Before fall break, Bates’ stellar men’s doubles tennis pair traveled to Sumter, South Carolina to compete in the Fall Men’s Doubles ITA National Small College Championships. Pierre Planche ’15 and Chris Ellis ’17 earned the number three seed at the national tournament comprised of eight teams from around the country by winning the New England ITA regional tournament earlier this fall.

This tournament serves as the final climactic event of the Division III fall season, with the opportunity for the winner to continue competing at the indoor championships in the winter. The ITA Small College Championships include schools from all small college conferences, not just Division III, creating an all-encompassing tournament for schools from different conferences to compete.

At the Small College Championships, Planche and Ellis lost 7-6(5), 7-5 in the opening round to a doubles team from University of Chicago. The Bates pair did not compete in the consolation bracket of the eight-team tournament because of an injury sustained.

“The trip to South Carolina was bittersweet, as we had to return home earlier than expected due to injury. However, it was great to be able to see the different types of competition that’s out there in Division II, NAIA, and JUCO,” said Planche ’15 of their journey to the south.

For the Bates men, this marks the end of the fall season and the beginning of prep for the spring. Looking forward, Planche is confident about the team’s outlook for the spring season.

“I feel confident that as a team we will train hard and do the right things in the offseason to overcome the injuries that we are currently dealing with,” the senior standout and newly minted All-American remarked.