The men’s and women’s tennis team both got off to an excellent start this past weekend at the ITA Tournament held at Middlebury for the men and at Williams for the women. The Jeffs brought home three titles: women’s doubles thanks to dynamic duo and reigning NCAA Div. III champions, Jordan Brewer ’14 and Gabby Devlin ’14; women’s singles also won by Brewer; and men’s doubles won by Joey Fritz ’14 and Ben Fife ’16. The weekend displayed some great play, and the fall season looks extremely promising for both teams.
After going 30-9 last season, the Lord Jeffs looked to continue their success in their fall season debut. The team brought a talented squad to Midd., including senior captain and All-American Fritz, fellow captain Chris Dale ’14, 2013 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and All American Andrew Yaraghi ’16, Second Team All-Conference Michael Solimano ’16, Ben Fife ’16, Aaron Revzin ’16, and first years, Myles Tang, seeded 13th in the singles, and Anton Zykov, seeded sixth in doubles with Yaraghi.
Over the course of three days, the Jeffs demonstrated some excellent play, facing a wide array of opponents, including NESCAC rivals from Bates, Middlebury and Williams.
In the singles bracket, first-seeded Fritz was able to earn wins over JC Cangelosi of Conn. College (7-6, 6-1) and Kevin Wang of MIT (6-3, 6-1) before falling to the 11th seed, Brantner Jones of Midd., in three sets (2-6, 6-2, 6-3) in the quarterfinals.
Second seed Yaraghi was also able to record two wins, beating Musyoka Mbithi of Trinity (6-1, 6-2) and Peter Yanofsky of Bates (6-1, 6-2), before losing a hard fought battle to 16th seed Howie Weiss in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5, in the quarterfinals as well.
Solimano’s match also went to three sets against ninth seeded, Timmy Berg of Bates. After winning the first set, 6-3, Solimano dropped the second, 3-6, and then lost the deciding third set tiebreaker 7-6.
Also representing Amherst, Dale, Revzin and Tang all couldn’t make it past the first round. Dale lost 3-6, 4-6 to Michael Liu of Wesleyan, while Revzin fell to Courtney Mountfield of Midd., 3-6, 4-6. In his first collegiate match of his career, Tang could not handle 12th seeded Sam King of Bowdoin, losing 2-6, 0-6.
The Jeffs’ three doubles pairs all did very well, with Fritz and Fife claiming the championship in the end. Unseeded, the two started by winning their first round match against the seventh seeded team, 8-6. This victory was the first of five, as they beat a team from Tufts in the second round, a pair from Williams in the quarterfinals, and another team from Williams in the semifinals. In the finals, Fritz and Fife took down Palmer Campbell and Brantner Jones of Middlebury in a competitive three set battle, 6-7, 6-2, 10-7.
Seeded first in the tournament, Revzin and Solimano also had an impressive run by making it to the semis before falling to Campbell and Jones, 8-5. The pair played very well and had wins over teams from Nichols, Colby-Sawyer and Wesleyan.
Revzin commented, “It was a weekend of highs and lows. We started off weak with a rough showing in the singles portion of the tournament. But then we redeemed ourselves with a miraculous performance by myself and Michael Solimano making the semis in addition to Ben Fife and Joey Fritz shocking the nation by winning the tournament unseeded.”
The other doubles team for Amherst, Yaraghi and Zykov, were ranked sixth in the tournament, but only were able to win their first round match before falling to Campbell and Jones as well in the second round.
When asked to reflect on how the team played, Coach Chris Garner said, “Not as well as a number of other teams, but there were some bright spots.”
Next up for the Jeffs is a dual match at home against MIT on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.
The Amherst women’s tennis team continued to dominate this past weekend, as they look to repeat their 2013 undefeated season in Div. III play.
Led by Jordan Brewer ’14 and Gabby Devlin ’14, the team swept both the singles and the doubles bracket as they won the doubles tournament together and faced each other in singles final, with Brewer coming out victorious.
To start off the weekend at Williams, first seed Brewer only lost a total of 16 games over the course of six rounds. Brewer shut out her first two opponents handedly, 6-0, 6-0 and won her third round match, 6-3, 6-3 against Rigui McCoy of Williams.
In the quarterfinals, she took down the seventh seed, Joulia Likhanskaia of Bowdoin, 6-0, 6-3 and then continued her standout performance in the semis by beating sixth-seeded Kathleen Elkins of Williams. In the finals, Brewer defeated her own teammate and doubles partner, eighth seeded Devlin, 6-0, 6-3.
Devlin had a great performance as well leading up to finals, losing only four games over the course of the first three rounds. In the quarterfinals, Devlin defeated Elizabeth Gerber of Trinity, 6-2, 7-6, and in the semis, she was put to the test by the third seed from Williams, Kara Shoemaker. After winning the first set, 6-4, Devlin dropped the competitive second set 6-7, before triumphing in the third, 6-4.
Coach Jacqueline Bagwell was extremely proud of the two’s excellent performance.
“Both played a very high level of tennis throughout the tournament. Brewer finished her senior ITA tournament where she started off her first year as singles and doubles champion. Devlin was a doubles champion in this tournament her freshmen year, but this year, she added a stellar singles performance,” Bagwell said.
Notably, Jen Newman ’14, the tenth seed in the tournament, played three highly contested three-set matches. Newman was victorious in the first two, defeating Kate Winingham of Bowdoin for the first time in her career as well as a player from Middlebury before falling to fifth-seeded Melita Ferjanic of Trinity, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Sue Ghosh ‘16 also was able to win two rounds of tennis for the Jeffs as the ninth seed in the tournament before falling to sixth seed, Kathleen Elkins from Williams, 6-1, 6-0.
Captain Zoe Pangalos ’14 bowed out in the first round against tough opponent and sixteenth seeded, Maria Pylypiv of Williams, 6-3, 6-4. Sarah Monteagudo ’16 also was unable to make it past the first round, losing to another player from Williams, 6-2, 6-1.
First-year, Amanda Zalameda continued to play consistently and won her first round match 7-6, 6-2 before losing in the second round.
In the doubles tournament, first-seeded Devlin and Brewer only lost five games in their five matches. In the finals, the pair took down the second-seeded team from Williams easily, 8-1.
The other Amherst doubles teams both fell in the first round. Third seeded Pangalos and Newman couldn’t get past a Williams pair and lost 8-6. Ghosh and her partner, Safi Aly ’15 lost to the fifth seeded team from Bowdoin, 8-6.
Next up for the women is archrival Williams. The team will travel to Williamstown on Saturday, Oct. 5, and Bagwell plans to have the team regroup this week and work on point building and doubles.