Indian Tennis Finishes 3rd in ECAC Tournament

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Behind upsets of two nationally ranked Ivy League opponents, Indian tennis marched to a third place finish at the ECAC Championship hosted at the Boss Tennis Center. To kick-off the weekend, the Dartmouth Indians defeated their hated rivals and 70th ranked Princeton Tigers, 4-2. The Indians started by winning the crucial doubles point as Michael Laser ‘12 and Alex de Chatellus ‘13 won 8-5 with Cameron Ghorbani ‘14 and Brandon DeBot ’14 winning 9-7 just minutes later. In singles, Chris Kipouras ’15, Brandon DeBot, and Michael Laser all won handing Dartmouth the victory. After DeBot finished off his opponent in the final set, 6-1, the Dartmouth players erupted into celebration running onto the court to celebrate the victory.

Saturday treated the Indians less favorably as the 60th ranked Harvard Crimson handed Dartmouth their first loss of the season. Harvard struck first winning all three doubles matches giving them a 1-0 point lead entering into the singles portion of the match. In singles, Michael Laser continued his string of great play beating Denis Nguyen in three sets, and Cameron Ghorbani provided the other victory for Dartmouth sweeping both sets, 6-4 and 7-5, against Alex Steinroeder. Unfortunately, Harvard won the other singles matches giving them the victory, but the Indians would strike back the next day to end the tournament on a high note.

On Sunday, the Indians dominated 50th ranked Cornell to finish third at the ECAC Championship. Due to time constraints, the teams played the singles matches before the doubles matches, and the singles matches would be all that the Indians would need to defeat Cornell. Picking up his third straight singles victory of the tournament, Michael Laser defeated Sam Fleck 6-4, 6-1. Laser, the Indians’ all-star for the weekend, finished the tournament without a singles loss, held his opponent to 2 games of fewer in a set four times, and ended with a cumulative 38-21 game advantage over his singles opponents. Chris Kipouras, playing in the fourth spot, beat Quoc-Daniel Nguyen, 6-4, 7-6, and in the fifth spot, Brandon DeBot picked up his second singles victory of the weekend with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Alex Sidney. The final victory went to Chris Ho ’12 as he topped Jason Luu 6-2, 6-3.

When asked about his thoughts on the weekend, Chris Kipouras ’15 said “We knew going in that this was going to be a tough tournament and I consider our results successful.” Kipouras saw the Indians success as a “group effort” and “The teams we played against didn’t seem as in sync as we were. Throughout the whole weekend, I felt that each team didn’t bring the intensity that we’ve practiced consistently throughout the last month.” Another factor in the Indians successful weekend was Dartmouth’s toughness, especially when compared to their opponents. Kipouras said that the other teams “all just seemed soft”, and that the fans that came out to the games played a role as “A lot of people came out for our matches against Princeton as well as Harvard and with fellow Big Green supporting us, the other teams felt a little intimidated. When playing against Princeton, I felt like my opponent was a bit rattled by the crowd. It’s just more proof that we are tougher than these teams.” This weekend provides a great launching point for Dartmouth Indian tennis as the team looks forward to the spring. Kipouras summed it up well by saying “We are definitely a team to look out for” and that he’s “really excited for the spring and for the big things to come.”

 –Peter Hill