Rosen and Kauppila lose hard-fought NCAA quarterfinals match in three sets

Ben Rosen (left) and Jacob Kauppila (right) fell in the NCAA doubles quarterfinals in three sets by a count of 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (5) on Friday, May 25, 2018. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- After winning a three-set nail-biter on Thursday, the Bates men's tennis doubles team of senior captain Ben Rosen and sophomore Jacob Kauppila fell just short on Friday, losing 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (5) to Wabash's William Reifeis and Patrick McAuley in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. 

Rosen (Port Washington, N.Y.) and Kauppila (Chesterfield, Mo.) broke Reifeis and McAuley in the opening game of the third set, but the Little Giant pair broke back and followed by holding serve to move in front 2-1. Kauppila and Rosen stayed even to move the score to 4-4 before breaking serve again to take a 5-4 lead with the serve for a chance to win the match with a victory in the next game.

Reifeis and McAuley stiffened, breaking the Bates twosome to remain alive to tie the third-set score at 5-5. Reifeis and McAuley held their serve, as did Rosen and Kauppila in the following game to send the final set into a tiebreaker to determine which team would move on to the semis. Rosen and Kauppila led 3-1 and 5-3 in the breaker but eventually fell by a count of 7-5 for an overall score of 7-6 in the final set.

The first two sets were much different than the third, with Rosen and Kauppila losing 6-2 to begin the match before bouncing back for a commanding 6-1 victory to even things up at a set apiece. 

Despite the loss, Rosen and Kauppila both earned NCAA Doubles All-America honors for the first time in their careers. Rosen finishes his time at Bates as a four-time All-American. That ties him with Rob Crampton '13 and Ben Stein '09 for the second most All-America awards in program history.