April 30, 2006

Bears Earn NCAA Automatic Bid with 4-3 Win over Penn

April 30, 2006

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The third time's a charm! After falling to Penn in the ECAC Championship in the fall of 2005 and then in their first Ivy match of the season, 4-3, the Brown men's tennis team (20-9) picked up a win over Penn when it counted most, earning the Ivy League automatic bid for the 2006 NCAA Tournament by virtue of its 4-3 victory over the Quakers on Sunday afternoon. The two teams finished the 2006 season with identical 6-1 Ivy League records, sharing the Ivy League Title. This marks the second straight season, and the fourth time in the past five years, that Brown will play in the NCAA Tournament.

It was a match that was eerily similar to their first meeting this spring and the score was even the same. However, this time it was Brown that came out on top against the University of Pennsylvania men's tennis team.

On April 8, Penn defeated the Bears 4-3. After losing the doubles point, the Quakers won at the top-four positions in singles. The match was won at the #2 spot. Today, the storyline was exactly the same, the only difference, senior Luke Tedaldi (West Newton, MA) defeated Justin Fox 7-6(5), 6-4 at the #5 position to clinch the match.

Penn won the first doubles match, earning an 8-4 win at #3, but Brown won the next two matches to earn the doubles point and go up 1-0 in the match. Senior Phil Charm (Concord, MA) and freshman Chris Lee (Sudbury, MA) earned an 8-3 win at #1 and junior Dan Hanegby (Herzliya, Israel) and sophomore Saurabh Kohli (Colaba, Mumbai, India) clinched the point with an 8-6 win at #2.

Brown then fell behind 2-1 after Penn claimed wins at #3 and #2 singles, but Kohli posted a 6-3, 6-1 victory at #4 to tie the match at 2-2. After a loss at #1 gave the Quakers a 3-2 lead in the match Lee tied the match at 3-3 with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #6, setting up Tedaldi's deciding match at #5, where he won a hard-faught battle, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Brown made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2002, earning an automatic berth as the Ivy League Champion, and fell to The University of Mississippi, the seventh ranked team in the country, 4-0. The following year, Brown received an at large bid into the tournament, and fell to Wake Forest, the 28th-ranked team in the country, 4-3. Last year, Brown was eliminated in the first round by #26 Ohio State, 4-0.

The Bears will now wait until Wednesday's NCAA selection show to learn who their next opponent will be. The selection show can be seen on ESPN News at 8:30 p.m.

#70 Brown 4, #45 Penn 3
Doubles
#1 Charm/Lee (B) def. Pinsky/Lok (P) 8-3
#2 Hanegby/Kohli (B) def. Boym/Bekker (P) 8-6
#3 Fox/O'Gara (P) def. Thomas/Garland (B) 8-4
Order of Finish: 3,1,2

Singles
#1 Pinsky (P) def. Hanegby (B) 6-1, 6-1
#2 Bekker (P) def. Ratnam (B) 6-2, 6-2
#3 Boym (P) def. Thomas (B) 6-3, 6-1
#4 Kohli (B) def. Lok (P) 6-3, 6-1
#5 Tedaldi (B) def. Fox (P) 7-6 (5), 6-4
#6 Lee (B) def. O'Gara (P) 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3,2,4,1,6,5