Amherst Advances Past Williams in NCAA Regional Finals, 5-2
Wes Waterman '12 picked up a big point for Amherst by coming from behind to win the No. 4 singles match.
AMHERST, MA – Playing against archrival Williams College for the third time in less than a month, the Amherst College men’s tennis team earned a 5-2 win over the Ephs Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Regional Championship finals. The Lord Jeffs won two of three doubles matches and wrapped up the victory when Mark Kahan ’13 (Unionville, CT) clinched a three-set win in the No. 2 singles bout.
The Lord Jeffs improve to 25-10 and will take on Emory University Tuesday, May 25 in the national quarterfinals at Oberlin College. The Ephs end their season at 12-7, marking the first time since 1996 they will not be competing in the national quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament.
Sunday marked Amherst’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory against Williams, as the Ephs defeated the Lord Jeffs in the 1998 regional finals and in the 1999 opening round. Amherst earned a 7-2 win over Williams on Apr. 18 but was upset by its rival on May 8 in the NESCAC Championship semifinals, 5-3.
Sunday’s match lived up to its hype, with each of the six singles matches requiring three sets and both teams playing with the usual intensity that accompanies any competition between Amherst and Williams. Amherst took a 4-1 lead in the first and second doubles matches and went on to win each, as Austin Chafetz ’12 (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) and Robby Sorrel ’12 (Scarsdale, NY) gave Amherst its first point with an 8-4 victory over Dicken Chaplin and Bryan Chow at No. 1.
Kahan and Moritz Koenig ’11 (Hamburg, Germany) then took care of Nick Lebedoff and Will Petrie by an 8-5 margin at No. 2, but the Ephs salvaged a point when Trey Meyer and Felix Sun battled back for an 8-5 win over Wes Waterman ’12 (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) and Sean Doerfler ’11 (Douglaston, NY) in the third match.
Chafetz was exceptional in the first set of the top singles match, cruising to a 6-1 win over Sun to maintain Amherst’s momentum. Sun stormed back to take the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(6), but Chafetz rebounded by giving the Jeffs their third point with a 6-2 win in the third set.
Koenig also won his first set at No. 3, but Jeremy Weinberger took the next two to give the Ephs a second point. Waterman returned the favor by winning consecutive sets after dropping his first to Chow at No. 4, and Kahan earned the Jeffs’ fifth and final point by defeating Lebedoff in three sets at No. 2.
In each of the two remaining singles matches, Amherst won the first set and lost the second. When play was stopped, Doerfler and Zach Weiss were tied at 1-1 in the third set at No. 5, while Priit Gross ’11 (Tartu, Estonia) was leading his third set against Meyer in the No. 6 position, 3-1.
The Jeffs will be making the program’s fourth appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals, with last year’s national runner-up team becoming the first to advance past the Round of Eight. Amherst is now 15-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, while Williams is an astonishing 43-15.
Amherst College def. Williams College, 5-2
NCAA Regional Championship Finals
Sunday, May 16 * at Amherst College
1. Austin Chafetz/Robby Sorrel (AMH) def. Dicken Chaplin/Bryan Chow (WIL) 8-4
2. Moritz Koenig/Mark Kahan (AMH) def. Nick Lebedoff/Will Petrie (WIL) 8-5
3. Trey Meyer/Felix Sun (WIL) def. Wes Waterman/Sean Doerfler (AMH) 8-5
1. Austin Chafetz (AMH) def. Felix Sun (WIL) 6-1, [6-7(6)], 6-2
2. Mark Kahan (AMH) def. Nick Lebedoff (WIL) 6-4, [4-6], 6-3
3. Jeremy Weinberger (WIL) def. Moritz Koenig (AMH) [1-6], 6-4, 7-5
4. Wes Waterman (AMH) def. Bryan Chow (WIL) [4-6], 6-3, 6-1
5. Sean Doerfler (AMH) vs. Zach Weiss (WIL) 7-6(4), [3-6], 1-1
6. Priit Gross (AMH) vs. Trey Meyer (WIL) 7-5, [3-6], 3-1