While a hurricane was looming over Williamsburg and most of the southeastern seaboard, William and Mary took to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the team’s first tournament of the fall, the Penn Invitational. While matches in the fall are unofficial regarding the team’s National Collegiate Athletic Association standing, they do count toward the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s player rankings. In Philadelphia, the Tribe took on Ivy League foes Columbia, Yale, Princeton and Penn.
The first day of the tournament, the College took on Columbia in singles and doubles, and Penn in singles. The Tribe struggled mightily, losing all four doubles matches it played and only claiming one singles match of 16 overall. Columbia, which has won the Ivy League Championship five years in a row, dominated the College, but sophomore Chen Ruo beat Penn’s Jason Hildebrandt to salvage a win against the Quakers, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
On the second day of the tournament, the Tribe attempted to right the ship against Yale in singles and doubles, and Penn in doubles. Unlike the day before, the Tribe rolled, winning all four doubles matches against the Bulldogs and coming out on top in seven of eight singles matches. In doubles, freshman Oren Vasser and junior Brenden Volk teamed up for the Tribe to tally victories in two doubles matches, 7-6 (3) against Yale and 6-4 over Penn. In singles, Volk fell to the Bulldogs’ Dylan King in straight sets, but Ruo, Vasser, and freshmen Daniel Pellerito and Jack Kelly all notched wins in two sets while sophomores Finbar Talcott and Sebastian Quiros notched three-set victories.
The momentum did not continue into the third day, though. The Tribe faced off against Princeton in both singles and doubles and only came through with a win in two singles matches. Vasser overcame the Tigers Will Peters in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, and Kelly beat Kabir Sarita handily, 6-3, 6-3. That’s all the College got, as the Tigers dominated in the remainder of the matchups.
The Tribe will attempt to digest an up-and-down weekend and improve this fall after losing mainstays Christian Cargill ’18, Lars de Boer ’18 and Alec Miller ’18. Oct. 5, the team will split and compete in two different tournaments at the same time: the Richmond Invitational at the home of the Spiders and the Farnsworth Invitational at Princeton.