Men’s tennis (13-3, 6-2 in the NESCAC) scored two essential conference victories this weekend, defeating archrival Amherst on Saturday in a 5-4 thriller and trouncing Trinity 8-1 on Sunday. The Amherst match featured long, three-set singles affairs and was clinched with a clutch performance by Deepak Indrakanti ’19, who came from behind to down his opponent.
As it so often does, the third doubles point proved to be an absolutely essential component in determining the outcome of the match, as the match-ups on courts one and three resulted in rather comfortable wins for Amherst and Williams, respectively.
The veteran Amherst partnership of Aaron Revzin and Michael Solimano overpowered Brian Grodecki ’18 and co-captain Alexander Schidlovsky ’16 early in the pro-set. However, the Ephs would not trail 1-0 for long, as the Eph duo of Brian Astrachan ’16 and Sachin Raghavan ’18 tallied an equally comfortable point at the No. 3 position for the Ephs.
The advantage going into singles came down to the final match on court 2, where the consistently reliable pairing of co-captain Jose Raventos ’16 and Jordan Sadowsky ’18 traded blows with the duo of Zach Bessette and Jon Heidenberg from Amherst. With the match all-square at 5-all, the senior and sophomore rattled off three straight games to close out their match and give the Ephs the 2-1 advantage.
After this close match, singles competition began. Revzin struck first in the singles portion for the Williams faction, quickly leveling the score with a swift 6-1, 6-4 victory over Schidlovsky on court three. However, Raventos renewed the Ephs’ one-point advantage shortly thereafter, as he toughed out a tight first set on court 1 against Solimano, 6-4.
Grodecki did well to fight back after losing the first set on court two to Bessette 6-3 as he pushed the young Floridian all the way to a 6-all tiebreaker and then forced a deciding set after a 7-3 tiebreaker. However, Grodecki seemed to run out of gas as Bessette won the requisite six games before the Eph could find his feet.
With the score level once again, it was a senior rarely featured in the singles lineup who rose to the occasion in his last regular-season home match of his Williams career. Howie Weiss ’16, playing in only his second match of the spring season, was pitted against Heidenberg at No. 6 singles, and the veteran got off to a good start, snatching the first set off his counterpart, 6-4.
With the dual locked at four points apiece, all eyes turned to court five. Indrakanti shook off the disappointment from his first-set loss to put together four straight games, leaving the entire dual to be decided by one last set.
In a set that had seen four breaks already, Indrakanti added one more to finish off his opponent 6-4 and notch the Ephs’ second win in a row against Amherst, after last year’s NESCAC Semifinals victory.
“This was a great weekend to finish to our regular season,” Head Coach Dan Greenberg said. “I feel like everyone’s starting to play with belief, even as we’re a little banged up, so we’re excited to get healthy and prepare for post-season.”
On Sunday, the Ephs defeated the Bantams 8-1, with Sadowsky and Grodecki turning in important singles wins. The team did not look back on the way to a cumulative 8-1 victory against their NESCAC rival.