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February 18, 2009

Men's Tennis 2009 Season Preview

All-American doubles team Ben Stein '09 (left) and Amrit Rupasinghe '10 (right).

After a four-month break from competition, the men’s tennis team resumes play for their full-length spring season this week.

The Bobcats got a taste of what lay ahead in their quick fall season playing in one tournament and competing in two invitationals, including the Wallach Invitational, hosted by Bates.

This season’s squad is made up of mainly upperclassmen. Three seniors and six juniors make up two-thirds of the squad with one sophomore and three first-years rounding out the roster. The team has many reasons to look forward to this spring, including All-America doubles pair Ben Stein (Pelham, N.Y.) and Amrit Rupasinghe (Colombo, Sri Lanka). The pair received All-American honors last season and continued their success this fall as a doubles pair and in singles competition

In the first contest this fall, the Middlebury Invitational, Stein made it to the finals of the singles A Flight while Rupasinghe won the singles B Flight. At the Intercollegiate Tennis Association New England Championships, Stein and Rupasinghe won the doubles championship, which qualified them for the ITA National Small College Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. Stein also advanced to the singles finals of the 56-man field at the ITA Championships.

At the Wallach Invitational, hosted by the Bobcats, Rupasinghe made it to the final match of the 19-player Singles A Flight bracket, defeating NCAA singles semifinalist Stephen Sullivan of Bowdoin 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the final. Stein and Rupasinghe then traveled to Alabama for the ITA National Small College Championships, where they capped off their fall season with a fourth-place finish.

As the spring season approaches, Stein and Rupasinghe look to achieve an even higher level of success after a few tremendous tournaments this fall. Junior Adam Nielson (Den Haag, Netherlands) and captain Ryan Mannelly (New Canaan, Conn.) as well as a number of the underclassmen, also showed great promise in the fall season, which should give them confidence going into the spring. They'll be joined by veteran standouts like juniors Mike Reiss (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Max Berger (Concord, N.H.) and Zach Fenno (Armonk, N.Y.), as well as first-year Jeff Beaton (Haverhill, Mass.), in their quest for a team bid to this year's NCAA Championships.

The Bates men’s tennis team opens their spring season Thursday, Feb. 19 at Eckerd College at 3 p.m. The Bobcats home opener is Mar. 12 when they host Babson College at 4 p.m.

Bates College

2 Andrews Road

Lewiston, ME 04240

Phone: 1-207-786-6255

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