No. 23 nationally ranked Bates College men’s tennis team cruised to an emphatic 9-0 win over Connecticut College on Saturday’s open to NESCAC competition. After a disappointing loss to Brandeis University earlier this month, the Bobcats bounced back to sweep the Camels.
The Bobcats began dismantling the Camels early in the afternoon, with Josh Quijano ‘19 and Jacob Kauppila ‘20 defeated Conn College’s Guillermo Garcia and Will Cannon in their No. 1 doubles match.
In light of their loss at Brandeis, this was an important step forward for the Bobcats.
“I hate losing so I never really forget my losses, but I do my best to learn from them and I think our loss against Brandeis helped me and Q work on some things leading up to the Conn match which we were able to use to our advantage,” Kauppila said.
The Bobcats’ doubles supremacy continued, with Vidyut Yadav ‘20 and Nick Glover ‘20 securing an 8-4 win. Senior captain Duane Davis ‘19 and Ben Eckardt ‘19 teamed up to complete the sweep of the Camels.
The Bobcats, hungry for more, continued their onslaught as singles’ play continued throughout the afternoon. Quijano extended his winning streak to three by easily dispatching Garcia in two sets. Eckardt also had a strong singles’ showing with a victory over Ben Jenkins.
Other Bates’ singles wins took a little longer, with Kauppila, Jacob Eisenberg ‘20, Alex Kennedy ‘21, and Alex Jacobs ‘22 all needing the extra set to get the job done. After falling behind to SangJin Song in the first set, Kauppila battled back to win the next two sets to secure the victory.
“The first set against Sang was a really difficult one,” Kauppila said. “Conn. College’s courts and facility are a lot different than many of the places we play, so I was struggling, in the beginning to get adjusted and play the way I wanted to play.”
“But after the first set and down a break in the second, I eventually told myself I was going to put every ball back in the court and make this guy beat me instead of beating myself,” he continued. “This ended up working out as he eventually broke down and allowed me to come back with some momentum after I won the second set.”
The Bobcats will head south to Fredericksburg, Virginia, looking to continue their domination against the University of Mary Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Kauppila is optimistic about the team’s potential.
“Our team’s goal is to be #1 in the NESCAC and #1 in the Nation,” he said. “It would be a dream come true if our team could make it nationals this year, and I’m hoping some of us can make it individually too.”