LUDLOW, Mass. – The Amherst College men's tennis team celebrated Senior Day on Saturday afternoon by defeating #6 Middlebury, topping the 2018 NCAA National Champions 6-3 for their first win over their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rivals since 2015.
Amherst recognized the careers of seniors Jon Heidenberg, Oliver Kendall, Zach Bessette and Jesse Levitin as the group played their last regular season home match of an outstanding four-year career. Together the group helped Amherst compile a four-year record of 64-25 and a NESCAC record of 19-11. They will make their fourth consecutive NESCAC postseason appearance this year and have been to the NCAA tournament twice, reaching the NCAA Regional Finals in each of the last two seasons.
Harris Foulkes '22 came from one set down to beat Nate Eazor 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 at fifth singles to clinch the match for the Mammoths.
The #4 Mammoths grabbed two points in doubles play behind wins at #1 and #2. Bessette paired with Foulkes to beat Noah Farrell and Aleksandr Samets 8-6 at the second spot, while Sean Wei '21 and Jayson Fung '20 topped Lubomir Cuba and Peter Martin 8-4 at the top spot.
In a battle of top-ten players in the region, Wei had no problem putting away Farrell, winning 6-1, 6-3 at first singles.
Cuba, the 2017 national singles champion and the #2 player in New England, grabbed a point back for Middlebury with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Kevin Ma '21 at second singles.
Fung topped Andre Xia in straight sets (6-2, 6-4), and Amherst led 4-2 with the bottom three singles still to be determined.
Middlebury cut into the deficit with a 7-5, 6-3 win by Stanley Morris over William Turchetta '22 at sixth singles, but Bessette and Foulkes both came from a set down to win their second set and give Amherst two chances at victory.
Bessette held on to close out his match at fourth singles, defeating Adam Guo 3-6, 6-2, 7-6.
Both teams will be gunning for a NESCAC championship next weekend. The tournament will run from Friday May 3rd to Sunday May 5th and will be hosted by Middlebury College.