Vassar, Skidmore fall to men’s tennis 8-1

Men’s tennis (3-3), currently ranked No. 12 in the country, scored consecutive 8-1 routs of Vassar and Skidmore over the weekend. The men defeated Vassar on Saturday in the Lansing Chapman Rink due to inclement weather, and Skidmore on Sunday in Saratoga, N.Y.

Williams came out with power on Sunday, winning both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches at Skidmore with relative ease. Will Petrie ’12 and Bryan Chow ’13 were dominant at the net in the No. 2 position, barraging their opponents with crisp volleys and powerful overheads to claim an 8-2 victory. The No. 3 team of Felix Sun ’13 and Trey Meyer ’13 was content to engage the opposing team in long cross court rallies until the opportunity for an aggressive pinch at net presented itself; the pair’s patient play gained the Ephs an 8-3 triumph. The Thoroughbred pair at No. 1 proved to be both consistent and cohesive, beating Eph co-captain Nick Lebedoff ’10 and Dicken Chaplin ’12 in a close 8-6 pro-set for the only Skidmore win of the day.

The Ephs took their 2-1 lead into singles and never looked back. Lebedoff sat out at No. 1 singles due to a sore ankle, but his absence on the court did little to hurt the Ephs’ confidence. Four first-years were victorious throughout singles competition: Sun dominated at No. 1, while teammates Chow, Meyer and Zach Weiss ’13 supported his strong play at No. 4, 5 and 6, respectively. Chow used a variety of slice shots and heavy topspin drives from the baseline to battle back from a set down, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, while all other matches were decided in straight sets. Co-captain Jeremy Weinberger ’10 and Petrie blew by their opponents in the second and third slots respectively, winning 6-2, 7-5 and 6-2, 6-1.

Saturday’s home opener against Vassar saw Sun and Meyer register the men’s first home victory of the season with an 8-3 victory over Vassar at No. 3 doubles. Petrie and Chow put the Ephs’ lead at 2-0 with a 9-8(3) win at the second doubles slot. The Ephs ended up 2-1 on doubles competition: Lebedoff and Chaplin lost a heartbreaker at No. 1, falling 9-8(7) to a tough Brewer pair.

The Ephs used the positive energy generated during doubles to establish their game plans early in singles. Playing No. 2, Sun finished his match first, lulling his opponent into a false sense of security before pouncing an any ball landing inside the service line in a 6-4, 6-1 victory. The other matches were also over shortly, with three of the remaining five singles matches being decided in straight sets, including a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) victory for Lebedoff at No. 1. Weinberger and Petrie had long matches at third and fourth singles respectively, but both prevailed: Weinberger dismissed his opponent in three, going 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, while Petrie won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Head Coach Dan Greenberg ’08 was pleased with how well his squad competed on the weekend, especially the younger Ephs. “It was great to win both matches this weekend 8-1,” he said. “But none of the matches came easily, so that will help us prepare for the week ahead. The freshmen had a great coming out party this weekend.”

Weinberger was also excited about the team’s play and the promise it shows for the rest of the season. “I’m very excited for Tufts and Amherst next week after our solid play this weekend,” he stated. “The atmosphere is always electric when we play Amherst at home and I expect nothing less this year.”

The two wins put the Ephs record at 3-3 on the year. The squad got off to a slow start with a 1-3 record over spring break, but has hit its stride with the recent victories.

The men will take on Tufts on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and Amherst on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played on campus this weekend, with the venue depending on weather conditions.

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