MIDDLEBURY, VT -- Against another highly ranked NESCAC opponent, the Williams College Ephs (ranked #10 in NCAA DIII) had their four-match winning streak broken at the hands of the Middlebury College Panthers (ranked #8) in a tight, 5-4 affair.
Yesterday, despite winning only one of three doubles matches, the Ephs pulled off a 4-2 edge in singles to win the match against Wesleyan. But today, Williams' fortunes were reversed: even though they earned a 2-1 edge in doubles, they fell in four of six singles matches, giving the Panthers a 5-4 edge. The two evenly matched teams battled back and forth in a thrilling match that was decided by a three-set victory in singles play.
In doubles play, the reliable Eph duo of junior Alex Taylor and freshman Peter Frelinghuysen defeated the Panthers' Lubomir Cuba and Nate Eazor by a significant, 8-1 margin. Next, however, the Middlebury tandem of Noah Farrell and Peter Martin beat Williams sophomores Arturo Kam and Calvin Chung, 8-3. But the Ephs gained the edge in doubles play for good when senior Deepak Indrakanti and sophomore Austin Barr took down the Panther team of Andre Xiao and Aleksandr Samets, 8-5.
The Panthers, however, roared back in singles play. Farrell earned a shutout victory over Williams junior Ananth Raghavan. Middlebury's Cuba and Eazor also earned two-set victories against Kam and Frelinghuysen, respectively, but in a much less dominant fashion. The Ephs managed to tie the match at four apiece after Chung delivered against the Panthers' Stanley Morris and Taylor won against Adam Guo, both in two sets and with each Eph earning one 6-0 set victory.
The final result came down to a match between Xiao and Indrakanti. Xiao won the first set and Indrakanti took the second -- both by a 6-2 margin -- but Xiao earned the edge with a 6-3 advantage in the third set.
"Lost a tough one today," said Eph assistant coach Felix Sun following the close defeat. "I'm proud of the way we competed. Excited for a good, focused week of practice."
Next Saturday, the Ephs look to get back on track against the Amherst College Mammoths (ranked #9 in NCAA DIII).
1. Lubomir Cuba (M) def. Arturo Kam (W) -- 6-4, 6-4
2. Noah Farrell (M) def. Ananth Raghavan (W) -- 6-0, 6-0
3. Andre Xiao (M) def. Deepak Indrakanti (W) -- 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
4. Calvin Chung (W) def. Stanley Morris (M) -- 6-0, 6-2
5. Alex Taylor (W) def. Adam Guo (M) -- 7-5, 6-0
6. Nate Eazor (M) def. Peter Frelinghuysen (W) -- 7-5, 6-3