Amherst Tennis Teams Set to Kick Off NESCAC Championship Action Friday

Jeff Wan
Jeff Wan is one of four seniors playing in his final NESCAC Men's Tennis Championship.

From a NESCAC Release

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s and women’s tennis teams have qualified for their respective 2008 NESCAC Championships. The men’s and women’s tennis championship fields are chosen by a tournament selection committee, which seeds the six participating teams one-to-six, with the top two seeds receiving a first round bye. Results of each match and updated schedules will be available at the conclusion of each day at www.nescac.com.

Four-time defending Men’s Tennis Champion Middlebury College will pursue a fifth-consecutive NESCAC crown this weekend when the Panthers host the 2008 NESCAC Men’s Tennis Championship. The three-day event begins Friday, Apr. 25 with the first match featuring fourth-seed Bowdoin taking on fifth-seed Bates at 1:30 p.m., followed at 4 p.m. with third-seed Williams facing NESCAC rival and sixth-seed Amherst. Friday’s winners will advance to Saturday’s semifinals against top-seeded Trinity and second-seeded Middlebury. The 2008 NESCAC Men’s Tennis Championship will conclude on Sunday, Apr. 27, with the championship match at 1 p.m.

Williams (14-2, 6-1 NESCAC) and Amherst (9-8, 3-4 NESCAC) have reached the semifinals in each of the previous two NESCAC tournaments, with the Ephs making it to the championship match both times, however they have never faced each other in championship history. The Ephs won the annual regular season meeting between the two by a 6-3 score on Apr. 5 in Williamstown, Mass. to extend their winning streak over the Lord Jeffs that began in the spring of 1995. Williams has won a remarkable 14 NESCAC titles—the most by any conference team—including 11 in a row from 1993 to the Ephs’ most recent crown in 2003. Amherst will look to rebound this Friday from a rough finish to the regular season, having gone 3-4 since falling to Williams.

2008 NESCAC MEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Friday, April 25 at Middlebury
No. 5 Bates vs. No. 4 Bowdoin - 1:30 p.m.
No. 6 Amherst vs. No. 3 Williams - 4 p.m. 

Semifinals - Saturday, April 26 at Middlebury
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Trinity - 1:30 p.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Middlebury - 4 p.m. 

Championship - Sunday, April 27 at Middlebury
Semifinal Winners - 1 p.m. 

Team
Head coach Jackie Bagwell is looking to lead her team to a fifth NESCAC title. 

Defending champion Amherst College will look to add a fifth NESCAC crown to its collection when the Jeffs battle for the 2008 NESCAC Women’s Tennis Championship this weekend at Middlebury College. The three-day event begins Friday morning with fifth-seed Bowdoin facing fourth-seed Middlebury at 8:30 a.m., followed by sixth-seed Wesleyan taking on third-seed Tufts at 11 a.m. Friday’s winners will advance to Saturday’s semifinals against top-seeded Williams and second-seeded Amherst. The 2008 NESCAC Women’s Tennis Championship will conclude on Sunday, Apr. 27, with the championship match at 9 a.m.

Second-seed and defending NESCAC champion Amherst (13-1, 6-1) will face the Tufts-Wesleyan victor in Saturday’s second semifinal. The Jeffs earned last year’s championship as the third-seed, winning three consecutive matches in three days and overcoming rival Williams in the title match for the second year in a row. The lone loss this season for Amherst came at the hands of Williams on Apr. 6 by a 5-4 margin, after the Jeffs opened up the year with a 5-4 win over the Ephs on Oct. 6.

Amherst has had the opportunity to compete against Wesleyan and Tufts already this year, posting a 9-0 victory at Wesleyan on Mar. 27 and claiming a 7-2 decision against Tufts on Apr. 8. The Jeffs ride into the weekend with six consecutive victories, most recently completing a three-match sweep during the final weekend of the regular season by a combined score of 25-2. Senior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, NY) and sophomore Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) are at the forefront of a powerful Amherst squad. The doubles partners, named to the 2007 All-NESCAC First Team, won the NCAA Doubles Championship last May and have gone 14-2 together so far this year.

2008 NESCAC WOMEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Friday, Apr. 25 at Middlebury
No. 5 Bowdoin vs. No. 4 Middlebury - 8:30 a.m.
No. 6 Wesleyan vs. No. 3 Tufts - 11 a.m. 

Semifinals - Saturday, Apr. 26 at Middlebury
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Williams - 8:30 a.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Amherst - 11 a.m. 

Championship - Sunday, Apr. 27 at Middlebury
Semifinal Winners - 9 a.m.