Men’s tennis hosts ITA New England Regional tournament

October 5, 2016 by John Toomey, Staff Writer

This weekend, the Ephs hosted the ITA New England Regional Championships at the Hunt Tennis Center. In singles, Brian Grodecki ’18 and Deepak Indrakanti ’19 advanced to the quarterfinals. In doubles, the duo of Grodecki and Alex Taylor ’20 advanced to the semifinal round before falling to the eventual champions.

For Williams, Indrakanti defeated opponents from Gordon, Bowdoin and Amherst before falling to singles champion Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury 6–0, 6–3 in the quarterfinals, coming back strong in the final set before being broken. During the course of the tournament, Indrakanti defeated the No. 2 seeded Anton Zykov of Amherst in straight sets, 6–2, 6–2.

Grodecki defeated two opponents on Friday and one on Saturday to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost a tense three-set match against Vlad Murad of Colby. After taking the first set, Grodecki lost two close final sets to drop the match.

Reaching the round of 16 in the tournament were Taylor and Sachin Raghavan ’18. Taylor defeated seeded Rohan Gupte of Tufts in the first round before consolidating the upset with a quick straight-sets victory in the Round of 32. In the Round of 16, Taylor squared off against a quality opponent from Middlebury in Cuba and was trounced in straight sets. Raghavan also was defeated by Murad, albeit in the round before Grodecki’s loss. Other singles competitors for the Ephs included Rohan Shastri ’17, who played a great first match but lost in the second round to Marchalik, who would reach the semifinals.

In doubles, only one of the Eph pairings made it to the second day of competition. Although Shastri and Christian O’Connor ’19 were a seeded pairing, they lost to a Gordon duo 8–2 in the second round after receiving a bye through the first round. Raghavan and Indrakanti also lost their first round contest.  The seeded duo of Taylor and Grodecki advanced to the semifinal round of the ITA tournament, eventually losing to the strong Bowdoin duo of Jerry Jiang and Kyle Wolfe by a score of 8–4.  Ananth Raghavan ’20 and Ben Lebowitz ’20 defeated a Babson duo before falling 8–4 to Gil Roddy and Grant Urken of Bowdoin.

The singles winner was Middlebury’s Cuba, who defeated Michael Arguello of Brandeis 6–2, 6–2 in the finals. Cuba had defeated Amherst’s Josh Marchalik in the semifinals, as well as opponents from Williams, Bates and Colby-Sawyer on his path to the championship. All of Cuba’s victories came in straight sets, with just one set forced into extra games. Arguello was responsible for the first-round upset of fifth-seeded Alex Cauneac of MIT. Arguello then went on to overcome opponents from Bowdoin, Middlebury, Amherst and Colby, including two of the 9–16 seeds, before falling to Cuba in the finals.

Third-ranked Jerry Jiang and Kyle Wolfe from Bowdoin prevailed in doubles, defeating Middlebury’s Will DeQuant and Cuba in a 6–3, 3–6, 10–7 finals battle. Cuba and DeQuant were the seventh seed coming into the tournament. Jiang and Wolfe squared off against the fifth and eighth seeds, one of the 9–16 seeds and a Colby opponent following their first-round bye. After taking the first set in the finals, Jiang and Wolfe dropped the second, but bounced back to clinch with a 10–7 victory.

Overall, the tournament was a success for the Ephs, as strong performances were recorded across the team.

“Overall I thought we had a really solid weekend. We had four guys into the round of 16, defeating a few top players along the way, and Brian Grodecki made a great run into the quarterfinals of singles and semifinals of doubles, [with Taylor]. These results mean very little for the spring but they do show we have the depth to compete with any team in the country, so I think our guys are inspired to build on that before our final tournament at MIT and definitely throughout the off-season,” Head Coah Dan Greenberg ’08 said.

The next action for the team is at the MIT Tournament on Oct. 14.

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