Young squad excels at Wallach Invitational
Competing at the Wallach Invitational at Bates College over the weekend, the Brandeis men's tennis team had a number of standout individual and doubles performances from several of the squad's youngest players.
Leading the way for the Judges was rookie Brian Granoff (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep), who advanced to the semifinal of the A Singles bracket. Granoff defeated a pair of rookies, besting Bates' Brent Feldman (Waccabuc, N.Y./The Harvey School) 4-6, 6-1, 10-6 before defeating Amherst's Myles Tang (Minneapolis, Minn./Breck School) 6-2, 1-0 (ret.). Granoff lost in the semifinals to Middlebury senior Alex Johnston (Leeds, England/Foothill College) 6-3, 6-4. Johnston, who finished last season ranked as the No. 17 player in the country, would win the bracket.
Brandeis' other A Bracket entrant, sophomore Mitch Krems (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Century Acad.) went to three sets in both of his matches. Krems defeated Bowdoin junior Doug Kaplan (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg Acad.) 6-7 (2), 6-3, 12-10 in a play-in match. Krems won the first set in his next match, but eventually lost to the A Bracket's other finalist, Middlebury senior Teddy Fitzgibbons (Mission Hills, Kan./Pembroke Hill), 4-6, 6-1, 10-5.
Rookie Michael Arguello (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) won his first match in the B Bracket, defeating Colby senior Jack Bryant (Wayzata, Minn./Blake) 6-2, 6-2. Rookie Jeff Cherkin (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) also won a game in the D Singles, defeating Trinity sophomore Lars Skattum (London, England/American School) 7-5, 6-3.
Arguello and sophomore Danny Lubarsky (Cleveland, Ohio/Hawken School) had the Judges' best performance in doubles, winning two matches in the top bracket. The duo won their play-in game against Colby seniors Jason Ottomano (Weston, Conn./Fairfield Prep) and Luke Martin (East Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich), 8-1. Arguello and Lubarsky then faced two of the top teams at the tournament, upsetting the second-seeded Middlebury duo of sophomore Ari Smolyar (Short Hills, N.J./Solomon Schechter) and junior Courtney Mountifield (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) before falling to the eventual champions, Skidmore senior Jimmy Sherpa (West Vancouver, B.C./Sentinel Secondary) and sophomore Nick Tong (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula), 8-6.
This was the men's team's final competition of the fall. The Judges will be back in action in February on their annual trip to California.