Men’s Tennis Wins A and C Singles Brackets at Wallach Invitational
Issue   |   Tue, 10/24/2017 - 23:18
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The Mammoths dominated in singles play, winning two of four brackets.

This past weekend, the Amherst men’s tennis team wrapped up its fall season at the Wallach Invitational hosted by Bates College. The Mammoths had seven singles entries across four different draws and won two of them thanks to Sean Wei ’21, who won the A bracket, and Kevin Ma ’21, who won the C bracket. Amherst also sent three doubles teams to Maine, highlighted by the pair of Nathan Kaplan ’20 and Zach Bessette ’19, which advanced to the finals of the A bracket.

In the singles A bracket, Amherst had two of the top four seeds, with Wei at number one overall and Bessette and number four. Both cruised past their first round opponents in straight sets, losing only ten games between them.

While Wei managed to battle through to the semifinals after beating Tufts’ Zain Ali 6-1, 7-6 (4), Bessette fell in a heartbreaker to another Jumbo, Rohan Gupte, 7-6 (6), 7-5. Wei then advanced to the finals after a dominant 6-4, 6-0 semifinal victory over Jackson Kogan of Brandeis and clinched the championship with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kyle Wolfe of Bowdoin.

Kaplan and Ethan Hillis ’21 were the Mammoths’ two representatives in the B bracket but didn’t find as much success as the A participants.

While Kaplan won his first round match against Vid Yadav of Bates, Hillis fell to his first opponent, Tufts’ Boris Sorkin, 6-4, 6-2. Kaplan would eventually lose in the quarterfinals after a back and forth 6-7 (11), 6-4, 10-2 loss to David Aizenberg of Brandeis.

The C singles bracket was similarly dominated by Amherst, as the pair of Ma and Jayson Fung ’20 met in the finals after dispatching some of the NESCAC’s top talent.

While Ma never lost more than two games in any set, Fung survived a battle against Justin Patel of Bowdoin in the quarterfinals, emerging victorious by a score of 7-6, 5-7, 16-14. Finally, in the D singles bracket, Oliver Kendall ’19 lost in the first round to Jonathan Hallal of Colby.

On the doubles side, Amherst entered two pairs in the A bracket. While Fung and Wei disappointed with a close 9-7 opening round loss to a Bates duo, Kaplan and Bessette made a run all the way to the finals, posting an 8-6 upset win over the top-seeded Bowdoin team of Grant Urken and Luke Tercek along the way. While they eventually lost to Anupreeth Coramutla and David Aizenberg of Brandeis, it was still a successful tournament for the young duo.

Meanwhile, in the B bracket, Hillis and Ma fell in an tight 9-8 (4) match to a Greenwood and Berghuis of Bates.

With a successful end to their fall campaign, the Mammoths will have plenty of momentum and confidence heading into the spring portion of the schedule as they try to win their first NESCAC title since 2014.

“We’re growing together as a team and heading in the right direction,” Ma said.

Amherst will resume play in March, when the team will travel to California as part of its annual Spring Break trip.