Photo by Matt Hembree (C’20)
By Cici Lekakos
This year, Sewanee hosted the 2016 Men’s Tennis Inter-Collegiate Association’s Regional Tournament. Over 150 men competed over 3 days in both doubles and singles.
Although the men’s tennis regular season is in the spring, they have short fall season that is centered around this tournament. This year, Emory, Rhodes, Birmingham Southern, Millsaps, Centre, North Carolina Wesleyan, Oglethorpe, Methodist, Guilford, Piedmont, Berry, Belhaven, Covenant, LeGrange, and Sewanee competed.
Sewanee recruited nine freshmen, making freshmen the largest portion of the team. Aubrey Davis (C’20), Jordan Brewer (C’20), and Andres Carro (C’20) competed in the Main Draw in singles. Jordan and Andres moved on to the second round, but both lost in the third round to Emory players. Jack Gray (C’19) also competed in the main singles draw, but was defeated in the second round, also by an Emory player.
Emory currently dominates the regional ITA, and has won the tournament several times in the past. They regularly compete in the spring in the University Athletic Association (UAA), where they face schools like Carnegie Mellon University and University of Chicago.
Scott Gallimore (C’17) and Avery Schober (C’17) also competed in the main draw. Gallimore was defeated in one of the earlier rounds, but Schober made it much farther in the tournament than he ever had before. Based on his previous season and his #1 ranking on the Sewanee tea,, Schober was seeded number 2 in the draw. He beat players from Oglethorpe and Rhodes in the first two rounds. Each year prior that he had competed, Schober was defeated in the third round of the tournament. Schober played an intense day of tennis on Saturday—over six hours between the two singles matches. In the morning, he defeated Emory’s Alex Josepher. This match lasted three hours, with Schober losing the first set but storming back to win the final two. After an hour lunch break, Schober played another Emory player, Scott Rubinstien. Schober lost the first set 4-6, came back to win the second set 7-5, and closed out the match in the third set 6-4.
This brought Schober into the final day of the tournament, playing in the semifinal round on Sunday morning. Schober was defeated by Emory’s Aman Manji, who ended up winning the entire tournament in singles. Schober was the only non-Emory player in the semi-final round.
In doubles, Sewanee fared well. Carro and Schober were defeated in the quarterfinal round by an Emory pair. Last year, Gray and Eric Roddy (C’16) won the doubles tournament, which gave them an All-American title. This year, Gray and Hayden Loeb (C’20) were defeated by a Rhodes pair in the second round.
After this successful fall season, the men’s tennis team is looking forward to the spring, especially considering the large and strong new addition of freshmen players.