Archive for March, 2012



19
Mar
12

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.

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16
Mar
12

Women’s weekend at Middlebury

Saturday morning the Bobcats took a bus to Middlebury for the weekend for matches against NYU and Middlebury. After watching “Miracle” on the drive down, the Cats had some extra inspiration heading into their match against NYU. Apparently the movie had the desired effect and the Cats came out firing on all cylinders in doubles. At #2 Kristen Doerer and Erika Blauth played flawless doubles, with Erika cranking returns and Kristen moving aggressively at the net putting anyway any ball she could reach for the 8-1 win. At #3 Nicole Russell and Ashley Brunk were a force to be reckoned with. The pair executed their game plan perfectly, hitting aggressive lobs over the net player so they could both attack the net for the 8-3 win. At #1 Meg and Ellie were in a battle that left them down a break 5-4 before they turned it around. They committed to ripping to ball into safe targets and moved really well to not only get the break back, but to win 4 straight games and the match 8-5. It was the Bobcats third straight match sweeping the doubles and it was great to see the plays we run in practice executed so well in a match setting.

In singles Meg Anderson gave the Bobcats their fourth point at #2 singles. Meg has been playing great tennis and it continued in this match. She played long directional points looking to create a short ball. When she did, she attacked to the open side and then closed well to angle off volleys. She ran this play over and over and it worked brilliantly in her 6-2 6-2 win. At #3 Jacqui Holmes sealed the match for the Bobcats with her 6-1 7-5 win over Ramya Pokala. Jacqui hustled down every ball and was able to dictate play with her big forehand in the win for the Cats. Due to restrictions over the hours bus drivers can be on the road, the match was called to a stop at decision, with the bobcats winning the match 5-1, and up a set at #4 and #5 matches. The Bobcats really played well today and with a lot of energy in this 5-1 victory and our 3rd straight win.

The next morning against #9 Middlebury the Bobcats continued playing great tennis. At #3 doubles, Ashley Brunk and Nicole Russell won their 4th straight match 9-7 over the highly ranked Panthers. Even more impressive than the win, was the way that it happened. Ashley and Nicole played great all match, and with lots of energy, but they were playing a talented team and found themselves down 6-3. But they showed great resolve as they kept their energy level up and fought for every ball. They clawed their way back into the match and kept their composure on the big points, and executed the plays we run in practice perfectly. On match point Ashley ripped a return that the panthers hit a great lob on, but Nicole’s overhead was better, as she popped the ball from the baseline for the winner and the match.

This would be the only match for the Bobcats as the Panthers put an end to the 3 match win streak, but the Bobcats played great across the board and with tremendous fight and energy. On Wednesday the Cats will travel to Babson to take on the very talented Beaver team.

05
Mar
12

Women’s Matches vs Holyoke and Smith

On Saturday the Bobcats played two matches at the 6-court indoor facility at Mount Holyoke. In the first match against Mount Holyoke, the Bobcats came ready to play and pounced on their opponents with really high energy in the doubles. The Bobcats won #1 doubles 8-1 as Meg and Ellie really gelled today and moved well off each others returns. The Bobcats also won #2 and #3 by the scores of 8-4 and 8-3 respectively.

In singles Ellie stayed on a roll and improved to 3-1 this spring with a 6-1 6-1 win. Meg wasn’t far behind in her 6-2 6-2 win at #2. At #3 Jacqui played great defense against her very aggressive minded opponent to win 6-3 6-1. At #4 Erika had a battle against a very crafty and consistent player. Erika gutted out the first set 7-6, winning the tie-breaker 7-1. Her opponent fought back and quickly knotted the sets at 1-1 with a 6-2 second set. In the third set tie-breaker Erika got gritty and chose to continue ripping the ball rather than backing off and trying to play it safe. She ripped the ball big into safe targets which generated short balls for her to attack. Keeping her opponent off balance and taking control in the breaker helped Erika win the match 11-9 in the breaker.

At #5 Audrey Grauer played a great first set winning 6-0 before her opponent made some adjustments. In the second set Audrey fought through a rolled ankle and the high level of play of her opponent and gutted out a 7-5 second set. at #6 Lucy Brennan completed the 9-0 win for the Bobcats with a 6-1 6-4 win where she did a great job approaching with short slices as well as bringing her opponent forward when off balance. Top to bottom we played well and more importantly, played with positive energy.

The energy carried over into the afternoon’s match against Smith College. At #2 doubles, Erika and Kristen put the Cats on the board first with an 8-0 match. Ashley and Nicole followed soon after with an 8-0 win of their own at #3. At #1 Meg and Ellie played a talented Smith team but really played together today and completed the doubles sweep 8-4.

In singles, Ellie ate one of her secret weapons (a chocolate bar) and really played with a lot of fight and intensity, refusing to miss or give her opponent anything. She won her match 6-0 6-0 at #1. At #2 Meg played a talented first year, but the senior played like a crafty veteran and gave herself an early birthday present, going 4-0 on the day with a 6-3 6-2 win. At #3 Jacqui had a battle of wills with her opponent, with both grinding from the baseline refusing to miss. She came out on top 6-1 6-1 in a long, tough match. At #4,5,6, Erika, Audrey, and Lucy played with great energy and worked hard for every ball, losing a combined 4 games between them to complete the Bobcats second sweep of the day 9-0.

 

Overall it was as good day. We had really close matches with these teams last year so it was nice to see our growth from last season, but more importantly, we were positive on the court the entire day and played with a lot of energy. The Bobcats will travel to Middlebury next weekend to kick off their NESCAC season and also to play NYU.




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