Doubles team plays into semifinals of Rolex tourney

by Hondo Sen | 11/13/97 6:00am

The Big Green men's tennis team finished up its fall season the past weekend with a solid performance at the Rolex Eastern Championships hosted by Penn. Widely considered the toughest tourney in the fall, top men's tennis players descended on the city of brotherly love to do battle.

The first day of the tournament saw only one Dartmouth player losing. Captain Avery Rueb '98 was tripped up 6-4, 7-5 in a close match-up against his opponent from the perennial powerhouse Virginia Tech.

Rob Simik '99 had little trouble with his first round match as won in straight sets over Nic Bala of Hartford. He then matched up with Rueb to seize another win over St. Francis College's top doubles team. Sophomore Andy Evans also saw green winning his game in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 over South African Guy Levin.

Simik started off Friday well with a three set win against Yale's Andrew Tang, but then took the court against top seed Tom Blake of Harvard. Simik couldn't find any weapons to crack Blake, and lost 6-4,6-2. Andy Evans couldn't continue his luck and lost to Colin Smeeton of Penn State 7-6, 6-3.

After receiving a first round by, Erich Holzer '99 faced a disappointing lost in the second against Virginia Tech's Matt Tetan 6-2, 6-2.

"I was disappointed with my singles performance at the Rolex," Holzer said, "I lost to a player that I need to beat if I want to be successful."

Top Dartmouth player, Gabe Sauerhoff '99 also took the court for the first time on Saturday and won his first match easily 6-2, 6-1. But the afternoon was not so kind as the last of the Green lost 6-3, 6-3.

The hard-hitting duo of Sauerhoff and Holzer smoked Navy's top team 8-3 in an eight game pro set and then routed Yale's team in the quarters, 6-1, 6-0 on Saturday afternoon. Rueb and Simik didn't fare as well as the ran up against a pair from Columbia. They lost 8-4.

Up next were the semifinals for Sauerhoff and Holzer and there awaited Harvard's #1 team, the Blake brothers. Tom Blake is the top player in the region, and his younger brother, James Blake was the top high school recruit last year and #1 in the U.S juniors 18 & under division. Given this, even a strong showing would be respectable for Dartmouth's tandem. With a 6-2, 6-3 loss Sauerhoff and Holzer certainly gave them a run.

"I am extremely pleased with how Gabe and I played in doubles," Holzer said. "Getting to the semifinals was a great result. That was the kind of effort we need to reach the next level."