WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Amherst College men's tennis team began its NESCAC title defense with a 5-1 win over Middlebury College on Saturday in the semifinals of the conference championship.
As the top-ranked team in Division III and the top-seeded squad in the tournament, Amherst (28-2) will face Bowdoin College—ranked 10th and seeded third—tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Williamstown. Bowdoin upset host Williams College in the second semifinal match, 5-3.
Middlebury drops to 13-6 on the season and will likely receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Andrew Jung '12 and Mark Kahan '13 got Amherst going in doubles play with an 8-5 win over Derrick Angle and Andrew Lebovitz at number two. Middlebury tied it up when William Oberrender and Edward Fitzgibbons came from behind for a 9-7 victory against Wes Waterman '12 and Chris Dale '14, as the Lord Jeff duo let a 7-6 lead slip away.
The top doubles match was a back-and-forth battle, with Middlebury's Brantner Jones and Spencer Lunghino taking an 8-7 lead and threatening to give the Panthers the edge heading into singles play. Amherst seniors Luis Rattenhuber and Austin Chafetz fought back and pulled out the 9-8 win, improving the Jeffs' pair to 9-0 on the season.
Waterman gave Amherst its third point when he defeated Eric Vehovec in the sixth singles match (7-5, 6-2), and Jung quickly followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Fitzgibbons at number five. Chafetz clinched the victory for the Lord Jeffs by getting past Alec Parower in the second spot (7-5, 6-4), leaving three matches unfinished.
Sunday will mark the second meeting between Amherst and Bowdoin this season. The Lord Jeffs came away with a 7-2 victory back on Mar. 20, when the teams met in California. The Polar Bears' only NESCAC title came in 2008, when they stormed through the tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Sunday's match will feature live statistics courtesy of Williams College.
No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 4 Middlebury
1. Luis Rattenhuber/Austin Chafetz (A) def. Brantner Jones/Spencer Lunghino (M), 9-8
2. Andrew Jung/Mark Kahan (A) def. Derrick Angle/Andrew Lebovitz (M), 8-5
3. Edward Fitzgibbons/William Oberrender (M) def. Wes Waterman/Chris Dale (A), 9-7
1. Mark Kahan (A) vs. Brantner Jones (M) 5-7, 6-1 (DNF)
2. Austin Chafetz (A) def. Alec Parower (M) 7-5, 6-4
3. Luis Rattenhuber (A) vs. Derrick Angle (M) 7-6(1), 1-2 (DNF)
4. Joey Fritz (A) vs. Spencer Lunghino (M) 7-5, 4-5 (DNF)
5. Andrew Jung (A) def. Edward Fitzgibbons (M) 6-4, 6-2
6. Wes Waterman (A) def. Eric Vehovec (M) 7-5, 6-2
2012 NESCAC Men's Tennis Championship
Hosted by Williams College * Friday-Sunday, May 4-6
First Round - Friday, May 4
No. 4 Middlebury def. No. 5 Bates, 5-4
No. 3 Bowdoin def. No. 6 Trinity, 5-0
Semifinals - Saturday, May 5
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 4 Middlebury, 5-1
No. 3 Bowdoin def. No. 2 Williams, 5-3
Championship Match - Sunday, May 6
No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 3 Bowdoin - 1 p.m.