Untested men’s tennis gains experience for spring

Although men’s tennis found itself outmatched by a range of Div. I to Div. III competitors at the three-day Dartmouth Shootout, younger members of the squad came away with a lot of invaluable experience.

“This past weekend at Dartmouth was a great opportunity for some players to play matches and have the chance to show what they can do against some tough competition,” Head Coach Dave Donn said.

Day one saw both Jeremy Weinberger ’10 and Nick Lebedoff ’10 post wins 7-5, 6-0 and 6-4, 1-6 (10-6), respectively. As a doubles pair, Lebedoff and Weinberger also made some advances. Ari Binder ’11 won his match 6-2, 7-5 on Day 2. In the final day results, Ben Davidson ’10, Kenny Taubenslag ’09 and Ben Kelley ’10 scratched up three additional victories. These scanty wins were the highlights for the Ephs over a rough weekend. The tournament was dominated by the Dartmouth team, which captured ten out of 12 singles and doubles flights.

On Wednesday, men’s tennis crushed Vassar in a decisive 8-1 win, during which the men lost only the No. 1 doubles point. Co-captains Karol Furmaga ’09 and Rick Devlin ’09 paired up to win their No. 2 doubles match and co-captain Bret Thacher ’09 and Davidson also defeated their Vassar foes. Both pairs won in 8-3 decisions.

In singles matches, the Ephs controlled all six matches. Thacher, Devlin, Furmaga and Davidson all came through again to post solid wins. Kevin Shallcross ’12 defeated Vassar’s Jeremy Arthur 6-3, 6-0, and Weinberger won at No. 1, 6-3, 7-5.

“I am very pleased with how our fall season went competition wise,” Donn said, “but still feel we have a long way to go and a lot to improve upon before the spring season, which I know we will.”

The Ephs find themselves at the end of their fall season. Overall, it provided a solid base for improving the team for its spring contests and showed the depth of new and returning players. The men defeated both Vassar and Wesleyan in their matches, and the squad also played well in the ITA and Middlebury Tournaments, with a notable performance coming from Weinberger who reached the semifinals of the ITA by defeating the No. 1 seed. Play will resume for the men in the spring.