25
Feb
12

Men’s Match vs Santa Cruz

The men’s team kicked off their season against #6 Santa Cruz Slugs on Tuesday afternoon. Play started with doubles and from the very beginning their was a lot of energy from both teams. The tennis was very high quality on all three courts and crowd was very invested in the matches. Bates struck first at #2 doubles with an 8-2 victory from Timmy Berg and Pierre Planche. They simply played great doubles. They served big, popped their volleys, and moved aggressively to put the Bobcats on the board.

At #3 doubles the Slugs grabbed their first point in an 8-4 win over Jeff Beaton and Dylan Reffe. Again, the play was very high level and Jeff and Dylan played with a lot of energy, returning well and playing aggressively. We just didn’t execute on some of our break chances and the Slugs did, overall a strong performance for the Cats. At #1 Matt and Rob got down an early break and that was the difference in the match. They played well and had a lot of long return games, but were unable to break the big serving slugs and came up just short 8-5.

In singles the Cats battled well. At the top three singles spots the Bobcats claimed the first sets, Timmy Berg at #1 won his first set 6-3 over division 1 transfer Devin Nerenberg, bombing in his serve and dictating play with his forehand. In the second set Nerenberg fought back and took the closely contested set 6-4. In the third set tie-breaker, both players stepped it up another level, having long rallies that ceased to end. Berg played great but came up just short 11-9 in a heart breaker.

At #2 Matt Bettles played #46 ranked Erich Koenig. Bettles came out on fire after the close doubles match and got his vengeance. He took a quick first set 6-2, mixing up his spins and working his way into the net. The second set was much closer and Bettles found himself in a tight spot down 4-3. He dug in and played gritty, fighting for every ball and out worked his opponent to take the last 3 games and the match 6-2 6-4.

At #3 Rob Crampton had a battle. That really doesn’t do it justice, but to give you some perspective, Timmy was in his third set before Rob finished his first. The first set lasted at least 90 minutes. The games were long and every point was a battle of wills, both players ripping cross courts refusing to miss. Down 4-5 in the first set, Rob dug in. He ripped his shots even bigger and took the opportunities on short balls to attack. He won the next 3 games and the set 7-5. In the second set he started to cramp and needed to find a way to shorten the points. He mixed up the pace and then would step in and crack the ball when his opponent was off balance. He was striking the ball well and transitioned even better to take the second set 6-2.

Santa Cruz took #4.5.6 to take the match 6-3, but as coaches we could not have been more proud of how we battled. We teach our guys to control the things they can control, such as their footwork, their attitude, and their fight. At all 9 flights we battled hard, for each other, and it was a great thing to see from our team in our first week of the season.

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