Several members of men’s tennis traveled to the Dartmouth Invitational last weekend to take on Div. I and Div. III opponents from all over New England. Although no one made it through the first round of their brackets, each Eph played against several quality opponents on the weekend.
The team’s goal heading into the weekend was simple: to improve throughout. “[Head] Coach [Dan Greenberg] has been telling us going into the tournaments that all that matters is getting better every match,” said co-captain Nick Lebedoff ’10. “Our mindset was that winning didn’t matter as long as we got better.”
On Day One Lebedoff fell in the A-bracket to Kiril Kolomyts of Div. I Buffalo in two sets and Bryan Chow ’13 fell in three sets to an opponent from Div. I Marist, while Ben Davidson ’10 and Dylan Page ’13 were both able to claim victory.
On Day Two of the tournament, Ari Binder ’11 and Ben Kelley ’10 both beat their Amherst opponents. In addition, Charlie Hammond ’13 fell in two sets to Middlebury’s Michael Malhame. Lebedoff and Page both participated on Day Two as well, facing off against Div. I opponents. Lebedoff defeated Boston University’s Anders Rathlev easily, while Page fought Dartmouth’s Alex de Chatellus well before falling in two sets.
The third day was the team’s least successful of the tournament, as only rookie Bryan Kelly ’13 claimed victory over Boston University’s Regis Chang. Lebedoff fell to Austin Chafetz from Amherst, and the other seven participating Ephs fell as well.
Although the Ephs did not have as much tangible success as they could have, the team was not particularly concerned. “I don’t think that looking at wins and losses is the best way to do it,” said Lebedoff. “Winning wasn’t a first priority for us. It doesn’t matter if we win matches now, it only matters if we win them in the spring.”
Greenberg was also pleased. “I felt like we actually had a successful tournament â€“ not necessarily in wins, although we had some, but definitely in terms of pushing our opponents by playing smart, competitive tennis,” he said. “Even if we weren’t playing our best, we figured out ways to give ourselves a chance to win, and I think we can learn a lot from the choices we made at crucial points. We definitely need to work on our serves and speed, but we now have plenty of time to do it, so I’m liking the way our fall has gone so far.”
Although the Ephs have now finished their official fall season, their work is far from over. The team will practice outdoors with coaches for the rest of the standard fall season and will continue to try to adjust to their new coach’s style. Greenberg joined the Ephs this season after graduating from Williams in 2008 as a two time All-American.
“I think the fall season [has been] kind of a transition,” said Lebedoff. “[Greenberg] has brought in a lot of new things for our team, and guys have been adjusting to it. Everyone has bought into the new system of play, and that’s what the fall was about for us. I think we have been really successful [adjusting]. Everyone on the team is excited about the new coach and the new system.”