Men’s Tennis Impresses with Young Squad at MIT Fall Invite Tournament
Issue   |   Tue, 10/18/2016 - 22:46
Amherst Athletics
Jesse Levitin ’19 picked up a victory in the first round of singles play.

The Amherst men’s tennis team wrapped up its fall schedule this weekend Oct. 14-16 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, competing in the three-day Massachussetts Institute of Technology Fall Invitational tournament. The purple and white sent nine players to the tournament, where they saw promising performances in both singles and doubles action from the young squad.

The purple and white claimed victories in seven of their nine first-round singles matches when first years Gabe Owens, Jayson Fung, Josh Marchalik, Nathan Kaplan and Oscar Burney all downed their respective NESCAC opponents. Sophomores Zach Bessette and Jesse Levitin also picked up victories against Middlebury and Bowdoin opponents, respectively.

The first-years continued to impress in the round of 32, as Owens, Kaplan, Burney and Marchalik all picked up their second victory of the tournament to move on to the round of 16.

Two of the final players left standing were wearing purple and white after Burney defeated his MIT opponent 6-3 and 6-2, while Marchalik picked up a three set win against Holtzman of Wesleyan (6-4, 1-6, 6-3) to move on to the elite eight. Kaplan was edged by Cheng of MIT, while Owens lost a hard-fought battle to Brandeis’s Arguello in three sets.

Unfortunately in the quarterfinals, only one Amherst player could advance, as Burney and Marchalik were slated head-to-head in their elite eight matchup. Burney defeated Marchalik in two sets (6-2, 6-1) to move on to the semi-final round. Ultimately, Burney fell to his Middlebury opponent in two hard-fought sets.

“It was a great showing at such an early tournament,” Levetin said. “We are really excited about all the young talent that we have on the team this year.”

Moving from singles to doubles action, the purple and white sent four doubles pairs who also had standout performances among the talented pool of teams. In the first round, Marchalik and Paradis defeated their opponents from Tufts in an 8-3 win, while Burney and Kaplan took down NESCAC rivals Williams with an 8-5 victory. The sophomore matchup of Heidenberg and Bessette was bested by an MIT pair, while Owens and Fun fell to Brandies opponents 8-6.

In the next round, the purple and white went 1-1 when Marchalik and Paradis continued to roll over the competition, downing Alex Cauneac and Bryan Lilley of MIT 8-3, while Burney and Kapln suffered a hard-fought loss to a Middlebury pair 8-6.

Marchalik and Paradis were finally brought down in the round of 8 when they were bested by their Middlebury counterparts, who went on to lose to the ultimate Wesleyan doubles champions.

Having finished the fall slate, the purple and white will return to action this spring when the team travels to Florida over spring break to play in their preseason tournament beginning on March 10.