Williams Defeats Amherst in NCAA Regional Final 5-2 to Advance to National Quarterfinals

Sachin Raghavan '18
Sachin Raghavan '18

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – One of the oldest intercollegiate rivalries in the nation wrote another chapter today when Amherst College and Williams College met on the campus of Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., to decide which men's tennis team would advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Arch rivals Williams College and Amherst College squared off this afternoon on the Torrence M. Hunt Tournament Courts.

It was the 119th meeting between the two teams since 1905 and Williams entered leading the all-time series 76-39-3. Prior to today the teams were even in NCAA Tournament match-ups with each team winning twice. Williams now leads 77-39-3 all-time and 3-2 in NCAA Tournament play.

On April 28th Williams and Amherst met in the regular season in Williamstown and Williams posted a 7-2 victory. In that match the Ephs narrowly won two of the three doubles matches with Amherst winning at #1 and Williams winning at #2 and #3. The Eph #2 pairing of Alex Taylor and Calvin Chung defeated Zach Bessette/Kevin Ma – 9-8 to provide a 2-1 lead for Williams heading into singles.

Williams won five of the six singles matches with Amherst prevailing at #2, where Kevin Ma downed Eph first year Austin Barr in three sets: 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

At stake today was a chance to extend the 2018 season with a trip to the NCAA DIII Men's Tournament Quarterfinals to be played in Claremont, Calif. beginning on May 21.

Today Amherst took two of the three doubles matches, giving the Mammoths a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. 

Amherst collected doubles wins at #1 and #2 and Williams won at three. Two of the three doubles matches went to extra games. 

The Amherst #1 pairing of Zach Bessette/Jayson Fung outlasted the Williams duo of Brian Grodecki and Ananth Raghavan 8-6. The Mammoth duo never trailed in the match.

In the Williams win at #3 Jordan Sadowsky/Arturo Kam overcame an early 4-1 deficit to tie the match at five all. The Eph duo would not surrender the lead and eventually logged a 9-7 win.

The last doubles match to be decided was at #2 where Amherst's Jon Heidenberg and Kevin Ma downed Alex Taylor and Calvin Chung by the score of 9-7.

"The doubles was a very bad start for us today," said Eph head coach Dan Greenberg. "I felt we were a little nervous and we got a little rattled and it's tough to win four singles matches."

"It was time for a reset so I told the guys to dig in on each court and I was confident in their fitness and I knew they were mentally tough," added Greenberg. "It was sort of like halftime in a basketball game – the second half, the most important half was coming up. You really never know how your team is going to respond to what you tell them."

Trailing 2-1 heading into singles host Williams had little margin for error. The Ephs buckled down and got right to work, winning the first set in all six singles matches and then ran they off four straight set wins to notch the 5-2 victory and advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on May 21 in Claremont, Calif. "The way the team responded today in singles is the best we have responded to anything this year," Greenberg noted. "Six first set wins in singles was absolutely huge."

Deepak Indrakanti won at #5 singles 6-1, 6-1 over Jesse Levitin to tie the match at two all. The Ephs took their first lead when #3 Sachan Raghavan defeated Zach Bressette 6-3, 6-0 to put the Ephs up 3-2. Arturo Kam notched the fourth Williams point at #6 when he downed Jon Heidenberg 6-4, 6-1. 

Ananth Raghavan provided the clincher when he prevailed over Jayson Fung 6-4, 6-1 at #4.

With the win Williams improved to 15-4 on the year and Amherst closed out their season with a record of 12-7.

Amherst vs. Williams College

May 13, 2018 at Williamstown, MA (Torrance Hunt Courts) 

Williams College 5, Amherst 2

Singles:

  1. Brian Grodecki (WILM) vs. Sean Wei (AMH) 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
  2. Austin Barr (WILM) vs. Kevin Ma (AMH) 6-4, 0-1, unfinished
  3. Sachin Raghavan (WILM) def. Zach Bessette (AMH) 6-3, 6-0
  4. Ananth Raghavan (WILM) def. Jayson Fung (AMH) 6-1, 6-3
  5. Deepak Indrakanti (WILM) def. Jesse Levitin (AMH) 6-1, 6-1
  6. Arturo Kam (WILM) def. Jon Heidenberg (AMH) 6-4, 6-1

 Doubles:

  1. Zach Bessette/Jayson Fung (AMH) def. Brian Grodecki/Ananth Raghavan (WILM) 8-6
  2. Jon Heidenberg/Kevin Ma (AMH) def. Alex Taylor/Calvin Chung (WILM) 9-7
  3. Jordan Sadowsky/Arturo Kam (WILM) def. Jesse Levitin/Sean Wei (AMH) 9-7

 

Match Notes: Amherst 12-7

Williams College 15-4

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,3,6,4) T-2:55 A-99