By ASHLEY BRUCE
The University of Mary Washington men’s tennis team hosted the Men’s Southeastern ITA Regional Championship from Oct.1 to Oct. 3. With 20 schools and 120 players present, two Eagles’ athletes fought to the semi-finals in the doubles draw and two players advanced to the sweet sixteen in the singles draw.
UMW’s double pairing of freshmen Evan Charles and Denato Rizzolo won three matches, including a victory over the No. 1 seed from John Hopkins 9-7 in the quarterfinals. Charles and Rizzolo fell in the 16 round to a duo from Christopher Newport University in a tightly contested 9-8(3) match.
Charles had another impressive run to the round of 16 in the singles competition. Charles won 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 against Zachary Kelm of Washington & Lee in the round of 32 before falling to Duke Miller of Carnegie-Mellon 7-6(1), 6-0.
Junior Will Apperson won his first singles match with a score of 6-3, 6-2 in the 32 round against Taylor Shamshiri of Washington & Lee, and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Assistant Coach for UMW, Tom Quensenbery, said he was “very pleased with the Eagles’ performance.”
Quensenbery said that Charles had a “nice come from behind win” in the singles draw, and he was also impressed with freshman Tyler Carrey, who he thought played “played an unbelievable match”, in regards to Carrey’s upset victory over No. 1 seed Eric Shulman of CNU.
Carrey said he “fought hard” to the 32 round by defeating number one seed Eric Shulman of CNU with a score of 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3) in a three-hour match. Carrey stated that the reason he was able to accomplish this was because he is “playing really well in practice” and he is enjoying himself. Carrey and Shulman were tennis friends in high school. They were both excited to be able to play each other again. Shulman stated, “I played well in the match; one of the better matches, but[Carrey] outplayed me that day.”
Carrey lost to Jeremy Becht of Washinton & Lee in the next round. He stated that he “played a bad game.”
The Eagles’ freshmen had a strong performance that weekend. Kevin Aquino, senior, stated that there is “a lot of promise for the freshman” and that they simply have “a lot of fight.” With the many strong freshmen, Quensenbery stated that he is “excited for the season.”
The most powerful presence at the tournament was John Hopkins. The Blue Jays had seven players advance to the 16 round in singles and four saw four doubles teams to quarter finals. Sophomore Andy Hersh of John Hopkins won the singles championship title.
“John Hopkins is the team to beat,” Bridgewater Coach Marty Perry said.
Blue Jays’ Head Coach Chuck Wyllenberg said that he is “proud of what we have done.” Eight years ago, John Hopkins went home on the first day of the ITA championship and this has been “quite a turn around and a lot of hard work to get here.”
Many were very pleased with Mary Washington at this event.
“Mary Washington was a great host,” according to Perry. He stated that the “weather was a challenge,” but UMW recovered nicely in moving the players to the indoor facility.
Perry was also very impressed with the Eagles’ performance. “Along with John Hopkins, Washington & Lee, Carnegie Mellon, and CNU, UMW looks like they are going to be really good this year.”