Wildcats land in top five at Brown U.

Kaitlin Gallagher

The men’s tennis team rebounded from a heartbreaking weekend at Bloomsburg with a three-day tournament at Brown University. Competing in a field of more than 15 teams, Villanova had a strong showing by finishing among the top five of the tournament. Led by strong play at the top and bottom of the lineup, the Wildcats had one of their best showings in the three-year history of the tournament. Headlining these teams were Brown, Boston College, Rutgers, Marist, Farleigh Dickinson, Colgate, Bucknell, Assumption, Carlson, Rhode Island and Montreal.

Play began early Friday morning, only to be disrupted by heavy rains for the rest of the day. No one seemed to be affected more by this rain than junior co-captain, Scott Fahrendorf. Fahrendorf was cruising past his Boston College opponent with a 5-2 lead in the first set when the rain came and forced all the matches to be moved indoors. With only four indoor courts, Fahrendorf was forced to wait four hours before taking the court again, killing any momentum he had in the match. He eventually fell to his former conference opponent, 7-5, 6-1. But this only fueled his motivation. Fahrendorf would go on to win his remaining singles matches with impressive wins over Montreal, Rhode Island and Carlson.

The Wildcats continued to improve on the doubles court with solid play in every flight. Fahrendorf and doubles partner Charlie Farmer had a consistent showing by winning two of their four matches of the weekend. Though Farmer and Fahrendorf didn’t produce a win in their final match, two separate Villanova doubles teams were scheduled to face each other in the finals of the backdraw. Sophomore Brian Maher and freshmen teammate Brett Tobin were set to play ‘Nova teammates Alex Leeser and Sumanth Chittajallu in their flight’s finals on Sunday afternoon.

Tobin also won his backdraw flight after a disappointing first-round loss to B.C. Up 4-3 in the first set, Tobin was at triple break point to extend his lead to 5-3 when his competitor blasted two aces. Tobin’s final scores were 7-5, 6-3.

Gaining momentum from his teammate’s play, junior Sean Daly advanced through the first and second round before losing in the finals 6-2, 6-3 to Bucknell. His efforts left him as finalist in his flight. Daly also excelled with doubles partner Dimitri Chimerakis when the two made an appearance in the semi-finals. Despite their efforts, Daly and Chimerakis fell 8-2 to Brown.

Chimerakis continued to make an impressive showing in his backdraw flight when he beat Marist on Saturday before an upsetting three-set loss to Lafayette in his flight’s backdraw finals.

Sophomore Brain Maher was able to rebound from a tough weekend at Bloomsburg with solid singles play at Brown. Maher built up his confidence with a strong first-round win against Carlson and then battled his way to a second victory with a big win against Rhode Island before ultimately falling to Boston College in the semi-finals. Sophomore Matt Krawczyk also won his singles flight.

This was Villanova’s third year participating in Brown’s annual tournament and arguably the team’s best showing. It was also the success the Wildcats had been looking for to lead them into the final three weeks of their fall season. Villanova’s next match is today at LaSalle, followed by a trip to Fordham University on Saturday.