THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Brandeis University tennis teams picked up a sweep of Cal Lutheran University in the second match of their annual February break trip to California. The #19 Brandeis women defeated the Regals, 8-1, while the #20 men topped the Kingsmen by the same score. The Judge women improve to 3-0 on the season, while the men move to 2-0. CLU women are now 0-2 and the men are 0-3.
In the women's match, the teams started with singles play so that both teams would be able to play doubles simultaneously. Junior Michele Lehat (Great Neck, N.Y./ John L. Miller Great Neck North) picked up a quick win at No. 4 singles, 6-0, 6-1, to get them on the board. CLU's Gianna Culpo evened the match for the Regals at No. 3 with a 6-2, 6-2, win. Brandeis rookie Rachel Zubrinsky (Waxhaw, N.C. / Marvin Ridge) put the Judges ahead for good at No. 5, 6-3, 6-2, while classmate Isabel Cepeda (Mason, Ohio / William Mason) earned her first point of the season for the team at No. 6 with a 6-3, 6-4, victory. Senior Haley Cohen (Cherry Hill, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) dominated at the top spot in the lineup, 6-3, 6-1, to make it a 4-1 match, and junior Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Allied Academy of Health and Science) clinched the win at No. 2 with a marathon match, 6-2, 5-7, 10-6, taking the third in a super tiebreaker.
The Judges finished off the match with a doubles sweep. Lehat and Khromchenko opened with an 8-1 win at No. 3, while Cohen and rookie Lauren Bertsch (Middletown, R.I. / LaSalle Academy) were 8-3 winners at No. 2. Sophomore Sabrina Ross Neergaard (Port Orchard, Wash./Laurel Springs Prep) and junior Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) completed the sweep with the closest doubles decision at No. 1, 8-6.
On the men's side, the Judges took a 2-1 lead after doubles action. The hosts opened the scoring with an 8-3 win by Lucas Tilly and Mike Sulahian at No. 3, but Brandeis's top tandem of sophomore David Aizenberg (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) and Anupreeth Coramutla (Monroe Township, N.J. / Phillips Andover) tied the match with an 8-4 win. Juniors Jackson Kogan (Pacific Palisades, Calif. / Windward School) and Tyler Ng (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South) gave Brandeis the lead, 8-6, at No. 2.
In singles action, rookies Nikhil Das (Smithfield, R.I. / Moses Brown School) and Rajan Vohra (Glen Head, N.Y. / North Shore) rallied from their doubles loss to earn the first two singles points. Das was a 6-2, 6-2, winner at No. 5, followed by a 6-3, 6-3, win by Vohra at No. 4. Aizenberg clinched the win at No. 2 with a 6-3, 6-2, win.
The Judges showed toughness in the final group of three matches, as all three players rallied from a set down to earn their wins. Kogan was a 6-7, 6-4, 10-5, winner at No. 1, Ng took a 4-6, 6-4, 8-6, decision at No. 3, and sophomore Benjamin Wolfe (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) took a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4, victory at No. 6.
The Brandeis women are back in action tomorrow at No. 35 University of Redlands, while the men take on Occidental College on Friday.