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M. tennis sees twist in season opener

The men's tennis team hosted the Northeast Intercollegiate last weekend in its first tournament of the fall season.  

The young Bruno squad had 10 players compete in the invitational, an individual-based competition. Sam Fife '14, Mike Hill '13, Brandon Burke '14 and Soufiane Azargui '14 won their singles draws Sunday — the final day of the event.

In an unusual twist for a team sport, Fife, Hill and Burke faced teammates in the finals. But despite the circumstances, co-captain Kendrick Au '11 believes such competitions help the team.

"It is extremely important that this newfound team begins to develop cohesion and confidence in their teammates," Au wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. "Even though we are competing individually out there, we can still create a team atmosphere."

On the second day of the tournament, the Bears dominated the doubles action. Tom Deighton '13 and Burke teamed up to win the Circle Flight, Fife and Au won the Square Flight and Andrew Yazmer '12 and Azargui defeated a squad from Bucknell to take the Star Flight.  

Au noted the success of his underclassman teammates.

"I think our youth is what makes us dangerous," Au wrote. "We have a bunch of fresh guys that love the game."  

Eight teams — Brandeis, Bryant, Bucknell, Colgate, Hofstra, Marist, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Villanova — traveled to Providence for the tournament. The Bears will continue their fall schedule this weekend at the USTA National Tennis Center Collegiate Invitational at Flushing, N.Y., the site of the U.S. Open.  

Even though these tournaments will not count toward the team's record, Au said they are important.

The players can "gain more match experience and sharpen up their game for the bigger tournaments in the late fall and of course the spring season," Au wrote.  

Head Coach David Schwarz deferred comment to team co-captains Au and Charlie Posner '11.


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