Amherst Wins First NESCAC Title Since 1992

NESCAC%20Champs
Amherst will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Contact: Justin Long

MIDDLEBURY, VT – The Amherst College men’s tennis team claimed its first NESCAC Championship title since 1992 with a 5-0 win over archrival Williams College Sunday morning, earning the Lord Jeffs the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

This is the fourth overall title for Amherst, which also won the conference crown in 1990, 1991 and 1992. The Lord Jeffs improve to 31-1 overall and increase their win streak to 14 matches, while the Ephs drop to 14-7 and will likely earn an at-large bid to the national tournament.

The Jeffs needed to come from behind when they defeated their rivals during the regular season, 5-4, but Sunday’s match featured none of the usual drama. Amherst swept doubles play and quickly earned two singles points to seal the win, as the Jeffs were also leading in two other matches when play was suspended.

The Ephs took two out of three doubles matches in the regular-season meeting, but no Amherst pair surrendered more than four points in the NESCAC finals. Luis Rattenhuber ’13 (Munich, Germany) and Austin Chafetz ’12 (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) earned an 8-3 win at the top matchup, with Chris Dale ’14 (Austin, TX) and Mark Kahan ’13 (Unionville, CT) wrapping up their 8-4 win at number three at the same time. Kahan and Dale trailed 4-3 but rallied to take the next five points.

Closing out the doubles portion of the match with an 8-4 win at number two was the Amherst duo of Moritz Koenig ’11 (Hamburg, Germany) and Wes Waterman ’12 (Palm Beach Gardens, FL), moving the Lord Jeff tandem to 15-4 on the season.

Kahan was quick to give Amherst a 4-0 advantage with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Matt Micheli at number two, moving the Lord Jeff’s win streak to an impressive 13 matches. Chafetz then sealed the title for Amherst with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Trey Meyer at number three, making the Amherst junior 9-0 in singles matches on the year.

Rattenhuber and Joey Fritz ’14 (Cincinnati, OH) were up a set for Amherst at number one and number four, respectively, when play was stopped, while Waterman and Justin Reindel '14 (Mamaroneck, NY) dropped their first sets at five and six.

Amherst will likely be selected as a regional host for the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive year. The Lord Jeffs have advanced to the national finals in each of the past two years, falling just shy of an NCAA title each time. With a conference title and a program record for wins already in the bag, Amherst will be among the favorites to make a deep run in this year’s tournament.

2011 NESCAC Men’s Tennis Championship Finals (@ Middlebury)
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 3 Williams, 5-0
1) Luis Rattenhuber/Austin Chafetz (A) def. Bryan Chow/Matt Micheli (W) 8-3
2) Moritz Koenig/Wes Waterman (A) def. Felix Sun/Trey Meyer (W) 8-4
3) Chris Dale/Mark Kahan (A) def. Will Petrie/Kevin Shallcross (W) 8-4

1) Luis Rattenhuber (A) led Felix Sun (W) 6-3, 4-3 (DNF) 
2) Mark Kahan (A) def. Matt Micheli (W) 6-2, 6-1
3) Austin Chafetz (A) def. Trey Meyer (W) 6-2, 6-4
4) Joey Fritz (A) led Zach Weiss (W) 7-6 (9), 2-1 (DNF)
5) Bryan Chow (W) led Wes Waterman (A) 6-2, 5-3 (DNF) 
6) Dylan Page (W) led Justin Reindel (A) 6-3, 3-4 (DNF)