Archive for March 19th, 2012


Men’s Match against MIT

The Bobcats took on MIT Saturday after the women’s match to play their fifth ranked opponent in as many matches. As they have done all year, the men came out fired up and with the right approach. We don’t control the outcome but know that if we keep doing the right things like controlling our positive attitude and fighting for every ball that good things will come. Today was the day that everything came together for the men’s team. After 4 matches were we converted a total of 3 doubles wins, the Bobcats executed flawlessly in this one. 

The energy from the women’s match never left the building and the men picked up right were they left off. At #1 Matt and Rob came out firing and took the first point 8-3. At #2 Timmy ripped every return at the Engineers feet and Pierre knocked off every volley for the 8-1 win. At #3 Peter Yanofsky and Kyle DeSisto were dominant in their 8-1 win. Not only did the big serving pair not face a break point, they didn’t have any deuce games either. The Bobcats energy was through the roof and it was great to put together 3 dominant performances.

In singles the men closed the door early as Matt and Rob won at #2 and #3 to give the Bobcats the team win 5-0 and their first win over MIT in 3 years. At #2 Matt played another lefty in Brian Oldfield. Bettles attacked the net and kept his foot on the gas, never slipping up or giving Brian any openings in this 6-1 6-2  win. At #3 Rob took on highly touted first year Eugene Oh. After the strong doubles win, the veteran jumped on his opponent early and like Bettles, gave him no breathing room. Rob ripped the ball from the baseline and set himself up to come forward in his 6-4 6-1 match clinching victory. 

The MIT team is very skilled and though the match was decided their players continued to fight. At #1 Timmy Berg was upended by Edwin Zhang 6-3 7-6(7-5). Timmy played a good match and fought his hardest but Zhang is equally talented and a remarkable ball striker. He played great tennis and was just too strong from the baseline today. At #4 Jeff Beaton won the first set 6-3 in a grind with fellow senior Sam Harmatz. In the second set Jeff fought for nearly 90 minutes but dropped the second 7-5. Since the match was decided a 10 point tie-breaker was playing in lieu of a third set. Jeff ran hard and gritted out every ball, but in the short set he came up just short 10-8. At #5 Pierre had a similar story. He lost of very close first set 6-4 and then turned things around in the second set. The first-year started hitting the ball higher over the net and created short balls to attack. He executed perfectly and took the set 6-3. In the super tie-breaker his MIT opponent stepped up and took the hard fought match. At #6 Kyle DeSisto also went three sets. He dropped the first 6-3 to the very skilled Curtis Wu before gritting out the second set 6-2. In the tie-breaker Wu got out to an early lead but Kyle came back and took command during the points by coming forward and ending points at the net to win the breaker 10-7. 

It was a great team win for the men. The amount of work the team is putting in finally indicated itself in the box score. The team is fighting better in every match top to bottom and we are clearly progressing as a unit. The team camaraderie continues to grow and the men will look to build on this match as we head to Baltimore this Thursday for a weekend of tough matches.  


Bates’ tennis’s newest team member? 6-year-old Kody Pike

Prior to the Bates women’s and men’s tennis teams’ home matches with MIT, the Bobcats introduced their newest member: 6-year-old Kody Pike, from nearby Livermore Falls.

Kody was diagnosed in 2008 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of cancer found in children ages 1-7 years old and the most common form of leukemia found in children. Since then, he has undergone three years of chemotherapy, which he finished in November.

Today Kody is learning how to get back into a more typical routine, and that’s where Team IMPACT and Bates tennis come in.

Team IMPACT, described on its website as “a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses across the Northeast,” matches children like Kody with college athletic teams.

“The enthusiasm on both sides is amazing,” said Maura Mahoney, Team IMPACT’s director of of outreach and communications. “We know this is going to be a great experience.”

The Bates women’s team takes on MIT at 11am, but the introductions beforehand, featuring both teams and Kody, just might be the most memorable part of the day for all involved.

“Both the men’s and women’s teams are so excited to have Kody join our team,” said head coach Paul Gastonguay. “Kody is a very special kid and has an amazing inner strength and positive attitude.  We can all learn a lot from Kody and we are looking forward to spending time with him on and off the court.”

Bates’ home tennis matches, including Saturday’s doubleheader against MIT, can be followed via live video streaming


Women’s Match against #23 MIT

This time last year the Bobcats made the trip to MIT for a 9-0 team loss and only 2 Bobcats won 6 or more games in their singles matches. On paper this year’s match should have been similar. On paper, MIT brought in the nations #7 recruiting class and boasts a line-up with 15 stars (according to tennisrecruiting) compared to the Bobcats 3. Luckily matches are not played on paper and this years Bobcats team is something special. Coming off a big win over Babson the Bobcats had the energy and confidence needed to hang with a team of this caliber.

Play started off with doubles and it was 8-4s across the board. We fought well at every spot and the team did a great job cheering for each other and staying positive. The amount of work dedicated in practice to doubles paid off as the girls executed to take #1 and #3 for the 2-1 lead.

Playing indoors on the four Merrill courts, the singles was intense from the start. At #1 MIT claimed the first set 6-0 as Lauren Quisenberry put on a dominating display with her forehand, hitting winners from all over the court. At #2 Meg also dropped the first set in a long 6-3 set. At #3 Jacqui also dropped her first set in a 90 minute 6-4 grind. At #4 Erika kept the Bobcats in it by taking her first set 6-3 after a slow start.

The Bobcats do not quit. They play with heart, till the end, and for each other. At #1 Elena was down 6-0 4-0 in what was almost MIT’s second point. At this point she dug in, she scrapped for every ball, and out gritted her opponent, point by point, game by game. 30 minutes later Elena had fought off 2 match points and had pushed the match to a tie-breaker. The first year was clutch and gutted out the set 7-6 7-4. The third set was all Elena as she worked for everything and ran every ball down for the 6-1 third set win over the All-American.

As Ellie was making her comeback Meg and Jacqui were doing the same thing at #2 and #3. At #2 Meg put on a great display of senior leadership. She stuck with her game plan to attack the net and out willed her opponent in the second set where she also fought off match points and won it in a tie-breaker 7-4. At #3 Jacqui used her speed and consistency to fight her way back into the match. She ran every ball down and refused to miss, remaining more steady and putting in more work than her opponent would for the 6-3 second set. At #4 Erika beared down and refused to give her opponent and wiggle room. The senior kept her foot on the gas and gutted out all of the big points to make it a 4-1 Bates match with a 6-3 7-5 win.

At this point all matches were on as #5 and #6 filled in on the open courts with the Bobcats needing one more win for the team victory. At #2 MIT made a push as Anastasia Vishnevetsky was able to outlast Meg 6-3 in the final set where both put on a great match and Meg’s fight was awesome the entire time. MIT made things even closer when they won at #5 to push the match to 4-3.

At #3 Jacqui stepped up and out gritted her first year opponent in a 3 hour 45 minute display of toughness. Both girls fought well but in these never ending points, Jacqui stayed disciplined and never went for too much or tried to force the issue. When her opponent would get tired, Jacqui’s conditioning paid off and she gutted out the 5th point with a 6-4 third set win. At #6 Lucy remained a rock for the team, winning 6-1 6-3 and putting the icing on the cake for day. She imposed her will and was able to attack the net and continues to improve with every match.

This win today was a big one for the team and the result of controlling the things we could control, such as our fight, our positive attitudes, and our enjoyment of competition. The work is paying off and not only are the tennis skills improving, but the mental aspect is getting better every day. The Bobcats are now 6-3 and should be receiving national recognition in the next team rankings.


Women’s Match at Babson

On Wednesday the Bobcats made the trip to Babson for what was sure to be tough match. Our last few matches with them have been 5-plus hours and this time would be no different in a very hard fought match. Both teams came ready to play and the doubles was high intensity from the beginning. Babson got off to a hot start and was up 6-4 at #1 doubles, 7-2 at #2, and 7-4 at #3. It looked like we could be in a 3-0 hole heading into singles but the Cats kept their composure. Nobody got down on themselves and the women had fun fighting for every ball, running and competing as hard as they could for their teammates. It worked. At #1 Meg and Ellie gritted out 4 straight games and the first point of the team match 8-4. At #2 Nicole and Ashley won 6 straight games to make it 8-7 before the Beavers held and pushed the match to a tie-breaker. At #3 Lucy and Jacqui erased their 7-4 deficit and also pushed their set to a tie-breaker. At #2 and #3 we really competed well to get back into the match and were able to win the tie-breaker at #3 7-5 to give the Bobcats the lead 2-1 heading into singles.

In the team talk after doubles and before singles there was a new energy in the air. The comebacks at all 3 spots and fight the women had put into the match had given them a new level of confidence. We were competing as a team the best we have all year, and having fun doing it.

At #1 singles Ellie put the Bobcats up 3-1 with a 6-1 6-4 win before Babson tightened up the match winning at #2 and #3 in two very close matches. Lucy Brennan broke the tie by winning at #6 6-1 6-0 in a great performance. She executed her game plan by attacking the net, mixing up short chips with driving approach shots to finish points off with a soft volley to the open court. Up 4-3 there were two matches left both in third sets. At #5 Audrey Grauer took on Beaver Monica Mercer in a 3 hour 45 minute match. The experienced Beaver was able to take the first set 7-6 (7-5) from the first-year. In the second set Audrey fought back and did a great job attacking the net and her aggressive play earned her a 6-4 second set. In the third set Audrey battled not only her opponent but also the sunset as the match wore on. Every game went to deuce and the rallies seemed to be never ending as both players tested the others will power and patience. In the end the seasoned veteran took the third set 6-4 but Audrey did fought her best and it was just the difference of a couple points.

With the match tied at 4-4 Erika Blauth was in a third set battle of her own against first-year stand out Minte Tamoshunas. Erika had taken the first set 6-4 by dictating with her forehand and crushing the ball through the middle. In the second set Minte was a little more consistent and was able to force a third set winning the second 6-4. In the third set Erika did everything we could have asked of her. She stayed positive after dropping the second set and continued to fight for every ball. She rose the level of her game and while she continued to crush her forehand, was also patient when attacking the net and chose her spots better. She executed flawlessly and the captain lead by example, winning the third set 6-2 and sealing the match for the Bobcats who improve to 5-3 on the year.


Men’s Match at Middlebury

Last Saturday the Bobcats had a 5 hour match with the #7 nationally ranked Panthers. The building was full of energy and the cheers from the crowd were magnified throughout the indoor center.

Play started with doubles and Matt and Rob took on the #9 ranked pair Andrew Lebovitz and Branter Jones at #1.  They came out firing and Matt stepped in and hit a winner on the first return of the match and then Rob hit another big return on the second point to set the tone for the match. They got up an early break and held a 43 lead before a couple missed first serves lead to the Panthers getting the break back 4-4. At this point both teams dug in and served big, holding serve 8 straight games to push the match to a tie-breaker. In the breaker Matt and Rob were clutch, moving very aggressively at the net and ripping their returns at their opponents feet in the 9-8(7-3) win for the Bobcats. Middlebury took the other two closely contested matches but going into singles both teams were through the roof fired up and ready to battle in singles.

Needing 4 singles matches for the team win the Bobcats started off great on the 4-court indoor center at Middlebury. At #1 Timmy was playing #37 ranked Alec Parower and took the first set 6-4 by crushing his serve and attacking with his forehand. At #2 Matt had a 90 minute first set and was fighting incredibly well for the team. At #3 Rob took the first set 6-3 over #44 ranked Brantner Jones, refusing to miss and out gritting his panther opponent. And on the final court #4 Jeff Beaton also played a 90 minute first set running down every ball and attacking the net whenever possible.

At #1 Timmy held on in the second set to win 6-4 6-3 and tie the team match at 2-2. He competed incredibly well and handled the crowd in his dominant performance. At #2 Matt came up just short in the first set 7-6(7-5) before bouncing back in another long and hard fought set 6-4 to push a third set. Rob fought really well in his second set but a couple points didn’t go his way and he also went to a third set after the 6-4 second. Jeff put forth a tremendous effort and competed as hard as he could for every ball but also came up just short in his match.

The Bobcats ended up losing the match, but it was definitely our best so far. We were competitive at all 9 spots, and the team fought as hard as they have all season, at every point, and on every ball. While we didn’t come out on top in the box score, if the team continues to fight for each other like they did, the results will come.

March 2012
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