Men’s tennis wins twice at UAAs, finishes second
The No. 17 Bears won two of their three matches over the weekend, with the lone loss coming in the championship match against No. 2 Emory University, and finished in second place in the UAA championships.
“We had two really good wins against [Brandeis University and Carnegie Mellon University], and I think the main thing was that we got to see Emory. We got to see how they play, we got to play one of the best teams in the country, and even though we lost by a lot, if we play our best we can beat them. I think overall it was a great weekend for us,” junior Adam Putterman said.
The lone win for Wash. U. against Emory came in No. 1 doubles match in which Adam Putterman and freshman Ross Putterman took an 8-6 victory over Emory’s Chris Goodwin and Will Humphreys. Freshman Parker Chang and junior Kareem Farah fell 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, and Emory took a lead into singles thanks to an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles over sophomore Jeffrey Hirsh and junior Gary Parizher.
Wash. U. never gained any ground on that lead as all six singles matches were wins for Emory. Ross Putterman, at No. 3 singles, was the only one to take his match to a third set before losing (3-6, 7-6(12-10), 10-7). Adam Putterman lost his match to Dillon Pottish, the top-ranked singles player in the country, (6-2, 6-4). Chris Goodwin, the second-ranked singles player in the country, beat Gary Parizher at No. 2 singles (6-2, 6-2). Farah, Chang and junior Tim Noack each lost two-set matches at No. 4 through No. 6 singles.
Despite the loss, Parizher noted that the team was able to keep its composure against Emory, which has not been the case in the past at times.
“It’s definitely a bitter taste in our mouths. Yeah, we had a great tournament, but we’re never satisfied. And with a rivalry like Emory, we’ve always got to bring our best game against them,” he said.
Friday’s match against No. 13 Carnegie Mellon University involved some heroics in a comeback—one that became necessary after all three Wash. U. doubles pairings dropped their matches. Putterman/Putterman and Chang/Farah lost No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, respectively, at 8-4 each, and Hirsh and Parizher saw their match at No. 3 doubles go about as long as possible before dropping a tough 9-8 (10-8) match.
“We came out slow, and we came out a little flat, and they’re way too good of a team to do that against and they took advantage of it,” Adam Putterman said.
Knowing that they had to win five out of six singles matches to win it, the Bears did exactly that. Chang took a (6-3, 6-2) loss at No. 5 singles, but every other Wash. U. player won his singles match in two sets. Adam Putterman (6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles), Parizher (6-4, 6-4 at No. 2), Ross Putterman (6-3, 7-5 at No. 3), Farah (6-4, 6-2 at No. 4) and Noack (6-2, 6-2 at No. 6) all contributed to the rally that brought the Bears into the championship round.
Parizher’s win was the final match of the day—and the one that clinched it for the Bears.
“I’ve been in that situation before. I could feel the kid tighten up a little bit when the score turned out to 4-all,” Parizher said. “It’s what everybody dreams of doing. Everybody dreams of being the last one out there at 4-all, and it’s thrilling. It’s really satisfying.”
Wash. U. opened up play on Thursday with an 8-1 win over Brandeis, as the Bears were one doubles win away from a sweep in their quarterfinal match. Chang/Farah’s narrow 8-6 loss at No. 2 doubles was the only loss on the day for the Bears, though both of them won their matches in singles. Putterman/Putterman won the No. 1 match 8-5 and Hirsh/ Parizher coasted to an 8-0 win at No. 3 singles.
Among the six straight-sets sweeps in singles for Wash. U. was Adam Putterman’s (6-4, 6-4) win at No. 1 singles—a win that, between singles and doubles, was the 100th of his Wash. U. career.
“It was really cool. I think [head coach Roger Follmer] has done a really good job of having us focus on really only caring about team results and how the team does,” Adam Putterman said. “It was nice to see, but I viewed it more as it’s been great that I’ve had an opportunity to contribute to that many matches. It was nice.”
At positions two through six, respectively, were two-set wins by Parizher, Ross Putterman, Farah, Chang and Noack.
With the results from the weekend, the Bears’ record improved to 15-6 on the season, and it appears nearly certain that they will make the NCAA championship tournament field when it is announced next week.
“We’re going to practice as if we’re going to make it. That’s got to be our mindset. We’re going to continue practicing just like we have been, or even harder, through the moment when we find out,” Parizher said.