Amherst Trio Kicks Off NCAA Individual Tournament Action

AMHERST, MA – The Division III NCAA Individuals Tennis Tournament got underway today, with a trio of Amherst College Lord Jeffs participating in two different locations. Senior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, NY) and sophomore Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) started play on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus, while junior Zack Lerner (Scarsdale, NY) was competing at Bates College.

This morning, Lerner faced off against Wash. U's Charlie Cutler in the First Round of the men's singles tournament in Lewiston, ME. Cutler was able to pull out a tight first set win in the tiebreaker 7-6 (5). Lerner fought hard in the first set, and continued to try for a comeback against the 18th-ranked Cutler, but ultimately fell 6-3 in the second set. Lerner's season came to an end with the loss, but the soon to be senior will be counted on next season to lead Amherst.

In the women's singles tournament, Berckes was the lone Amherst representative, although she would pair later in the day with Menezes in hopes of repeating as doubles national champions. Berckes started her day with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jenni White of the host Gustavus Adolphus squad.

Berckes, the number four seed in the singles tournament, then took on Wellesley's Jenna Mezin in the Round of 16. Berckes started the match with another 6-2 first-set win, only to squeak out a 7-5 win in the second set. The win pushes Berckes into the National Quarterfinals, where she will meet #5 Cary Gibson of Williams College. Gibson is fresh off the 2008 Team National Championship that the Ephs picked up on Thursday afternoon, and will be a tough match for the young Lord Jeff.

In doubles play, Menezes and Berckes took the court against the pairing of Jenni White and Sierra Krebsbach from Gustavus. The defending champion Lord Jeffs entered the tournament with the number three seed overall, and would need a second straight win from Berckes over White to advance. Menezes and Berckes picked up a 6-3 win in the first set before finishing their day with a 6-3 victory in the second set.

Berckes returns to action in the singles tournament Saturday at 9 a.m. for a quarterfinal match with Gibson, and she will pair up with Menezes at 3 p.m. for a quarterfinal match with Natalia Fugate and Rebecca Morse-Karzen of the University of Mary Washington.

Complete championship information, including complete brackets and links to live statistics and live video Webcasts of the singles and doubles finals, can be found at the Bates College NCAA Men's Tennis Championship Website and the Gustavus Adolphus College NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Website.




Friday, May 16
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 32
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 16
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Round of 32

Saturday, May 17 
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Quarterfinals
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Semifinals
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Quarterfinals

Sunday, May 18 
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Finals
2 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Semifinals
4 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Finals