Men vs #15 Redlands and #5 CMS

The men played Friday and Saturday afternoon against the #15 Redlands Bulldogs and #5 CMS Stags. The Bobcats played hard in doubles, but the Bulldogs were a little better today, and took all three with one break in each match

. The Bobcats bounced back in singles, playing close matches across the board. #2 Matt Bettles suffering a hip injury got off to a slow start down 3-0 in the first set. He turned it up from there but still dropped the first 7-5 as his opponent Nick Cummins ripped backhands and played a strong first set. Matt wasn’t done yet though, and fought through the pain to claim a 90 minute set 7-5 getting a hold and a break at 5-5 to seal the set. In the third set breaker Matt showed why he was an All-American last year. The junior played long disciplined points, mixing up slice with heavy top spin to create short balls on which to attack. Cummins kept things close but on the big points Matt rose to the occasion and played the points like a veteran for the clutch 11-9 win.

The Bobcats other win came at #3 for Rob Crampton. Similarly to his Santa Cruz match, Rob had a long first set with both players very consistent from the baseline and he lost a long 7-6(7-5) tie-breaker. In the second Rob played  more aggressively and attacked the net more and won it 6-3. Rob’s tie-breaker was just as exciting as Matt’s, with both playing long points working hard for every ball in a 12-10 win for the Bobcats. At #6 Dylan Reffe had a brilliant effort and fought through full body cramps in a 7-6 6-3 defeat.

Against CMS the Bobcats bounced back from the Redlands doubles with a lot of energy against a very talented Stag squad. Timmy Berg and Pierre Planche were lights out. The pair ripped returns and closed the night with incredible footwork and effort. Their energy on return games also fueled their big serves and the pair quickly claimed and 8-2 victory over one of the best teams in the country.

At #1 doubles Matt and Rob looked like the pair of last spring where they finished #14 in the country. They got off to an early lead against the #10 pair in the country Warren Wood and Alex Lane. However, the Stags didn’t go away and battled through many long deuce games to win the long doubles match over the Cats 8-6. Dylan and Jeff played a tough match at #3 but fell to the Stags in a close one.

The Bobcat singles was highlighted by Timmy Berg’s win at #1. The #35 ranked Berg beat #4 nationally Alex Lane 7-5 6-4 in an absolute dog fight. In the first set, there were 5 breaks. Every game went to deuce but Berg played the big points better and ripped his forehand for the first set 7-5. In the second set Berg’s extra work in conditioning paid off. He still had strong legs and was able to go after his serve the entire second set. Berg would not a face a break point in the second set and worked really hard to get an early break that would be the difference in this match.


At #3 Rob Crampton suffered his first defeat of the season against #12 nationally Alex Johnson . Johnson is very consistent and can really rip his back hand when given the opportunity.Rob lost the first 9 games of the match to start 6-0 3-0 down. When most players would have simply accepted a loss at this point, Rob showed tremendous mental toughness and began a comeback.  He switched into a more offensive mind-set and struck the ball heavier as he attacked the net. He won 6 of the next 7 games and the set 6-4 to push a third set tie-breaker. Both players played well in the breaker but Johnson got off to an early lead and it turned out to be the difference in the 10-7 breaker. The Bobcats played with tremendous energy, and worked as hard as they could on every ball for each other in this match, which will be the mark of this team.


February 2012
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