Despite setbacks from sickness and injury that prevented some of the Bulldogs from competing at the Columbia Winter Classic in New York last weekend, Brandon Wai ’07 still managed to out-muscle the competition and claim top honors. On Sunday, Wai defeated Columbia’s Akshay Rao 6-3, 6-2 in the A flight finals to win the invitational.

Wai, who blasted through his bracket, did not drop a set the entire weekend. In the first round, he routed Leo Rodriguez of Marist 6-1, 6-1. He then beat St. John’s Louis Desmarteaux 6-2, 6-3 before downing Columbia’s Rajeev Emany 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-finals to secure a spot in the championship.

“Brandon was once again very impressive and kept up his great play this past weekend,” captain Ryan Murphy ’05 said. “He has cemented himself as one of the elite players throughout the region.”

Murphy and Milosz Gudzowski ’06 both competed in the A flight singles as well. Murphy fell to St. John’s David Nylen 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the opening round and Gudzowski won his first round match before falling to Columbia’s Rajeev Emany 6-0, 6-3 in the second round.

Both Johnny Lu ’05 and Rory Green ’08 made it to the semifinals in the B flight. Lu won a pair of three-setters but fell to Columbia’s Jared Drucker 6-1, 7-6 (2). After edging Columbia’s Ilya Shatashvili in the first round 6-4 in the third set, Green advanced to the semis with a straight set victory over Marist’s Ray Josephs. He then lost to Columbia’s Marty Moore 6-1, 6-1.

Murphy and Wai teamed up to advance to the tournament finals in doubles, but were defeated 8-4 by a team from Columbia.

Despite taking first place in the singles, the Bulldogs did not have one of their finer outings, head coach Alex Dorato said.

“The bad news is that except for Brandon Wai playing very well in taking the singles title and Brandon Wai and Ryan Murphy getting to the doubles final, we didn’t play up to our potential,” Dorato said.

Luckily, the Bulldogs have all week to prepare for their match Friday at home against North Carolina State.

“Each person has individual things that they need to work on,” Dorato said. “I am confident that we will play much better on Friday.”

Despite a disappointing performance last weekend, Dorato said the Bulldogs remain confident.

“As a team we were a little disappointed in most of the results, yet it was a good opportunity to get some matches in before the team season starts on Friday,” Murphy said. “Hopefully we can continue to improve on this weekend and start the season off with a great showing as a team on Friday.”

[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”16560″ ]