The Brandeis men’s and women’s tennis teams are both off to winning starts to their 2022-23 season
After starting their seasons on the right foot, the university tennis teams are both ranked within the top 25 nationally.
The women’s tennis team, ranked 19th nationally, has started the season with a 5-3 record. In the fall, they competed strongly at the Wallach Invitational at Bates College and the ITA Regional Championships. They beat Nichols College 9-0 in their first dual match, ending the fall on a high note and setting a positive tone heading into the spring season. From Feb. 11-12, the Judges dropped their first two matches of the spring season to 6th ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Division I Bryant University.
Their schedule would not get any easier after that. On Feb. 20, they traveled to California, set to compete against multiple ranked teams. They first faced previously-19th ranked California Institute of Technology, scraping past them 5-4. They followed this great win by dispatching Whittier College, 8-1. Their final two matches were scheduled to be against 15th ranked University of Redlands on Feb. 22 and top ranked Claremont Mudd-Scripps on Feb. 24.
They were close to another statement win over Redlands, when gray clouds suddenly loomed over the Golden State. As captain Anastasia Sia ’25 accounted in her interview with the Justice on March 11, the Judges won the doubles matches 2-1 and were level 2-2 in singles matches, with the final two matches nearly completed. Nancy Zhang ’26 had won the first set and was just three points away from winning her second and sealing the victory for Brandeis, when the hosts were saved by the bell — a rare hailstorm. Initially, the match was just suspended, set to be resumed in the following days, but the storms persisted, and the match was unable to be restarted. It was eventually called off completely, as was their ensuing match against the nation’s highest ranked team.
Despite this mishap, Sia found this trip to be productive. The team spent time together and did many off-court activities such as bowling, cooking team meals, watching movies, and going to Disneyland. “We got a lot closer as a team and brought memories back to campus that will last us this season and beyond.”
Since their trip, the women have knocked off Wheaton College 9-0 and Division II Franklin Pierce University 7-2, before losing to Colby College 8-1. Bhakti Parwani ’25 and Rebecca Suarez ’26 are 11-1 together in doubles — Parwani is 6-3 in singles. The skipper, Sia, is 8-4 in singles.
Overall, the women are 42-35 in singles sets (27-25 in duals and 15-10 in tournaments) and 24-17 in doubles sets (17-10 in duals and 7-7 in tournaments).
They are coming off a difficult 6-13 season last year, already one win away from matching last year’s total. Sia described this team as young, humble, and hungry. “We are definitely very strong, and we have had some really good wins against nationally ranked teams. We try to stay process-oriented and focus on the things that we can control.”
The women host Wesleyan University next on Wednesday, March 22.
The men, ranked 24th, have also started off well with a 4-3 record. They had strong performances in the fall, competing in the Middlebury Invitational and the ITA Regional Championships. They began the spring on Feb. 4, defeating St. Michael’s College 6-3, and followed that a week later by taking care of Franklin Pierce 9-0, two Division II opponents.
They also traveled to California, splitting their matches there. They lost 7-2 to fifth ranked Claremont Mudd-Scripps and dropped a tight affair, 5-4, against 16th ranked California Institute of Technology. Fortunately, all of their matches were completed despite the weather, and they were able to recover. They emphatically knocked off 25th ranked University of Redlands 7-2 and followed that with a 5-1 win over Whittier, ending the week on a positive note. In his interview with the Justice, captain Hunter Levine ’23 emphasized that this away trip was “a great time both on and off the court.” Off the court, this was a great team bonding experience. On the court, they showed resilience in their ability to bounce back. “Definitely good to play four matches in five days in preparation for the UAA tournament in April.” The goal for the team, according to Levine, is to reach their full potential by that tournament.
After their trip, the men were beaten 8-1 by 20th ranked Colby College. Tommy Harrison ’26 is 8-5 in both singles and doubles. Skippers Simon Kauppila ’23 and Levine are 11-3 together in doubles. Alex Merson ’26 is 8-3 in singles.
Overall, the men are 45-48 in singles sets (20-19 in duals and 25-29 in tournaments) and 26-19 in doubles sets (14-7 in duals and 12-12 in tournaments).
Just two years ago, they reached the NCAA tournament and saw Jeffrey Chen ’22 and Adam Tzeng ’22 become the first judges to reach the doubles’ national championship, finishing as runners-up. Last season, they finished 12-6.
The men travel to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute next on Saturday, March 18, and their next home match is against Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, March 25.