Tennis: Squads surprise at championship
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 19:04
The men’s and women’s tennis teams hoped to catch fire on the red-hot tennis courts in Altamonte Springs, Fla. for the season-ending University Athletic Association Championships last weekend. The women were able to win their fifth-place slot, topping the University of Rochester in a contested match. After losing to the University of Chicago in the fifth-place match, the men ended the season with a 5-14 record and a sixth-place finish in the conference.
The women were defeated by Washington University in St. Louis, 5-4, but then proceeded to shut out New York University. Unlike the men, the women topped Rochester 6-3 to earn fifth place in the UAA this season.
Although the women's team eventually lost to WashU, they didn’t give up to the Bears without a fight.
In six matches, Brandeis took four wins. Faith Broderick ’13, Allyson Bernstein ’13, and Simone Vandroff ’15 all defeated their opponents in straight sets. Carley Cooke ’15 also defeated her WashU rival, winning the heated match 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 1-0 (10-8).
The women then went on to face NYU, against which they notched victories in all four singles and doubles matches.
Allyson Bernstein ’14 shone in her play against NYU, defeating sophomore Ramya Pokala in a 6-1 6-0 blowout. The other three Judges played in extended series, but all came away with victories.
In doubles, Broderick and Cooke had a strong showing, defeating their opponents 8-2. Roberta Bergstein ’14 and Nine Levine ’12 defeated NYU by an 8-3 margin to complete Brandeis’ sweep.
The women played for fifth place against the YellowJackets. The women took four of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches.
Bernstein and Vandroff highlighted the effort with victories in back-to-back sets, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-4, respectively.
Dylan Schlesinger ’15 and Vandroff defeated Rochester freshman Cara Genbauffe and sophomore Janice Zhao 8-5. Cooke and Broderick rounded out the action for the 2012 season with a 8-6 win.
While the team did not perform as well as she could have hoped, Nina Levine ’12 expressed that she thought the squad was well-prepared and should take pride in their singles play.
“We trained the entire season for this tournament,” she said. “Everyone played similarly, so we were ready to handle anything."
"It really just came down to the doubles matches, and unfortunately, it really just didn't go our way that day, but we played really well in singles."
The men also dropped their opening match against No. 17 University of Washington in St. Louis 8-1, but subsequently defeated NYU 5-4 to advance to the fifth-place matchup. The men then squared off against Chicago, but came up empty, losing the match 7-2, with only one Judge winning in singles play.
David Yovanoff ’13 battled back from an early 6-2 defeat against senior Jan Stefanski, taking the next two sets by convincing 6-3 and 6-0 margins.
In doubles, Josh Jordan ’13 and Steven Milo ’13 succeeded in their third consecutive pairing of the day. The duo dominated Chicago in a matchup with freshmen Ankur Bhargava and Deepak Sabada, attaining 8-4 victories in each set of the match.
Brandeis started out slow, however, unable to clinch a singles match against the Bears. In doubles, however, Jordan and Milo defeated freshman Parker Chang and junior Kareem Farah 8-6, giving Brandeis their only win of the match.
The Brandeis men’s team reversed its fortunes the following day, however, defeating NYU 5-4 in the consolation semifinals of the tournament.
Milo and Michael Secular ’15 excelled in their individual matchups, each earning victories in three sets.
Milo took the first set 6-3 and dropped the second 6-3, but seized the tie-breaker 6-4 to emerge ultimately victorious. Secular took the opposite path to victory, dropping his first set but staging a comeback to win the second set 6-4. He notched his second consecutive victory with a 6-4 win in the tiebreaker set of the match.
In doubles play, the Brandeis men won two of three matches. Jordan and Milo earned an 8-4 victory over freshmen Ting Yee Lai and William Smithline, while Yovanoff and Ezra Bernstein ’11, MA ’12 defeated junior Connor Witty and senior Steven Wu, by an 8-3 margin.
Levine was nostalgic about her last tournament, stating though that this UAA championship was the most rewarding for her in her four years at Brandeis.
“It was probably the best tournament overall that I've been a part of,” she said. It was just the way we played... the energy and the way we worked together had been much better than in the past."
"I'm really sad it's over, but this is a perfect way to end four years of tennis.”