INDIANAPOLIS -- Bates junior Rob Crampton will play for the singles title and team up with junior Matt Bettles to compete for the doubles title, it was learned today, as both the Bates men's and women's tennis teams had their seasons officially extended on Wednesday with invitations to the 2012 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women's Tennis Championships.
"It will be great to have both the men and women down in North Carolina together!" said Bates head coach Paul Gastonguay.
Crampton (Wilton, Conn.) is one of 32 players who will compete in the singles championship, to be held May 24-26 in Cary, N.C. He will also team up with Bettles (Taunton, England) as one of 16 doubles pairings. A year ago, Bettles played in the singles competition at NCAAs and won his first All-America honors, while Crampton was there, but didn't get the chance to compete, as an alternate doubles team member with Bettles.
Bates' women's doubles team of senior Meg Anderson (Cohasset, Mass.) and first-year Elena Mandzhukova (Lisbon, Portugal) is one of 16 pairs who will compete in the women's doubles competition, to be held on the same dates at the same site. They are Bates' first two women's tennis players ever to be selected to play in the NCAA Championships.
At singles, Crampton became nearly an automatic point for the Bobcats, going undefeated since March 11, a streak of 12 straight wins. Crampton played No. 3 singles for Bates for most of the year, then moved up to No. 2 singles for Bates' most recent matches against Tufts, Williams and Trinity.
Crampton and Bettles started the season with three consecutive losses at No. 1 doubles for Bates, but since then they have won 12 out of 14 to finish with a record of 12-5. Their victory haul includes six against nationally ranked teams -- beginning with the most recent, they are No. 12 Middlebury (twice), No. 3 Williams, No. 24 Trinity, No. 13 Johns Hopkins, No. 21 Mary Washington and No. 29 MIT.
Two days after getting the disappointing news that Bates missed an at-large selection to participate in the men's team championship, Gastonguay said he has mixed emotions about today's NCAA individual selections -- he felt Bates' No. 1 singles player, sophomore Timmy Berg (Bradenton, Fla.) would be playing in the singles field, and that Bettles also deserved a second straight singles bid.
"We are excited to be represented by Rob in singles, and he is playing amazing tennis," said Gastonguay. "I thought we had earned a second spot but not at the expense of our number one player -- Timmy Berg. We are such a tight team that it is hard to see some of the guys not get in who deserved a spot. Timmy, Rob and Matt are ultimate team players, and I am know that Timmy and Matt are happy for Rob while Rob is upset for Timmy and Matt."
"I know that Matt and Rob will continue to do everything in their control to be prepared to fight for every ball in a few weeks."