Amherst Upsets Top-Ranked Williams 5-4

From a Williams College release

Laken King posted a dominant win at number four
as Amherst upset top-ranked Williams.
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The 6th-ranked Amherst College women’s tennis team avenged its only loss of the 2008-09 season this afternoon with a 5-4 win over the top-ranked Ephs of Williams College. Amherst improves to 13-1 (5-0 NESCAC) with the win, while Williams’ bid for a perfect season came to an end at 11-1 (2-1).

“Amherst rises to the challenge every time we play them,” commented Williams’ head coach Alison Swain.  “They did that today.  It was tough to go down 2-1 in doubles, and then Amherst really brought their best in singles play.”

While the two teams split wins at courts two and three, a nail biter at court one left the Ephs in the 2-1 hole.  Cary Gibson and Nikki Reich fought Natasha Brown (Woodland Hills, CA) and Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) to a tiebreak, and traded point for point before the Amherst duo pulled out the 9-7 advantage for a lead heading into singles play.

That doubles point proved to be a critical win, as Amherst and Williams split the singles matches, three apiece.  Ashley Parsons fell quickly in a 6-0, 6-1 loss at court five, while Kristin Alotta grabbed a short-lived lead for the Ephs with a 6-3, 6-2 win at court three.  Amherst tied the match up at 3-3 after Lucy Marchese, appearing in her first match since a season-ending knee injury last year, couldn’t extend her match in a second set tiebreak loss.  Despite Marchese’s loss, she will be a key contributor in the future.

Amherst iced the win after Nikki Reich suffered her first singles loss of the season, falling to Carlissa King (Laurelton, NY) in three sets.  Baljon and Hancock would tally wins to bring the final match score to 5-4.

The Lord Jeffs will host Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon in their final home regular season match, before closing out the regular season next Saturday at Middlebury.

Amherst 5 : Williams 4 ~ Williamstown, MA ~ Saturday, April 18, 2009
1) Berckes/Brown (A) def. Gibson/Reich (W) 9-8 (9-7)
2) Baljon/French (W) def. Ankola/Bell (A) 8-3
3) Wexler/Danzig (A) def. Alotta/Loomis (W) 8-3
1) Grace Baljon (W) def. Brittany Berckes (A) (3-6), 6-4, 6-4
2)Carlissa King (A) def. Nicole Reich (W) 6-1, (4-6), 6-2
3) Kristin Alotta (W) def. Jill Wexler (A) 6-3, 6-2
4) Natasha Brown (A) def. Lucy Marchese (W) 6-1, 7-6 (7-2)
5) Laken King (A) def. Ashley Parsons (W) 6-0, 6-1
6) Annie Hancock (W) def. Mimi Bell (A) (6-7), 7-5, 10-8