Men’s Tennis Defeats Bates, Falls to Bowdoin in Maine
Issue   |   Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:35
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Zach Bessette ’19 won on court three in two sets 6-1, 6-1 against Bates.

Firmly in the midst of conference play, the No. 7 Amherst men’s tennis team split its two matchups, beating No. 25 Bates but falling to Bowdoin, which entered the matchup ranked second in the nation. It was an uneven Maine trip for the Mammoths as they squeezed out the 5-4 win over Bates but were handily defeated by Bowdoin, 8-1.

Amherst started the road trip off in Lewiston when it faced off against Bates inside Merrill Gym. The different conditions seemed to phase the Mammoths as they dropped two of the first three doubles matches.

Sean Wei ’21 and Jayson Fung ’20 fell in the first doubles match to Ben Rosen and Jacob Kauppila by a score of 3-8, before Cameron Raglin ’19 and Kevin Ma ’21 lost to Josh Leiner and Josh Quijano in the second doubles slot, 8-6. Fortunately, Zach Bessette ’19 and Jon Heidenberg ’19 made sure that Amherst didn’t come away from doubles play empty-handed, defeating Duane Davis and Vidyut Yadav in a close 8-6 match.

Things looked bleak after Wei dropped his first singles match in three close sets to Rosen, but the Mammoths turned things around by winning the second, third, fourth and fifth singles matches. Ma, Bessette and Fung all proved victorious in straight sets while Jesse Levitin ’19 came back from a set down to beat Yadav 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

While Heidenberg lost his singles match on the singles court to Nick Glover, the Mammoths had done enough to clinch the 5-4 win.

Amherst’s next stop was to Brunswick to face off against the second-best team in the nation: Bowdoin. It was an absolutely disastrous performance for the Mammoths, as they managed to only win a single match.

Things got off to an inauspicious start as Amherst lost all three doubles matches with Wei and Fung losing to Grant Urken and Luke Tercek, Raglin and Ma being defeated by Kyle Wolfe and Jerry Jiang and Bessette and Heidenberg being edged by Gil Roddy and Justin Patel.

The singles section didn’t prove much better for the Mammoths. After Wei beat Urken in the first singles match, 7-6, 7-5, Amherst dropped the next five. Ma, Bessette, Fung and Heidenberg all lost in straight sets with none of them winning more than three games in any set.

Levitin gave Roddy a good match as he claimed the opening set, 6-3. However, Roddy fought back to win the second set, 6-3, and even up the match at a set apiece.

In the 10-point tiebreaker, Roddy disposed of Levitin in dominant fashion, taking it 10-3 and ensuring an 8-1 overall win for Bowdoin.

This coming week, Amherst will have two home matches as they continue to move into the thick of their schedule. They’ll play NESCAC foe Conn. College on Wednesday, April 9 at 4 p.m. before hosting MIT on Friday, April 13 at 3 p.m.