Men's tennis turns in singles, doubles wins at home

by Stu Adam | 11/13/02 6:00am

When debating which word in the English language best describes the Dartmouth men's tennis team's performance over the past weekend, the first and most logical choice is "domination."

The players' fall season culminated with glorious results that are hopefully indicative of success in the winter and spring Ivy League seasons.

The Green played host to its very own invitational tournament in the last individual event for Dartmouth before the team season kicks off this winter, where players will have the added pressure of the head-to-head format.

In all, 48 players showed up on Saturday morning from various bastions of academic pursuit, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Boston College, Rutgers, Colgate, the University of New Hampshire and Brown. Despite these fine colleges' best efforts, they could not thwart the Big Green attack in either the A or B divisions.

The juniors demonstrated their on-court prowess and justified to all viewers why they are leaders of the team. Neal Bobba '04 swept of the A division by winning both the singles title and doubles title with fellow junior Drew Dinkmeyer.

Bobba powered his way through the draw by only dropping two sets in four matches. In the final, he downed Brown's Ben Brier, who edged out Dinkmeyer in three tough sets in the semis. After dropping a nail-biting tie-breaker in the first set, Bobba came alive, gaining a sense of retribution with each ground stroke, eventually claiming the win with a pair of 6-2 sets.

"This weekend was incredible. Home matches are great, and it's so much fun to play in front of the loyal community members that come see us play. This weekend capped off the fall in a satisfying way," Bobba said, after taking some time to reflect on the weekend.

"I was pleased with how I played tough under pressure and was able to make use of some things I've worked on in practice."

Bobba and Dinkmeyer defeated the Brown doubles team 8-4, in the superset format, setting themselves up as tough contenders in the Ivies this spring, where Brown is the defending champion.

The win allowed Dinkmeyer to avenge his loss to Brier of Brown. Moreover, the doubles team took a big step towards reducing variability in its rhythm and progressing into a great pair.

Dinkmeyer said that his success enables him to "find some rhythm in my game, which I'd also attribute to playing at home."

In addition to Bobba and Dinkmeyer's success, David Webb '05 made it to the quarterfinals of the A division. The Green proved that it could hang tough at the top positions with the East's best teams in the Invitational.

In the B Division, Logan West '05 provided the Green's best singles success by making it to the back-draw finals. Also, the doubles witnessed an all-Big Green final, as West and Rashaad Elder-Bush '06 squared off with Priya Sahu '05 and Rajendra Shrestha '06. The latter team came through with an 8-5 victory.

While the weekend provided the Green with a great deal of momentum to take into the team season, the winter could prove to be an interesting quandary.

The players at the heart of the line-up are taking their off-terms to train in Florida and enjoy life outside of the detached, rural microcosm that is Hanover.

"The winter will be an interesting time for our team," Dinkmeyer said. "It will give our younger guys a good shot at playing high in the lineup and really give them some needed stimulus to improve."

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