On Saturday, March 9, at the Red Auerbach Arena in Waltham, Mass., the Brandeis University men’s tennis team showcased their talents by winning their first dual match of the season against the Franklin Pierce University Ravens. The Judges won their first seven matches, with a doubles sweep and singles players in positions one through four prevailing over the Ravens. 

At singles positions five and six, the Ravens won both matches in a three-set match, despite being down a set for each match. Consequently, the final score of the dual match was 7-2. Each court echoed with the sound of squeaking tennis sneakers and uplifting cheers from the teammates, coaches and the crowds for the Judges and the Ravens. 

In their first five matches of the season, the Judges were faced with difficult matches and ultimately defeat from a Division I team, Bryant University, and nationally ranked Division III teams, such as #5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, #30 University of Redlands, #18 Caltech College and #2 Middlebury College. Although they faced the first month of their season with nothing but defeat as a team, the Judges used this as motivation to keep going.

Several successes caused specific Brandeis players to stand out on both the doubles and singles courts. More specifically, Pierce Garbett ’27 and 2023 All-UAA honorable mention, Alex Merson ’26 acknowledged their personal successes within each of their matches and how important the team culture is on and off the court. At position number two for doubles, Merson and his partner Aaron Bayse ’24 overcame the Ravens with a final score of 8-3. In addition to his doubles match, Merson dropped only four games from his singles match at position number two, with a final score of 6-1, 6-3, clinching the victory for the Judges. 

At position number one for doubles, Garbett and his partner Dylan Walters ’24 swiftly defeated the Ravens with a final score of 8-0. This dual match for Garbett was extremely different from the previous matches he had played for the Judges, as this was the first time he played position number four in singles. Although Garbett described his singles match as,“difficult to maintain focus on my match with all the things going on around me with matches and cheering,” his can-do attitude shined on the singles court, especially considering the emotional support system he has to back him up. He describes the team energy as “hearing other people doing well makes me also want to do well.” Garbett’s win in singles was the last point of the day in favor of the Judges. 

The closest matches of the day in singles and doubles came from Harrison Haui ’27, where he made his dual-match debut for the Judges. In doubles, he defeated the Ravens at position number three with his partner, Huasen Dong ’27, with a final score of 8-7(1). In singles, Haui started out strong at position number six, winning the first set 6-3 in 48 minutes. However, Ravens player Orlando Guerrero ’26 got consistent and loud encouragement from his teammates, swinging the momentum back into his favor, winning the second set 6-3 in 52 minutes. With one set for the Judges and one set for the Ravens, the energy on court six was amplified, from the respective coaches, teammates, and crowd. Guerrero ended up on top, defeating Haui in the third set tiebreak, with a final score of 10-6, claiming the second point for the Ravens. Although both matches did not favor Haui, he commented on his determination to do better for the rest of the season, stating “I can feel the excitement in the team as we welcome our first hard-fought victory. It’s a great point to build off of into the remainder of this season.” 

Brandeis men’s tennis tennis will host and compete against Skidmore College on Saturday, March 23 in Saratoga, New York.