Contact: Ben Badua
HADLEY, Mass. - After helping the Jeffs to a 28-8 overall record, five members of the third-ranked Amherst men's tennis team garnered recognition on the NESCAC all-conference squads.
Joey Fritz '14 and Mark Kahan '13 each received praise as first team singles players, while Kahan also picked up a second team doubles nod. Chris Dale '14 and Michael Solimano '16 also represent the Jeffs on second team doubles, while Andrew Yaraghi '16 was tabbed the league's Rookie of the Year as both a second team singles and doubles player.
Playing in the middle of the Amherst order during his first two seasons, Fritz moved to the top of the lineup in 2012-13 and has not disappointed, posting a 10-3 record. Rattling off six wins in a row from Apr. 7-27, he suffered a narrow defeat to NESCAC Player of the Year Trey Meyer '13 in the NESCAC championship before rebounding for a 6-3, 6-3 victory over TCNJ's Marc Nichols '13 in second round NCAA action.
One of the Jeffs' top singles players, Kahan has settled into the second slot, going 14-5 this year. After falling to California Lutheran's Ray Worley on Mar. 19, the senior captain reeled off nine consecutive victories, playing an integral role in Amherst's 14-match win streak that propelled the Purple & White into the NESCAC title game.
Playing with Solimano for the better part of the spring, the Kahan has racked up a 6-3 record at first and second doubles. Winning four of five outings entering the league playoffs, Kahan and Solimano defeated Bates' Timmy Berg and Pierre Planche in the conference semifinals before dropping a close battle with Williams' Felix Sun and Matt Micheli in the championship.
Rebounding, the duo powered to an 8-2 first doubles victory over TCNJ's Nichols and Howard Telson '14 in Friday's NCAA second round match-up. Separately, Kahan holds a 15-7 overall doubles mark, while Solimano sports a 10-7 record.
Factoring prominently into the Jeffs' doubles rotation, Dale has posted a 9-5 overall record, having played his last five with Yaraghi. While the pairing is just 3-2 over that span, Dale enjoyed a stellar stretch earlier this season, reeling off six straight from Mar. 19- Apr. 7. Meanwhile, Yaraghi is 17-4 overall as a doubles player, having won four of his last six. He began his collegiate career with victories in 14 of his first 15, including a string of 13 in a row.
Equally impressive in singles action, Yaraghi joins Fritz and Kahan as one of three Jeffs to receive an invitation to the individual championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. on May 23-25. Bursting out of the gate, he won his first seven collegiate matches in the fall en route to a USTA/ITA New England regional title. Carrying his success over into the spring, he has not lost since Apr. 6, winning eight consecutive matches including a 6-1, 6-1 third singles decision in Amherst's NCAA second round showdown with TCNJ.