Men’s tennis wins first conference matchup

Men’s tennis opened its 2008 season with a dominating 7-2 win over conference rival Wesleyan last Tuesday. The Ephs made a statement early in their schedule by defeating the Cardinals on Wesleyan’s home court.

Co-captain Bret Thacher ’09 set the tone for the Ephs with a win in three sets. The team was also led by the strong play of its other co-captains Karol Furmaga ’09 and Rick Devlin ’09.

The Ephs controlled the contest against the Cardinals for the duration of the match, starting strong with two doubles victories. Thacher and Nick Lebedoff ’10 defeated the Cardinals’ first doubles team, 8-5, and Jeremy Weinberger ’10 and Ari Binder ’11 edged out the second doubles squad, 9-8.

In singles play, Lebedoff again facilitated the Williams effort, this time by defeating Matthew O’Connell in singles play, 6-4, 6-2. The men picked up another four matches with singles victories from Weinberger, Furmaga, Thacher and Kenny Taubenslag ’09.

The team’s performance against Wesleyan illustrates a team-wide commitment to excellence for the 2008 season following last spring’s impressive run in the NCAA tournament. The Ephs finished last year 17-4, and capped off the season with the Little Three championship and an Elite 8 appearance at the NCAA championships that included wins over 10 nationally ranked teams along the way.

“It’s always nice to get the first win under your belt,” Head Coach Dave Donn said. “We have a mix of experience and youth which I feel will make for a great competitive practice environment and team dynamic overall. Ultimately, this season will come down to us being incredibly strong both physically and mentally.”

The men get their second test of the season as they take on non-conference foe Skidmore on the road today.