Despite facing a tough field of competitors and problematic weather, men’s tennis still posted solid results at the ITA Tournament last weekend. Competing at home in the singles draw, six Ephs advanced to the round of 16: Jeremy Weinberger ’09, co-captains Karol Furmaga ’09 and Rick Devlin ’09, Kevin Shallcross ’12, Nick Lebedoff ’10 and Will Petrie ’12. Weinberger, Furmaga, Lebedoff and Petrie played their way into the quarterfinals, and Weinberger continued on into the semifinals. In the doubles draw, the teams of Furmaga/Devlin and Weinberger /Shallcross both advanced to the quarterfinals.
Last weekend’s rain moved much of the ITA competition into the field house. While this qickened the pace of play, the Ephs did not let these factors affect their intensity. “This weekend was overall very successfulÃ¢â‚¬”the team competed very well and there were many great wins,” Furmaga said. “All of our guys were well prepared for this tournament, which was reflected by the many upsets that occurred in our favor. While the circumstances were definitely challenging, many of our guys showed great competitive spirit and took care of business.”
Advancing farthest in singles play this weekend was Weinberger who moved to the semifinals of the tournament. Weinberger topped his first competitor from Amherst in two sets 6-4, 7-5. He then continued in the tournament and topped a MIT foe easily, 6-2, 6-1. With these two wins, Weinberger advanced to face Bowdoin’s top seed and no. five nationally-ranked Stephen Sullivan. Sullivan started the match strong, claiming the first set 6-2. However, Weinberger responded, claiming the final two sets 6-3, 6-3 to upset Sullivan and advance in the tournament. To close out the day Weinberger faced teammate Furmaga and won the match 6-3, 6-1. But Weinberger could not maintain his momentum into the next day and fell to Conrad Olsen of Middlebury in the semifinal match.
Middlebury’s Olsen also ended tournament hopes for Furmaga and Devlin, who fell to Olsen and his partner in quarterfinal doubles play, 8-2. Weinberger and Shallcross advanced to the quarterfinals but were overcome by a doubles team from Trinity.
The biggest tournament of the fall, the ITA Tournament gave the Ephs valuable experience that they hope to carry with them into the spring. “I feel at this point that we have to work on everything as a team,” Head Coach Dave Donn said. “There are some things we’re doing well and some we’re not at this point – certainly doubles will need to continue to improve. The team will need to be disciplined in our off season and really improve on our strength and conditioning.”
The men will travel to Vassar today in their second to last contest of the fall season.