Men’s tennis earns at-large NCAA bid

Men’s tennis (15-6, 7-2 in the NESCAC) fell in last weekend’s NESCAC Championship semifinals but earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Div. III tournament field where it will look to defend its title. The men lost to NESCAC rival Amherst in the semifinals last Saturday at Bowdoin, 5-1. Williams downed Tufts in the NESCAC quarterfinals 5-0 last Friday.

On Friday against the Jumbos, the Ephs swept the doubles portion of the competition. The tandem of co-captain Matt Micheli ’14 and Conrad Harron ’17 earned an 8-6 win at the No. 1 spot. The duos of Rohan Shastri ’17 and Jose Raventos ’16 and Brian Astrachan ’16 and Alex Schidlovsky ’16 notched identical 8-4 wins on the second and third courts, respectively. In singles play, the Ephs quickly won the necessary two matches to move on as Raventos won at the No. 6 spot 7-5, 6-1, while Howie Weiss ’16 prevailed on the fifth court 6-1, 6-1.

In the semifinals on Saturday, the Jeffs got off to a 3-0 lead following the doubles competition, a deficit that proved too large for the Ephs to make up. Amherst won all three doubles matches by identical 8-6 margins. On the No. 1 court, Micheli and Harron lost to Joey Fritz and Justin Reindel. The second court saw Andrew Yaraghi and Aaron Revzin defeat Shastri and Raventos, while Michael Solimano and Chris Dale got by Schidlovsky and Astrachan on court No. 3.

Needing just two out of the six singles points to rap up the contest, Amherst won two of the first three matches to finish, ending the men’s bid at a conference title. Anton Zykov defeated Shastri on the third court 6-4, 6-2, and Reindel got the better of Weiss on the fifth court, 6-1, 6-1. Raventos scored the lone

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point for Williams with his 6-1, 6-0 triumph at the No. 6 spot over Ben Fife.

“We gave away too many free points in doubles against Amherst, and that was the difference between losing 8-6 in each match and potentially winning each,” co-captain Adam Reich ’14 said.

Williams will begin its quest to defend the NCAA Div. III Championship on Friday at Middlebury where they will face the winner of Skidmore and Yeshiva.

“We are using what we learned from NESCACs and are having a productive practice week looking forward to tough NCAA competition this weekend,” Micheli said.

Williams lost at Skidmore in a close, 5-4 contest on April 19 and has not matched up with Yeshiva this season. Should the men win that contest, they could face conference foe Middlebury on Saturday with a trip to California and the national quarterfinals on the line.

“We are excited to have a spot in the tournament, and we are looking towards a rematch with Skidmore,” Reich said. “Everyone is hungry for some revenge.”