Men's Tennis Continues Undefeated Run in NESCAC Competition
Issue   |   Tue, 04/21/2015 - 23:10

The Amherst men’s tennis team extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches with two more decisive victories this weekend. With identical 8-1 wins over No. 14 Williams and No. 22 Wesleyan, the Jeffs have secured their title as Little Three champions and now stand 17-4 overall (6-0 NESCAC).

The team hasn’t lost a contest to a Division III opponent since their spring break trip. Back on March 17, they lost 6-3 to Pomona-Pitzer. Over the course of their eight-game winning streak, the Jeffs have won by at least a 7-2 score in every match.

On Saturday, April 18, Amherst hosted archrival Williams, who came into the match with an 8-6 record (2-2 NESCAC).

For the fourth consecutive match, Amherst swept doubles play. After constant changes in the doubles lineup for the first half of the season, the Jeffs seem to have their doubles lineup set in stone due to the strong production of all teams.

Juniors Michael Solimano and Aaron Revzin won 8-2 at No. 1, Andrew Yaraghi ’16 and Anton Zykov ’17 triumphed 8-3 at No. 2, and senior co-captain Andrew Scheiner and junior Russell Einbinder secured a 8-6 win at No. 3. Yaraghi (6-1, 6-1), Solimano (6-3, 6-1) and Zykov (6-4, 6-3) won in straight sets on the first three courts, while Revzin dropped the first set on the No. 4 court before earning the come-from-behind victory by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Senior co-captain Sean Rodriguez, who has been a solid staple in the No. 5 spot for Amherst, won convincingly 6-0, 6-0. The lone loss came in the No. 6 spot as Scheiner fell to his Eph opponent in singles competition by a 6-3, 6-2 score.

Building on the success of the victory against Williams, the Jeffs traveled to Middletown, Connecticut the following day for a matchup against the 3-8 overall (1-5 NESCAC) Wesleyan.

Once again, the Jeffs dominated doubles play, getting the sweep behind victories from the duos of Solimano and Revzin (8-5), Yaraghi and Zykov (8-4) and Scheiner and Einbinder (8-3).

Amherst won five out of six in singles as Yaraghi, Solimano, Zykov, Revzin and Scheiner earned the victories, all of which ended in straight sets. This improved the Jeffs’ NESCAC record to 6-0 with all conference matches ending in at least a 7-2 victory for Amherst.

“It was a huge weekend for us,” Scheiner said. “Williams and Wesleyan are two tough teams, and it was great to come away with two convincing wins.”

With just one weekend to go in the regular season, Amherst sits atop the NESCAC conference standings tied with No. 6 Middlebury College (16-2 overall).

No. 20 Bates College sits directly behind these two teams in third place with a 4-1 NESCAC record (9-3 overall). Bates’ lone conference loss came at home on Sunday, April 19 to Middlebury by a score of 7-2.

The Jeffs will play both of these very competitive teams in a few weekends in what will prove be a challenging set of matches, even for a team that is hitting its stride late in the season. Both matches will be home this weekend with the Bates match starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 24 and the Middlebury match starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.

With two victories, the Jeffs would clinch the regular season NESCAC title and will sit as the No. 1 seed in the six-team NESCAC Championship draw.

“We have a great opportunity this weekend with matches against Bates and Midd. We’ll work hard this week in practice and make sure we stay hungry for this weekend,” Scheiner said. “Hopefully we can continue to improve throughout the remainder of the season.”