Ephs Fall to Bowdoin in First Round of NESCAC Tournament, 5-3

Austin Barr '21
Austin Barr '21

MIDDLEBURY, VT -- In the first round of the 2019 NESCAC Men's Tennis Tournament, the Williams College Ephs (8-8, ranked #9 in NCAA DIII) were unable to avenge last week's regular-season loss to the Bowdoin College Polar Bears (16-3, ranked #8 in NCAA DIII), falling 5-3.

Bowdoin controlled doubles play, winning all three matches, two of which were decided by close 8-6 margins. Despite winning three out of five singles matches -- a sixth being unfinished since the overall match had already been decided -- the Ephs were unable to overcome the Polar Bears, and were eliminated from the NESCAC tournament. Unless the Ephs earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament, they will have finished their season with an 8-8 (.500) record.

Doubles play began with an 8-1 victory by Bowdoin's Justin Wang and Evan Fortier over the Williams duo of junior Ananth Raghavan and Arturo Kam. Hoping to avenge a comeback win by the Polar Bears' Grant Urken and Jerry Jiang in their previous meeting, Eph junior Alex Taylor and freshman Peter Frelinghuysen came up just short in an 8-6 defeat. Lastly, Bowdoin's Justin Patel and Oscar Yang eked out another 8-6 win against Williams sophomores Calvin Chung and Austin Chung to successfully complete the Polar Bears' sweep of doubles play.

But the Ephs stormed back. First, Chung earned a dominant two-set victory, winning in two sets and only allowing opponent Fortier to take a single game. Raghavan then delivered with a two-set win over Yang, the first coming in a tie-break, but the second coming by a much wider 6-1 margin. The Polar Bears' Jiang, however, came back from a 2-6 loss in the first set to overcome Barr in three sets. Taylor kept the Ephs alive and narrowed the overall match score to 4-3 with a three-set victory over Patel, but the Polar Bears clinched the match for good when Urken took down Kam by a 6-4, 6-1 score. A match between Bowdoin's Luke Carstens and Frelinghuysen was left unfinished, with the results already decided.

Tomorrow at 9:00AM ET, the Polar Bears play Amherst in the second round of the NESCAC tournament.

The Ephs will be waiting anxiously to see if they have earned an at-large berth in the 2019 NCAA DIII Tournament. The NCAA is expected to make the tournament field public by noon on Monday, May 6. 

Results

Doubles

1. Grant Urken/Jerry Jiang (BOWM) def. Alex Taylor/Peter Frelinghuysen (WILLM) -- 8-6

2. Justin Wang/Evan Fortier (BOWM) def. Ananth Raghavan/Arturo Kam (WILLM) -- 8-1

3. Justin Patel/Oscar Yang (BOWM) def. Calvin Chung/Austin Barr (WILLM) -- 8-6


Singles

1. Grant Urken (BOWM) def. Arturo Kam (WILLM) 6-4, 6-1

2. Jerry Jiang (BOWM) def. Austin Barr (WILLM) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

3. Ananth Raghavan (WILLM) def. Oscar Yang (BOWM) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1

4. Calvin Chung (WILLM) def. Evan Fortier (BOWM) 6-1, 6-0

5. Alex Taylor (WILLM) def. Justin Patel (BOWM) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

6. Luke Carstens (BOWM) vs. Peter Frelinghuysen (WILLM) 3-6, unfinished

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