Men’s and Women’s Tennis Continue Dominant Play
Issue   |   Wed, 04/11/2012 - 00:16
Photo courtesy of Sam Masinter ’04
Austin Chafetz ’12 won at the No. 1 singles and doubles spots against Bates.

Women’s Tennis

Last weekend, the women’s tennis team traveled to Wellesley College to compete in the Nor’Easter Bowl. The third-ranked Lady Jeffs dominated the competition and, with three straight impressive performances, earned themselves the tournament crown.

Looking to rebound from last week’s loss to Williams, the Jeffs opened the tournament against the Univ. of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. Amherst had little trouble in dispatching the Janes, sweeping all singles and doubles matches while dropping only six total games. That performance included two 8-0 victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles and three double-bagel (6-0, 6-0) singles victories at the No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4 spots.

The following day, the Jeffs took on the fifth-seed in the tournament, Skidmore College. Once again, Amherst was hardly challenged, as they did not lose a match for the second straight day (9-0). The Jeffs got off to a quick start as Jordan Brewer ’14 and Laura Danzig ’12 lead the way at No. 1 doubles. The duo earned an 8-4 victory, and the Jeffs kept the momentum rolling from there. Notable among the singles matches, Jennifer Newman ’14 pulled out a tough three-setter in the No. 3 spot, dropping the first set but recovering to take the second and third rather easily, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2. Similarly, at the No. 6 spot, Kimberly Snyder ’12 also dropped her first set in a very tight tiebreak, 6-7 (10). She too responded quickly and came from behind for the three set victory.

With their second win, Amherst advanced to the championship match, where they faced off against 12th-ranked Tufts, who would be out for revenge after dropping their last two contests against the Jeffs. As first-year Safa Aly explained, “Tufts always has a great program, so we expected a tough fight. We knew we had to be at the top of our game to avoid the upset.”

The Lady Jeffs avoided any letdown by sweeping all three doubles points to begin the afternoon. Brewer and Danzig set the tone with a solid 8-1 victory in the No. 1 spot, while Gabby Devlin ’14 and Caroline Richman ’13 matched that score with an 8-1 win at No. 3.

In singles action, Newman’s match went the distance for the second straight day. At No. 3 singles, she took the first set, 6-4, but lost the second by the same score. She bounced back strong, however, edging out her opponent by a slim 10-8 margin in the tiebreaker. In other singles play, the Jeffs lost one match, earning themselves an impressive 8-1 victory to take the tournament crown.

Overall, the weekend proved to be a solid one for the Lady Jeffs. With postseason success in sight, they return to action Saturday against Emory and Colby.

Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team returned to action last Saturday, as they faced off against 14th-ranked Bates College. The No. 1-ranked team in Div. III, Amherst returned to play after an impressive spring break trip that saw the Jeffs go 18-2. As this was the first conference matchup of the season, the team was excited to get its NESCAC season off to a solid start.

Going into the matchup, the Jeffs certainly knew not to take the Bobcats for granted. Their relatively low ranking was deceptive, as they came into the contest riding a five-match win streak. On paper, it looked like a strong test for Amherst, and the match definitely lived up to all those expectations and more.

The Lord Jeffs began the day by earning an impressive and critical win at No. 1 doubles. The duo of Austin Chafetz ’12 and Louis Rattenhuber ’13 were too much for their opponents, and they ran away with the 8-3 victory. On the other hand, the No. 2 doubles match proved to be a much tougher contest. Mark Kahan ’13 and Chris Dale ’14 pushed the pro-set to a tiebreaker, before losing by the narrowest of margins, 9-8 (5).

Unfortunately, Amherst dropped another close match at the No. 3 doubles spot. The team of Robby Sorrel ’12 and Wes Waterman ’12 got the match to a seven-all tie, but were unable to close out the victory. They lost their next two games, as the Bobcats were able to pull out the 9-7 win. It was a tough loss for the away team, as it put Amherst in a 1-2 hole going into singles play.

To their credit, the Jeffs did not show any signs of panic. Chafetz immediately put Amherst back on the winning track with a momentum-changing victory at No. 1 singles. His 6-2, 7-6(5) win tied up the score at 2-2 with five matches to play.

In the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, both Rattenhuber and Joey Fritz ’14 battled in three-set thrillers. Rattenhuber grabbed the first set of his match, 7-6 (2), but dropped a tight second set, 5-7. He recovered in the third, earning the decisive break to edge out his opponent. Fritz, on the other hand, played from behind for most of his match. He dropped the first set, and, after managing to win the second in a tiebreak, he ultimately fell, 6-3. Tied at 3-3, the bottom of Amherst’s lineup took the stage. Andrew Jung ’12 earned an impressive victory in the No. 4 slot to give the Jeffs a 4-3 lead. In the fifth singles match, however, Wes Waterman lost in two sets to set the stage for the final match of the day.

In that decisive match, Dale got off to a quick start, winning the first set with relative ease. He backed up that start without faltering in the second, wrapping up the match in two sets, 6-2, 6-4. The victory gave Amherst the 5-4 edge overall and wrapped up an impressive win for the Jeffs.

Amherst now sits at 19-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. They will put their record to the test this weekend as they host Colby, Vassar, Tufts and Skidmore in what are sure to be highly competitive matches. With the momentum from this victory, the Jeffs will look to continue building on their success going forward.