Jeffs Seek Sixth NESCAC Title
Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – The fourth-ranked Amherst College men’s tennis team looks to capture its third conference title in four years and sixth overall when the Jeffs head to the 2014 NESCAC Men’s Tennis Championships Saturday, May 3, hosted by Bowdoin College.
TOURNAMENT INFO: The format of the conference championship changed in the spring of 2006 and features six teams vying for the NESCAC crown. Prior to 2006, the event was set up as an individual flighted tournament that included players from all 11 members of the NESCAC. Individuals and doubles teams were seeded in different classes, and a team score was determined on a points system that assigned a value for wins. The championship field is now chosen by a tournament selection committee, which seeds the six participating teams, with the top two seeds receiving a first round bye.
Earning the second-seed, Amherst grabbed the bye and will face the winner of No. 6 Tufts vs. No. 3 Williams Saturday at 1 p.m. Middlebury earned the No. 1 seed and will play the winner of No. 5 Trinity vs. No. 4 Bowdoin at 3:30 p.m. The winners of Saturday’s second round action will advance to the league championship, which is slated for Sunday, May 4 at 1 p.m.
LIVE COVERAGE: Fans unable to attend the NESCAC Championships can follow the action with live stats provided by Bowdoin.
SCOUTING AMHERST (29-3/8-1 NESCAC): The Jeffs are currently ranked fourth in the country and held a 17 straight dual-match winning record prior to their loss to No. 3 Middlebury to close out the regular-season. Amherst’s three losses this season were by 5-4 decisions to NAIA Concordia (Calif.) and the Panthers, as well as a 6-3 decision to No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Jeffs are third all-time in the conference with five titles, one behind Middlebury for second-most.
Anchoring the squad from the top of the order in both singles and doubles is 2013 All-NESCAC First Team selection, Joey Fritz ’14. The senior has played from the No. 1 court all season and boasts a 14-4 dual match record in singles and 14-5 dual match doubles record alongside classmate Justin Reindel. In singles action, Fritz won eight straight from Mar. 22 to Apr. 19 and holds a 5-2 mark in conference play. Fritz is 6-1 in doubles against NESCAC competition and won 10 straight down the stretch. Paired up with Ben Fife ’16 during the fall, the duo claimed the USTA/ITA Division III Men’s New England Regional Championship by defeating Brantner Jones and Palmer Campbell of Middlebury, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-7.
Playing most of the season from the No. 2 singles court, Chris Dale ’14 looks to play a pivotal role in the postseason tournament. Dale is 9-2 in dual matches from the No. 2 spot and 2-1 on the year from the No. 1 court. He won nine straight from Mar. 21 to Apr. 20 and is 15-4 throughout the 2013-14 year, going 4-1 during the fall. In doubles play, he competed in all three spots and went 10-2 overall.
Michael Solimano ’16 and Anton Zykov ’17 will compete in the middle of the Amherst lineup. Solimano has seen time on the No. 1, 2 and 3 courts and is 15-3 overall on the year, going 8-0 from the No. 3 position. Entering this weekend, he has won 11 straight and is 7-0 in the NESCAC. Zykov is 15-5 this season from courts 1-4. All five of his losses came against teams ranked within the top-11 in the country. He is 7-2 in No. 3 singles and 5-2 in No. 4 singles, while boasting a 5-2 NESCAC mark.
The bottom of the lineup is likely to feature Andrew Yaraghi ’16 and Justin Reindel ’14. Yaraghi as seen action on courts one through five, tallying a 15-3 dual match record with a 7-0 mark in league play. He has won nine straight heading into tomorrow’s second round match and has played six of his last eight in the No. 5 spot, posting a perfect 6-0 record. Reindel has played on courts 1-3 and is 13-3 on the year. His last three matches were played in the No. 6 spot, going 3-0 while registering a 5-1 league mark.
In other doubles action, Aaron Revzin ’16 has seen the majority of time on the No. 2 court paired with Yaraghi or Solimano. With Yaraghi, the duo have a combined 4-1 mark from courts one and two while Revzin and Solimano hold a 9-3 record from the same spots. Zykov and Yaraghi are 7-2 on courts No. 1 and No. 3.
2014 NESCAC Men’s Tennis Championships
First Round - Friday, May 2
No. 6 Tufts vs. No. 3 Williams – 1 p.m.
No. 5 Trinity vs. No. 4 Bowdoin – 3:30 p.m.
Second Round - Saturday, May 3
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Amherst – 1 p.m.
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Middlebury – 3:30 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, May 4
Second Round Winners – 1 p.m.