Teams struggle mightily in losses
The Brandeis Judges men’s and women’s tennis teams had a rough outing this past week against Middlebury College. The men lost in a 2-7 battle, while the women managed only one win in a difficult 8-1 thrashing.
Judges 1, Middlebury 8
The Judges started the day with Ariana Ishaq ’19 and Haley Cohen ’18 facing off in the doubles court, but could not hold on in an 8-1 loss. Sabrina Ross Neergaard ’20 and Olivia Leavitt ’19 were up next, but were unable to turn things around, falling 8-4. Neergaard came into the match fresh off a University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week award after posting a 4-0 record in her past two matchups. Neergaard won two doubles events with help from Leavitt and posted her own two wins in two singles matches. The Judges were undeterred, with Michele Lehat ’19 and Keren Khromchenko ’19 taking the Judges’ lone win in an 8-5 battle.
In the singles bracket, Leavitt opened the day with a tough 6-1, 6-1 loss. Neergaard followed suit with a 6-1, 6-2 defeat against Middlebury sophomore Christina Puccinelli. Cohen continued the domino effect, falling 6-1 in the first set against freshman Heather Boehm. Though Cohen was able to scrape together three games in the second set, her effort was not enough, as she fell 6-3. Khromchenko was unable to carry her momentum from her 8-5 victory, falling to sophomore Molly Paradies, 6-3, 6-1. Ishaq and Lehat took the court in the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, but were only able to come away with two games total. Freshman Skylar Schossberger double-bageled Lehat, while Ishaq fell in successive sets, 6-2, 6-0.
The team will continue against a Tufts University squad that beat the Judges 9-0 in their 2015 to 2016 campaign. The Judges drop to 8-2 on the year, marking their first loss since Feb. 21 in what has been an impressive season.
Judges 2, Middlebury 7
The Judges evened their record to 4-4 on the season with a loss against Middlebury, marking their second consecutive loss this season. The team fell in each of its doubles matches, with David Aizenberg ’20 and Tyler Ng ’19 losing 8-3 on the number one court. Michael Arguello ’17 paired with Jeff Cherkin ’17 on the number two court, only to lose 8-5 to a tough Middlebury squad. Arguello was recently named UAA Athlete of the Week as of March 6, clinching two tight wins to boost the Judges over Stevens Institute of Technology. Arguello’s 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) match on the number one court propelled the Judges to a very solid 8-1 win. Zach Cihlar ’19 and Eric Goldberg ’18 combined for one game against senior Allen Jackson and junior Timo van der Geest.
On the singles side, the Judges were able to regain some mojo, firing back with two wins on the day. Arguello fell 6-3, 6-1 to sophomore Lubomir Cuba on the number one court. Aizenberg was able to come away with a win after a well-fought battle against van der Geest. Van der Geest took the first set 6-3, but Aizenberg forced a tie break with a 6-4 second-set victory. In the tiebreak, Aizenberg edged out van der Geest an 11-9 nailbiter to take home a victory for the Judges. The next win of the day came in similar fashion from Benjamin Wolfe ’20. Wolfe broke down against Jackson in the first set of the match, but was able to quickly come back with a 6-2 win in the second set. Wolfe closed out the match with a decisive 10-6 tiebreak win.
The Judges will continue their season against Amherst College this coming Saturday. The two squads have not crossed paths in the past five seasons, making this Amherst team a fresh opponent for the slipping Judges. They will look to bounce back from their recent struggles.