Doubles the difference again as #30 men fall to #17 Chicago, 5-4

Brian Granoff '17 (photo by Sportspix.biz/Jan Volk)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Brandeis University men's tennis team nearly pulled off an upset in the consolation semifinals of the 2014 University Athletic Association tournament. The eight-seeded and 30th-ranked Judges won four of six singles matches, but it wasn't enough to climb out of a 3-0 hole after doubles as fifth-seeded and 17th-ranked University of Chicago earned 5-4 win. 

The Maroons won the first two doubles matches with scores of 8-2 at No. 2 and 8-4 at No. 3. Brandeis's top duo of rookie Brian Granoff (Miami, Fla./Palmetto) and sophomore Danny Lubarsky (Cleveland, Ohio/Hawken School) had the best chance at No. 1, as they owned a 7-6 lead. UC's top squad of Sven Kranz and Deepak Sabada - ranked ninth in their region - rallied to win three straight games at the end, however, to take a 9-7 decision and complete the sweep.

In singles action, the first three matches to finish were decided in straight sets, but two went to the Maroons to clinch the win. Ankur Bhargava knocked off Lubarsky at No. 3, 6-4, 6-2, while Zsolt Szabo defeated Alec Siegel (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield), 6-4, 6-3, to give Chicago the win. Brandeis junior Michael Secular (Bronx, N.Y./Plant, Fla.) earned Brandeis's first point at No. 6 with a 7-5, 6-2, win over Max Hawkins.

In the three-set matches, the Judges rookies showed a lot of fight by coming back from a set down in all three. Michael Arguello (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) was the only one to play three full sets at No. 2. He topped Kranz, the fourth-ranked player in the Central region, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. At No. 1, Granoff avenged his doubles loss to Sabada, 2-6, 6-1, 10-6 in the super tie-breaker. At No. 4, Ryan Bunis (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable) ran his winning streak to nine in a row with a 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 win over Brian Sun. Bunis has won his last five matches in three sets, coming from a set down for the fifth time during his nine-match streak.

The Judges (10-9) will face sixth-seeded University of Rochester tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the seventh-place match. The Yellowjackets lost to NYU today, 6-3, today.