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Men's tennis builds experience in Ivy play

The squad hopes to continue with strong wins against Ivy teams at the Penn Invitational

The men’s tennis team traveled to New Haven, Conn. last weekend to compete in the Ivy Plus Tournament and came away with strong wins and valuable experience, said co-captain David Neff ’14.

Bruno competed against all other Ivy League teams — with the exception of Princeton — as well as against several non-league opponents.

The Bears also had an impressive showing the weekend before at the Brown Invitational, where the squad won one doubles and three singles titles.

The Bears were led by Eli Whittle ’17 and Lucas DaSilveira ’16, who both reached the semifinals of their flights before being knocked off by players from Penn and Harvard, respectively. Whittle is one of two first-years on the team, the other being Greg Garcia ’17.

DaSilveira and Whittle also paired up for doubles play, as DaSilveira’s usual partner, Justin To ’15, did not travel to the tournament. The duo knocked off a pair from Dartmouth 8-5 in the quarterfinals and then beat a Crimson team 8-7 before falling to a freshman-senior team from Penn in the finals.

“I didn’t feel like that I was that sharp this weekend,” DaSilveria said. “I’ve been playing much better (in practice) than I did this weekend, which is frustrating, but it was good to see what our competition will be like in the Ivy League this year.”

Neff also made a strong showing at the tournament, reaching the semifinals of his singles flight as well as the consolation final for one of the doubles flights. In the latter, he was accompanied by partner Ivan Kravtchenko ’16.

“We played together a little bit last year, so it was nice to continue to build a level of comfort with each other,” Neff said. “Obviously, playing with someone you’re familiar with is a huge advantage.”

Garcia competed in both singles and doubles play, picking up a win in the first round of the singles draw against a Dartmouth player.

Gsrcia then battled a player from Cornell in the quarterfinal and took an early lead, winning the first set 6-2, but he ultimately fell in a three-set match.

The past two tournaments indicate the impact Garcia and Whittle could have on the team this year.

“That’s what makes these fall tournaments so critical and so important is that (Garcia and Whittle) start to see not only the new level of play but also how teams interact in college,” Neff said. “It’s very different from the junior level where you’re so focused on yourself. They’re both great players, and over time, they’ll become accustomed to playing for the team.”

The Bears will next compete at the Penn Invitational this upcoming weekend in Philadelphia.


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