Men’s tennis rebounds with win against Bryant

By
Friday, January 23, 2009

The men’s tennis team started off its season on Monday with a 5-2 loss to Boston College, then rallied back to take a 7-0 victory over Bryant.

Instead of letting their disappointment over the first match drag them down, the Bears considered the match against BC an opportunity to refocus on preparing for the rest of the season.

The loss to BC was “a really disappointing start to our season,” said Head Coach Jay Harris. “The guys took it hard, but it’s going to be a huge wake-up call for them. This is a match we’re going to gain a lot from.”

The Eagles claimed the doubles point with 8-4 and 8-5 wins at first and third doubles, respectively, although Brown’s second doubles pairing of Kendrick Au ’11 and Skate Gorham ’10 defeated BC’s Brian Garber and Adam Davison by a score of 8-6 to complete doubles play.

The Eagles “came out playing well,” Harris said. “They came out with a chip on their shoulder, and they out-fought us.”

The Bears had solid wins in first and second singles, respectively, as Jonathan Pearlman ’11 outlasted BC’s Thomas Nolan, 7-5, 7-6, and co-captain Chris Lee ’09 trounced Alex Rastorgouev, 6-1, 6-3.

However, Brown was unable to notch any other singles wins. Gorham and Jimmy Crystal ’12 fell in straight sets at third and sixth singles, respectively.

“The guys got in a lot of tough situations, and I think they were uncomfortable” Harris said.

At fourth singles, co-captain Noah Gardner ’09 split the first two sets, 6-1, 1-6 with Akash Muppidi, before narrowly losing the third set, 7-5. The fifth singles match also went to a third set as Au fell, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, to Brian Locklear.

“As weird as it is to get a wake-up call this early, it’s kind of a gift to get it this early,” Harris said. “We can right the ship right from the beginning.”

The Bears rebounded in their match against Bryant, winning all of their nine matches. Both the first doubles duo of Lee and Gardner and the second doubles team of Gorham and Charlie Posner ’11 demolished their opponents by a score of 8-2. At third doubles, Crystal and Andrew Yazmer ’12 earned an 8-3 victory.

The Bears had equally decisive triumphs in singles play. Pearlman led the way at first singles, defeating the Bulldogs’ Cristian Balestrieri, 6-3, 6-1. Gardner gave up only one game at second singles, decimating Kevin Gardiner, 6-1, 6-0, while at third singles, Posner annihilated Dylan Whiting, 6-0, 6-0.

Brown’s winning streak continued as Au soundly defeated Tom Nowak at fourth singles by a score of 6-2, 6-1, and at fifth singles Yazmer overpowered Nicholai Hill, 6-2, 6-3. Crystal finished off the trouncing at sixth singles, where he breezed by Andres Orobitg, 6-0, 6-2.

The Bears are looking forward to a pair of doubleheaders at home this weekend. On Saturday, Brown will face off against Davidson at 2 p.m. before competing against Boston University at 7 p.m. in the first-ever “Rock ‘n’ Roll and College Tennis” match, which will feature a shorter format, free pizza and music played throughout the entire match.

“This could change the face of college tennis,” Harris said.

On Sunday, the Bears will also host SUNY-Buffalo and Lehigh.