Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 12, 2024

M. Tennis doubles make history at ITA Nat'l

By JASON PLUSH | October 19, 2012

For the first time in the men’s tennis program history, Hopkins was able to send both a singles player and a doubles team to the ITA National Small College Championship at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.

The squad was represented by senior, captain Andy Hersh (the singles champions of the ITA Southeast region), while sophomores Tanner Brown and Erik Lim represented the doubles champion. Through making it into the tournament in the first place, all three players achieved the title of All-American in the Southeast region, giving them spots to compete in the National Small College championship. At the end of the weekend, Hersh finished fourth overall in the singles division, while Brown and Lim also placed fourth in the doubles bracket.

Hersh, making his second appearance in as many years at the tournament, started off with a match against Mya-Smith Dennis from Gustavus-Adolphus College.

In very quick and impressive fashion, Hersh dismantled Dennis in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the semi-finals for the second straight year in a row. Hersh then went on to face Aaron Skinner of Trinity College, who was coming off an impressive win over the top-seed in the tournament.

Hersh battled well over the course of the match but eventually fell 6-3, 6-1 to Skinner, who eventually went on to finish first overall in the championship.

Hersh then competed in the match for third place against a hard-nosed opponent in the second-seeded, Paul Burgin, of Kenyon College.

Burgin claimed the first set 6-3, but Hersh answered back with a 6-3 win of his own.

In the third set, it came down to a tiebreaker, in which Burgin was able to sneak passed Hersh 11-9 to claim third place overall in the tournament.

“It’s obviously hard to celebrate a fourth place finish,” said Hersh. “But it was a very enjoyable tournament and I enjoyed it a lot in the moment. Any win in Mobile really acts as icing on the cake.”

Despite some very tough matches in the tournament, Hersh played at an impressive level and has certainly had great success over the course of his career at Hopkins. He finished the fall season with a 7-3 record, adding to an impressive 70-22 career record.

In the doubles bracket, Brown and Lim quickly made history.

As an unseeded duo in the doubles bracket, the Hopkins pair was slated to take on the top-seeded team in the tournament, Byron Balkin and Mitch Osbore of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Brown and Lim not only defeated the top-seeded team, but also controlled the pace of the match, winning straight sets 7-5, 6-4. It was a huge upset in the doubles draw and the duo became the first doubles pair from Hopkins to ever advance to the semi-finals of the Mobile Championship.

“Our Jays [Brown and Lim] carried their high level of play in Mobile and dominated the Wisconsin-Whitewater duo from the first point to the last,” remarked Hersh about the unbelievable upset.

The pair went on to face the fourth-seeded team of Andrew La Cava and James River of Whitman College in the semifinals.

After falling 6-3 in the first set, Brown and Lim battled back to a 7-5 victory in the second set to force a tiebreak in the third set. However, Brown and Lim fell just short, losing 10-7 in the tiebreak.

They competed well in the third-place match but were unable to take down Warren Wood and Joe Dorn of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps as they fell in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 to finish fourth place in the doubles tournament.

“It wasn’t the best we could have done but I would say that fourth in the country isn’t so bad,” commented Lim on the tournament. “I was very happy that we accomplished our goal of earning All-American Honors and earning it with my partner Tanner is something that I’m very proud of.”

When asked about the memorable parts of the tournament, the players reflected on the overall experience that they had been a part of.

“The most memorable part of the trip was just the environment of the championship. Although it was a large and competitive tournament, the overall atmosphere was fun and enjoyable. Competing against other All-Americans made the tournament one to remember,” said Lim. Hersh remarked on the extent of teammate bonding throughout the course of the weekend, “When we were off the court, we were able to go to the beach and meet other players from different schools. It was a great experience to share with Tanner and Erik.”

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