Men's tennis dominates at Dartmouth Shootout

by Kelly Hanen | 10/7/12 10:00pm

The Dartmouth men's tennis team was in action over the weekend as the team hosted the annual Dartmouth Shootout at the Boss Tennis Center in Hanover. The Big Green made the most of its home court advantage by dominating its challengers from Williams College, Stony Brook University, Middlebury College and the United States Military Academy.

Six of Dartmouth's seven singles players made it to the finals in their flight, with the seventh winning his consolation final. The Big Green combined to go 18-2 in singles competition and 8-2 in doubles action.

"We have this tournament every year, and it's always been good for us to get this experience," co-captain Michael Jacobs '13 said. "In the past, this tournament has also been a trap for some of us. We generally face teams that are not as strong as the teams we face throughout the season, so it can be easy to let your guard down. I think the guys did a really good job of staying focused and going into each match with the same mind set as if we were playing guys from Harvard."

In Flight 1A, co-captain Alexander Centenari '13 won his first match against Army competitor Peter Sienko in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Centenari charged into the semifinals, beating Mons Knudtzon from Stony Brook in straight sets, 7-6, 6-1. Erik Nordahl '16 won both of his first two matches in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2 and 6-3, 7-5, against opponents from Middlebury and Williams, respectively. The Big Green teammates faced off against each other in the flight championship, with Nordahl squeezing past Centenari, taking the match in the last set, 7-6.

"It's always great to play on our home courts in front of a home crowd," Centenari said. "We really enjoyed that aspect of it. We've been putting in a lot of work throughout the fall, and this served as a good benchmark to see where we are and to see what we need to improve on."

In Flight 1B, Cameron Ghorbani '14 took on his Army opponent Austin McCasin and beat him in three sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Ghorbani then faced off against John Campbell from Middlebury, besting him in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. Christopher Kipouras '15 also dominated his opponents in the 1B flight, beating both of his opponents in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 and 6-2, 6-3. Dartmouth once again found itself with two players in the flight final, but the match was canceled due to arm injuries for both players.

"Coming into the tournament, we knew we had a target on our backs, but we responded well and were able to defend our home court," Ghorbani said.

In the third flight, Dartmouth players also met in the championship game. Sam Todd '15 defeated both of his opponents in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively. Brendan Tannenbaum '16 of the Big Green won both of his matches in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1 and 7-6, 6-0, against players from Army and Middlebury. Instead of having two Dartmouth teams in the finals, the two Dartmouth athletes drafted players from different schools to play in the final match.

In the last singles draw, Andres Isaza '15 dropped his first match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, against Spencer Lunghino from Middlebury. Isaza battled back and won his following matches, including the consolation final. Justin Chan '16 dominated the fourth flight, winning his matches in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-3.

"It was great to look out on the courts and see Dartmouth players playing other Dartmouth players," Jacobs said. "It showed us that we were able to dominate the flights, which was pretty cool."

On the doubles side, Ghorbani and Centenari won the first two games in the first flight, but the duo dropped its final match to Middlebury, taking second place in the flight.

Nordahl and Kipouras competed in the same flight and dropped the semifinal match to the eventual flight winners, 8-4, before taking third in the draw by winning the consolation match. In the No. 2 doubles draw, Tannenbaum and Chan won the flight, besting their opponents, 9-7 and 8-2.

"We have been working on doubles a lot in practice, and this tournament was definitely an improvement from our last tournament a couple of weeks ago," Ghorbani said. "We will continue to work on and improve our doubles skills and hopefully have some good results at regionals in two weeks."

The Dartmouth men will be back in action at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals in New Haven, Conn. on Oct. 19.

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