On Sunday, men’s tennis earned its first two conference victories of the season, defeating rivals Wesleyan and Conn. College. The Ephs benefitted from strong doubles and singles play from a number of competitors to take the first match against the Cardinals 5-0 and the second match against the Camels 9-0. The two wins snapped a two-game skid for the men, who were defeated by Middlebury 8-1 on Saturday. Both matches were played inside at the Lansing Chapman Rink due to cold local temperatures.
The Ephs swept all three courts in doubles to give themselves a commanding lead going into the singles competition. The No. 2 pairing of co-captain Jose Raventos ’16 and Jordan Sadowsky ’18 led the charge for the Ephs and were first off the court after cruising to an 8-0 victory over their Cardinal adversaries. The men also benefitted from strong performances at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to open up a 3-0 lead.
With only two more points needed to clinch the match, the Ephs proved themselves to be more than up to the task, winning three of their four first sets on the courts by 6-4 margins. The Cardinals were not about to give up hope, however, as Joachim Samson refused to capitulate to the pressure of co-captian Alexander Schidlovsky ’16, pushing the first set to a tiebreaker and edging out the Ephs by a 7-4 margin to take the first set and give the Cardinals a glimmer of hope.
However, Samson’s teammates proved incapable of emulating his example, and a well-played match from Raventos at No. 1 and a victory by Brian Grodecki ’18 at No. 3 were enough to clinch the victory for Williams.
In the second match of the afternoon, the Ephs looked to continue their good form from the earlier session against the Camels.
As before, the Ephs came out firing on all cylinders in doubles, sweeping all three courts to give themselves a commanding 3-0 lead that was consolidated when Deepak Indrakanti ’19 at No. 2 and Sadowsky at No. 3 swept aside their opposition to clinch the match for the Ephs. Both men only allowed one game to the opposition. Williams swept the remaining four singles matches, anchored by a strong performance from Sachin Raghavan ’18 at No. 1.
“It was a long but great weekend of tennis,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg said. “Even though the scoreline was ugly against Midd –we started too slow in doubles and that really cost us – the individual matches were all battles. Fortunately we simplified and fixed a few things for our Sunday match against Wesleyan, which made a big difference against a very tough team.”
The two important wins on Sunday came on the heels of a tough 8-1 defeat at the hands of Middlebury, the defending NESCAC champions. The lone match win for the Ephs was at No. 5, as Indrakanti defeated his opponent in three sets. Raghavan also took his opponent to a clinching third set, but was ultimately defeated at No. 4.
On their annual spring break to Southern California, the Ephs finished with an impressive 5-1 record in dual match competition, including a 5-4 win at Pomona-Pitzer. The men also earned victories at Redlands, Westmont, San Diego Mesa and Point Loma, but were defeated 7-2 by defending national champions Claremont M-S.
“Now we have another week to build on this momentum and progress before our match with Tufts on Sunday, which I hope a lot of people come down for,” Greenberg said.
After three matches in two days, Williams next hosts Tufts on Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Torrence M. Hunt ’44 Tournament Courts.