Wallach Invitational Recap

Happy Thursday, boys and girls, and welcome to yet another NE tournament recap article. Apparently no other region is playing any tennis these days. If you’ve missed any men’s or women’s NE action this fall, just run through the feed on the homepage of our site and you’ll be sure to find it. It’s either NE tennis, or an ITA recap of a tournament that happened almost a month ago.

I hear that World Cup recap is a stimulating read. This past weekend eight NE teams got together up at Bates for the final (please, God, let it be so) NE tournament  of the fall. Below you’ll find a team-by-team take on the tournament, with my blurbs on Bowdoin, Amherst, Tufts and Bates. This time however, D3Regional is along for the emotional roller coaster that is a tournament recap, and will be providing his thoughts on Brandeis, Colby, Trinity Ct, and Wheaton. If you ever have any questions, comments, or ideas on how to spice up these tournament recaps, please let us know. Even though we’re into a bit of a dry season, we will be back with some region-by-region fall recaps over the next few weeks, the 3rd annual fantasy draft, and the slog that is season previews. Just because there are no more sanctioned practices, doesn’t mean the Blog will die for the winter!

#4 BOWDOIN–D3NE

Hungry like the

Best performance: Kyle Wolfe, how we’ve missed you. The Polar Bear senior had struggled this fall, but bounced back in a big way, making the finals of the A-Flight with wins over Rosen (projected Bates #1), Coramutla (projected Brandeis #1-4) and Gupte (projected Tufts #1), before falling in the finals. Wolfe is still projected to play #3 for Bowdoin this spring, but if he’s returned to his old grinding ways, he won his quarter and semifinal matches in tight superbreakers, he will be a nightmare matchup for whomever he faces in May.

Freshman of note: Alan Delman made the finals of the D-Flight singles, but Larry Zhao continues to impress. Playing in the B-Flight, ahead of Patel, who started last year, Zhao made the semis with wins over Nick Glover (Bates) and Ben Biswas (Tufts), both of whom are guys Larry could matchup against towards the bottom of the lineup later in the year. He fell to Sorkin (Tufts) in the semis, but Young Boris will likely play a couple spots ahead of Young Larry when the spring rolls around.

Hyperbolic takeaway: If this team clicks, they are more than capable of winning another national championship. We saw good Wolfe for the first time all fall, combine that with good Tercek, Urken, Jiang, Roddy, and Zhao, and this team’s only ceiling is the roof.

#8 AMHERST–D3NE

K-Ma, what’s up? Let’s slide, alright

Best performance: Sean Wei. You don’t win the A-Flight singles draw and not get this acknowledgement. Wei won the top draw without dropping a set, backing up his recent success at the New England ITA and the MIT Invitational. He ran through Esteban (projected Wheaton #2), Ali (projected Tufts #2), Kogan (projected Brandeis #1-3), and Wolfe (projected Bowdoin #3). Wei also has wins over Taylor (projected Williams #4-6), Zhao (projected Bowdoin #5-6), and Rosen (projected Bates #1), with his only fall losses coming against Da Fink (projected Wesleyan #2-3). A fantastic fall has moved Sean wayyyy up the depth chart, and has him slotted as the Mammoth’s likely #1 come springtime.

Freshman of note: I’ve already given you one, but how about a twofer. Kevin Ma absolutely rolled his way to the C-Flight singles title, not dropping an average of three games per match. Ma already has wins over Battle (projected Tufts #4-6), Coramutla (projected Deis #1-3), and now has good wins over Wang (projected Bowdoin #6-7), and Fung (projected Amherst 2-6, but really who the hell knows…see below). Along with Wei, Ma has looked good this fall and should have secured a lineup spot.

Hyperbolic takeaway: I have absolutely no idea who will play what spot for Amherst this spring. Between Bessette, Hillis, Kaplan, Fung, Ma, Levitin and Owens, they have 8 guys who could conceivably play almost any spot in the lineup, although we have yet to see either Levitin or Owens this fall.

#17 TUFTS–D3NE

We took for granted a lot, and still I say

Best performance: Continuing with the theme of writing up two different freshmen, the best performance for the Bos once again goes to Young Boris. Sorkin has been the brightest spot for Tufts this fall, and this weekend was just another notch on the freshman’s slim-fit belt. Boris got nice wins over Hillis (projected Amherst #4-6), Zhao (projected Bowdoin #5-6), and Aizenberg (projected Brandeis #2-5). Not only was the weekend a singles success, but Sorkin paired with Bershstein to take the B-Flight doubles crown as well. In fact, Boris was the only guy this weekend to win multiple flights.

Freshman of note: As I said, Boris “DeAaron” Sorkin wasn’t the only freshman bright spot for Coach Gregor this weekend. Carl “Cary” Grant won the D-Flight singles draw, while having to play a play-in match. Just like Boris, he didn’t drop a set along the way, and beat a pair of young Bowdoin players in the semis and finals. Grant also played A-Flight doubles with Zain Ali. While that is probably Gupte’s spot in the spring, it’s an encouraging sign for Carl from Karl.

Hyperbolic takeaway: Sorkin could end up with more wins than any other freshman in the NE this spring. Hear me out, while guys like Wei/Barr/Finkelman have made headlines this fall, they will all be playing stronger competition than Sorkin if he remains slotted behind guys like Gupte, Ali, Coran, and maybe even Battle. Sorkin at #5 singles and #3 doubles would do very well for the Bos, but at this point I’m not sure that won’t raise some questions!

#19 BATES–D3NE

That ain’t a Josh, he’s a Yankee by gosh

Best performance: Toss up here between Josh Leiner and the doubles team of Rosen/Quijano, however since Leiner also won a doubles match with Glover, and both Rosen and Quijano fell in the first round of the A-Flight singles draw, Leiner gets the nod. Josh is a co-captain and possibly punching above his weight in the C-Flight considering that Bates had three guys in the A, B, and C Flights, the perks of being the tournament hosts! Even though he was matching up against projected starters from other teams, Leiner took down Boyle (Trinity) and Blog favorite Shaw Speer with ease to advance to the semis of the C-Flight, where he was promptly dismissed by Jayson Fung (projected Amherst #3-6).

Freshman of note: Alex Kennedy. The freshman from New York was Bates’ only freshman to win a match in the main draw, taking down a Trinity guy in the 1st round of the C-Flight in a superbreaker. Alex also won his 1st round match against Wheaton in the B-Flight doubles draw (paired with one of the Davis brothers). AK has quietly put together a decent fall, also winning multiple matches in his draw at Middlebury earlier this fall.

Hyperbolic takeaway: The struggle could be real for Bates this spring. Not winning a match in the A or B singles flights of their own tournament is a tough way to end the fall, and will hopefully motivate the Bobcats to put in the extra work this winter. I have great faith in Coach Gastonguay, but there is work to be done in Lewiston.

#20 BRANDEIS–D3Regional

Double trouble, that’s what my friends all call

Best Performance: Once again for the Judges, it starts with their #1 doubles team of David Aizenberg and Anupreeth Coramulta. After making the finals of the Midd Invite finals, Coramulta making the semis of ITAs (with partner Jackson Kogan), and then winning the MIT Invite doubles flight, the Judges’ duo backed all of this up with another title in the A doubles flight. The team was seeded #2 in the flight and took out teams from Tufts, Bates (x2), and Amherst on the way to the title. This was about as good a fall as I ever remember a doubles team having, and the Judges should be extremely excited about this spot moving into the spring. It will be very interesting to see where this team is ranked in the northeast when the first rankings come out on 10/31. I would be surprised if they aren’t in the top 3 given the quality of their wins this fall.

What we learned: Brandeis might be better than expected at the top of their lineup. Jackson Kogan had a pretty sweet run to the finals of the A flight, taking out Luke Tercek in the process. Tyler Ng (#4 last year) will be coming back from abroad in the spring, and Coramulta / Aizenberg both had good tournaments in singles, with Aizenberg making the finals of the B flight, taking 3 super breakers in the process.

Overall outlook: The Judges looked way better than I thought they would this fall. Their singles results were promising, and their doubles results (especially Coramulta / Aizenberg) were off the charts. I have no idea what their lineup is going to look like outside of #1 doubles, but the Judges have to be excited for the spring season.

#33 COLBY–D3Regional

Jeremy spoke in class today

Best Performance: The Mules had a couple of teams make the semis of the B flight in doubles, including Johnathan Hallal/Garrett Reiter and Luis Gonzalez/Jeremy Mendoza. Unfortunately, the Mules lost both semifinals matches, but winning multiple matches is a nice result. Coach Cohen should have some good doubles depth to work with this spring.

What we learned: The Mules might struggle at the top of their singles lineup this year, but they have some depth to build on. The Mules got some good wins in the D singles flight by Jeremy Mendoza over Zach Cilar of Brandeis and Jonathan Hallal over Oliver Kendall of Amherst. Both guys fell in super breakers to Ethan Bershstein (Tufts) and Tristan Young (Bowdoin), respectively, but both competed well. Mendoza is one of two seniors on the Mules’ roster (shout out Shaw Speer), but the Mules do have some nice young talent to develop.

Overall outlook: The Mules are going to struggle in singles this year, especially at the top of their lineup, but doubles represents an area that they can focus on this winter to try to upset one of the teams ranked above them.

NR TRINITY (CT)–D3Regional

Scotty doesn’t know

Best Performance: Scott Danforth got a win over Billy Wilson of Brandeis in the first round of the D singles draw, as did Chris Bilicic over Ethan Saal of Deis. Rex Glickman and Kyle Scheffers both also pushed Brandeis players to super breakers in the A flight.

What we learned: Trinity has some decent freshmen that may play lower in their lineup this year, but the middle to top of their lineup will need to continue to improve, as Trinity won zero matches in the A, B or C singles flights.

Overall outlook: Trinity is going to need to improve a lot this offseason if they hope to rebound this year and take out teams like Colby and Brandeis. Rex Glickman and Kyle Scheffers should be good leaders at the top of the lineup, but they will lose their fair share of matches and there are a lot of question marks after them. As with Colby, if they can become really strong in doubles, it will make everything easier in singles.

NR WHEATON (MA)–D3Regional

Stitch by stitch

Best Performance: First of all, I think it’s pretty awesome that Wheaton got invited to the Wallach this year, replacing Skidmore in the draw. They are young team that Coach Pandian is trying to grow to compete with the Babson’s and MIT’s of the NEWMAC, and taking on this level of competition has to be a great experience for them. On court, Wheaton got a great doubles win in the A flight, where Jorge Martinez and Javier Esteban took out Kyle Wolfe / Larry Zhao of Bowdoin. Although this was the only win for the Lyons in the tournament, winning 9-8 over a top 5 team had to have been a thrilling experience and something that the Lyons can draw on later in the season in a tight match.

What we learned: Wheaton didn’t win any singles matches and none of them were particularly close. They had some tough draws, drawing Amherst / Tufts in the A flight, but it’s great for them to face a new level of competition that they probably have never faced before outside of the ITA tournament, where only a couple of guys can play.

Overall outlook: The Lyons are a young squad and have a lot of great matches this spring. They’ll take on Trinity, Coast Guard, Brandeis, and Babson, so they will have plenty of chances to move up in the regional rankings.

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