Men’s tennis stumbles 5-4 against Amherst, topples Vassar 8-1

Ninth-ranked men’s tennis (5-5, 0-1 in the NESCAC) fell 5-4 against No. 4 Amherst (23-1, 3-0 in the NESCAC) on Sunday. The men beat Vassar on Saturday by an 8-1 margin. The Ephs compiled a 4-4 record over their spring training trip.

Williams started off strong against Amherst on Sunday. The Ephs had a strong showing in the doubles, with Felix Sun ’13 and Trey Meyer ’13 winning the two spot 8-4 and Kevin Shallcross ’12 and captain Will Petrie ’12 claiming the No. 3 match by an 8-6 margin. Brian Chow ’13 and Matt Micheli ’14 lost 8-3.

“Will and Kevin …  made a huge comeback in doubles that allowed the team to push Amherst to the brink,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg said. “It was important for them to show the team that anything can happen.”

The Ephs headed into singles play with a 2-1 lead. The singles matches were not as successful for the men. Zach Weiss ’13 and Chow won their matches, but the other Ephs struggled to finish their matches strong, with Sun, Micheli and Meyer winning their first sets but ultimately losing. Sun went down 6-4, 6-1 and 7-6, while Micheli lost 6-3, 7-5 and 7-5. “Matt was disappointed after Amherst, but I was impressed with how calm and fearless he was throughout that match, especially for a freshman,” Greenberg said.

The men were more successful on Saturday against Vassar. The Ephs had a solid start in doubles, with Chow and Micheli capturing the number one position and Shallcross and Petrie taking the number three position for a 2-1 lead. Meyer and Sun fell 8-6.

“Bryan Chow had a great weekend. He’s come such a long way from last year mentally and physically, and it’s really starting to show,” Greenberg said.

In singles, all six Ephs won in straight sets. Sun breezed past his opponent with scores of 6-2 and 6-2, and many of his teammates had similar results. Dylan Page ’13 had to overcome a tiebreaker in the first set, but he managed to come back and take his second set 6-3. Micheli, Meyer, Weiss and Chow also took home straight-set victories.

Over spring break, the Ephs opened their season in California. The men struggled early, with a 3-6 loss to PLNU on March 21 and a 5-4 loss to Pomona-Pitzer on March 22. The men bounced back, however, and won their next three decisions against Pacific University, Redlands and CLU by scores of 9-0, 6-3 and 7-2 on March 24, 26 and 27, respectively. The men faltered against Westmont, losing 6-3, and then fell 7-2 to Santa Cruz on March 28 and March 31. However, the squad rebounded, ending the trip with an 8-1 victory against Sonoma State on April 1 before returning to the East Coast. “All the guys seemed on a new level after spring break, and that’s exciting,” Greenberg said.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position to beat some of the best teams in the country, so now we’re looking to focus on one NESCAC match at a time and work on closing out big points and opportunities,” Greenberg said. “We’ve been getting much better, but we need to keep doing that every practice and match.”

The men will play on Saturday at Wesleyan at 1 p.m. and again on Sunday against Conn. College at 1 p.m.

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