Men’s Tennis Excels in First Tournament
Issue   |   Wed, 09/30/2015 - 00:25
Rob Mattson
Michael Solimano ’16 helped the Jeffs earn the doubles title this weekend.

Rarely do Amherst players step on to the Williams College campus without a little fire in their bellies. This weekend, the men’s tennis team was no exception, especially after losing to Williams in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament last spring. The Jeffs headed west for the USTA/ITA regional championships on Friday. Although this time the team was in Wiliamstown for a tournament, not a matchup against their rivals, they undoubtedly were fueled by the memory of the loss as they took the tournament by storm.

In last year’s USTA/ITA regional championship, the duo of Michael Solimano ’16 and Aaron Revzin ’16 reached the finals of the doubles tournament before falling to first seeded Pierre Planche and Christopher Ellis of Bates. This year, however, they went all the way, taking down opponents from Williams and Bowdoin to reach the finals. As Solimano and Revzin dominated one side of the doubles bracket, the Amherst pairing of senior Ben Fife and first-year Zach Bessette vanquished the other, defeating opponents from Middlebury and Trinity. Bessette’s debut tournament eventually featured an all-Amherst doubles final: Fife and Bessette vs. Solimano and Revzin.

Although it was an all-Jeffs final, the match was set to be a fierce one. Fife had previously won the doubles title in 2013 with Joey Fritz ’14 by his side. Solimano won the USTA/ITA regional singles championship last year, however. In the end, Solimano and Revzin claimed the championship, defeating Fife and Bessette 6-1, 6-3.

“Playing the Amherst team in the finals is a lot like Serena playing Venus. We play hard on the concrete jungle, but whatever happens we remain friends and teammates,” Revzin said. “Besette will have plenty of opportunities to make a name for himself going forward and Fife is already a household name.”

“We have a lot of room for improvement in singles, but with the top of our lineup returning and contributions from freshmen, we should be in great shape,” Revzin said.

The team will next compete in the MIT invitational which kicks off on Friday, Oct. 2 with singles and doubles action in Cambridge, Massachusetts.