Men’s tennis (14-2, 6-1 in the NESCAC) suffered a loss to Trinity (12-1, 7-1 in the NESCAC) last Wednesday, but rallied to claim victories against two conference opponents in Maine over the weekend. Williams beat Bowdoin (11-8, 6-3 in the NESCAC), 8-1, on Saturday and defeated Bates (12-3, 3-3 in the NESCAC) on Sunday. The Trinity loss jarred the Ephs, who otherwise had maintained a perfect conference record, but the Ephs were able to recover for their weekend matches and regain their footing before they head into tournament play this weekend.
“We’ve definitely had a mid-season dip,” said co-captain Dan Greenberg ’08. “But it’s reminded us how competitive our conference is, and how much harder we have to work to accomplish our goals.”
Williams worked hard to ward off a competitive squad at Bates on Sunday. The teams split the doubles points as Greenberg and Bret Thacher ’09 won on the first court and Gary Simonette ’08 and Nick Lebedoff ’10 took the point on the second. Greenberg, Karol Furmaga ’09 and Rick Devlin ’09 added singles victories. Lebedoff won a tough three-set match that clinched the victory for the Ephs, taking it 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The win came more easily on Saturday when the Ephs defeated the Polar Bears, 8-1. The Ephs took a 2-1 lead in doubles play. Greenberg and Thacher suffered their first doubles loss since spring break, but Simonette and Lebedoff dominated their opponents, 8-1, and Jeremy Weinberger ’10 and Devlin won on court three, 8-5.
At singles, four Ephs slogged through three-set matches, but they all came out ahead of their Polar Bear opponents. Six singles wins gave the Ephs the decisive 8-1 victory. The win got the Ephs back on track after the loss to the Bantams on Wednesday.
The Ephs went 1-2 in the doubles against the Bantams. Rick Devlin ’09 and Jeremy Weinberger ’10 found themselves in a tight spot at third doubles. Forced into a tie break, they couldn’t find a rhythm and fell 9-8 (7-2). Simonette and Lebedoff also lost, 8-5.
“When we played Trinity, we played not to lose instead of playing to win,” Simonette said. “We weren’t as aggressive as we normally are and we played tentative on the big points.”
Williams can typically rely on its strong singles lineup to dig out of a hole, but Trinity played a solid match at singles to give Williams its first conference loss of the season.
“We had our opportunities to make that a solid win,” Greenberg said. “But we weren’t sharp or focused enough to capitalize against a team that was tougher than we expected. It was our first NESCAC match on the road, and we didn’t come ready to compete in that environment.”
Williams played Tufts yesterday at 4:00 p.m. in the final match before the NESCAC tournament this weekend.