WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Brandeis senior Michael Arguello (Brentwood, Tennessee/Brentwood) produced the best-ever finish by a Judge at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association New England Regional this weekend at Williams College. Despite entering the tournament unseeded, Arguello made it all the way to the championship match, knocking off four seeded opponents before finally dropping the final.
On an opening day filled with upsets – only one of the top eight seeds reached the Round of 16 - Arguello had his most dominating match of the tournament in the opening round as he knocked off fifth-seeded Alex Cauneac of MIT, 6-2, 6-2. In the second round, Arguello won the first of three three-set matches in a row, coming back from a huge hole to defeat Gil Roddy of Bowdoin, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, his lone unseeded opponent.
Each of Arguello's next four opponents was on the 9-16 seed lines. Against William De Quant of Middlebury, Arguello won an opening-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5), before dropping the second, 6-3, before bouncing back, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals. Against Oscar Burney of Amherst, Arguello split the first two sets, 4-6, 6-4. He trailed Burney, 4-0 and 5-2, in the third set. Arguello fought off three match points at 5-4, then completed the comeback by winning the final five games, to take the third, 7-5, and advance to the last day of action.
Colby's Vlad Murad was the opponent in the semifinals, and after the two were on serve through 5-5 in the first set, Arguello won eight games in a row for a 7-5, 6-0, victory and a chance to advance to the Oracle Cup in Arizona later this month. In the finals he met Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury, and the sophomore, who hadn't dropped a set all weekend, continued his fine play, knocking off the Judge player, 6-2, 6-2.
The previous best performances by a Brandeis player at the ITA regionals under coach Ben Lamanna were a pair of quarterfinals.
In other singles action for Brandeis players over the weekend, senior Ryan Bunis (Cincinnati, Ohio/Groton-Dunstable, Mass.), the eighth seed, defeated Tiago Eusebio of Wesleyan, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, in the first round but was upset by Sachin Ragavan of host Williams, 6-3, 6-3 in the second and senior Brian Granoff (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep), a quarterfinalist last year, fell to the No. 2 seed, Anton Zykov of Amherst, 6-4, 6-3.
In doubles play, Granoff and Bunis defeated Jackson and Van Der Geest of Middlebury in the opening round, 8-4, before falling to fifth-seeded Zykov and Marchalik of Amherst, 8-1. Arugello and sophomore Jackson Kogan (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Windward School) were knocked off in a tiebreaker in the opening round, 9-8 (7-5) against a Carter and Samson from Wesleyan, while the seeded team of rookie David Aizenberg (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) and sophomore Tyler Ng (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South) were upset by Middlebury's Brach and Martin, 8-5, in the second round after receiving a first-round bye.