Men’s tennis (10-2, 3-0 in the NESCAC) kicked off the last stretch of its season last Saturday with a 9-0 win over Skidmore in its spring home opener. The men closed their spring break tour with a 5-4 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on March 29 and a 5-4 win over Westmont on March 28. Prior to these games, the men went 9-1 over spring break, with their only loss coming against Cal-Lutheran on March 20.
Behind doubles wins from Alex Schidlovsky ’16 and co-captain Trey Meyer ’13, Felix Sun ’13 and Matt Micheli ’14 and Brian Astrachan ’16 and Brian Chow ’13, the Ephs went up 3-0. Each pair won by a score of 8-3. Williams built off its 3-0 lead in singles play, sweeping all six matches. At No. 1, Meyer defeated Skidmore’s Sherpa 6-1, 6-2, while at No. 2 Sun gave the men another match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Skidmore’s Ransom. Micheli, playing at No. 3, lost his first set in a tiebreaker but pulled out the next two sets, 6-1, 6-0. The No. 4 singles player Zach Weiss ’13 triumphed as well over Skidmore’s Stearman with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. Chow, at the No. 5 position, won his first set and was leading 4-2 in the second when his opponent retired due to injury. Howie Weiss ’16, at No. 6, fought through two tight tiebreakers to win his match in straight sets.
Over spring break, the men took on a number of teams, the most recent being a tough 5-4 loss against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on March 29. The team started out strong in doubles play, taking two of three matches, with Micheli and Sun winning 8-6 at No. 2 and Chow and Astrachan winning 8-4 at No. 3. Singles wins from Chow and Sun brought the Ephs within one point of victory. Micheli won his first set but lost the next two sets, one in a tiebreaker and the other 6-3. Howie Weiss played a close match as well but eventually lost in two straight set tiebreakers.
The previous day on March 28, the team managed to fend off a tough Westmont team to gain a win with a 5-4 score. Holding a 2-1 lead after doubles courtesy of wins from Micheli and Sun and Astrachan and Chow, Williams got two close wins from Dylan Page ’13 and Astrachan – both of whom pulled out three set wins. The match also saw Blake Mackall ’16 in the lineup at No. 6 singles, taking a 6-4, 6-1 win over his Westmont opponent.
On March 26, Williams faced off against University of California at Santa Cruz and picked up a close 6-3 win. With doubles wins from Schidlovsky and Meyer and Micheli and Sun, Williams went into singles play with a 2-1 lead from doubles. Meyer continued his impressive performance with an important win at No. 1 singles. With a crucial 6-2 win in the third set of a close match, Micheli was able to help seal the win.
March 25 saw the men taking on two teams in a long day of tennis. The Ephs remained unfazed however and beat both DePauw and University of Wisconsin at Whitewater 9-0.
On March 23, the men beat Redlands 5-4. This win followed a 5-4 loss to Cal Lutheran and a 9-0 win over Hardin-Simmons on March 20. The men began their spring break tour on March 19 with a 6-3 win at Pomona-Pitzer.
“I thought our California trip was a great start for us,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg ’08 said. “We played nine matches in two weeks, which was a lot, but they allowed us to get the rust off and see where we needed to improve. And the two matches we lost, to Cal Lutheran and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, were both 5-4, which we can definitely learn from.”
“We had a very encouraging and promising spring break trip,” co-captain Charlie Hammond ’13 said. “Our level of play improved significantly between our first and last matches, and we are optimistic about our potential heading into the NESCAC season. Off of the court, the trip was a great opportunity to become closer as a team. This is one of the closest teams that I have ever been a part of, and that is a major reason why we have been so successful thus far.”
The men’s next test is against Vassar at home this Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a contest with Amherst on Sunday at 1 p.m.