Men’s Tennis Stuns Fifth-Ranked Williams; Top-Ranked Lady Jeffs Continue to Roll
Issue   |   Tue, 04/16/2013 - 23:14
Megan Robertson '15, Public Affairs Office

Men

The now 17th-ranked Amherst tennis team had an excellent weekend of tennis, knocking off Conn. College, 20th-ranked and previously undefeated MIT and Hamilton. The weekend culminated on Sunday with a thrilling comeback win against fifth-ranked Williams. The Jeffs upset the Ephs in spectacular fashion, edging their archrivals, 5-4.

Amherst fell short in all three doubles matches to start the day with a 3-0 deficit. In the No. 1 doubles match, Alexander Schidlovsky and Richard Meyer topped Mark Kahan ’13 and Michael Solimano ’16, 8-4. Ben Fife ’16 and Andrew Yaraghi ’16 gave Matt Micheli and Felix Sun an excellent fight in the No. 2 spot as Williams barely survived with a score of 9-8. Joey Fritz ’14 and Chris Dale ’14 battled Bryan Chow and Astrachan in the No. 3 spot where the Ephs won another tight match, 9-8.

Heading into the singles matches 0-3, the resilient Jeffs did not lose hope and were confident that their singles lineup could still lead them to victory.

Yaraghi had little trouble with Micheli in the No. 3 spot, defeating his opponent 6-2, 6-4. Justin Reindel ’14 experienced similar success in the No. 6 spot as he overpowered Howard Weiss 6-3, 6-3. Dale evened the score at 3-3, beating Chow in the No. 5 spot, 6-1, 7-6. Fritz also went to a second set tiebreak but was able to resist a strong effort by Meyer, finishing the first singles match with a score of 6-3, 7-6.

Now with a 4-3 lead, the Jeffs looked to either Kahan or Fife for one more win to complete the upset.

In the No. 2 spot, Kahan dropped the first set to Sun before regrouping to split sets (4-6, 6-4). Using both his own grit and the team’s momentum, Kahan came through in the clutch and won the decisive third set easily, 6-1.

When asked to comment, Kahan remarked, “As I started getting back into the match, I realized that we had a good shot of winning this.”

Even though Fife ended up losing his hard-fought match in the No. 4 spot, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, Amherst had already earned the “W”, improving to 5-0 in the NESCAC.

“Now we are in better position for the NESCAC tournament, and hopefully Nationals after that,” said Kahan.

The Williams match was of huge significance for the Jeffs not only because of the instense rivalry but also because of the team’s efforts to improve its unexpectedly low national ranking. As Solimano puts it, “Now that we’ve beat a top-five team, it shows us that we’re in there.”

The team looks to remain undefeated in the NESCAC and extend their eight dual-match winning streak this weekend against Trinity at home on Saturday, April 20 and against sixth-ranked Bowdoin at home on Sunday.

Women

The top-ranked Amherst women’s tennis team remained undefeated in Div. III and NESCAC play as they shut out two more of their opponents, 9-0. Against Conn. College on Thursday, the team did not drop a single set as both the singles and doubles cruised to victories.

Notable on the day, first-year Sarah Monteagudo ’16 played No. 1 singles and won her match against Alexis Ditomassi, 6-4, 7-5. Monteagudo also played No.1 doubles with Isabel Camacho ’14, and they won their match against Jen Herbert and Brittney Cangemi, 8-3.

In the No. 6 singles spot, Mary Soyster ’14 completely dominated her opponent, defeating Anneka Kalia, 6-1, 6-1. Soyster had paired up with first-year Rebecca Pol ’16 in the No. 2 doubles spot where they defeated Sara Krivoshik and Ditomassi, 8-3.

Against 19th-ranked Tufts, the Lady Jeffs swept doubles and singles for their 10th consecutive dual-match win and fifth consecutive 9-0 shut out.

Jordan Brewer ’14, who is the second-ranked DIII individual player in the Northeast, made quick work of her opponent Lindsay Katz in the No. 1 singles match, winning 6-1, 6-0. In doubles, Brewer and Gabby Devlin ’14, the top-ranked Div. III doubles team in the Northeast, defeated Lauren Hollender and Shelci Bowman, 8-2, in the No. 1 doubles spot. The pair remains undefeated in Div. III play this season.

In the No. 5 singles spot, Zoe Pangalos ’14 encountered some difficulties as she dropped the first set 4-6 to Hollender. Pangalos was able to tie it up by winning the second set 6-4 and then finished off her opponent in a competitive tiebreak 10-8.

Up next for the Lady Jeffs are 28th-ranked Bates at home on Wednesday and Wellesley at home on Sunday. Perhaps the biggest test for the team this season will come on Saturday, April 20 at third-ranked Williams.

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