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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis Women’s Tennis serves up a win Wednesday

Published: September 19, 2008
Section: Sports

Men and women’s tennis got off to a good start after both squads picked up victories in their first dual matches of the season, the men triumphing 8-1 at Bentley and the women climbing from a 1-2 deficit and later a 3-4 hole to win their opening dual match 5-4 at home also against Bentley.

“I thought it was a good start,” Coach Ben Lamana said after the match. “We shook off a lot of nerves and fought pretty hard. You know we have some players who have a lot of experience like Rachel [Rosman ’12] and Gabrielle [Helfgott ’09] and ‘Kenzie [Mackenzie Gallegos ’11] and they led the way in the singles matches. We had to have our top four singles matches and we got them which is big because we only won one doubles match today.”

Three days after picking up second place at the ECAC Championships in Hartford, CT, the women’s squad got off to a slow start in doubles play as the number three pairing of Nina Levine ’12 and Ria Chadha ’11 were swept 0-8 and the number one team of Sarah Richman and Rachel Rosman narrowly fell 7-9. Mackenzie Gallegos and Gabrielle Helfgott held off the sweep with an 8-4 victory.

In singles play, down 3-4, Helgott in the number two singles match and Richman in the number four match secured the victory coming out on the better end of late wins and service breaks with Helfgott winning the last four straight games to earning the 7-5, 6-1 victory while Rosman came away ahead 6-4, 6-3. Also securing victories in singles play was Rosman who had the quickest match of the day, dominating the number one match 6-0, 6-1 and Gallegos picked up her second point of the day with a 6-2, 6-0 win in the number three match.

“I thought today was sort of a good building block that’s going to help us, push us forward for the next few weeks” team captain Gabrielle Helfgott explained. “I expect that this match sort of serves as a benchmark and now everyone really push themselves in practice and take away the good things from the match and also the weaker points which are expected you know for a first match of the season.”

The day before, the men overcame shakiness in doubles play, with the number three team of Seth Rogers ’10 and Vasin Vongcharoenrat ’10 falling 8-3 as Brandeis won the remaining doubles and swept the singles matches. Captain Scott Schulman ’09 had the quickest match of the day, winning the number three singles 6-0, 6-3. Rogers rebounded from the doubles match to take a 7-5, 6-3 win in the number five match and Steve Nieman ’11 preserved the sweep, needing an extra set to win the number one match 6-2, 4-6, 10-7.

“We were a little flat footed going out there in doubs,” Seth Rogers explained. “But we pulled through, we showed a lot of heart out there and it’s a sign of good things to come.”

Despite the victories for both squads, players and Coach Lamana expressed concerned about the doubles performances. When directly asked, Coach Lamana responded, “Yeah, a little bit, not so much with the guys, I feel like we’ve got a real solid 1 and 2, third doubles is a little bit of a concern, yeah.”

The men’s squad hit the road this weekend as they spend September 19 – 21 in Providence, RI for the Brown Invitational. The women get to enjoy some time off as certain members; likely Rosman and Helfgott participate in the ITA’s in Cambridge from September 26 – 28 and the squad returns to action October 4-5 as they head off to Vermont for the Middlebury Invitational. Coach Lamana was especially enthusiastic with Rachel Rosman’s chances at the ITA’s.

“Rachel’s got a great shot to cement her place in the top five in the region. She’s got all the talent to do it, I think she’s poised to make a top run at all the players in the region but also the country because this is a really tough region so I think she’s poised to make a good run.”

Still, Lamana has his eyes forward with no plans to rest on his laurels, “This was a good start for us but we’re not a team that settles — you know we’re not a team that sits back and stays the same. You know, we’re going to look for the things that are our holes or weaknesses in our games and we’re going to take the next couple of weeks to work on them.”