After three matches in the span of less than 32 hours two weekends ago, the Ephs faced a less demanding schedule last weekend when they took on regional and conference rival Tufts in their lone match. Last season, their two encounters with Tufts saw a split, with Tufts taking the regular-season dual before Williams wrought its revenge in the NESCAC quarterfinals. Last Sunday, Williams reasserted its dominance over Tufts with a solid 7-2 performance.
“I’m liking that we’re getting off to strong starts in doubles and loving that our seniors are back to form and leading the charge in singles and doubles,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg said. “We need to close out sets with more conviction, but the fact that we’re putting ourselves in those positions against really good teams bodes well – so long as we continue to improve.”
The Ephs found themselves with an early advantage after the Jumbos doubles pairing of Nik Telkedzhiev and Griffin Brockman had to retire after only two games of their match with Brian Grodecki ’18 and Alexander Schidlovsky ’16. This gave the Ephs an early boost against this fifth-ranked regional team.
The remaining two doubles matches saw the Ephs and Jumbos compete, with the Ephs winning both battles. Jose Raventos ’16 and Jordan Sadowsky ’18 saw off their opponents at two-doubles by the single-break margin of 8-5.
Next, the tandem of Brian Astrachan ’16 and Rohan Shastri ’17 squandered their break advantage in the dying moments of the pro-set as Rob Jacobson and Nick Cary came back from 7-5 down to force an 8-all tiebreaker. However, Astrachan and Shastri demonstrated their resiliency when they outlasted the Jumbos 10-8 to give the Ephs a commanding 3-0 lead going into the singles portion.
The Jumbos needed to come out strong in singles to overturn their three-point deficit, but Schidlovsky and Grodecki saw the Ephs over the finish line before the Jumbos could even try to begin to comeback.
Schidlovsky cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 victory at four-singles just minutes before Grodecki clinched the match in favor of the Ephs by dismissing Brockman at the No. 3 position, 6-3, 7-5.
The two teams split the remaining four points on the courts as Danny Coran put the finishing touches on his match against Deepak Indrakanti ’19. This tallied the first point for the Jumbos that afternoon.
Raventos was next off the court at the No. 1 position as he renewed the Ephs’ five-point advantage by defeating Jay Glickman 6-4, 6-3. The remaining two matches saw Sachin Raghavan ’18 and Zain Ali of Tufts prevail on their respective courts to conclude the match 7-2.
“We had a great week of practice leading up to the match with Tufts, which definitely helped us in the tight moments,” Raventos said. “We were able to overcome a slow start in doubles and get our energy in the right place to get the doubles sweep.”
“After that, everyone, both on and off the court, stayed tough and resilient throughout the match. We’re pleased with the win, but we still have a lot to improve on and we hope we can keep the momentum going into the upcoming weekend in Maine.”
The Ephs’ next contest will be in Maine on Saturday as they face off against the second-ranked team in the country, Bowdoin. That match is set to begin at 2 p.m. After facing Bowdoin, the men will face conference opponents Bates and Amherst.