Jeffs Upset Top-Ranked Middlebury, 6-3
Joey Fritz '14 earned the clinching point at No. 5.
(Photo by Sam Masinter '04)
Contact: Justin Long
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men's tennis team closed its regular season with a 6-3 upset over top-ranked Middlebury College, the defending NCAA champion. The Lord Jeffs improve to 29-1, marking a new program record for wins in a season.
Amherst held a 2-1 lead after doubles play and was in control for the majority of the singles session. With the hosts holding a 4-2 advantage, first-year Joey Fritz (Cincinnati, OH) secured the victory at number five.
Amherst increased its winning streak to 12 matches, while Middlebury’s came to a halt at eight. The Panthers also had their 25-match win streak in conference play snapped, as the Jeffs picked up their first regular-season victory over Middlebury since 2001.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead when David Farah and Spencer Lunghino picked up an 8-3 win over Amherst’s Mark Kahan ’13 (Unionville, CT) and Andrew Jung ’12 (Battle Creek, MI), bumping the Panthers’ doubles record to 15-1 on the season. Luis Rattenhuber ’13 (Munich, Germany) and Austin Chafetz ’12 (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) tied things up with an 8-2 win at No. 1, with Wes Waterman ’12 (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) and Moritz Koenig ’11 (Hamburg, Germany) sending the Jeffs into singles play with a 2-1 lead after their 8-5 win at No. 2.
Making his return to the Amherst lineup, Chafetz gave his team a 3-1 lead after a 6-2, 6-4 win over Derrick Angle at No. 3. Alec Parower answered for the visitors with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Waterman at No. 4, bringing the score to 3-2.
Trailing 5-2 in the second set of his match against Middlebury’s Zach Bruchmiller at No. 2, Kahan rallied to win the next five games, wrapping up a straight-set victory that bumped his win streak to 12 and gave the Lord Jeffs a 4-2 advantage. Fritz then closed things out for Amherst with a 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Lunghino at number five.
Amherst’s Jung entered the day with an 11-0 singles record, but Middlebury brought the score to 5-3 when Brantner Jones defeated the Lord Jeff junior in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6(0). The teams’ top two players were the only ones left standing, and it was Amherst’s Rattenhuber who came out on the winning end of a great battle with Andrew Peters.
Both teams will return to action next weekend for the NESCAC Championship, in which Amherst and Middlebury will likely receive the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. The Panthers will host the three-day event with hopes of claiming a third consecutive title, while the Jeffs are in search of their first conference title since 1992.
#4 Amherst College def. #1 Middlebury College, 6-3
1) Luis Rattenhuber/Austin Chafetz (A) def. Andrew Peters/Brantner Jones (M) 8-2
2) Wes Waterman/Moritz Koenig (A) def. Mike Malhame/Derrick Angle (M) 8-5
3) David Farah/Spencer Lunghino (M) def. Mark Kahan/Andrew Jung (A) 8-3
1) Luis Rattenhuber (A) def. Andrew Peters (M) 7-5, 6-4
2) Mark Kahan (A) def. Zach Bruchmiller (M) 6-2, 7-5
3) Austin Chafetz (A) def. Derrick Angle (M) 6-2, 6-4
4) Alec Parower (M) def. Wes Waterman (A) 6-3, 6-3
5) Joey Fritz (A) def. Spencer Lunghino (M) 7-6(4), 6-2
6) Brantner Jones (M) def. Andrew Jung (A) 6-2, 7-6(0)
Order of Finish (Doubles): 3, 1, 2
Order of Finish (Singles): 3, 4, 2, 5, 6, 1