Judges lose narrow battles against top foes
The men and women’s tennis team battled regional and University Athletic Association opposition last weekend in contests against the Stevens Institute of Technology, the College of New Jersey and New York University. The No. 26 men split their two matches while the women dropped both matchups.
The No. 28 women sit at 1-5 on the year as their losing streak extends to four games, while the men improve to 2-3 with Sunday’s win.
Men’s squad (7-2 win over NYU, 5-4 loss to No. 25 Stevens)
The Judges swept the courts against their UAA foes on Sunday to seal a victory on the road, including straight-set victories in four of the five victories.
Ryan Bunis ’17 took a win on the No. 2 court, while Michael Arguello ’17 rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory on the No. 3 court. Jackson Kogan ’19 cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory on the No. 5 court and Zach Cihlar ’19 won on the No. 6 court by a 6-3, 6-2 final.
“I think the tough loss against Stevens prepared us to really battle and fight in each match against a tough NYU team. I think every guy battled and gave their all in every match, singles and doubles, and it really showed with the two 9-7 wins in doubles,” said Kogan. "Going through that tough Stevens match made our team really bring it against NYU and I think we really played well in every spot in our first UAA match of the season."
Tyler Ng ’19 battled to a three set victory by the final of 7-6, 6-7, 10-7 on the No. 3 court, while Brian Granoff ’17 lost a marathon on the No. 1 court, 6-4, 4-6, 12-10.
The Judges took two victories in doubles action, as Cherkin and Arguello took a 9-7 decision on the No. 1 court and Danny Lubarsky ’16 and Kogan matched a 9-7 win on the No. 2 court.
“One big thing [Lubarsky] and I worked on was for me to put more pressure on our opponents when I was at the net. I think that change showed its importance in the final two games against NYU when I hit around [three] volley winners just from being tighter on the net off of good shots from [Lubarsky],” Kogan remarked. “[Lubarsky] has really helped me with swinging much more free on my returns and with hitting better spots and margins in doubles. I also think he has helped me with playing to my strengths on the doubles court, and that has also translated to my singles play and with playing similarly in a singles match as I would in a doubles match.”
On Friday, the squad dropped a tough match to the Stevens Ducks, despite taking wins on three of the final four singles courts.
Ng and Cihlar took the final two courts as Ng earned a straight-set win 6-1, 6-3 and Cihlar won 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
In doubles action, Granoff and Bunis took a 9-7 victory.
"The match against NYU was an important win because we knew they were going to be a tough team to beat in every spot going into the match and that we were going to have to fight to get a win, which we did," Kogan said. "It was also nice to win 7-2 because each match in singles or doubles was a battle, and to come out on top in almost every match is a big confidence booster as well as good momentum going into this weekend against Rochester."
Women’s squad (5-4 loss to NYU, 5-4 loss to TCNJ)
The women were unable to keep up with the host Violets on Sunday, despite splitting the singles courts.
The No. 1 duo of Haley Cohen ’18 and Olivia Leavitt ’19 lost 9-8, while Charlotte Aaron ’18 and Sophia He ’19 lost an 8-5 decision on the No. 2 court. Emily Eska ’16 and Maya Vasser ’16 took an 8-3 decision on the No. 3 court for the Judges.
Brandeis dropped the first three singles courts before responding with wins on the No. 4, 5 and 6 courts. Cohen dropped a straight-set match 6-4, 6-3 on the No. 1 court, while Keren Khromchenko ’19 saw a 6-1, 6-2 defeat on the No. 2 court, and Leavitt fell in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
He won a three-set decision 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 on the No. 4 court, while Eska took the No. 5 court 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.
On Friday, the Judges traveled to TCNJ but were unable to take down the hosts in a 5-4 defeat.
Duos Cohen and Leavitt as well as Aaron and He took victories of their own on the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts, respectively.
The Judges return to action this Saturday when they host the University of Rochester, beginning at 10 a.m.