MIDDLEBURY, VT - The Williams Ephs enjoyed a solid day of both singles and doubles play to open the first day of the 2018 ITA New England Regional Championships. This tournament is the first competitive matchup for this year's team, and they met the challenge in full stride. 65 singles players and 33 doubles teams from 13 different colleges gathered at Middlebury College to compete in a six round, elimination style tournament. After the first two rounds of play, two of the Ephs' three doubles teams advanced to the Round of 16, joined by two of the six singles players.
Junior Alex Taylor lead the way for the Ephs' singles team. Taylor emerged victorious over his opponent from Springfield College after straight sets, winning 6-1 and 6-2. His second match to move on to the Round of 16 was much more closely contested. After dropping the first set 1-6, Taylor fought back to win 6-3 in the second set, before completing the comeback with a thrilling 10-8 victory in the third and final set to secure his progression to the next round.
That grit and determination showed up again in sophomore Alex Kam's path to the second day. Kam, seeded 8th overall, won his first match in straight sets, although merely presenting the final scores fails to capture the fiercely competitive nature of his 7-5 and 6-4 victories over a tough opponent in Tufts' Issac Gorelick. Like Taylor, Kam's Round of 32 match-up went to three sets. After Kam and Gorelick split the first two sets 6-2 and 4-6, Kam ultimately pulled through with a 10-7 final set to seal the win for the Ephs.
First-Year Peter Frelinghuysen lost to the 4th overall seeded Andrew Finkelman from Wesleyan in straight sets, both sets finishing 6-3.
Sophomore Noah Reich found early success in the Round of 64, besting Trinity's Chris Bilicic 7-6(4) and then 6-3, before ultimately losing to Wesleyan's Peter Anker 6-3 and 6-2 in the next round.
Deepak Indrakanti's experience as a senior showed as he battled back from an early 1-6 loss, picking up the second match 6-3. However, in the end, the comeback fell short, despite a tightly contested 10-5 third set that advanced Middlebury's Stanley Morris.
Despite forcing a tiebreaker in the second set, sophomore Calvin Chung lost in straight sets to Bowdoin's Oscar Yang 6-4, 7-4.
The Ephs also found success in the doubles matches of the day, with two of their three teams advancing to the Round of 16.
Overall, Coach Dan Greenberg's Ephs enjoyed victories in both singles and doubles, with several groups ready to head into Day Two's competition.
Play resumes at Middlebury College's Proctor Tennis Courts and Nelson Recreational Center on Saturday, September 29th, and continues Sunday, September 30th.