Men’s tennis beat Bates, fall to Brandeis

Ethan Bershtein approaches a drop shot during Tufts' 6–3 loss to Middlebury on April 8, 2018. Ray Bernoff / The Tufts Daily Archives

The No. 18 Tufts Jumbos earned their third straight conference win with an 8–1 victory over Bates on Saturday. In a heated matchup between two nationally-ranked top 20 teams, Tufts took its first loss of the season against No. 8 Brandeis 63 on Sunday.   

Against Brandeis, Tufts was the first on the scoreboard with an 85 victory by junior Niko Hereford and sophomore Rishabh Sharda at No. 3 doubles. Yet, the top Tufts duo of senior co-captain Boris Sorkin and sophomore Josh Belandres lost  to Brandeis’ Adam Tzeng and Jeffrey Chen, 86. Brandeis notched the final doubles match to secure a 21 lead.

Then, in a clash between two nationally-ranked rivals, No. 2 Sorkin defeated No. 25 Anupreeth Coramutla at the top singles slot, 75, 62 to even the team score at 22. However, Brandeis battled back to register three set victories over junior Isaac Gorelik at No. 2 singles and Sharda at No. 3 singles.

With Brandeis leading 42, junior Paris Pentousis dialed in a 64, 63 win at No. 4 singles to wrest another point back for Tufts. Still, Brandeis’ Dylan Waters defeated junior co-captain Jack Moldenhauer 63, 62 to clinch the match for the Judges. First-year Corey Marley also fell to host Brandeis in a third-set super tiebreaker at No. 6 singles.

Despite the gutting loss, Gorelik noted the silver lining.

“It was really important for us to lose in a competitive setting,” Gorelik wrote in an email to the Daily. “You could tell [Brandeis was] hungry and playing to win … The opportunity to play a team that was competing at that level was awesome and what we wanted since last March. We are upset with the result but thrilled we got to compete like that against Brandeis.”

Against Bates on Saturday, Sorkin and Belandres led 31 before Bates’ Leo Kupferman and Cameron Kania had to retire at No. 1 doubles. Then, the Bobcats tied the match with an 8–6 victory at No. 3 doubles. Pentousis and first-year Mauricio Gutierrez closed out doubles play in a tight tiebreaker with an 87, 74 win to establish a 21 lead for the Jumbos.

Tufts went on to register victories across all six singles matchups in straight sets. Gorelik won at No. 2 singles 63, 61, and Pentousis emerged victorious at No. 4 singles 62, 62 to put the Jumbos up 41. Then, Sharda clinched the match with a 63, 61 win over Bates’ Alexander Gujarathi at No. 3 singles.

Sorkin, Moldenhauer and Marley also all tallied wins to complete Tufts’ sweep of the singles matches.   

With just one conference matchup left before the postseason, Gorelik expressed that the Jumbos are looking forward to bringing their best.

“I’m extremely confident in our team,” Gorelik said. “We just need to keep up the intensity and belief in ourselves. There were moments in the match [against Brandies] yesterday where I really thought we were the better team. We just need to put it together.”

Tufts is back in action against Connecticut College on Sunday, May 2. The NESCAC Championships will kick off the following weekend on Saturday, May 8.