Sports

Men’s tennis doubles go deep into draw, but singles struggle to advance

Two of the teams’ three doubles pairs reached the quarterfinals of the tournament

By
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Daniel Hirschberg ’15, above, and Greg Garcia ’17 advanced into the quarterfinals of the doubles bracket before falling to a Harvard pair. Hirschberg was also one of two players to pick up a win in the singles draw.

A long four days of competition at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championship, hosted by Yale, ended for the men’s team Sunday afternoon. The doubles teams finished the weekend with a 7-3 record, with two pairs reaching the quarterfinals. The men floundered in the singles section of the tournament, finishing with a record of 2-6 in the main draw.

Doubles team Justin To ’15.5 and Lucas Da Silveira ’16 had one of the most successful runs in the tournament, taking down a team from Stony Brook University in the first round and defeating a pair from Fairleigh Dickinson University in the second.

“We kind of coasted through the first two rounds of doubles,” Da Silveira said. “(To) and I knew we could beat those teams, but the matches were closer than they should have been. We weren’t entirely on our game.”

Da Silveira and To then faced the top-ranked doubles pair from Penn in the third round, coming back from a near-loss to maintain their winning streak.

“We fell behind early,” Da Silveira said. “Both of their guys were way above six feet tall, so they had huge serves that we just couldn’t deal with.”

The duo battled back, carried by clutch serving from To and crafty returning from Da Silveira. “We managed to force a tie break, after breaking their serve for the first time all match,” Da Silveira said. “We won a bunch of points in a row and managed to carry the momentum for the win.”

After the strong comeback win against Penn, To and Da Silveira faced another Ivy rival: Cornell. The team battled through injuries, including Da Silveira taking a ball to his eye, and ultimately fell to Big Red.

In another doubles draw, Greg Garcia ’17 and Daniel Hirschberg ’15 fought their way through teams from Niagara University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Dartmouth, before facing a team from Harvard in the quarterfinals.

“They were a challenging team to play,” Hirschberg said. “They both hit very hard and were aggressive players. (Garcia) and I had opportunities to win, but we had trouble with their power from the baseline.”

Garcia said he and Hirschberg are building a strong team dynamic. “We’re starting to learn each other’s tendencies, and it definitely shows when we play as well as we did this weekend.”

Co-captain Soufiane Azargui ’14 and Will Spector ’15 also picked up a doubles win against a team from Binghamton University before falling to a Harvard team.

While the Bears played well in pairs, they faltered in individual play. Four of the six singles players lost in their first matches, while Hirschberg and Da Silveira each managed to pick up one win each before being bounced from the bracket.

“We try to use the losses in singles as a benchmark,” Azargui said. “We can tell we’re not at the level we need to be, and that is going to motivate us to work even harder in practice in the future.”

“We’re taking our performances with a grain of salt,” Da Silveira said. “We know what aspects of our game we need to improve on, and hopefully by the spring season we’ll be able to take it to these guys.”

The men’s tennis team has a weekend off to rest before it makes a trip to Cambridge, Mass., to compete in the Harvard Halloween Invite Nov. 1-3.

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