Jeffs Advance to NESCAC Title Match

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – With a 5-3 victory over Middlebury, the Amherst College women's tennis team has advanced to take on top-ranked Williams College Sunday morning for the 2012 NESCAC Championship title.

First-year Safi Aly clinched the match for Amherst by earning a come-from-behind win at number six singles. The Lord Jeffs (14-3) will face the host Ephs tomorrow at 9 a.m., while the Panthers drop to 14-3 and will likely receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Amherst was 15-0 in doubles play in the five matches leading up to this weekend, with three of those wins coming when the Jeffs and Panthers met in the regular-season finale. Each of today's doubles bouts finished with an 8-5 score, beginning with Leah Kepping and Brittney Faber giving Middlebury a 1-0 lead by defeating Laura Danzig '12 and Gabby Devlin '14. 

The Lord Jeffs would take the remaining doubles points, as sophomores Jennifer Newman and Zoe Pangalos got past Middlebury's Anna Burke and Lok-Sze Leung at number two. Amherst carried a 2-1 lead into singles play after Caroline Richman '13 and Safi Aly '15 picked up a big point, outlasting Victoria Aiello and Katie Paradies at number three. 

Leung tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Danzig in the top spot, but Newman handed the lead right back to Amherst by defeating Aiello at number two (6-3, 6-2). Devlin pushed the Jeffs' lead to 4-2 after a 6-2, 6-2 result against Dorrie Paradies in the fifth matchup, but Faber defeated Pangalos by the same score at number four. 

With Amherst holding a 4-3 lead, Aly sealed the win for her team by completing a three-set comeback against Katie Paradies at number six. After dropping the first set (3-6) and winning the second (6-4), Aly trailed Paradies 3-2 in the third. The Amherst first-year battled back for a 4-3 lead and held on, posting a 7-5 victory in the deciding frame. 

Richman and Kepping didn't complete their match at number three, with Kepping winning the first set by a 6-3 margin and Richman taking the second by the same score. This was Amherst's second victory over Middlebury in a span of seven days, as the Lord Jeffs closed out their regular season with a 5-4 win over the Panthers last Sunday.

Sunday's match will feature live stats courtesy of Williams College.

No. 2 Amherst def. No. 3 Middlebury, 5-3
1. Leah Kepping/Brittney Faber (M) def. Laura Danzig/Gabby Devlin (A), 8-5
2. Jennifer Newman/Zoe Pangalos (A) def. Anna Burke/Lok-Sze Leung (M), 8-5
3. Caroline Richman/Safi Aly (A) def. Victoria Aiello/Katie Paradies (M), 8-5

1. Lok-Sze Leung (M) def. Laura Danzig (A) 6-1, 6-1
2. Jennifer Newman (A) def. Victoria Aiello (M) 6-3, 6-2
3. Leah Kepping (M) vs. Caroline Richman (A) 6-3, 3-6
4. Brittney Faber (M) def. Zoe Pangalos (A) 6-2, 6-2
5. Gabby Devlin (A) def. Dorrie Paradies (M) 6-2, 6-2
6. Safi Aly (A) def. Katie Paradies (M) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

2012 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship
Hosted by Williams College * Friday-Sunday, May 4-6

First Round - Friday, May 4
No. 4 Bowdoin def. No. 5 Tufts, 5-4
No. 3 Middlebury def. No. 6 Trinity, 6-0

Semifinals - Saturday, May 5
No. 1 Williams def. No. 4 Bowdoin, 5-1
No. 2 Amherst def. No. 3 Middlebury, 5-3

Championship Match - Sunday, May 6
No. 1 Williams vs. No. 2 Amherst - 9 a.m.