ITA Tabs Five Lord Jeffs for All-America Lists

Zack Lerner earned ITA All-America honors for the third straight season.
AMHERST, MA – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) named five Amherst College men’s and women’s tennis players to their 2009 All-America ranks last week. Both the Lord Jeff men and women finished as the NCAA Division III National Runners-Up last month after some of the most successful seasons in the history of the programs.

On the men’s side, senior Zack Lerner (Scarsdale, NY) was tabbed an All-American for both singles and doubles play, marking the third straight year the Lord Jeff leader has landed the top honor in the country. Joining Lerner on the All-America lists are rookie Austin Chafetz (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) and sophomore Moritz Koenig (Hamburg, Germany) for singles and doubles play, respectively.

Amherst women’s standout junior Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) earned ITA All-American status for the third consecutive season, grabbing both singles and doubles honors in this season. Doubles partner Natasha Brown (Woodland Hills, CA) landed on the All-American list for the first time in her career after reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship with Berckes.

For Lerner, this is just the most recent accolade in a long list for the graduating Lord Jeff. Lerner was named the NESCAC’s Co-Player of the Year in 2009, while earning First Team All-NESCAC honors for the third straight season. Two weeks later, Lerner was named the ITA Northeast Senior Player of the Year, before earning the ITA’s top honor this week.

Chafetz burst onto the scene this year as Amherst’s number two singles player, and made his impact felt all season long. Similar to Lerner, Chafetz grabbed Second Team All-NESCAC honors, and the conference’s Rookie of the Year tag. Chafetz was named the ITA Northeast Regional Rookie of the Year, before earning All-American status for singles play.

Koenig paired with Lerner this year to form one of the best doubles pairings in the nation, which was good enough for ITA All-American status for the Lord Jeff sophomore. Koenig joined Lerner on the NESCAC’s First Team in doubles play, and battled alongside his partner to the National Quarterfinals in the NCAA Doubles Championship before falling.

Berckes earned NESCAC First Team honors this year for singles play, while she and Brown landed on the conference’s Second Team for doubles work. The pair led the Lord Jeffs in the NCAA Team Championship all the way to the title match, before falling to archrival Williams College. Just days later, Berckes made her bid for a third consecutive doubles championship, but she and Brown came up short in the Round of 16.

With Chafetz, Koenig, Berckes and Brown all returning next season, both the Amherst men’s and women’s team will be in good shape next year for another run at the NCAA Division III Championships.