Ruparel Tops Michulka in All-Amherst Finals at Wesleyan Invitational

Ruparel Tops Michulka in All-Amherst Finals at Wesleyan Invitational

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Amherst College sophomore Damien Ruparel won the Singles "C Draw" by defeating teammate Marek Michulka '23 in the final day of competition at the Wesleyan Men's Tennis Invitational on Sunday afternoon.

Ruparel topped Michulka 7-5, 6-4 to round out his two-day tournament run. Ruparel, the #3 seed in the bracket, defeated Ben Biswas from Tufts and Rajan Vohra from Brandeis on Saturday to reach the semifinals. On Sunday, he topped Owen Bartok (Tufts) 7-5, 6-4 to set up the showdown with his fellow Mammoth.

Michulka knocked off #2 seed Nikhil Das of Brandeis 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round, then defeated Micahel Vergara of Bowdoin 6-3, 6-4. He reached the finals without dropping a set by beating Ethan Bershtein of Tufts Sunday morning by a 6-3, 6-1 score.

In the "A Draw", Kevin Ma '20 reached the semifinals with a pair of wins on Saturday. Ma defeated Abraham Yohannes (RPI) 6-4, 6-2 and David Aizenberg (Brandeis), the number one seed in the draw, in a 6-4, 2-6, 10-4 three-setter.

Ma bowed out of the tournament in the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-0 defeat to Rishabh Sharda of Tufts on Sunday morning.

Junior Sean Wei was the #2 seed in the A Draw and and had a first round bye, but suffered a three-set defeat (6-3, 2-6, 11-9) to Middlebury's Robby Ward in the second round Saturday.

Willie Turchetta '22 and Harris Foulkes '22 each reached the second round of the "B Draw" before bowing out of the tournament. Foulkes topped Princeton Carter of Wesleyan, 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 and then fell to top seeded Adam Tzeng (Brandeis) 6-2, 5-7, 10-7.

Turchetta defeated another Cardinal in Zach Fleischman (5-7, 6-4, 10-2), and then also fell to a seeded player, losing to #2 Andre Xia of Middlebury, 6-1, 4-6, 11-9.

A pair of Amherst first years competed in the "D Draw". Third-seeded Shaw Rhinelander reached the semifinals with wins over Stephan Lhullier (Tufts) and Phoenix Tamaoki (RPI) before falling this morning to Ben Wolfe of Brandeis, 7-5, 7-5.

Zach Ostrow fell to Niko Hereford (Tufts) 6-1, 6-3 in the opening round of the draw.

In the doubles draws, Michulka and Ruparel turned partners and reached the second round before falling 8-6 to a tandem from Wesleyan.

Wei and Foulkes also competed in the A Draw and were defeated in the first round by Gorelik and Moldenhauer of Tufts, with an 8-3 scoreline.

The most successful doubles team of the day was the pairing of Turchetta and Ma, seeded #2 in the "B Draw". The pair defeated Wolfe/Levine (Brandeis) 8-1 and Delman/Carroll (Bowdoin) 8-2 before being eliminated in the semifinals by Tegtmeier/Vohra of Brandeis 8-5.

The other pairing in the B Draw was the first year tandem of Ostrow and Rhinelander. They topped Anker/B. Lee (Wesleyan) 8-5 before being taken out by #3 Bartok/Sharda (Tufts) 8-1 in the Second Round.

The Wesleyan Invitational concluded Amherst's fall season, with the Mammoths next slated to take the courts in March when they travel to California for their Spring Break trip, starting at Chapman on March 15th.