Men’s tennis shines at ITA Regional Tournament

At the University of Mary Washington this weekend, the Swarthmore men’s tennis team participated in the ITA regional tournament with a great deal of success.

In the singles draw, four members of the Garnet — Max Bressman ’12, Zak Kelm ’12, Irving Stone ’15 and Max Sacks ’15 — all defeated their first-round opponents. Kelm defeated Washington College’s Vishu Rajes by the score of 6-4, 6-2. Bressman beat Haverford’s Andy Dougherty 6-2, 6-2.

Sacks defeated Aaron Elison of Washington College 6-4, 6-3, while fellow first-year Stone beat Seth Rybak of Salisbury 6-4, 6-4.

“The tournament this weekend was definitely a success both individually and collectively,” Kelm said in an email. “The ITA tournament is always difficult not only because of the strong competition but also because of the early match times and grueling match schedule. I think the team did a terrific job of overcoming these challenges. The tournament was definitely a confidence booster for the whole team, helping us to gain early season match experience and giving us an idea of where we are relative to the competition.”

Kelm and Bressman both reached the quarterfinals of the championship doubles draw, highlighted by a 9-8 (4) defeat of Salibury’s fifth-seeded Barnas/Rybak team.

James Wieler ’13 reached the finals in the blue 2 singles draw, losing a tight match to James Lee of Roanoke, 8-6. Despite the impressive showing, Wieler admitted he had been aiming higher.

“I was a bit disappointed I was not able to win the championship of my flight after having a couple of solid wins in the earlier rounds,” Wieler said. “Unfortunately, I think nerves got the best of me in the finals, and I wasn’t able to come out on top.”

In the blue 1 consolation draw, Christian Carcione ’14 won three consecutive matches against Salisbury’s Curtis Quandt, Haverford’s Jake Weisenthal, and Muhlenberg’s Daniel Lakhman to win the draw outright.

Sophomores Anthony Collard ’14 and Preston Poon ’14 both won matches in the championship singles consolation draw.

Collard beat University of Washington’s Riley Bayer by a score of 8-5, while Poon found the quickest way to Swarthmore glory with a decisive 8-2 victory over Natty Sergay of Haverford.
Collard also paired up with Sacks to notch a doubles victory over a team from Christopher Newport University before dropping a close match against the top-seeded team in the round of 16.

“I think this tournament was the best result as a team we’ve had in years,” Bressman said. “We showed that Swarthmore is a team that can play well with anyone.”

With a positive finish to the fall season, the men’s tennis team will regroup and prepare for the spring season, scheduled to begin on February 25. Expectations among team members are already high.

“We have the whole winter and spring to prepare for our big matches,” Bressman said. “By the time spring comes, we’ll be ready to make a big push.”

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