Regional Champs! Amherst Headed Back to National Championship Site

Regional Champs! Amherst Headed Back to National Championship Site

NCAA Interactive Bracket

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's tennis team has booked a trip to the national championship site in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a 5-1 victory over Mary Washington Sunday afternoon at Bay Road Tennis Center in the NCAA Division III Regional Finals.

The win sends the Mammoths (18-4) to the national quarterfinals for the first time since 2015. They could be facing a rematch of that year's match against University of Chicago if the Maroons get past Gustavus Adolphus in their regional final.

Jayson Fung '20 won at both singles and doubles and clinched the match at third singles with a gutsy performance to come from 4-2 down in the first set and then win a tiebreaker in convincing 7-1 fashion.

In the second set against Moses Hutchison, Fung again fell behind from the start, but roared back to tie the set at two games apiece and then rolled for the next four games.

With the teams forced inside due to rain, Amherst battled a strong Eagles doubles lineup to a pair of points.

Zach Bessette '19 and Harris Foulkes '22 were the first to get on the board, finishing off Derek Hagino and Ryland Byrd 8-5 to secure a 1-0 lead.

Michael Fleming and Patrick Hughes notched the only point of the day for Mary Washington (23-5), evening the match by holding off the first-year tandem of Damien Ruparel and Willie Turchetta 8-5 at third doubles.

At the first spot, where a crucial second point was up for grabs, Amherst's Sean Wei '21 and Fung worked their way back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the match at four, eventually winning six of the final seven games for an 8-5 win of their own.

Wei scored a third point for Amherst with a convincing 6-1, 6-3 victory at first singles. Bessette followed suit shortly after with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Byrd at #4 singles to put the Mammoths a point away from the clinch

Second and third singles both went to tiebreakers in their first set, though Kevin Ma '20 found himself on the wrong end of a 7-4 score, as he fell behind Matt Miles in his #2 singles match.

Fung won the first six points of his tiebreaker to put himself way ahead on the changeover.

Amherst is the third team from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) to book a spot in this year's quarterfinals. Middlebury and Bowdoin, who met for the national championship last year, are both already headed to Kalamazoo, while Wesleyan could also join with a win today in their regional final against Kenyon.

Check back with Amherst Athletics for more information about the 2019 NCAA DIII tennis championships!