Athletics

Tennis Teams Prepare for NESCAC Championships

AMHERST, MA – Amherst College will compete in this weekend’s NESCAC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships at Williams College. Each Lord Jeff squad has received a first-round bye and will play Saturday, May 2 in the semifinals against an opponent to be determined.

The 23-5 Amherst men earned the No. 2 seed after they dropped the regular season finale to Middlebury College, which finished with a perfect 9-0 conference record. This is the first opening-round bye for the Jeffs, who had never been seeded higher than fifth in the NESCAC Championship.

While the Lord Jeffs will take on the winner of No. 6 Bates and No. 3 Williams in the semifinals, the top-seeded Panthers will face either No. 5 Trinity or No. 4 Bowdoin, the defending conference champion. All men’s matches will begin at 9 a.m. at Williams.

Amherst defeated both of its possible semifinal opponents during the regular season. After failing to get the best of their archrivals from 1995 to 2007, the Lord Jeffs have come out on top in each of their past two meetings with Williams, including a 5-4 win in the 2008 NESCAC Championship quarterfinals.

The Jeffs have not been crowned NESCAC champions since 1992, when they won their third consecutive conference title. Williams claimed the next 11 championships before Middlebury took home the next four, with Bowdoin upsetting Middlebury in last year’s finals as the fourth seed.

NESCAC Logo

2009 NESCAC MEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Friday, May 1 at Williams
No. 5 Trinity vs. No. 4 Bowdoin - 9 a.m.
No. 6 Bates vs. No. 3 Williams - 9 a.m.

Semifinals - Saturday, May 2 at Williams
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Middlebury - 9 a.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Amherst - 9 a.m.

Championship - Sunday, May 3 at Williams
Semifinal Winners - 9 a.m.

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The top-seeded Amherst women lost their first dual match of the 2008-09 season, a 6-3 setback to Williams College at home. The Lord Jeffs are 15-0 since their loss to the Ephs, a dominating stretch that includes a significant 5-4 win on their archrivals’ home courts. Amherst followed with conference wins over Hamilton and Middlebury to finish the regular season with a perfect 7-0 NESCAC record.

Amherst will take on the winner of No. 5 Bowdoin and No. 4 Tufts in Saturday’s semifinals. The Jeffs earned a tough 5-4 win over each team during the regular season, as either squad will provide a difficult matchup for the top seed. After defeating Bowdoin in the 2006 and 2007 NESCAC semifinals, Amherst earned a trip to the finals with a 6-3 victory over Tufts last year.

The Jeffs have claimed the NESCAC title outright in each of the past four years, defeating Williams in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 finals. Amherst, which has not tasted defeat since Oct. 11, joins defending national champion Williams as this year’s teams to receive a first-round bye. The Ephs await the winner of No. 6 Trinity and No. 3 Middlebury, with all women’s matches set to begin at 1 p.m.

NESCAC Logo

2009 NESCAC WOMEN’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Friday, May 1 at Williams
No. 5 Bowdoin vs. No. 4 Tufts - 1 p.m.
No. 6 Trinity vs. No. 3 Middlebury - 1 p.m.

Semifinals - Saturday, May 2 at Williams
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Amherst - 1 p.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Williams - 1 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, May 3 at Williams
Semifinal Winners - 1 p.m.