In their first fall invitational meet, men’s tennis played admirably in both singles and doubles. Will Petrie ’12 and teamed co-captains Karol Furmaga ’09 and Rick Devlin ’09 secured titled wins. Half of the Ephs gained advances to the finals in their tournaments.
Four single flights and two double flights made up the structure of the Middlebury Invitational. The team entered two Ephs in each singles flight and two teams in each doubles flight. Each player showed depth and talent in his game, and none of the players suffered first-round eliminations.
The team’s demonstration of its skills measured up to Head Coach Dave Donn’s expectations for the weekend. “I thought we competed extremely hard this weekend and that to me is going to be the key to our season,” Donn said. “We simply have to want it more than the other teams, which also needs to be reflected in our work ethic.”
Singles highlights included the faceoff between Petrie and Kevin Shallcross ’12 for the win in the flight C tournament, which Petrie eventually captured (6-4, 6-2). Co-captain Rick Devlin ’09 also reached the fourth round in flight B before slipping to Bates player Amrit Rupasinghe (6-0, 7-5).
In the doubles rounds, the squad sent four pairs to compete: co-captain Bret Thacher ’09/Nick Lebedoff ’10 and Jeremy Weinberger ’10/Shallcross in flight A and Furmaga/Devlin and Petrie/Ari Binder ’11 in flight B. Furmaga and Devlin conquered the title in their flight while Weinberger and Shallcross advanced to the fourth round.
“There were times when some of our guys trailed in their individual matches, but they kept fighting and outcompeted their opponentsÃ¢â‚¬”that kind of heart is what Williams tennis is all about,” Furmaga said. “There’s definitely a lot of good competition out there, but I feel that our success this weekend will set the pace for and hopefully carryover to next weekend.”
The men come away from Middlebury with some solid team tournament experience and confidence for reaching the next hurdle.
“We had a solid overall team performance this weekend. Everyone is playing well,” Devlin said, “and we hope to build on this momentum this upcoming weekend at ITA Regionals.”
The Ephs are preparing to play in the three-day ITA Tournament , the most important event of the fall season, beginning this Friday.