WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - - The Williams men's tennis program is set to start their fall season with a home match against Springfield College on September 20th. This match, another team match against Vassar, the three-day ITA Tournament at Middlebury, and a tournament hosted by MIT makes up the entirety of the fall season.
Led by head coach Dan Greenberg, the Ephs are looking to maintain the high level of play that earned them a 15-8 overall record during the past spring season. "We want to sustain last year's momentum moving into this season," said Greenberg. After a semifinal run in the NESCAC tournament, which included a 5-3 win over Amherst and a 5-3 loss to Middlebury, the Ephs mounted a successful campaign at the NCAA tournament, where they defeated Wilkes 5-0 and Amherst 5-3. The season ended with an NCAA quarterfinal appearance in which the team lost 5-3 to Emory, the eventual NCAA champions. This marked an improvement over an already strong 2015-2016 season in which the Ephs earned a record of 13-4 but were unable to make the NCAA tournament after losing in the first round of the NESAC tournament. With such a strong effort last year, Coach Greenberg is hoping to implement similar strategies to find continued success in the coming months.
This fall season consists of a shorter and more condensed schedule than the spring. The four chances to compete allow for a good mix of both doubles and singles action. "Practice has been competitive and intense," says Greenberg. "Guys played as much as possible over the summer, but it's always good to see the rust being shaken off." Coach Greenberg has added a greater degree of fitness to this fall's training and believes this will play a part in giving the Ephs a competitive edge over their opponents. After the first home match against Springfield on September 20th, Williams will play Vassar at home on September 22nd. From there, Williams will head to Middlebury on September 29th for the three-day ITA New England Regional, before finishing the season at the MIT Invite, October 13th-15th.
The fall season will be particularly important in giving the four first-years match experience. Austin Barr, Calvin Chung, Arturo Kam, and Noah Reich to make their impact on the team this fall. "The freshmen class is very strong—a lot of ability and very competitive," Greenberg states. "Every one of them will be pushing for a starting spot."
The rest of the Ephs' roster consists of three sophomores Benjamin Lebowitz, Alex Taylor, and Ananth Raghavan; three juniors Deepak Indrakanti, Christian O'Connor, and Yuxin (Christopher) Wu; and four seniors Brian Grodecki, Sachin Raghavan, Jordan Sadowsky, and Rehaan Vij.
This year's team will have to fill the holes left by two key seniors who graduated with the class of 2017. Rohan Shastri and Alex White were known not only for their athletic prowess but also for their academic and leadership ability. New leadership from a large four-man senior class will take over the reigns as the season begins.
Coach Greenberg and the Ephs look to be in great shape to keep the ball rolling and start their fall season off on the right foot. The home opener against Springfield will occur on Wednesday September 20th at 4:00 pm.