AMHERST, MA – The #10 Williams College Ephs met with the Amherst College Mammoths (23-6; NESCAC 6-2) in a single-elimination NCAA tournament match in the round of 16. The Ephs defeated Wilkes University on Friday to move on, while Amherst had a bye. Despite being the underdogs, the Ephs pulled off a victory against the Mammoths for the second time in a row. They also beat Amherst in the NESCAC tournament quarterfinal, which helped secure an at-large bid for the tournament.
Williams started off the match in strong fashion. The always dependable tandem of Alex Taylor '20 and Brian Grodecki '18, who will be competing in the NCAA doubles tournament as individuals, won their match against Zach Bessette and Jayson Fung in dominant fashion. Jordan Sadowsky '18 and Rohan Shastri '17 also earned a hard-fought 8-6 victory to give the Ephs a two-match advantage over the Mammoths. However, Sachin Raghavan '18 and Ananth Raghavan '20 were not able to overcome their opponents, who won 8-5 to close the gap.
On the singles side, the men proved more than capable to finish off the match. Grodecki and Sachin Raghavan provided two straight set wins that left the Ephs only needing one more win to clinch the victory, while Amherst needed four. However, Shastri and Ananth Raghavan were not able to clinch the victory, falling in the matches. Two opportunities remained: Sadowsky's #6 singles match, and sophomore Deepak Indrakanti's match at #4. Sadowsky was able to heed the call, and won 6-4, 6-4 to clinch a spot in the national quarterfinal in Chattanooga. The team and head coach Dan Greenberg were elated.
"There's really nothing more exciting than such a huge match against one of our biggest rivals," said Coach Greenberg. "I couldn't be happier with how our guys rose to the occasion. From Taylor and Grodecki's dominant doubles to Sadowsky's clutch win, and all the battling in between, it was just awesome to see. I'm lucky to coach this group and we're looking forward to spending another week training for Chattanooga."
The Ephs (15-7; NESCAC 4-4) will play the winner of the match between Emory and Sewanee, whose match is scheduled for May 14th and has not been completed at the time of this article's publication. The match will take place on Monday, May 22nd in Chattanooga, Tennessee, time to be determined later. Williams will only be three victories away from its fifth national championship, with the last one coming in 2013.
Williams 5, Amherst 3
1. Zach Bessette (A) def. Rohan Shastri (W) 6-2, 6-4
2. Brian Grodecki (W) def. Josh Marchalik (A) 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
3. Sachin Raghavan (W) def. Gabe Owens (A) 6-4, 7-5
4. Jayson Fung (A) vs. Deepak Indrakanti (W) 4-6, 6-1, 2-3, unfinished
5. Oscar Burney (A) def. Ananth Raghavan (W) 7-6, 7-5
6. Jordan Sadowsky (W) def. Jesse Levitin (A) 6-4, 6-4