CARY, NC – For the second straight match at the NCAA Tournament the Williams College men's tennis team (19-3) found itself trailing 2-1 after doubles play.
Squaring off against Washington University (18-8) for the second consecutive year in the third place match, the Ephs were looking to avenge last year's 5-0 loss to the Bears.
This was the third time that the Ephs and Bears have met in NCAA Tournament play and Williams now owns a 2-1 advantage.
The Ephs trailed in all three doubles 5-0. "Our guys were pretty drained after yesterday's match and then we opened down on all three doubles courts, but we put up and unbelievable fight and got back into the match and had just enough to win," said Eph head coach Dan Greenberg.
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First off the court was the Washington U. number three doubles team of Gary Parizher/Jeffrey Hirsh with an 8-5 win over Eph captains Will Petrie and Kevin Shallcross. Parizher/Hirsh opened up a 5-0 lead in the match and the closest the Eph tandem would come was when they were down 5-2.
The second point of the match for Washington U. came at number two doubles when the Bears' Kareem Farah/Parker Chang took down the Ephs' Felix Sun and Matt Micheli 8-6. The Bears opened up a 3-0 lead and the Eph duo was only able to get within one, down 5-4, before Farah/Chang won three of the last four points to notch the win.
The Ephs' top tandem of Bryan Chow/Trey Meyer also fell into a deep hole at the start of their match versus Adam Putterman/Ross Putterman. Trailing 5-0 Chow and Meyer began to work themselves back into the match by battling back to win five of the next six points.
Down 6-5 Chow and Meyer were able to even the match at 6 all. Then the Eph duo stunned the Puttermans by completing their dramatic comeback by winning the next two games, claimed an 8-6 win. Chow and Meyer won eight of the last nine points in the match to get the first point of the match for Williams.
"When you are down that much it's kind of funny, but you are pretty loose, so we were able to win a few points and they started to tighten up," noted Trey Meyer.
With wins at two and three doubles Washington U. carried a 2-1 lead into singles play.
The third point of the match for the Washington U. Bears came from a straight set win by Parker Change over the Ephs' Bran Chow at number five singles. Chang won 7-6, 6-0 to boost the Washington U. lead to 3-1.
The Ephs picked up their second point when junior Felix Sun prevailed at two singles over Gary Parizher in straight sets. Sun won the first set 6-3 leading all the way. In the second set Sun overcame a 4-3 lead by Parizher to win 6-4.
With Washington U. leading 3-2 the Ephs were in need of three wins in the four remaining matches. Junior Trey Meyer was up a set at one singles and leading 3-2 in the second set when Sun captured his win. Sophomore Matt Micheli was even with Ross Putterman at a set apiece and 2-2 in the third set when Sun came off the court.
Junior Zach Weiss who was in his third set with Kareem Farah was behind 3-1.
At six singles captain Will Petrie was up a set on Tim Noack and leading in the second set 3-1, giving the Ephs room for optimism. "Predictably we got off to a slow start coming off the grueling match yesterday with Emory, but then Bryan [Chow] and Trey [Meyer] had an awesome comeback at one [doubles] and singles was just a dogfight up and down the line," said Will Petrie.
When Farah defeated Wise 6-3 in the third set Washington U. was on the cusp of victory leading the match 4-2.
With a straight set win at six singles by Will Petrie the Ephs narrowed the gap to 4-3. Petrie won 7-6, 6-3 over Tim Noack to keep the Ephs' hopes alive.
A tiebreak win by Matt Micheli at three singles tied the match at 4 all. Micheli won the first set 6-4, but lost the second 6-1 to Ross Putterman, before going on to win the tiebreak third set 7-6.
This match was to be decided by the number one singles players. It was that close.
The Ephs' Trey Meyer took the first set 7-6 and then fell to Adam Putterman 7-6 in the second to force the third set.
Meyer and Putterman were tied at 2 in the third set and then Meyer asserted himself by rattling off the next four games, giving the Ephs a 5-4 win and third place after four hours and 45 minutes of hard fought tennis.
"Matt Micheli's win pumped me up and having everyone on the team around was great," noted Meyer. "Putterman is a very good player [#2 n the country] so I just tried to stay loose and play it to his backhand as much as I could. It was great sending our seniors out with a win." Meyer defeated n succession the number 1 and number 2 singles players.
The third place finish was the Ephs' highest since taking second in 2004.
"I said coming in that I wanted us to send our seniors out with a bang and I believe we did that," said Greenberg. "We competed this week as well as we have in years and I couldn't be happier."
With the win the Ephs recorded their 50th NCAA Tournament victory and improved to 50-18 (.735) and finish the season with a record of 19-3.
The loss by Washington U. leaves the Bears with a record of 18-8 this year.
Tennis Match Results
Washington University vs Williams College
May 23, 2012 at Cary, N.C.
Williams College 5, Washington University 4
1. Trey Meyer (WILM) def. Adam Putterman (WASHUM) 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-2
2. Felix Sun (WILM) def. Gary Parizher (WASHUM) 6-3, 6-4
3. Matt Micheli (WILM) def. Ross Putterman (WASHUM) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Kareem Farah (WASHUM) def. Zach Weiss (WILM) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
5. Parker Chang (WASHUM) def. Bryan Chow (WILM) 7-6 (7-1), 6-0
6. Will Petrie (WILM) def. Tim Noack (WASHUM) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
1. Bryan Chow/Trey Meyer (WILM) def. Adam Putterman/Ross Putterman (WASHUM) 8-6
2. Kareem Farah/Parker Chang (WASHUM) def. Felix Sun/Matt Micheli (WILM) 8-6
3. Gary Parizher/Jeffrey Hirsh (WASHUM) def. Will Petrie/Kevin Shallcross (WILM) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,2,6,4,3,1)