M. tennis scores grand slam over weekend

By
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The men’s tennis team was unstoppable over the weekend, demolishing Davidson College, Boston University, SUNY-Buffalo and Lehigh University in a pair of doubleheaders.

On Saturday, the Bears won all of their doubles and singles matches to sweep Davidson and BU, 7-0 and 5-0, respectively. The Bears were equally dominant in their 5-0 and 6-1 victories over Lehigh and Buffalo the next day.

“We really came together this weekend,” Jonathan Pearlman ’11 said.

Although the Bears stumbled against Boston College last week, Head Coach Jay Harris said that the loss influenced the team’s mentality in a positive way.

“One of the biggest things we learned from that tough loss to Boston was the type of attitude we have to bring to the table,” he said. “Our results showed that we’re starting to develop that more.”

The Bears kicked off their weekend play by taking on Davidson, who beat them 6-1 last year. But this time, the Bears were in charge, breezing by the Wildcats with three wins at doubles to secure the doubles point.

The Bears then collected six singles victories, all in straight sets. Pearlman led the way at first singles with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Walker Lyons. At second and third singles, captain Chris Lee ’09 and Skate Gorham ’10 defeated their opponents by identical scores of 6-1, 7-5. Meanwhile, captain Noah Gardner ’09 triumphed over Calum Gee 6-3, 7-6 at fourth singles, and Kendrick Au ’11 took a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Arie Hefter at fifth singles. Andrew Yazmer ’12 played at the sixth singles spot, where he overwhelmed Carter Braxton, 6-1, 6-1.

“Last year, Davidson beat us 6-1, so to beat them 7-0 speaks volumes to what these guys are capable of doing,” Harris said.

Later that evening, the Bears competed in the first-ever “Rock N’ Roll & College Tennis” match. The match’s shorter format featured only one doubles match and four singles matches, and the free pizza and nonstop rock and roll music attracted a larger crowd of fans than normally attend.

The ‘Rock N’ Roll’ match was “wild,” Gorham said, who was competing in the Pizzitola Center for the first time. “It was really exciting for me.”

According to Gorham, he enjoyed the louder atmosphere because “tennis is such a mental game, you have to almost battle the quiet. So having music gets people more energetic. I’d like to do it again.”

The Bears blew by the Terriers with straight set wins at singles. At first singles, Pearlman dominated Bill Kring to notch a 6-2, 6-2 victory. At second singles, captain Sam Garland ’09 defeated Tim Sichler by a score of 6-0, 6-4.

“Sam really brings that competitive edge,” Harris said.

Charlie Posner ’11 and Au also had easy wins at third and fourth singles by respective scores of 6-2, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-2.

Gardner and Gorham represented Brown in the doubles match, where they trounced Charles Weinstein and Jeff Chudacoff, 8-2.

The next day, the Bears dismantled what Harris called “a very, very good Buffalo team.” After the teams split the first two doubles matches, Lee and Au pulled through at third doubles with a 9-8 win that clinched the doubles point.

According to Pearlman, the momentum from that victory propelled the Bears throughout the rest of the match. Pearlman again gave a strong performance at first singles, where he defeated Marcelo Mazzetto, 6-3, 6-2.

At second singles, Lee dropped the first set, 7-6, to Kirill Kolomytes but rebounded to take the second set, 6-4. Although Lee then lost the “superbreaker” that was played in place of a third set, Gorham said, “I really think (Lee) would have won the match had it been played out.”

Gorham powered by Alex Kalinin at third singles by a score of 6-1, 6-3, while Gardner, Yazmer and Posner also had straight-set wins to round out the singles matches.

The Bears ended their weekend by decimating Lehigh, once again winning the doubles match and all of the singles matches.

“We played four teams in 30 hours, so to beat Lehigh 5-0 really showed that these guys are starting to develop that edge,” Harris said.

At first singles, Pearlman routed Troy List, 6-2, 6-1.

“I played very well,” Pearlman said. “I only lost my serve once or twice in all of the matches I played, and I was also returning very well. I played very aggressively.”

Gardner was dominant at second singles, earning a 6-1, 6-4 win over Colin Laffey. At third singles, Au defeated Edgars Rauza 6-2, 6-4, while at fourth singles, Yazmer triumphed over Chris Collins by a score of 7-6, 6-0.

“Overall, it was a really good weekend,” Gorham said. “It was a really welcome turnaround. We showed a lot of character rebounding from the loss to BC. We showed our true selves.”

Next weekend, the Bears will travel to New Haven to compete in the Yale Invitational.

“We’re looking forward to testing ourselves a little more,” Harris said.