Urged on by one of the biggest home crowds in recent years, the Ephs pulled off a nail biting 5-4 victory against a tough Dartmouth team in their first home match of the season.
The match had it all – intensity, tenacity, gamesmanship as well as sportsmanship. With the nine point scoring system initiated this year, the matches last much longer. The Ephs were ready and willing to play long points and be really patient. All of them dug deep and did not let up competitively.
The even numbered players who played the first wave of matches gave Williams a 3-1 lead and eased off the pressure. Parth Doshi ’03, the team’s number two seed, triumphed in four games against the Big Green’s Hamed Anvari. Doshi was up 8-7 in the first game but Anvari managed to fight back to win 10-8.
The second game went Doshi’s way, 9-4. The third game was extremely long and the score was tied up at 7-7 with Anvari serving. Anvari won the point with a reverse corner from the back wall. At 8-7, after a few exchanges of backhand rails, Doshi forced a loose ball off Anvari to finish the point with a soft volley drop. After another long rally was played with both players hitting deep, it was Anvari who finally made an unforced error with a drop shot from the backcourt. With the score now tied at 8-8, Doshi went on to win the game 10-8. Doshi then had no trouble winning the fourth game, which he did by a score of 9-3, and consequently the match by a final tally of three games to one.
Fourth seed Dave Morris ’03 competed hard but went down in three games to the Big Green’s Tim Vipond. Eph number six seed Dan Bishop ’04 won the first game of his match against Jesse Nisselson 9-6, but then dropped the next two decisively, 9-0 and 9-3.
Bishop managed to regroup, however, and came away with a fabulous win in five games conceding just one point in each of the final two games. An impressive performance by Eph co-captain Matt Haldeman ’02 saw him triumph at number eight in four games over Scott Judah. Haldeman won the first game 9-7 before losing the second by the same 9-7 score.
The third game was long and hard-fought, but it was Haldeman who came out on top by a final score of 10-8. The score in the fourth game was 9-6 and the match 3-1 in favor of Haldeman.
Number three seed Max Montgelas ’03 lost a tightly fought first game 9-7 against Andrei Porkopiw, but then he made a strong comeback to win the next two 9-0 and 9-2. Montgelas was up 7-3 in the fourth game before he fumbled and made unforced errors allowing Porkopiw to lead 8-7. Two incredible gets by Montgelas sent the game into a tiebreaker. There were quite a few exchanges of serves and Montgelas trailed 8-9 before he tied it up at 9-9 and ran home with a 10-9 fourth game result and a 3-1 win.
Williams number five Ross Koller went down in three games to James Judah. Koller hung tough, and the third and deciding game came down to the wire, but Judah ultimately toughed it out by a score of 9-8. Ephman number-seven seed Pat Curtis ’02 lost 3-0 to Bill Reisner. In the number-nine slot, Dartmouth’s Chris O’Connell proved to be too strong for Todd Herlihy ’05. Herlihy lost in straight games.
The team match score was now tied at 4-4 and the last match of the day was played between the top seeded players on each team: Eph co-captain Win Tangjaitrong ’02 versus Dartmouth’s Ryan Donegan. Win won the first game 9-3. In the second game, some good shots by Donegan and some drop shot tins from Win resulted in a tie score at seven apiece with Win serving. At this stage, an error by Donegan and a drop shot nick by Win gave the Eph a 9-7 win and 2-0 lead. The third game consisted of a lot of exchanges of serves, but Win came through and won the game 9-4 for a 3-0 victory, sealing the victory for the Ephmen.