Young talent impresses at ITAs, wraps up fall for men’s tennis

Men’s tennis (1-0, 1-0 in the NESCAC) demonstrated great promise at the 2013 USTA/ITA Div. III New England Regional Championships, with several young members of the team coming up big for the Ephs. Jose Raventos ’16 and Rohan Shastri ’17 paired up in the doubles draw and advanced to the semifinals, while Conrad Herron ’17 played his way into the finals of the singles draw.

“Everyone competed very well this weekend,” co-captain Adam Reich ’14 said. “Three of our first-time ITA participants were those who advanced the furthest in the tournament. They were also unseeded, which is a strong reflection on our coaching and development.”

In the doubles draw, all three Williams teams won their way into the quarterfinals, including the third-seeded pair of Herron and co-captain Matt Micheli ’14. They quickly disposed of their competition in the opening rounds, before falling to a strong Middlebury pair in the quarterfinals. Alex Schidlovsky ’16 and Brian Astrachan ’16 knocked off the fourth-seeded pair from Bowdoin in their opening round matchup, but were unable to defeat the eventual champions from Amherst.

Raventos and Shastri started their run by defeating a highly regarded team from MIT, and in the quarterfinals, they won a hard-fought match against the second-seeded team from Middlebury. After putting up a great fight in the semifinals, they fell to an Amherst squad and the tournament’s eventual winner.

“Rohan Shastri and Jose Raventos were really clicking in doubles and showed that they could become a very good team for us,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg ’08 said. “They bring contrasting styles of play that ended up being highly complementary,” Reich said.

In the singles draw, Williams again faced some stiff competition, but three players advanced to the Round of 16. Schidlovsky knocked off a seeded opponent 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round and gave fifth-seeded Palmer Campbell from Middlebury a stiff challenge in the Round of 16, with Schidlovsky forcing a tie-breaker in the first set before falling 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Howie Weiss ’16 fought his way into the quarterfinals of the singles draw, where he faced teammate Harron, who beat the seventh-seeded player 6-3, 6-3 on his way to the quarterfinals. Harron defeated Weiss 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals.

“Howie Weiss always competes as hard as he can but was even more impressive [last] weekend,” Greenberg said. “He made a deep run, and even when falling to his teammate [Harron], he gave all he had left, which sets a great example for our young team.”

Harron faced a challenging matchup in the semifinals, losing the first set 6-1 to fifth-seeded Campbell. However, Harron rallied to take the second set, and powered through to win the match 1-6, 7-5, 6-2. Harron pushed his match in the finals to three sets, but couldn’t overcome his foe, falling 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.

“Conrad was on the court for an unbelievable number of hours, reaching the finals of singles,” Reich said. “I was extremely impressed by his determination and resiliency in every match. “

“Obviously for Conrad to do so well as a first-year is exciting. He really fought through some tough opponents, especially when he was down and on the brink of losing in the semifinals,” Greenberg said.

Although the men’s fall season is now finished, the team will keep working in the coming weeks to prepare for the defense of its national title when the season continues in the spring.

“Overall, the entire team brought great attitudes on and off the court, so it was a productive weekend,” Greenberg said. “Now we have a few more weeks to work on a few specific things for each player before they head into the winter off season.”

 

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