The Lady Jeffs faced off against Williams over fall break in their only duel match of the fall season. Last season, Amherst fell to Ephs in both the fall and the spring, before getting revenge in the NESCAC tournament, topping Williams to capture the conference victory.
Hoping to continue their winning ways, the Lady Jeffs got things goings immediately, winning two of the three doubles matches. From there, the visitors never looked back, rolling to a 6-3 win.
At first doubles, juniors Jen Newman and Zoe Pangalos fell to the Ephs top tandem, 6-8, in one of many tightly contested matches on the day. In what proved to perhaps be the key match of the afternoon, Jordan Brewer ’14 and first-year Sue Ghosh came from behind to top Williams’ second doubles tandem in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (6). At third doubles, senior captain Caroline Richman and sophomore Safi Aly slotted the second Amherst point of the day with an 8-6 win.
With two hard-fought points secured from the doubles play, Amherst had all the momentum it needed to close out the Ephs in singles play. The top of the Jeffs ladder proved to be especially tough, with the first three Amherst players earning crucial victories. At first singles, Brewer topped Kara Shoemaker in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (4), while Newman rallied past Nancy Worley after dropping the first set, 2-6. Newman’s 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win gave the Jeffs a 4-1 lead. Richman, showing her four-year experience, kept the momentum firmly on the Jeffs’ side of the net at third singles, downing Rebecca Curran 6-2, 7-5. At number five, Pangalos also rallied from a set down to secure the Amherst victory, topping Riqui McCoy 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Williams’ two singles victories came at the number four and six spots, with Maria Pylypiv topping rookie Ghosh at number four, 6-3, 6-1, and Kate Pollan topping Aly by the same score at number six.
The following weekend, the Jeffs closed out their fall season at the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament (NEWITT), hosted by Mount Holyoke and Smith.
In the tournament’s unique format, where different school’s doubles tandems face off before breaking off to play singles matches, the Lady Jeffs asserted themselves as the team to beat in New England.
Showing their depth, the Jeffs changed their doubles pairings from those against Williams but didn’t drop a beat. Brewer and Ghosh, paired together for the first time this season, cruised to the final round, where they met Pangalos and Newman. In an all-Amherst final, Brewer and Ghosh topped their teammates, 8-3. Due to the amount of matches already played over the weekend, and the success both teams had (Brewer and Ghosh went a combined 11-2, Newman and Pangalos 9-1) the teams decided not to play singles.
With an impressive dual match win over always-dangerous Williams, and a dominant performance at NEWITT, the Lady Jeffs will certainly enter the spring with a target on their back as the team to beat. But if the fall has been any indication, the Jeffs should be in for a successful spring as they attempt to defend their NESCAC crown.
The men traveled south over fall break to face off in two dual matches against Johns Hopkins Univ. and Carnegie Mellon.
Although first-year sensation Andrew Yaraghi continued his impressive rookie debut at first singles, the Jeffs dropped the two matches in as many days.
On Saturday, Oct. 6 at Johns Hopkins, the Jeffs dropped two of the three opening doubles matches to the Blue Jays. First-year tandem Yaraghi and Ben Fife ’16, playing second doubles, salvaged one doubles point for the away team, 9-8 (9-7).
In singles, the only two Amherst victories came in three sets, with Yaraghi topping Andy Hersh at first singles, 5-7, 6-2, 10-3 (super tiebreaker), and senior captain Mark Kahan beating Ben Hwang 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
First-year Aaron Revzin, and sophomore Andrew Sheiner both fell in three sets, while Fife and sophomore Jon Cypers, fell in straight sets.
The following day, the Jeffs fell to Carnegie Mellon, 5-4. Despite winning all three doubles matches and needing only two singles matches to secure the win, the Jeffs dropped the first three singles matches to give the momentum to the Tartans. Tied at three points a piece, the Jeffs and Tartans split two more singles matches, leaving the deciding point in the hands of Cypers, playing number five. In the end, Cypers would fall to Carnegie Mellon’s Kosuke Hasegawa in two closely contested sets, 7-5, 7-5.
After dropping two straight matches, the Jeffs returned to action last weekend with their final competition of the season, an away duel match at Wesleyan. Hoping to right the ship and end the fall on a winning note, the Jeffs found their stride, dominating the Cardinals 8-1.
Despite two uncharacteristic losses, the men’s tennis team showed much promise this fall, especially with the talent of their new players. First-year Andrew Yaraghi looked dominant in collegiate play, while classmate Fife also enjoyed a successful fall.
Combine that with the experience of older players, especially Mark Kahan ’13, plus the return of Chris Dale ’14 from abroad, and you have what could very well be the pieces to a national championship contender.