BABSON PARK, Mass. -- The Babson College men's tennis team opened its 2012-13 schedule with a valiant effort against national power Bates College on Friday afternoon, but the Beavers eventually fell to the visiting Bobcats, 6-2, in a non-conference contest at the Farwell Courts.
With the win, Bates, which ended last season ranked 16th in the country in the ITA national poll, improved to 1-0, while Babson opened its season at 0-1.
The doubles portion of the match featured a fantastic battle between Bates' top duo of seniors Robert Crampton (Wilton, Conn.) and Matt Bettles (Taunton, England), which ended last season ranked fifth in the nation, and the young Babson tandem of sophomore Ramone Doyley (Kingston, Jamaica) and first-year Roberto Perez (Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain). After taking their powerful opponents to a tie-breaker at 8-8, Doyley and Perez appeared to be on their way to a stunning upset when they raced out to a 5-2 lead, but Crampton and Bettles answered by winning five consecutive points to take the match, 9-8 (7-5). Meanwhile, the Bobcats also received matching 8-4 wins from the teams of sophomore Pierre Planche (Natick, Mass.) and junior Peter Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass.) at number two and sophomore Henry Lee (Sag Harbor, N.Y.) and senior Dylan Reffe (Washington, D.C.) at number three.
Babson continued to battle in singles play, getting a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 victory from first-year Victor Vu (Los Angeles, Calif.) at number four and a hard-fought 3-6, 6-1, (10-6) come-from-behind super-breaker win from senior Simeon Human (Trelex Vaud, Switzerland) at number six. However, Bates took three of the remaining four matches to secure the overall victory, including another fabulous contest at the number one singles spot. After dropping the first set to Crampton, who ended last season as the eighth-ranked player in Division III, Perez battled back to take the second and force a third-set super-breaker. The senior and the freshman then continued to play evenly throughout the tie-break before Crampton finally pulled away to secure the marathon 6-2, 2-6, (12-10) win.
The Beavers will play the second of their four matches this fall on Wednesday, when they host Roger Williams at 3:30 p.m. Bates will next be in action at the ITA Tournament at Williams beginning one week from today.