Last Weekend the Bates Men’s Tennis Team traveled to Vermont for the Middlebury invitational to kick of their fall competition. Picking up right where they left off last year, NCAA singles semifinalist and doubles quarterfinalists Rob Crampton and his partner Matt Bettles went 10 and 0 for the weekend. Both boys made the finals of the A singles draw and won the A doubles draw. Meanwhile underclassmen Pierre Planche and Henry Lee won the B doubles draw. The rest of the team also had convincing results seeing both senior Kyle Desisto and junior Eric Ruta making semifinals in the D and C draw respectively.
Rob and Matt started the weekend off by defeating Siegel/Krems of Brandeis 8-4, then went on to beat Guzik/Freeman of Vassar 8-6, closing out the match with a hard fought break of serve. The opening matches would prove to be their toughest, having worked off the rust, the pair went a combined 16-3 in games on Sunday. They defeated Parower/Welch of Middlebury 8-1 and then went on to crush Milo/Jordan of Brandeis 8-2. The match was punctuated by a behind-the-back-reaction-volley-winner from Matt to give the pair a 6-1 lead against the Brandies team. Junior Peter Yanofsky and senior Kyle Desisto also played in the A draw but lost a tough first match to the Middlebury pair of Johnson/Cambell 8-4. However, they put it together to win their consolation against Trinity.
The first time-pairing of Pierre and Henry also played amazing doubles reaching the semifinals without any real speed bumps by defeating Mountifield/Smolyer of Middlebury 8-4 and Steerman/Ransom of Skidmore 8-1. Sunday proved to be a little more challenging as the duo fought off match points in the pro-set- tiebreaker to take a 9-7 victory over Tuft’s Blau/Westerfield. And then in the last match of the tournament the boys defeated the Skidmore pairing of Sanderson/Tong 8-4, going on a 4-0 streak to close out the win. Also playing in the B draw was the pairings of Jesse Butler/ Eric Ruta, and Cosmin Barden/ Dylan Reffe. While Jesse and Eric lost their first round against the Tuft’s pairing of Blau/Westerfield, Reffe and Barden won their first round against the Middlebury team of Heidrich/Jackson 8-6 before losing in the second round to the eventual finalists Sanderson/Tong.
In A flight singles Matt cruised through the competition, beating Steven Milo of Brandeis 6-4 6-3 and Jackson Frons 7-5 7-6(5) on Saturday, and then finishing off Jay Glickman of Tufts 7-6(3) 6-1 on Sunday to reach the finals. Rob on the other hand only played one easy match in his journey to the finals. His first round was a 6-7(4) 6-3 10-4 struggle over Miles Ransom of Skidmore. After losing the first set breaker Rob recovered against the hard hitting sophomore to win the second set and super-tie-breaker. Rob took his momentum into the second round winning the first set 6-2 against Tuft’s Ben Barad before Barad retired to give Rob a spot in the Semifinals. Then on Sunday Rob once again encountered tough competition in Alex Johnson of Middlebury. After losing the first set, Johnson picked his play up and forced the match to a Super-breaker, even taking a 7-4 lead before Rob kicked into gear and pulled out the gritty 6-4 4-6 11-9 victory. Having had a long weekend Rob and Matt opted to play each other in the finals later in the weekend at the Wallach tennis center, which will be an open event to the campus and community at 4:30 on September 20.
B Flight singles played host to arguably the longest and best match of the tournament. After winning his opening round against Skidmore’s Danny Knight 6-4 6-2 Sophomore Pierre Planche played a 3 hour match against Courtney Mountifield of Middlebury falling 6-4 5-7 15-13 in the breaker. The match Tiebreaker featured both 20 ball rallies and over three match points for both boys. Sophomore Peter Yanofsky also played in the B draw, after a rough first set against the eventual draw winner, Skidmore’s Alec Hoblitzal Peter recovered and put up a good fight making Alec work for the 6-0 6-3 win.
Eric Ruta had an impressive run to the semifinals in the C draw. On the way he defeated Skidmore’s Jonah Epstein in a gritty 7-6 0-6 11-9, and then Vassar’s Daniel Cooper 6-0 6-2, before falling to the eventual champion Eric Smolyer of Middlebury 6-2 6-1. Henry also played in the C draw. Before falling to Will Obrender of Middlebury 6-2 6-0, he put together an impressive 7-6 6-2 victory over Skidmore’s Gabe Steerman even coming back from a break down at 4-5 in the first set. The last Bobcat in the C draw was Freshman Cosmin Barden. Cosmin who goes by Cosmo, fought hard during his first round lost to Vassar’s Daniel Cooper 6-0 6-2 even bouncing back after a brutal on court collision with his teammate Eric Ruta.
Kyle, Dylan, and Jesse competed in the D draw for the Bobcats. Kyle made an impressive run to the semifinals after coming back from a 1-6 0-3 deficit to Vassar’s Christian Lyon in the first round. After beating Lyon 1-6 6-3 10-8, Kyle then defeated Skidmore’s Nick Tong 6-3 3-6 10-5, before falling the next day to Cam Smith of Trinity 7-6 6-1. Dylan resumed his series Dave Myers of Trinity from last year. Last year Dylan ended his fall season with a three set victory over Meyer to capture the D-flight title at the Wallach invitational, however while this match was equally close Meyer prevailed in a Super Breaker 6-7 6-3 10-5. Jesse lost his first round match to eventual semifinalist Christian Phelps of Vassar.
The Bobcats will be in action again this coming Friday at 3:30 against Babson in Boston MA.