Athletics

Brewer, Devlin Win NCAA Doubles Championship

Doubles
Gabby Devlin '14 (left) and Jordan Brewer '14 (right)
went 19-0 in doubles tournaments this year.

Contact: Justin Long

CLAREMONT, CA – Amherst College's Jordan Brewer ’14 and Gabby Devlin ’14 capped off a phenomenal 2010-11 season on Sunday by winning the doubles tournament at the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Individual Championship. Wes Waterman ’12 and Moritz Koenig ’11 also wrapped up their year on Sunday by advancing to the semifinals of the men’s tournament.

Brewer and Devlin suffered a 9-8(4) loss to Emory University’s Gabrielle Clark and Lorne McManigle this past Wednesday when the Lord Jeffs and Eagles met in the semifinals of the team championship, but Amherst would get its revenge with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory on Sunday. This is the sixth time a NESCAC duo has won the national doubles tournament and the first time Amherst has earned the title since Alicia Menezes and Brittany Berckes claimed back-to-back crowns in 2007 and 2008.

Brewer and Devlin began their day facing Claremont’s Kristin Lim and Crystal Lim, the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The Jeffs were in control of the first set and stormed out to a 4-1 lead, but Claremont would come back to make things interesting. Facing break point with a 5-3 lead, Amherst overcame a 40-15 deficit to hang on for a 6-3 win in the opener.

The Jeffs fell into a 2-0 hole in the second set, but they would win a marathon third game that saw Claremont fight off five break points before finally putting Amherst on the board with a double fault. Trailing three games to two, the Jeffs put together their best game of the match thanks to outstanding defense by Devlin and great serving by Brewer. With a 5-4 advantage, Amherst closed out the 6-4 win when Brewer held serve without letting Claremont earn a point.

A pivotal moment in the championship match came when the Jeffs were trailing 40-15 in the third game of the opening set. Amherst rallied to break Emory and take a 2-1 lead, and the Eagles would never pull back ahead. Both teams struggled with their serving in the first set, but the Jeffs came through when it mattered most as Brewer held to give Amherst the 6-4 win.

Doubles
Wes Waterman '12 (left) and Moritz Koenig '11 (right) advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA doubles tournament.

The second set was a different story, with both sides holding serve throughout to force a tiebreaker. Amherst scored the first two points, but the Eagles would come back to tie things up at 2-2 and again at 3-3. The Jeffs picked up their sixth point on a beautiful drop shot by Devlin, and they finished off the upset when an overhead smash by Brewer wasn't returned.

The national title improved Brewer and Devlin to 19-0 in tournament matches on the year. In the fall they posted a combined 15-0 record at the ITA Regional Championship, the Gail Smith Doubles Tournament, and the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament, taking home all three titles in convincing fashion. The Lord Jeff first-years then posted a 14-4 record in dual match play as the team’s top pair, earning All-NESCAC First Team and All-America honors along the way.

Koenig and Waterman came from behind to win their first-round and quarterfinal matches earlier in the weekend, but their run would end with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Claremont’s Zhenya Pereverzin and Ronald Wu. The Stags jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the opener and would hang on after the Jeffs cut their deficit to 5-4. Claremont again took a 5-2 lead in the second set and this time would allow Amherst to win only one more game, as Pereverzin and Wu took advantage of strong serving to advance to the finals.

Koenig and Waterman wrap up their outstanding season as All-NESCAC First Team and All-America honorees. Their year began with a perfect 5-0 showing at the ITA Regional Championship back in September, earning them the Northeast doubles title and an invitation to the ITA Small College Championships in Alabama. They would go on to post a 20-4 record in dual match play, ending the year on an impressive 10-match win streak that helped the program claim its first-ever national title.

While Koenig will be difficult to replace next year, Amherst will welcome back Waterman, Brewer and Devlin for what should be another successful year for the Lord Jeffs. For complete results and other information from this year’s national tournaments, visit the Amherst men’s and women’s championship websites.