Men's Tennis Season Preview: Mammoths Gear Up for 2017-18

Men's Tennis Season Preview: Mammoths Gear Up for 2017-18

Led by head coach Todd Doebler, who enters his fourth season at the helm of the program, and returning a talented and accomplished core, the 2017-18 Amherst College men's tennis team will look to return to the NESCAC postseason for the 18th straight season and to the NCAA Regional Finals for the 11th consecutive year after recording a 23-6 overall ledger, and a 6-2 mark in conference play, to close out last season as the No. 8 ranked team in the nation.

Named Second Team All-NESCAC singles, First Team All-NESCAC doubles and a 2016-17 ITA doubles All-American, Zach Bessette '19 leads the way for Amherst's nine returners.

Playing from the first and second court, Bessette posted a 13-12 singles mark a season ago, including noteworthy wins against Rohan Shastri of Williams in the regular season and in the third round of NCAA action, and registered a 18-9 overall mark in doubles play.

Reigning NESCAC Rookie of the Year, First Team All-NESCAC doubles and Second Team All-NESCAC singles honoree Jayson Fung '20 is also primed to be a major contributor once again after a stellar campaign a season ago, with the San Francisco, Calif. native logging a 18-6 overall singles ledger, including a 5-1 mark in league action, while also tallying a 16-9 doubles record.

Jon Heidenberg '19 posted an 8-4 singles mark and an 11-2 doubles ledger last year and notched three match wins in NCAA competition, while Jesse Levitin '19 is poised for a breakout year after finishing 2016-17 with a 20-4 singles record, with a 3-1 conference mark, and an 8-3 ledger in doubles action.

The Mammoths also welcome back juniors Oliver Kendall, Cameron Raglin and Justin Sun. Kendall notched 6-2 and 5-1 records in singles and doubles play, respectively, while Sun finished a perfect 2-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles in conference competition and put together an 8-1 overall doubles mark. With a 9-0 singles ledger and 8-1 mark in doubles, Raglin looks to continue to be a consistent contributor on the scoresheet.

Gabe Owens '20 will aim to play a prominent role for Amherst after finishing with an 11-6 singles record and a 4-1 doubles mark, while Nathan Kaplan '20 is set to build on a 13-3 singles ledger (4-0 NESCAC) and a 16-6 doubles record from a season ago.

In addition to the Amherst veterans, the Mammoths also welcome newcomers Kevin Ma '21, Sean Wei '21 and Ethan Hillis '21 to this year's squad.

The Mammoths open the 2017-18 season at the three-day ITA New England Championships hosted by Middlebury on Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, before competing at the MIT Invite  (Oct. 13-15). Amherst closes out its fall slate with more tournament action, facing off at Bates College's Wallach Invite on Oct. 21-22.

March features a trip out west for the Mammoths, with contests against Washington (3/15) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (3/17) before taking on Case Western Reserve on March 31 at Swarthmore College. Opening conference play, Amherst travels to Bates and Bowdoin on Saturday, April 7, before returning home to the Amherst Tennis Courts to host Connecticut College (April 11) and MIT (April 13). The Mammoths wrap up the regular season with four road matches, battling Hamilton and Wesleyan on April 21, Williams on April 28 and Middlebury on April 29.

Not yet a member of the Friends of Amherst Men's Tennis for the 2017-18 year? Become a first-time member of or renew your membership in the FAA and support Coach Doebler and the men's tennis program. Make a gift ahead of the team's first tournament, the ITA Championships, on Friday-Sunday, September 29-October 1 at Middlebury. Go Mammoths!