Archive for October 13th, 2011

13
Oct
11

Wallach Invitational

This past weekend the Bobcats hosted Amherst, Bowdoin, Brandeis, Middlebury, Skidmore, and Trinity for the annual Wallach Invitational. The Wallach is composed of 4 singles flights and 2 doubles flights. The draw sizes are 16 and the schedule of play each day was to start with 2 rounds of doubles, and then play 2 rounds of singles. We had great 75 degree weather all weekend so the main draw matches were played outside on the new courts.

Saturday morning started off with doubles and in the A Flight the Bobcats top team was Timmy Berg and Matt Bettles. The pair received a first round bye before facing the #1 team from Trinity. The Bobcats brought a lot of energy to the match from the very beginning and played aggressively, taking the match 8-1 and advancing to the semifinals. The other A Flight pairing (Kyle DeSisto and Pierre Planche) lost their first round match to Middlebury before bouncing back in their next one, knocking off a very skilled Skidmore team.

In the B Flight Jeff Beaton and Peter Yanofsky received a first round bye before playing a talented team from Amherst. It was a match of runs with both teams trading off leads. Things stayed close and the match went to a tie-breaker. Jeff and Peter committed to moving through returns and bombing serves to claim the match 9-8 (7-3) and move themselves into the semis. Dylan Reffe and Henry Lee had a tough first round and lost to eventual finalists Bowdoin. They bounced back in their next match, taking out Skimore’s #3 team.

In A Singles, Matt Bettles received a first round bye before taking on Trinity’s Ned Mandel. Bettles used his experience and played very intelligent tennis to take the match from the Bantam first-year 6-3 6-3 and advance to the semis. Timmy Berg also won his quarterfinal match taking on Brandeis’s Alec Seigel and advanced by the score 6-1 6-3.

In D Singles first-year Henry Lee gutted out a long first round match. The first set he won 6-1 by ripping the ball directionally and attacking short balls. The second set his Skidmore opponent played exceptional defense and forced many long games, taking the second set 7-5. In the tie-breaker Henry battled through cramps and his tireless opponent, picking the right times to attack and the right times to grind, winning 10-3. In his second match he played #2 seed Will Rives from Amherst and though he played a solid match, Henry lost a close 6-3 6-4 match to the seasoned veteran. Ben Bogard played a great first round match, taking out Skidmore’s Max Bevan 6-1 6-2 in the first round. Bogard moved very well and refused to miss, hitting heavy shots and attacking short balls. In his next match Ben played Mike DeFeo from Brandeis. They had a close 6-2 6-4 match but Ben was too consistent and really put in the work to advance to the semis. Dylan Reffe received a first round bye before facing Trinity first-year David Wheatley. Wheatley is a talented shot maker but Reffe played a very smart game plan by hitting heavy and then mixing in slice at the right times so Wheatley couldn’t get a good rhythm. Dylan advanced to the semifinals winning 6-3 6-3.

On Sunday play started with doubles and the Bobcats had one team in each semifinal. In the B Flight Peter and Jeff played a strong Trinity pairing. Like the previous days match, both teams traded early breaks. There were many long deuce games but late in the set the Bantams got another break and would go on to win the final after beating the Bobcats 8-6.

In the A Flight semifinal, Matt and Timmy played Justin Hendrix and Alex Kim from Amherst. The Bobcats again played with high energy and ripped returns through the middle to advance 8-4. In the finals they faced Alec Hoblitzell and All-American doubles player Jimmy Sherpa from Skidmore. It was hands down the best tennis of the tournament as all 4 players were playing very high level doubles. Bettles and Berg were bombing in serves and crashing the net, with the Skidmore team combatting with great hands and timely lobbing. After 90 minutes the score was knotted at 8-8 and a tie-breaker for the championship ensued. Each team hit a few big serves to keep it close early 3-3. Then the Skidmore pair hit a big return and then another big serve to go up 5-3. On the next point Matt hit a winner off the return and the crowd really got into it as the momentum shifted. Bates got up 6-5 and had a match point before Skidmore knotted it back up at 6-6. In this battle it was now first to win by two points. Both teams had multiple match points but the Bobcats gutted out a 9-8 (13-11) tiebreaker to win the championship!

In singles the Bobcats had 2 players in the A Flight semis and 2 players in the D Flight. In the A Timmy Berg matched up against Oliver Loutsenko from Skidmore. Timmy brought his serve and attacked very well from the beginning taking the first set 6-3. In the second Loutsenko fought back and grinded out a 7-5 second set. In the super tie-breaker Timmy got down 8-2 and came back admirably but fell just short 10-8. In the other semi Matt played Chris Lord from Bowdoin. Matt played smart tennis in the first set and won it 6-4. In the second his opponent outsteadied him and evened things 6-1. In the tie-breaker Matt went back to putting in the work as he had done in the first set and reserved a spot in the finals 10-1. In the final Loutsenko came out ready to play and took the first 6-2. Down 3-0 in the second set Matt got a burst from the home crowd and started ripping the ball and moving better. He put in the work and pushed the set to a tie-breaker. Stepping up in the big moments and going for his shots, Matt took the set 6-4 and would have to play a super tie-breaker to win the match. Playing his fourth tie-break of the weekend, Matt worked hard and busted his butt for every ball. Just like the other breakers before, Matt was clutch and won his second championship of the weekend 2-6 7-6(4) 10-7.

In the D Flight Ben Bogard played #1 seed David Myers from Trinity. Ben played a solid match but lost a break in each set 6-3 6-4. Myers big serve and forehand helped him remain undefeated on the year as he won the Middlebury Invite a few weeks earlier. Dylan Reffe played #2 seed Will Rives from Amherst in the other semi. Dylan executed a smart game plan in the first set and outlasted Rives 6-3. In the second Rives stayed patient and evened things up 6-4. In the tie-break Dylan executed, grinding through the middle until he got a short ball to attack. He toughed out the 11-9 match and took out the #2 seed on his way to the final.

Dylan had a very tough match ahead of him playing #1 seed David Myers. Reffe did his best to keep Myers out of a rythm by mixing in slices and high balls. The strategy worked pretty well but Myers was tough and won the first 7-5. In the second Dylan got down 5-2 and two breaks. But the great thing about tennis is there’s no time clock to prevent a large comeback from happening. Down 5-2 Dylan hustled for every ball and tried to block back Myers powerful serve. After a long game he got the break and then he held to make things a little tighter at 5-4. Again Myers had a chance to serve for the match but Reffe was too tough, he refused to miss and then attacked when he sensed his opponent trying to be more conservative. At 5-5 Dylan held to take the lead in the set for the first time. Myers would then put together 4 big serves to force the tie-breaker. Dylan stuck to his plan, mixing it up down the middle and then attacking anytime he sensed his opponent being cautious. He took the second set 7-6 (7-5) and then won the third set tie-breaker 10-6.

It was a great way to end the fall season for the Bobcats. We won 3 of the 6 flights, improved in every tournament this fall, and were able to see growing maturity in our team as they were composed in tight situations, coming up big when they needed too. The team will be training on their own, lifting, running, and hitting as they prepare for the spring season.

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