Archive for September, 2011


Men’s ITA Regional Tournament

This past weekend the bobcats travelled to Williams for the ITA Regional Tournament. For this tournament, the top 64 singles players from the region are selected and the top 32 doubles teams. Playing in the toughest ITA in the country, Bates was given 4 singles entries and 2 doubles pairings. Due to inclement weather play was pushed inside and started off with doubles. Timmy Berg and Matt Bettles came out firing against an experienced pairing from Springfield College. Matt and Timmy won 8-0 and were the only team in the tournament to blank their opponents. In the round of 16 they faced Brandeis’s number 1 pair in Steven Milo and David Yovanoff. There were many long points as both teams played aggressive doubles pounding first serves and ripping cross court returns. After 8 games the score was knotted at 4-4. In the remaining games the bobcats maintained a high energy level and stayed disciplined, advancing to the quarterfinal round 8-4. In the quarters the bobcats faced Williams number 1 pairing, Trey Meyer and Bryan Chow. It was a 90 minute battle, played with high energy, big serves and returns, and some very impressive lobbing. The bobcats got broken the first game of the match but got the break back at 4-5 to even things up. Each team would have more break points as long deuce games ensued, but during a 6-6 game the bobcats got broken again and Williams served up a big game to close it out 8-6. Trey and Bryan would go on to win the tournament, with this being their closest match.

The bobcats had 4 singles players in the draw. Playing in his first ITA Eric Ruta came out in a big way, beating Zach Goodstein from Clark 6-1 6-1. Also playing in his first ITA was Pierre Planche. Pierre played fellow first-year Alec Seigel from Brandeis. Pierre gave the bobcats their second singles victory of the day and won 6-4 6-2 in a very solid showing. Timmy Berg had a tough first round matching up against #2 for Bowdoin, Sam King. Timmy played a good first set, rocking his serve and attacking the net to win the set 6-4. King was not about to go away though, and fought back claiming the second set 6-1 and forcing the match to a super tie-breaker. In the breaker Timmy got back to his game plan, banging first serves, working for every ball, hitting big and heavy through the middle, and attacking short balls. He executed very well in the clutch and won his match 10-5. Matt Bettles played his first round match against Steven Milo from Brandeis. Matt stayed focused and with his game plan the entire match, and fended off some excellent attacking by Milo to advance to the second round 6-4 6-2.

In the round of 32 Timmy played Jon Cypers, a member of the defending national champion Amherst College. Jon is their top recruit for this year and had just taken out Colby’s #1 6-3 6-0. As in the past, Timmy welcomed the challenge and played his best match of the tournament. Bringing his serve the entire match Timmy was never broken and was able to apply pressure on Cypers in the big games. At 4-4  Timmy was aggressive on short balls and attacked with his forehand finishing most points at the net. Timmy served big at 5-4 to close out the set. The second set was much of the same, many long games until it was tied 4-4. Timmy then gutted out a break and served big for the 6-4 6-4 victory. In his second round Matt had a tough opponent facing undefeated Musyoka Mbithi from Trinity fresh off his championship at the previous weekend’s Middlebury Invitational. Mbithi brought a big game, a large serve, an equally big forehand, and impressive foot speed. However, Matt is a very intelligent player and put together a winning game plan, mixing things up to Mbithi and then attacking his backhand. Matt served big and worked hard for every ball, making passing shots that wowed the massive crowd. In the end Bettles came out on top with the 6-4 6-2 win for the bobcats.

In the round of 16 Timmy played Bryan Chow from Williams. Timmy got his vengeance from their doubles match and played tough in the big moments to win a first set tie-breaker 7-6 (7-2). In the second set Timmy worked hard on every point and outlasted the very skilled Chow 6-4. In Matt’s third match, he played All-American Branter Jones from Middlebury. Jones has a huge game, bombing serves and attacking the net on almost every point. This was Matt’s best match of the tournament and he worked his butt off for every point, playing excellent defense and picking the right times to attack back. Matt displayed amazing foot speed with some of his gets and making his opponent play one more ball each point made all the difference. Matt mixed in topspin lobs with dipping passing shots to take the match 6-2 6-3 in a very impressive showing.

In the quarterfinals both Matt and Timmy would come up short, as Timmy played last years champion and All-American Felix Sun, and Matt played this years champion Joey Fritz. Both competed till the end but their opponents played well and deserve credit for playing the high level they did. Overall this was a solid showing for the bobcats. We played very good doubles and gave the champions their toughest match, all of our singles players won rounds, and we had 2 in the top 8 which is the same as national champion Amherst. The bobcats will continue to work hard and will be playing again in two weeks as we host our annual Wallach Invitational.


Middlebury Invitational

This past weekend the men’s team travelled to Middlebury for their first tournament of the year. The highlight for the Bobcat singles play was Dylan Reffe (pronounced reef). Dylan advanced two rounds before he lost a close match to Middlebury’s Chris Frost in the semifinal round. Doubles play for the bobcats was very strong overall. In B Flight doubles Dylan Reffe and first-year Henry Lee got on the board as they overcame some first match jitters and took out a Brandeis pairing 8-2. In their second round they played the eventual finalists from Trinity and lost a close 8-4 decision.

In Flight A, all three bobcat pairings advanced to the quarterfinals. Timmy Berg and Matt Bettles took out the #1 Brandeis pairing 8-5 before falling 8-6 to the eventual finalists from Middlebury. Peter Yanofsky and Jeff Beaton played high energy doubles and gritted out their first round 8-5 over #1 Trinity pairing and highly ranked Anson McCook and Ned Mandel. They lost a close battle 8-6 in their second round to a Middlebury pairing.

Kyle DeSisto and first-year Pierre Planche also got a big win, taking out Skidmore’s #1 team 8-4 before falling to the #1 Middlebury team and eventual champions 9-7. Overall the doubles was very strong. We played with lots of energy and played our opponents dead even. The Bobcats will travel to Williams this weekend to play in the ITA Regional Tournament.


Meet the bobcats: Audrey Grauer

1. Where are you from and what high school did you attend?

Encinitas, CA and I went to The Grauer School.

2. Who if your favorite tennis player?


3. Why did you choose Bates?

So many reasons. The campus is beautiful, the people are friendly, there are a lot of new opportunities  for me to explore, and I love the girls on the tennis team and how dedicated they are.

4. If you didn’t play tennis what sport would you be playing?


5. Favorite Movie?

Dream Girls

6. Dream Job?

high school counselor

7. Best part of college?

Being independent

8. Last concert you went to?

Kanye West

9. If I turned on your iPod what would be playing?

Jack Johnson

10. If stranded on a deserted island, what is the one thing you would bring with you?

(with an ear to ear smile) Elena


Wallach Center

With 8 beautiful courts, 32 speakers, stadium seating, and host to the 2004 and 2008 Division 3 National Championships, the Wallach Tennis Center is regarded as one of the top facilities in the country.  The Wallach Center is endowed and gets resurfaced every 5 or 6 years. This summer we had the courts resurfaced but didn’t follow the traditional route (red courts). Instead, we went in another direction and our courts are now the exact same as those used for the US Open. Not only are the colors the same (blue courts, green outlines) but the surfaces are identical to those in New York. The facility looks amazing and will host two tournaments this fall as the men will host their annual Wallach Invitational, and the women were chosen to host the 2011 ITA Regional Tournament. Practice starts this Wednesday but many players have arrived early, eager to play on the surface of the pros.


Summer Successes

Over the summer the bobcats were hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season. After earning his first All-American honors in singles, Matt Bettles went back to England and represented his county in the County Week Tournament. Each county in the UK is divided into 7 divisions of 6 teams.  The top two advance, the middle two stay and the bottom two get relegated a division.  The standard in the top division is amazing – last year North of Scotland had Jamie Murray (ATP doubles #27) and Colin Fleming (ATP doubles #46) for all 5 days and even Andy Murray turned up for one day, and they still finished 4th.

Each team has 3 doubles pairs and you play 3 matches per day its best of 9 matches.  Matt’s team (Somerset) included Alistair Felton from Harvard and Dan Manlow from UAB. They won two matches 8-1, two 7-2 and one 6-3 to claim the title for their division. Matt won 11 out of 15 throughout the week and at least two every day. He had many notable wins including:

Calum Gee from Davidson College NC, #3 singles and #1 doubles
Matthew Nicholson-Lewis from Saint Leo College (D2)  #1 singles and doubles
Incoming Cornell University player Sam Fleck
Simon Childs from Louisville University #3 singles and #1 doubles, ranked as high as 54 in D1 singles this year
Toby Martin – currently ranked 1150 in the world singles.

While Matt was tearing up the doubles court in England, Timmy Berg, and Eric Ruta were doing the same in singles. Playing in Florida, Timmy got to the finals of the Longwood Open (draw below).

Unseeded, Timmy knocked off the #6 seed in the first round and then won a close 6-4 6-4 match to put himself against #1 seed Tye Myers, who had just finished 2nd in a national open and was a former Louisville standout. Timmy battled through the Florida heat to come out with a 3rd set tiebreaker win 12-10 to advance to the finals. In the finals Timmy played Julian Link, a former professional with wins over Marcelo Rios, Tommy Robredo, and Ranier Schuttler. Timmy played a great match but came up just short in a 6-4 7-6 (10-8) battle.

Eric Ruta also played a few men’s open tournaments this summer with his first and last being the most successful. In the Rockland County Summer Open, Eric won the tournament coming through in the clutch to win the final 6-4 7-6 (7-5) over Villanova singles player Andrew Adler. Eric reached the semis of two other tournaments before playing in the Rockland County Fall Open.  Eric beat his opponents decisively en route to his second summer title. Practice starts this Wednesday and the bobcats are all excited and ready to get the season underway.

September 2011


Bates Tennis Blog