SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — The Williams College men's tennis team travelled to New York on Saturday afternoon, where they faced off against the Thoroughbreds of Skidmore College. With a strong doubles showing and resilient three-set play, the Thoroughbreds managed to sneak past the Ephs by the margin of 5-4. The Ephs' record drops to 11-4 on the year, while the Thoroughbreds' record rises to 9-6.
All three of the doubles matches were lop-sided as the Thoroughbreds took one- and three-doubles with relative ease, while the Ephs managed to keep within one point of the Thoroughbreds by grabbing the point at the number two position. The veteran, senior Thoroughbred pairing of Oliver Loutsenko and Danny Knight didn't drop a game to Eph senior Matt Micheli and sophomore Alexander Schidlovky, while another experienced Thoroughbred duo, senior Gabe Steerman and junior Miles Ransom, only dropped two games on their way to an 8-2 win over Eph sophomores Brian Astrachan and Howard Weiss. The Ephs did keep the match close going into singles, however, through the combination of sophomore Jose Raventos and freshman Rohan Shastri, as they eased past Thoroughbred senior Jimmy Sherpa and sophomore Nick Tong 8-4.
With the 2-1 advantage, the Thoroughbred rode their momentum into the singles portion as Knight cruised past Weiss at three-singles without too much difficulty 6-2, 6-1. However, their lead was returned to just the one point a short time later as Eph freshman Conrad Harron downed Sherpa in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 at the number two position.
The other four matches all went the distance, as it came down to who could show more mental toughness in deciding sets. After losing the first set 6-4, Micheli mounted a strong second-set effort to equalize the match with a 6-4 scoreline against Loutsenko. However, Loutsenko proved to be too much for Micheli as he saw Micheli off rather comfortably in a third set by the margin of 6-2, pulling the Thoroughbreds to within one point of clinching the match.
With their backs against the wall, the Ephs did well to fight back against a strong Thoroughbred team. Raventos at the number five position split his first two sets with junior Thoroughbred Alec Hoblitzell 6-4 and 3-6, but Raventos left no room for error in the third set as he buckled down and pulled out the match with a 6-1 scoreline to drag the Ephs to within one point of the Thoroughbreds. At four-singles, Schidlovsky lost a tough first set against Ransom 7-3 in a tiebreaker, but came back firing on all cylinders as he took advantage of multiple opportunities to close out his match 6-3, 6-2 in the final two sets, leveling the match score at 4-apiece.
With the match all-square, it came down to six-singles between Astrachan and Steerman. After a lopsided first set that went the way of Steerman 6-1, Astrachan fought back to take the second set 6-3 to give the Ephs a shot at coming from behind to win the match. Their final set was much closer than their first two, as it went the distance to a 6-all tiebreaker; however, Steerman was too much for Astrachan in the tiebreaker, as he finished off Astrachan and clinched the match for the Thoroughbreds by a margin of 7-3.
After the match, Eph head coach Dan Greenberg praised the strong performance of the Thoroughbreds, "You have to give credit to Skidmore for playing very fine tennis and really competing out there throughout the match. We just need to focus on tomorrow now and not give up free sets."
The Ephs return to NESCAC play tomorrow for the final home match of the season against arch-rivals Amherst. The match is set to start at 1 PM EDT.
Williams 4, Skidmore 5
- Loutsenko, Oliver (SKIDMORE) def. Micheli, Matt (WILLIAMS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
- Harron, Conrad (WILLIAMS) def. Sherpa, Jimmy (SKIDMORE) 6-4, 6-3
- Knight, Danny (SKIDMORE) def. Weiss, Howard (WILLIAMS) 6-2, 6-1
- Schidlovsky, Alexander (WILLIAMS) def. Ransom, Miles (SKIDMORE) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2
- Raventos, Jose (WILLIAMS) def. Hoblitzell, Alec (SKIDMORE) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
- Steerman, Gabe (SKIDMORE) def. Astrachan, Brian (WILLIAMS) 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(3)
- Loutsenko, Oliver/Knight, Danny (SKIDMORE) def. Micheli, Matt/Schidlovsky, Alexander (WILLIAMS) 8-0
- Raventos, Jose/Shastri, Rohan (WILLIAMS) def. Sherpa, Jimmy/Tong, Nick (SKIDMORE) 8-4
- Ransom, Miles/Steerman, Gabe (SKIDMORE) def. Weiss, Howard/Astrachan, Brian (WILLIAMS) 8-2
Williams 11-4, nationally ranked #5
Skidmore 9-6, nationally ranked #26