Coming back for their first game of the season, the Brandeis University Mens’ tennis team came out with a 6-1 win over the Division I Merrimack Warriors. After being on the sidelines since last spring due to the cancellation of all varsity sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, responding with a statement game like this was just about as good an outcome as anyone could have hoped for. Often it can take time to settle back into a game shape after being off for so long, but the Judges came back flying.
There were certainly many more guidelines and restrictions in place than the last time this team walked off the courts. With no fans allowed in the stands, rigorous testing for all athletes, coaches and staff, and sticking to only playing matches against schools in the Massachusetts area who were following these same protocols, it was clear that health and safety was at the forefront of all decisions. It is also appartement from the statement made by Brandeis Athletics director, Lauren Haynie, the amount of vigilance and excitement that is there in bringing varsity spring sports back. She explained, “As a department, we have been working towards the goal of competing since last March … Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have been diligent in preparing for this opportunity, while simultaneously keeping the health, safety and welfare of our community in the forefront. I commend them for their continued vigilance, and thank our university’s senior leadership for making outside competition a possibility.” Now the scene was all set for the players to take charge.
In singles play, Brandeis swept all six matches against Merrimack. At number one singles, senior Anupreeth Coramutla ’21 got off to a 6-3 win in the first set against Jan Semerak. Sermack bounced back with a 7-6 (11-9) victory of his own in the second set, but Coramutla claimed the decider 6-3 once again. Jeff Chen ’22, playing at number three singles, also split sets with his opponent before bageling in the third set, beating out Merrimack’s Jonathan Garcia 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. At number four singles, Colt Tegtmeier ’22 was also pushed the distance but was able to hold on for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win against Merimack’s Andre Singer. The final two singles matches of the day ended up going to the Judges in straight sets with a 6-3, 6-3 win by Simon Kauppila ’23 and rookie Dylan Waters ’24 picking up his first collegiate match in a convincing fashion of 6-0, 6-1 respectively.
In doubles action, the Warriors pulled out their only victory of the day with Aryaan Bhatia and Jonathan Garcia overtaking Brandeis’s top pair of juniors, Chen and Adam Tzeng ’22. Coramutla and Tegtmeier teamed up for a 6-2 win at number three doubles, while Kauppila and Rajan Vohra ’21 dominated the Warriors 6-1.
After an impressive showing against this D1 opponent, the Judges will now go on to face their cross-town rivals, the Bentley Falcons, at the Cordish Tennis Center on April 15. Spectators are not permitted, but live updates will be provided on the Brandeis Judges website.