Four Jeffs Named to ITA All-America Team

Contact: Justin Long

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AMHERST, Mass. – Four Amherst College men’s tennis players were named to the ITA Division III All-America Team today, following an exceptional 2011-12 season for the Lord Jeffs.

Luis Rattenhuber ’13, Mark Kahan ’13 and Joey Fritz ’14 were each honored for their singles play, with Austin Chafetz '12 and Rattenhuber also earning All-America status as the national doubles champions.

This recognition is particularly meaningful for Chafetz, who becomes the first Amherst men’s tennis player to earn All-America honors in four consecutive years. A regular in the Lord Jeff lineup since his debut season, Chafetz has now earned three All-America selections in doubles (2010, 2011, 2012) and another two in singles (2009, 2010).

Chafetz has played an integral role in Amherst’s resurgence as one of the best programs in Division III, helping the Lord Jeffs post an incredible 67-4 mark in the last two years. A native of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Chafetz was also part of two NESCAC titles, three NCAA finals appearances and the program’s only national championship.

Winning the 2012 NCAA doubles championship was a fitting finale for Chafetz, who had become a regular on the national stage. In addition to earning a spot in three NCAA doubles tournaments (2010, 2011, 2012), he competed in three singles brackets and notably advanced to the 2010 semifinals. A crafty left-handed player, Chafetz leaves Amherst as one of the best student-athletes in program history.

Helping Chafetz capture the first NCAA doubles crown in Amherst men’s tennis history was Rattenhuber, who earned All-America honors in both singles and doubles for the second time in as many years. Rattenhuber transferred to Amherst last year and made an immediate impact, playing in the top of the lineup and helping the Lord Jeffs win the 2011 national title.

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Austin Chafetz '12 is the first Amherst men's tennis
player to earn All-America status four years in a row.

After losing in the opening round of last year’s NCAA singles tournament, Rattenhuber returned this season and posted a pair of straight-set wins before falling to the eventual champion in the quarterfinals. He teamed up with Chafetz to advance to the quarterfinal round of last year’s doubles bracket, but this time around the Lord Jeff duo was a perfect 4-0 on the national stage, notably coming from behind after dropping the first set in both the semifinals and finals.

Earning All-America honors in singles play for a third consecutive year is Kahan, who came in at No. 5 in the final ITA national rankings. With such a talented senior class having graduated, Kahan will be looked upon to lead Amherst into 2013 as he attempts to join Chafetz as a four-time All-America honoree.

Playing at the top of Amherst’s lineup for the majority of the last two years, Kahan put together a dominant 30-match win streak that spanned nearly 14 months. The run finally came to a halt in the NESCAC finals, as he fell in three sets for his first loss in dual match play since Mar. 14, 2011. Kahan would later compete in the NCAA singles tournament, where he advanced to the quarterfinals.

Rounding out Amherst’s honorees is Fritz, who had his All-America selection wrapped up back in September. Although he did not compete in the NCAA singles or doubles tournaments this spring, the Cincinnati native earned an All-America nod by winning the USTA/ITA New England Regional Championship singles tournament at Williams College last fall.

Seeded sixth in the 64-player field, Fritz worked his way into the title match by upending Nichols’ David Drucker (6-3, 6-1) MIT’s Brian Oldfield (6-1, 6-1), Williams’ Trey Meyer (3-6, 7-6, 14-12), Bates’ Matt Bettles (6-2, 6-0) and teammate Chris Dale ’14 (5-7, 6-0, 7-6). Facing another Eph in the finals, Fritz dropped his first set to Matt Micheli, 2-6, but rallied to win the next two (6-0, 6-4).

Amherst and Johns Hopkins are the only Division III schools to place four student-athletes on this year's All-America Team. A complete list of honorees can be found on the ITA website. The criteria for All-America selection is included below.

A player must meet any of the following criteria to earn ITA All-America honors:

Singles
1. Top 8 seed in NCAA singles tournament
2. Win one round at NCAA singles tournament
3. Finish in the Top 20 in the final ITA Rankings
4. Win ITA Fall Regional Tournament
5. Win first-round match at ITA National Small College Championships

Doubles
1. Top 4 seed in NCAA doubles tournament
2. Win one round at NCAA doubles tournament
3. Finish in the Top 10 in the final ITA Rankings
4. Win ITA Fall Regional Tournament
5. Win first-round match at ITA National Small College Championships