The men’s tennis team started their fall season this past weekend at the Middlebury Invitational. The team faced formidable opponents, including defending champion Middlebury College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Drew University, Skidmore College and Colby College.

Junior Josh Bruce-Black made it to the semifinals of singles Flight C, but failed to advance by losing to John Posey of Bowdoin 6-2, 6-1. Despite tough competition, he made the semifinals by defeating students from Colby and Middlebury.

“The teams at the Middlebury Invitational are very good,” Bruce-Black said. “Middlebury won nationals last year and Bates and Bowdoin are also ranked in the top 15 almost every year. The tournament was very difficult.”

Bruce-Black failed to advance in Flight B doubles with sophomore Mike Lee. They lost to a Middlebury doubles team 8-4.

Senior Avinash Reddy lost to Brian Waldron of Middlebury 6-1, 6-1 in Flight A singles. He also teamed up with senior Partha Battacharya in doubles Flight A, who went to play in the quarterfinals but lost to yet again another Middlebury team 8-3.

On a positive note, senior Brian Shenker had tremendous success over the weekend.

The Yellowjackets were able to grab the Flight D singles championship for the second straight year. Shenker defeated Matthew Rales of Middlebury in the finals 6-1, 6-1. Shenker never dropped a set throughout all his matches. He defeated players from Middlebury, Bates and Bowdoin. Shenker also found success in the doubles court with junior Eric Prince. They reached the Flight B doubles final where they lost in a tiebreaker 9-8 (3).

“Throughout the tournament, I was hitting the ball very well and just gained confidence with each match,” Sheenker said.

Sophomore Mike Lee, who won the Flight D title for Rochester last fall, won a consolation bracket competition in the weekend.

Despite a mix of success and losses, Rochester was optimistic about the rest of the fall.

“All in all, the weekend was great preparation for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association,” Reddy said. “We know what we need to work on and there is nothing like actual match play to improve our game.”

“There was very good competition in the tournament and I was happy with the way things went, especially considering it was our first tournament of the season,” Prince said.

The Yellowjackets are scheduled to play at the Flower City Invitational this weekend.

Lee can be reached at

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