CHAMPS! Jeffs Upset Top-Seeded Middlebury in NESCAC Championship Match, 5-1

IMG_7693.jpgContact: Ben Badua

CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

BRUNSWICK, Maine – For the third time in four years (sixth overall), the fourth-ranked Amherst men’s tennis team laid claim to the NESCAC Championship, defeating No. 3 Middlebury College on Sunday afternoon at Maine Pines, 5-1.

Falling to the Panthers during the regular season (5-4), Amherst jumped out to a 3-0 lead after doubles play en route to the decisive victory. Improving to 31-3 (8-1 NESCAC) overall, the Jeffs earned the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship and will await to hear news about their seeding when the full 44-team field is announced on Monday evening.

Avenging a regular season loss to Alex Johnston ’14 and Andrew Lebovitz ’14, Joey Fritz ’14 and Justin Reindel ’14 put Amherst on the board with an 8-5 first doubles victory. Michael Solimano ’16 and Anton Zykov ’17 followed suit with an 8-4 triumph in the third slot over Ari Smolyar ’16 and Peter Heidrich ’15, while Andrew Yaraghi ’16 and Aaron Revzin ’16 dispatched of Brantner Jones ’14 and Palmer Campbell ’16, 8-5.

Notching Middlebury’s first point, Jackson Frons '16 made quick work of Russell Einbinder '16 at sixth singles, 6-4, 6-1. Getting the Jeffs back on track, Fritz recorded identical 6-4, 6-4 victories over Johnston at No. 1 singles. Shutting out Smolyar 6-0 in the opening frame, Yaraghi clinched the championship with a 7-5 triumph in the second.

Solimano led Jones, 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 at second singles at the time of the match’s completion, while Campbell was ahead of Zykov, 7-6, 0-3. Courtney Mountifield ’15 trailed Reindel, 6-2, 4-2 at No. 5 singles when the match was halted.

AMHERST 5, MIDDLEBURY 1
Doubles
1.  Fritz/Reindel (A) def. Johnston/Lebovitz (M), 8-5
2. Yaraghi/Revzin (A) def. Jones/Campbell (M), 8-5
3. Solimano/Zykov (A) def. Smolyar/Heidrich (M), 8-4
Singles
1. Fritz (A) def. Johnston (M), 6-4, 6-4
2. Solimano (A) vs. Jones (M), UF (6-2, 2-6, 1-0)
3. Zykov (A) vs. Campbell (M), UF (6-7, 3-0)
4. Yaraghi (A) def. Smolyar (M), 6-0, 7-5
5. Reindel (A) vs. Mountifield (M), UF (6-2, 4-2)
6. Frons (M) def. Einbinder (A), 6-4, 6-1