WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Earlier this spring the Williams College men's tennis team (16-7) opened their 2011 spring season on the West coast and the Ephs went 4-4.
Dan Greenberg's Ephs have picked it up of late though, notching 12 wins in their last 15 matches and earning a berth in the NCAA Division III national quarterfinals for the first time since 2009.
Williams will face third ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (C-M-S) at the Stags' home courts at 6:00 PM PST on Tuesday May 24. This match follows the women's quarterfinals match between the Ephs and the Athenas of C-M-S, which begins at 3:00 PM PST at the same site.
C-M-S enters the match having won 13 of their last 14, including the last 13 in a row. Greenberg is well aware of the challenge facing his Ephs. C-M-S defeated the Ephs in their 2008 quarterfinals appearance in 2008, but Greenberg was on the 2006 Eph team that defeated the Stags in the national quarterfinals.
"We've stayed healthy, which is a huge plus, and having just finished exams will put the team in the right frame of mind," commented Greenberg. "They were focused on exams all week, but won't have that burden during the tournament."
Over the past week Greenberg's plan was to "look to have efficient practices, where the guys could sweat and de-stress from exams and just focus on the game for an hour."
Greenberg does not feel he has to tell his team much about C-M-S as he knows the players the history of the C-M-S program and he just wants his team to focus on what they do and not worry about what the opponent does or might do. "We're more focused on what we do, not what they're doing or have done."
"Some of our guys need to stay loose, some of them need to fire it up, but they'll all look to play their games," noted Greenberg.
Greenberg is excited to see how his team fares this time on the West coast and knows that with the youth of this Eph squad – no seniors in the lineup -- this opportunity will serve the team well in future years.
"C-M-S has been one of the top teams in the country for a while," stated Greenberg. "They play aggressively and have a lot of talent, but I'm confident in how we're competing."
Since NESCAC approved NCAA post-season team opportunities back in the 1993-94 academic year the Ephs have appeared in 17 of 18 NCAA tourneys and have an overall record of 45-15.
Projected Eph lineup:
- Soph. Bryan Chow/Fr. Matt Micheli
- Soph. Felix Sun/Soph. Trey Meyer
- Jr. Will Petrie/Jr. Kevin Shallcross