Men’s tennis rolls over Middlebury and Tufts

Now at the end of the third week of their season, the men’s tennis team boasts an impressive 7-1 record. Their most recent wins have been 7-0 sweeps of Middlebury and Tufts.

Playing at Middlebury last Tuesday, Williams won all but one doubles match en route to their victory over the Panthers. However, with the doubles teams of Josh Lefkowitz ’02/Sherman Lim ’99 and Dan Matro ’01/co-captain Scott Zinober ’99 winning their matches Williams still claimed the doubles point along with all of the singles points. Leading the way in singles were Lim, playing at number two, and Hasenauer, playing at number three. Both Ephs posted quick 6-0, 6-1 wins over their Middlebury competitors.

Bill Stebbins ’99 and Evan Hornbuckle ’99 also had decisive victories; Stebbins winning at number four singles 6-3, 6-1 and Hornbuckle topping his Middlebury challenger at number six 6-3, 6-4. Zinober and Lefkowitz each dropped a set to their opponents, however both rallied to win in the third set. Lefkowitz’s 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 game gave the Ephs the point for number one singles, while Zinober cashed in at number five 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

The Tufts match on Saturday was the Ephs’ first home showing and they did not fail to impress. All six of the singles matches were won in two sets and the doubles matches were all very decisive Eph victories. Playing at number one singles Lefkowitz had the closest match of any Eph as he won 7-6, 6-2. Lim, Hornbuckle and Stebbins, playing at numbers 2-4, respectively, only dropped seven games to Tufts combined. Lim won 6-2, 6-1 while Hasenauer’s match was 6-1, 6-1 and Stebbins’ was 6-2, 6-0. Hornbuckle, playing at number five, had a solid showing with his 6-4, 6-1 win, while Matro chipped in with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.

The Ephs posted major victories in all of the doubles matches to take the doubles point with ease. Lefkowitz and Lim’s match was a clean 8-0, while the teams of Hornbuckle/Pete Stein ’00 and Matro/Zinober both won 8-3.

Beginning the season with a training trip and matches in California, the Williams squad got off to what Zinober called “somewhat of a shaky start.” Nevertheless, the Ephs took three of the four matches they played out West, falling only to Redlands.

Williams’ first match of the season was at Pt. Loma, where they won 4-3. The Ephs won the match despite losing at singles numbers 1-3. Stebbins, Zinober and Hornbuckle had important wins at singles 4 through 6. Even more critically, the Ephs won the doubles point on the strength of Matro/Zinober’s 8-6 win and Hornbuckle/Stein’s 9-8 victory.

Next the Ephs defeated UC San Diego 5-2. Lim, Hasenauer, Stebbins, and Hornbuckle were victorious in their singles matches and all three of the doubles teams won. After this match, however, came the loss at Redlands. Lefkowitz, Hasenauer and Zinober won their singles matches for the Ephs, and the doubles team of Hornbuckle/Stein won, but it was not enough to top the Redlands who took the match 4-3.

At Claremont the Ephs found victory once more, as Lim, Stebbins, Hornbuckle and Matro won singles matches. Williams also took the doubles point here on the strength of play by Lefkowitz/Lim and Hornbuckle/Stein.

Returning to the East Coast, the team swept past Haverford and then Swarthmore en route back to the Berkshires. Against both teams the Ephs won all of their matches to post 7-0 victories.

Based on the strength of these two wins and the wins against Middlebury and Tufts, Zinober feels that the team is starting to gel. He noted that all three of the Ephs’ doubles teams are new this year and that it has taken time for everyone to settle in. “We have been improving with every match,” he commented, “and at this point I think that we are starting to reach mid-season form.”

The Ephs continue play this week with a match against Skidmore at home Wednesday afternoon. Next weekend the team travels to Amherst to play a match against the Lord Jeffs.

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