Jeffs Win Streak Snapped at No. 8 Middlebury, 5-4

Courtesy of Middlebury Sports InformationDale_Yaraghi.jpg

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Suffering its first setback in 17 matches, the third-ranked Amherst men's tennis team closed out its regular season with a hard-fought loss to No. 8 Middlebury, 5-4.

Taking its first defeat since a 6-3 loss to top-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Mar. 21, Amherst fell to 29-3 (8-1 NESCAC) on the year. Extending its win streak to nine matches, Middlebury improved to 16-2 (6-0 NESCAC) overall.

Amherst took a 1-0 lead early when Joey Fritz '14 and Justin Reindel '14 earned an 8-6 win over Alex Johnston '14 and Andrew Lebovitz '14. The Panthers quickly evened the match as Brantner Jones '14 and Palmer Campbell '16 topped Aaron Revzin '16 and Andrew Yaraghi '16 at second doubles, 8-3. Playing in the third slot, it took a 7-5 tie-breaker win in the third set, as Peter Heidrich '15 and Ari Smolyar '16 edged out Anton Zykov '17 and Michael Solimano '16, 9-8 (5).

Johnston put the Panthers on the board in singles play, with a 7-6 (4), 6-0 win over Fritz. Solimano defeated Campbell 6-4, 6-3 at third singles, before Smolyar secured a 6-4, 6-1 triumph at No. 4 against Zykov to give Middlebury a 4-2 lead.

At second singles, Jones dropped the first set (7-5), but bounced back to win the second (6-4). He captured a critical game at 3-3 to go up a break in the third set, eventually recording a 6-4 victory to seal the match for the Panthers.

Yaraghi topped Courtney Mountifield '15 6-1, 6-3 at fifth singles, while Reindel dispatched of Jackson Frons '16 6-1, 6-3 in the sixth spot.

NO. 8 MIDDLEBURY 5, NO. 3 AMHERST 4
Doubles
1. Fritz/Reindel (A) def. Johnston/Lebovitz (M), 8-6
2. Jones/Campbell (M) def. Revzin/Yaraghi (A), 8-3
3. Heidrich/Smolyar (M) def. Zykov/Solimano (A), 9-8 (5)
Singles
1. Johnston (M) def. Fritz (A), 7-6 (4), 6-0
2. Jones (M) def. Dale (A), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. Solimano (A) def. Campbell (M), 6-4, 6-3
4. Smolyar (M) def. Zykov (A), 6-4, 6-1
5. Yaraghi (A) def. Mountifield (M), 6-1, 6-3
6. Reindel (A) def. Frons (M), 6-1, 6-3