Following a strong showing at the NESCAC tournament, the Bowdoin Men's Tennis Team will play host to an NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament this weekend. The winners of each regional tournament will advance to the NCAA Team Finals in Santa Cruz from May 18 to 23. Second-seed Bowdoin will face seventh-seed Trinity in the first round tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. If they win, the Polar Bears will play the winner of a Williams-University of Rochester match-up for the right to advance to the NCAA Team Finals.
This marks the first time that Bowdoin has played host to the Regional Championships and this is the highest Bowdoin has been ranked entering the NCAAs. Two teams from each region earn the right to play host a regional tournament. Middlebury will play host the other Northeast regional tournament.
Bowdoin enjoyed an excellent NESCAC tournament, finishing second out of ten teams in the tournament held at Amherst College two weeks ago. Mac Burke '05 led the charge for the Polar Bears, defeating two-time defending conference champion William Boe-Wiegaard of Bates to win the singles crown. After dropping the first set, 2-6, Burke rallied to win the next two sets, including a suspenseful 7-6 (8-6) final set.
After winning the singles crown, Burke paired with teammate Garrett Gates '08 to take the doubles crown as well. Burke and Gates faced little competition on their way to the championship, defeating Justin Ingoglia and George Mayer of Middlebury 8-3 in the finals.
Burke was not the only Polar Bear to win a singles flight. In a gritty performance, Sam Bitetti '07 won the number three singles bracket. Bitetti fell behind Nate Edmunds of Middlebury before storming back, eventually winning 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
In another notable performance, Pat Keneally '05 and Barrett Lawson '05 advanced to the final of the number three doubles bracket. However, they fell to Edmunds and Brian Waldron of Middlebury, 9-8 (9-7), in the match for the title.
Middlebury won the overall team championship with a score of 96 points, while Bowdoin finished second with 66 points.
In addition to winning the singles and doubles crown, Burke shares the NESCAC Player of the Year honors with Trinity's Brian Marsden. In addition, Burke was awarded the Clarence Chaffee Award, an award for both high performance in tennis and sportsmanship.
Burke will lead the Bowdoin Men's Tennis Team this weekend in its attempt to advance to the NCAA Team Finals. Members of the Bowdoin community are encouraged to come out and cheer on their Polar Bears as they try to advance to the national finals. Williams will play the University of Trinity at 10:00 a.m. before Bowdoin squares off with Trinity at 2:30 p.m. GO U BEARS!