All Bulldog eyes were on Ryan Murphy ’05 this past weekend at the University of Pennsylvania, as he was the last man standing for Yale at the ITA Eastern Regional Tournament.
With the rest of his teammates falling in their first or second round matches, Murphy was the lone contender on the Bulldogs squad to compete for a spot in the finals and a berth for the National Indoor Tennis Championships in Dallas Nov. 7-10.
Murphy’s quest was in vain, however, as he lost in the quarterfinals to Virginia Tech’s Stephane Rod 6-2, 3-6, 3-6. The No. 10 seed in the tournament, Rod has lost only one match this fall season.
“I know Ryan was disappointed that he didn’t win,” assistant coach Joe Roediger said. “But Stephane Rod is a good player, and the match could have gone either way.”
Before falling in the quarterfinals, Murphy, the No. 8 seed, defeated Rutgers’ Maarten Vissers in the second round 7-6(4), 6-4, Army’s Amie Albornoz 6-1, 7-6(1) in the third round and No. 16 seed Adil Shamasidin from Brown in the fourth round.
While Murphy advanced to the quarterfinals, his Bulldog counterparts struggled just to get out of the first round. Matt Feldman ’06 fell in the first round to the Rhode Island’s Dustin Parente 3-6, 3-6 while Johnny Lu ’05 lost to St. Bonaventure’s Mikko Haulos in the first round 4-6, 5-7. Injury significantly limited Lu and Feldman’s performances. Feldman came into the tournament recovering from a previous injury while Lu suffered a twisted ankle in the first set of his match.
After defeating Duquesne’s Michael Lopez in two sets in the first round, Milosz Gudzowski ’06 fell to Brown’s Zack Pasanen, the No. 21 seed, in the second round 6-3, 3-6, 4-6. Both men’s tennis head coach Alex Dorato and Roediger were pleased with Gudzowski’s play this weekend.
“Milosz had a good tournament,” said Roediger. “In the match against Pasanen, he dictated play in the first set, and the third set came down to a matter of only a few points.”
Roediger attributed much of Gudzowski’s success to his well-hit groundstrokes and his consistent service returns.
In doubles, Murphy and David Goldman ’04 fell in the third round to Princeton’s David Gopstein and Darius Craton. Like Feldman and Lu, injuries also hampered Goldman’s play. Goldman pulled his abdomen in the days leading up to the tournament, keeping him from competing in singles and limiting his mobility in doubles.
Despite this obstacle, Roediger said Goldman and Murphy competed well in the doubles bracket, even in their loss to the Brown duo.
“[Goldman and Murphy] played very well against those guys,” said Roediger. “Dave especially showed a lot of heart.”
Goldman, however, was disappointed with the result, thinking that Murphy and he had a good shot at the tournament title.
“Brown played well, but we should have won,” said Goldman. “Our region is so wide open that there is no reason why we should have lost.”
With no one qualifying for the national tournament in Texas, the Bulldogs will close out their fall season with the Big Green Invitational at Dartmouth Nov. 9-11.