave Luis Rattenhuber all he could handle in a 6-3 6-4 match. At #3 Timmy pushed Andrew Jung 6-3 7-5. At #4 Jeff overcame a big deficit and pushed Koenig to a 6-4 second set. And at #5 Ben played a 2 hour singles match that resulted in just one break each set. Though we lost 9-0 we were in most of the matches and our first years gained some needed experience. Overall it was a long weekend and we improved in each match which is all a coach can really ask for. Next week we have Bowdoin, Tufts, and Williams in consecutive days.




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