Mintz, Doerfler Lead Amherst at Wallach Invitational

Sean Doerfler
First-year Sean Doerfler led Amherst at the Wallach Invite by winning the 'B Singles' championship.

LEWISTON, ME – The Amherst College men’s tennis team traveled to Bates College for the Wallach Invitational, with competition beginning Saturday and concluding Sunday. Eight Lord Jeffs were represented in the tournament, with senior Mike Mintz (New York, NY) and first-year Sean Doerfler (Douglaston, NY) leading the way by advancing to at least the finals of their respective singles brackets.

Mintz and fellow senior Jeff Wan (Staten Island, NY) represented Amherst in the ‘A Singles’ bracket. Wan received a bye in the first round and defeated Jon Trott of Tufts University, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round, but his run stopped there, as he fell to Simon Miller of Brandeis University in the quarterfinals, 4-6, 5-7.

On the other side of the bracket, Mintz earned a trio of victories on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s quarterfinals, defeating players from Vassar, Middlebury and Skidmore Colleges along the way. Andrew Lee of Middlebury provided the toughest match, as Mintz dropped the first set, 4-6, and had to rally back to pick up a 6-4 second-set win and 10-7 tie-breaker to advance. Mintz was involved in another close match on Sunday, as he advanced to the finals with a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4 win over Bryan Brown of Colby, but he fell to Garrett Gates of Bowdoin in the championship match, 6-7(3), 1-6.

The ‘B Singles’ bracket featured Doerfler and fellow first-year Moritz Koenig (Hamburg, Germany), as both players received first-round byes. While Koenig struggled with Tufts’ Jake Fountain (eventual semifinalist), Doerfler cruised out of the second round with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mike Sarrazin of USM. The quarterfinals were not as easy, as Doerfler and Andrew Rosen of Tufts split the first two sets before the young Amherst standout won the tie-breaker, 10-6, to advance to the semifinals.

On Sunday, Doerfler picked up Amherst’s lone title of the weekend by earning 6-3, 6-2 wins over top-seeded Stephen Sullivan of Bowdoin in the semifinals and fourth-seeded Eliot Jia of Middlebury in the championship match.

First-years Tony Sheng (Aurora, IL) and Alex Gumport (Summit, NJ) competed in the ‘C Singles’ bracket, but neither could advance past the second round. Gumport received an opening-round bye before falling to Matt Knise of Bowdoin College, 6-7(3-7), 1-6. Sheng defeated Middlebury’s Mike Malhame in a nail-biter, 6-4, 2-6 (11-9), but could not get past Tyler Anderson (eventual champion) of Bowdoin.

Rounding out the Amherst players were sophomore Rob Abbey (San Francisco, CA) and first-year Max Gumport (Summit, NJ) in the ‘D Singles’ bracket. Abbey picked up a 6-0, 7-6(6) win over Josh Roer of Bowdoin in the first round and gave Tufts’ Daniel Landers a good match, but Landers eventually edged out a 6-1, 1-6 (10-4) victory. Max Gumport faced some tough competition in the first round, as Lorenzo Cabrera (eventual champion) of Skidmore College cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win.

All four of Amherst’s doubles pairs made it out of the first round, but none of them could advance any farther than the quarterfinal round. Mintz and Doerfler teamed up in the ‘A Doubles’ bracket and breezed by a pair from Skidmore, 8-1, but were eliminated by the eventual finalists from Bowdoin, 8-3. Wan and Koenig had similar success, as they cruised to an 8-3 win over a pair from Vassar, but fell to the eventual champions from Middlebury, 8-3.

Playing in the ‘B Doubles’ bracket, Sheng and Max Gumport brought the most success of any Amherst doubles pair, as they defeated a duo from Colby College, 8-4, after receiving a first-round bye. The Jeffs could not get out of the quarterfinals, however, as they dropped an 8-5 match to a Bowdoin duo. Abbey and Alex Gumport also received a first-round bye, but a Vassar doubles pair squeaked by with an 8-6 win to end the Jeffs’ run.

The Wallach Invitational marked the final competition for Amherst this fall, as the Lord Jeffs will not return to action until the spring.