WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College men's tennis team returned to action against conference opponent Bates on Thursday afternoon, emerging victorious by the margin of 6-3 after a close, well-fought match on both sides with a clutch singles performance from the Ephs. With the win, the Ephs' record goes to 11-3 (NESCAC 4-1) on the year, while the loss drops the Bobcats to 5-8 (NESCAC 2-3).
The Bobcats got off to a solid start in the doubles portion at both the one and two positions, while the Ephs raced out to a similar advantage at three-doubles. The Bobcat combination of senior Timmy Berg and junior Pierre Planche managed to overturn an early one-break deficit at one-doubles to take the first point of the match over Eph senior Matt Micheli and sophomore Alexander Schidlovsky by the margin 8-5. Similarly at the number three position, the Eph pairing of sophomore Jose Raventos and freshman Rohan Shastri managed to extend their early lead all the way to an 8-4 victory over senior Eric Ruta and freshman Christopher Ellis to level the overall match score, making the match advantage going into singles come down to the tight affair on court two. The Eph sophomore duo of Howard Weiss and Brian Astrachan fought back from an early deficit to draw even with Bobcat seniors Peter Yanofsky and Ben Bogard to send their match to an 8-all tiebreaker. At 3-3, Weiss and Astrachan raised their level of play, and put Yanofsky and Bogard away by winning four of the next five points to take the match 7-4.
The Ephs took their 2-1 advantage into the singles portion, but the Bobcats were not demoralized by the outcome of doubles. Bobcat junior Pierre Planche jumped out to a roaring start at two-singles against Weiss and rode his momentum all the way to a 6-1, 6-1 win to equalize the overall match score at 2-apiece. Eph freshman Conrad Harron responded well to Planche's quick win, as he didn't lose a game in his first set to freshman Brent Feldman at three-singles. Feldman, however, rallied in the second set to push the match deep into the set, but Harron managed to pull out the match by the margin of 7-5, to give the Ephs back their one-point advantage. At the number one position, Berg played a strong first set to take the advantage over Micheli 6-4, but Micheli responded well and pulled out a clutch 6-2, 6-2 scoreline for the second and third sets, drawing the Ephs within one point of clinching the match.
The Bobcats would not give up, however, as Bobcat junior Henry Lee put in a solid performance against Schidlovsky at the number four position. Lee started quickly and managed to nab the first set 6-3, before Schidlovsky recovered well in the second set, overwhelming Lee to send the match to a deciding set after a 6-1 scoreline. Lee and Schidlovsky exchanged blows as the match crept deeper into the set, but eventually Lee was able to draw blood and take the match 7-5 in the third, pulling the Bobcats back within one point of the Ephs.
With the match coming down to the wire, Raventos and Astrachan stepped up big time, as they both managed to take their matches, at five- and six-singles respectively, in straight sets and put the match out of reach for the Bobcats. Raventos downed Bobcat freshman Patrick Ordway 6-4, 6-2, before Astrachan snuck past freshman Patrick Ordway 6-4 in the first set, then cruised to a comfortable 6-0 second set against sophomore Cosmin Bardan.
After the match, Eph head coach Dan Greenberg was pleased with individual players stepping up in the big moments of the match: "Bates really pushed us, but I was pleased with how we competed. Fortunately, Howie and Brian fought off three match points to win their doubles set and give us the 2-1 advantage. Bates played really good doubles, so it felt good to take the lead going into singles. Matt really stepped up after his first set, and Conrad stayed tough to close out his second set. Then Jose and Brian came out strong in the final two matches to clinch the match for us.
The Ephs return to action on Saturday, away against Skidmore with the match set to start at 1 PM EDT.
Williams 6, Bates 3
- Micheli, Matt (WILLIAMS) def. Berg, Timmy (BATES) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
- Planche, Pierre (BATES) def. Weiss, Howard (WILLIAMS) 6-1, 6-1
- Harron, Conrad (WILLIAMS) def. Feldmen, Brent (BATES) 6-0, 7-5
- Lee, Henry (BATES) def. Schidlovsky, Alexander (WILLIAMS) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
- Raventos, Jose (WILLIAMS) def. Ordway, Patrick (BATES) 6-4, 6-2
- Astrachan, Brian (WILLIAMS) def. Bardan, Cosmin (BATES) 6-4, 6-0
- Berg, Timmy/Planche, Pierre (BATES) def. Micheli, Matt/Schidlovsky, Alexander (WILLIAMS) 8-5
- Weiss, Howard/Astrachan, Brian (WILLIAMS) def. Yanofsky, Peter/Bogard, Ben (BATES) 9-8(4)
- Raventos, Jose/Shastri, Rohan (WILLIAMS) def. Ruta, Eric/Ellis, Christopher (BATES) 8-4
Williams 11-3 (NESCAC 4-1), nationally ranked #5
Bates 5-8 (NESCAC 2-3)