Dominant doubles play carries men’s tennis to 7-2 opening win

Alex Schidlovsky ’16 took an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles. -Alyssa Amos/Executive Editor
Alex Schidlovsky ’16 took an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles. -Alyssa Amos/Executive Editor

Men’s tennis (1-0, 1-0 in the NESCAC) opened its fall season by taking care of Wesleyan 7-2 in a home match last Saturday. After dominating 3-0 in doubles, the team won several hard-fought singles matches to ensure victory.

“Wesleyan is a strong team this year, and the win yesterday serves as a great starting point for our team,” co-captain Adam Reich ’14 said.

Leading the charge in doubles was co-captain Matt Micheli ’14, who teamed up with Conrad Herron ’17 at the No. 1 position to win the match 8-5. Alex Schidlovsky ’16 and Brian Astrachan ’16 were paired at No. 2 doubles and came away with an 8-5 victory, while Rohan Shastri ’17 and Jose Raventos ’16 handily put away their opponents 8-1 in the No. 3 position.

The momentum from the doubles round placed the Ephs in great position during their singles matches. Herron played at the No. 4 spot and disposed of his opponent in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-1. Soon afterwards, Howie Weiss ’16 clinched the match for the Ephs at the No. 2 position with a strong performance of his own, taking his match 6-0, 6-1.

Schidlovsky fought hard against his foe in the No. 6 singles match, eventually winning his first set in a tiebreaker before taking the second set to earn a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory. On the next court over, Astrachan was in a fierce battle of his own at the No. 5 spot: After narrowly taking the first set, the sophomore quickly put away the match in the second set, winning 6-4, 6-0.

In the No. 1 match, Micheli was overcome in an intense matchup, falling 6-3, 6-4 to Wesleyan’s top singles player. Meanwhile at No. 3 singles, Shastri put up a fierce comeback effort after dropping the first set 6-1, rallying to win the second set 7-5. Shastri came up short in the super tiebreak that decided the rain-shortened match, dropping the tiebreak 10-6.

“The first match of the fall is never easy after a long summer, but it’s good to see we fought well,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg ’08 said. “It’s also a great gauge of where our guys are at the start of the year.”

Next weekend, the team will send several members to the ITA New England Regional Championships at Middlebury, where Williams has had great success over the past few years.

“We’ve won the doubles draw the last two years and singles the year before that, but this year, I’m just hoping our guys get a lot of competition against the region’s best players,” Greenberg said. “That will give us a good idea of what needs working on for the rest of the fall season and into the off-season.”