Men’s tennis ends regular season with two shutouts

In the past week, the Williams men’s tennis team played their final two matches of the regular season, defeating both Trinity College and MIT 7-0. With these wins, the Ephs end the regular season 12-1 and should secure a very good spot in NCAA Division III post-season play.

The Ephs faced Trinity in their last home match last Wednesday. Though Trinity is one of the top teams in NESCAC, they were unable to record a single point in the scoring as Williams had their eighth consecutive shutout. Leading the way for the Ephmen was senior Captain Scott Zinober. He won his number five singles match in straight 6-0, 6-0 sets to set the pace for Williams. Sherman Lim ’99 and Bill Stebbins ’99 also had excellent matches for the Ephs. Lim was solid in his 6-1, 6-3 match at number two singles. Stebbins chipped in a decisive 6-1, 6-2 decision at number four singles.

Finding the day a little bit more challenging, Josh Lefkowitz ’02 rallied in the second and third sets to reclaim the match from his opponent. He eventually won number one singles 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Eric Hasenauer ’00 and Evan Hornbuckle ’99 also had closer matches. Hasenauer’s 7-5, 7-5 match at number three singles just avoided necessitating a tie-breaker. Meanwhile, at number six, Hornbuckle persevered to come out with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

In the doubles play, Williams won two of the matches, which was enough to take the doubles point. Lefkowitz and Lim cruised through their 8-2 match at number one doubles while Zinober and Stebbins found victory at number three 8-5. The only match that the Ephs dropped was number two doubles, and that in a tie-breaker as Hornbuckle and Dan Matro ’01 fell 8-9.

Considering that Trinity is one of the best teams in NESCAC and was a strong challenger last weekend at the NESCAC Tournament, this was a big win. Coach Dave Johnson said that he was very pleased with his team’s effort, especially coming right after NESCACs. “We had to play a lot of the same guys we had done well against over the weekend,” he commented. “It was a great win.”

Saturday, the men traveled to MIT for their last dual match of the regular season. Taking the match 7-0, the Ephs are in an excellent position heading into the postseason.

Starting with doubles, Williams claimed the point when they won all three matches. Leading the way at number one, Lefkowitz and Lim defeated MIT’s Eric Chen and Ben Cooke 8-3. Hornbuckle and Matro also had an 8-3 win as they defeated Jim Matysczak and Anit Chakraborty at number two. At number three, the Williams team of Zinober and Stebbins picked up an 8-6 decision over Ricky Rossello and Anish Parikh.

The Ephs faced more of a challenge in singles than they have in most of their matches this season, as four of the six matches went to three sets. The two Ephs to win in two sets only were Lim and Zinober. Lim won at number two singles by a score of 6-3, 6-1 over Matysczak. Playing at number five, Zinober downed MIT’s Chakraborty 6-3, 6-3.

Lefkowitz picked up the win at number one singles, beating Chen 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Hasenauer defeated Rossello at number three 6-3, 2-6, 6-0. Rebounding after not winning a single game in the first set, Stebbins picked up the win at number four on the strength of his second and third sets. He defeated Cooke 0-6, 6-1, 6-1. Hornbuckle also dropped his first set and then came back to take the next two. He beat Luke Tomycz 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to round out the day for the Ephmen.

Johnson noted after the match that MIT is a very strong team. “We’re pleased with how we wrapped up the regular season,” he concluded.

Williams will now wait to hear about the schedule for post-season play.