Lerner, Koenig Fall in NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals

Zack Lerner '09
CLAREMONT, CA – Amherst College senior Zack Lerner (Scarsdale, NY) and sophomore Moritz Koenig (Hamburg, Germany) suffered a three-set loss to Charlie Cutler and Chris Hoeland of Washington University (St. Louis) in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Doubles Championship, bringing the Lord Jeffs’ amazing season to an end.

Lerner and Koenig had defeated Washington’s top pair just three days prior to Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup, helping Amherst advance to the team championship finals with an 8-5 win. Cutler and Hoeland would get their revenge, however, with a come-from-behind victory that lifted them into Sunday’s semifinals.

The Lord Jeffs took the first set, 6-4, before dropping the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(1). Amherst bounced back to hold a 4-3 lead in the third set, but Washington rallied to win the match’s final three points.

The loss marks the end of an outstanding career for Lerner, who has been a regular in Amherst’s singles and doubles lineups since 2005. The Lord Jeffs posted a 66-30 record in the past four years, advancing to the NCAA Regional Finals in 2006 and 2007 before their record-breaking 2009 campaign.

Moritz Koenig '11
In addition to being named the NESCAC Co-Player of the Year, Lerner picked up All-Conference First Team Singles honors for the third straight year. Over his tenure with the Lord Jeffs, Lerner amassed a 48-17 mark in dual match play.

While it is the third consecutive year that Lerner has been named to the First Team Singles, he also earned First Team Doubles for the first time in his career along with Koenig, as the duo was a stellar 21-5 at #1 doubles this year. A three-time All-American in singles and a 2009 All-American in doubles, Lerner was recently named the ITA Northeast Senior Player of the Year. As a sophomore, he was tabbed the ITA Northeast Regional Player to Watch.

Lerner provided valuable leadership this season while serving as a captain of an incredibly young team, as Amherst’s lineups throughout the national championships featured three first-years and two sophomores. Although the Lord Jeffs will feature a promising returning cast for the 2009-10 season, Lerner’s success and leadership will be difficult to replace.

For complete recaps of this week's NCAA Team and Individual Championships, visit the Amherst Championship Website.

NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Doubles Championships
Round of 16
Lerner/Koenig (Amherst) def. Reading/Spearman (Redlands) 6-2, [3-6], 6-3

Cutler/Hoeland (Wash-U) def. Lerner/Koenig (Amherst) [4-6], 7-6(1), 6-4