Stein and Rupasinghe win ITA doubles championship
Ben Stein (left) and Amrit Rupasinghe defeated Bowdoin duo Alex White and Stephen Sullivan in Sunday’s championship match.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Bates College All-America doubles pair Ben Stein and Amrit Rupasinghe defeated Stephen Sullivan and Alex White of rival Bowdoin College Sunday 8-5 in the doubles championship of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association New England Championships.
The top seeds in the 32-team field, Stein (Pelham, N.Y.) and Rupasinghe (Colombo, Sri Lanka) broke through for their first ITA regional title after bowing in the finals a year ago.
Stein also made it to the finals of the 56-man singles field when he defeated Trinity’s Spencer Feldman in the semifinals on Sunday, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Conrad Olson of Middlebury defeated Stein in the singles finals by a 6-1, 6-1 score. But again, Stein, the repeat No. 4 seed, made it one round further than a year ago, when he lost in the semifinals.
As doubles champions from the New England tournament, Stein and Rupasinghe advance to the Oct. 16-19 ITA National Small College Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
The No. 22-ranked Bates men’s tennis team will next host some of the top teams in the Northeast at the annual Wallach Invitational Oct. 11-12.
Saturday and Friday Recap
Bates College All-American doubles pair Ben Stein and Amrit Rupasinghe advanced to the championship match of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships with a pair of wins on Saturday, while in the singles championship Stein cruised into the semifinal round.
Stein (Pelham, N.Y.), the No. 4 seed in the 56-man singles draw, defeated Kevin Shallcross of Williams in the Round of 16, 6-2, 6-3, before beating No. 7 seed Nick Lebedoff of Williams 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. He’ll meet Amherst’s Zach Feldman in the semifinals on Sunday.
Stein and Rupasinghe (Colombo, Sri Lanka), the top-seeded duo in the 32-team field, prevailed 8-4 over Amherst’s Zach Lerner and Moritz Koenig in the quarterfinal round, then topped Middlebury’s Conrad Olson and Andy Peters 8-5 to advance to the finals. They will face Bowdoin’s Stephen Sullivan and Alex White in Sunday’s championship match.
In Friday’s early-round action in the doubles bracket, Stein and Rupasinghe defeated Van Tilburg and Wee of MIT, 8-4, and Trinity’s McCook/Patrick duo 8-6 in the Round of 16. On the other side of the doubles bracket, Bates junior Ryan Mannelly (New Canaan, Conn.) and first-year Nicholas Shadowen (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) were defeated by Sullivan and White in the first round, 8-2.
Meanwhile in singles play on Friday, Shadowen made it to the Round of 16 with a pair of wins over Dan Kim of Amherst (6-4, 6-1) and Rich Bonfiglio of Middlebury (6-3, 6-4). Feldman defeated Shadowen in the Round of 16 on Saturday, 6-2, 6-3. Mannelly registered a hard-fought 4-6, 6-2 (10-8) defeat of Ari Binder of Williams before bowing out to Trinity’s David Yahng, 1-6, 6-4 (10-6).
Stein defeated Eric Vehovec of Middlebury 6-3, 6-4 in the second round, after receiving a first-round bye. Rupasinghe fell in a grueling first-round match on Friday to Alex White of Bowdoin, 5-7, 7-5 (12-10).