Ephs down Claremont-M-S in Thriller, Advance to NCAA Semifinals

Ephs down Claremont-M-S in Thriller, Advance to NCAA Semifinals
CLAREMONT, CA -- The 8th-ranked Williams College men's tennis team (17-7) defeated host and 3rd ranked Claremont-M-S 5-4 in thrilling fashion to advance to the NCAA Semifinals.

With the ­­­­­­­­­­victory, the Ephs will face archrival Amherst later this afternoon. The loss ends the Claremont-M-S Stags season with a record of 27-4.

Gritty and determined is the best way to describe the Ephs as they battled the Stags deep into the night on the Stags' home courts. The Ephs surprised the host team by taking one and two doubles and claiming an early 2-1 lead.

Matt Micheli and Bryan Chow won at one doubles 8-4 and Trey Meyer and Felix Sun won 8-3 at two.

Claremont-M-S stormed back in the singles winning in straight sets at 3, 2, and 1 to take a 4-2 lead. The Ephs number one singles player Felix Sun bounced back from an 0-6 second set loss to capture his match with a 6-4 win in the third set to make the score 4-3, C-M-S.

At six singles Dylan Page opened his match with a 7-5 first set win, before dropping the second set 1-6, but he followed the Sun formula and won the third set convincingly 6-1 to even the match at 4.

The match came down to number five singles where sophomore Bryan Chow lost his first set 3-6, but bounced back to win the second set in a tie breaker 7-6 (3). With the crowd now fully engaged in the third set of the match, Chow and Claremont-M-S Ronald Wu fought through a tense and exciting final set that featured Chow fighting off seven match points and succeeding on his one match point to prevail 11-9 in the tie-breaker and lift the Ephs over the Stags. 

After Chow's match, Coach Dan Greenberg commented, "This was the most unbelievable college match I've seen.  Bryan saved seven match points and capitalized on his one match point. Just an amazing effort to clinch the win for us."

In all, Greenberg was extremely proud of his team. "The entire day the guys fought and didn't let up, even when Claremont went on a run in singles and looked close to winning.  Truly proud of how tough these guys were."

The Eph win put an end to the Stags 13-match win streak.

6PM (M)                
Position          Schools        Score   
Williams [5]    CMS [4]        
Doubles      order of finish:  3, 2, 1
1    Bryan Chow          Zhenya Pereverzin     W 8-4    
      Matt Micheli          Ronald Wu        
2    Felix Sun              Alex Lane                 W 8-3    
      Trey Meyer           Brandon Wei        
3    Will Petrie             Russell Brockett        C 5-8    
      Kevin Shallcross    Robbie Erani        

Singles      order of finish: 2, 3, 4, 1, 6, 5
1    Felix Sun        Alex Lane           6-3, 0-6, 6-4    
2    Matt Micheli    Robbie Erani       4-6, 2-6    
3    Trey Meyer     Alex Johnson       2-6, 2-6    
4    Zach Weiss     Russell Brockett  3-6, 4-6    
5    Bryan Chow    Ronald Wu          3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (9)
6    Dylan Page     Mac Cahill           7-5, 1-6, 6-1   

The Ephs have met Amherst twice this spring, first in the regular season then again in the NESCAC Championship match. They dropped these matches by scores of 4-5 and 0-5, respectively.

The Ephs and the Lord Jeffs will get underway at 3pm PST.