MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The No. 6 Wesleyan men's tennis team hosted its first-ever invitational this weekend as it entertained No. 3 Middlebury, No. 5 Amherst, No. 7 Bowdoin, No. 8 Brandeis, No. 17 Tufts and No. 34 Rensselaer (RPI) over a two-day span. Princeton Carter and Noah Lilienthal highlighted the Wesleyan Invitational for the Cardinals, advancing to the A flight doubles final after triumphing over top-seeded Tristan Bradley and Oscar Yang of Bowdoin.
"It was great to see Noah and Prince finish the fall with another solid doubles result," expressed head coach Mike Fried. "It is always tough to lose in the finals, but that does not take away from their strong run. I was also happy to see some of our players do well in the consolation matches which provided a great opportunity for experience against quality opponents."
DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS:
- The day began with singles, where Lilienthal faced Tufts' Isaac Gorelik in the A flight opening round. Despite dropping a quick first set 1-6, he came from behind to win, triumphing 6-4 in the second, before taking the third in a super tiebreaker 12-10.
- Zach Lieb played a long match against Jeff Chen of Brandeis in his first round of the B flight where his strength and key points lifted him to a 7-6(1), 4-6, 10-7 victory.
- In the A flight doubles, Carter and Lilienthal started their run by easing past RPI duo Zack Ebenfeld and Dylan Payne 8-1, before topping Damien Ruparel and Marek Michulka of Amherst 8-6.
- Lieb and Zach Fleischman also played in the A flight, opening competition with an 8-5 victory over Middlebury tandem Adam Guo and Aleks Samets. In the second round, the duo went blow-for-blow with one of the top doubles teams in the region, Brandeis' David Aizenberg and Anupreeth Coramulta, but the experienced Judges tandem edged the Wesleyan pair 8-7(3) to advance to the semifinals.
DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS:
- On the second day, Carter and Lilienthal played one of their best matches of the fall, triumphing 8-4 over top-seeded duo Bradley and Yang of Bowdoin. The victory avenged a tough loss to the duo from the ITA Regional Championship last month. In the final, the Cardinal duo went down two breaks and fought back, but ultimately the second-seeded Aizenberg and Coramutla of Brandeis used big serves and strong volleys to edge Wesleyan 8-6.
- Several Cardinals competed in consolation matches on day two. Max Lee topped Amherst's Zach Ostrow 2-6, 6-2, 10-7, while doubles duo Clay Gaieski and Brian Lee were victorious over Middlebury's Zach Hilty and Andrew Mueller 8-4.
- The Cardinals are idle until March when they head to Florida to face several nationally-ranked squads during the team's annual spring break trip.
--Recap by Ben Shapiro--