29
Mar
12

Match 3 against #4 Johns Hopkins

This time last year the Bobcats played #13 ranked John’s Hopkins and lost by a score of 8-1. Since then Johns Hopkins has improved, bringing in the #2 ranked recruiting class for D3 with 5 starting freshman. In that same time frame,  their team rank has gone from 13 to 4. The Bobcats graduated one lineup player and replaced him one first-year starter in Pierre Planche. Essentially, we are the same team as we were last year in terms of personnel. But as we learned in the women’s match against MIT, matches are not won by rankings or on paper, they are won through hard work and guts on the tennis court.

Both teams came fired up to play in doubles and the energy was felt throughout the building. The Bobcats drew first blood at #2 doubles. Timmy and Pierre cranked serves and crashed the net, applying constant pressure and coming up with sick reflex volleys for the 8-3 win.

At #3 Peter Yanofsky and Kyle DeSisto make for an intimidating pair. At 6’7” Peter brings his serve in the high 120s and at 6’3” Kyle’s isn’t much slower. Again they brought great energy and after 7 games there had been 7 holds. Up 4-3 Peter and Kyle moved through their returns and just let it fly, ripping the ball through the middle and crashing the net for the break 5-3. The Bobcats continued holding and at 7-5 Peter hit 3 unreturnable serves to close out the 8-5 win.

At #1 Matt and Rob returned well from the start and got an early break 2-1. They really served well and got a lot of free points from it. They got another break and never let up on a single ball, winning the match 8-4, putting the Bobcats up 3-0 for the fourth straight match.

Due to court time restrictions there was an hour break between the doubles and singles. On the verge of Bates biggest win in Men’s history, the team stayed focused on the task at hand and didn’t get satisfied with the sweep. There was still a lot of work to be done against arguably the best singles line up in the country (Hopkins was down 3-0 to the #5 team and swept all 6 singles to win 6-3).

Johns Hopkins got their first points at #4 and #6 in two hard fought matches. Senior Warren Elgort, #36 in the nation bested Jeff in a close 6-2 6-4 match, and Kyle lost a break in each set at #6 6-4 6-3.

At #2 Captain Matt Bettles continued to lead by example. Playing #40 ranked Ben Hwang, Matt used his experience and toughness to gut out the win over Hwang. In the first set Matt served big and took advantage of his one break point. Like every other point, Matt ran his hardest on every ball, but this point was amazing. After a long rally Ben had ripped a sharp angle and attacked, sending Matt outside the doubles alley. Ben angled the volley to the open court but Bettles took off and with a last ditch effort reached the ball and ripped a winner down the line for the break. This point was indicative of the entire match. Both were playing at a high level but Bettles will and determination were too much and he gave Bates its first singles point 6-3 6-2.

At #1 Timmy Berg played a battle of a first set. Both players broke each other just once and it was decided in a tie-breaker. The match featured #27 ranked Tanner Brown who possesses excellent foot speed and is very consistent vs Timmy Berg with his big serve and attacking style. The first set was completely even and was literally decided by two points as Berg rose to the occasion and won it 7-6(7-5). In the second set Berg’s serve and forehand were too much. He has worked on his conditioning so much that he can still crush serves late in the match and that was the difference in the second set as Timmy took the match 7-6(5) 6-1.

At #3 Rob jumped his opponent from the start. Still cracking his serve from doubles Rob was able to get a couple easy holds and then constantly applied pressure on return games. He was incredibly focused and for the first set played flawless tennis. Hitting the ball heavy and deep in addition to attacking every short ball Rob took the first 6-1. In the second set his opponent Jensen Reiter fought back and pushed the second set to a tie-breaker. At this point Rob showed his experience and took over. He brought his serve every point and looked for the opportunity to pressure his opponent. Rob handed Jensen only his second loss of the season (the other to #18 Hayden White 6-4 7-5) in the 6-1 7-6(7-2) match.

At #5 Pierre Planche was down big. He had played a good first set but come up just a few points short 7-6(7-3). In the second set Pierre found himself down 5-2. But he made a big adjustment and committed to really ripping the ball and going after his shots in safe, directional targets. He stayed composed despite the deficit and was clutch on the big points, winning the next 5 games and the set 7-5. In the third set Pierre never let off the gas and had clearly found his stride, taking the match 6-7(3) 7-5 6-2.

It was an awesome weekend for Bobcat Tennis. The team brought energy and big serves in every match and continued to improve. They controlled everything they could the best they could and the way each individual fought for every ball on every point is what allowed us to be successful on the scorecards this weekend.

Bates 9 Wash College 0

Bates 7 Mary Wash    2

Bates 7 Hopkins         2

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