Men 1-1, Women 2-1 in Last Week of Regular Season

After five combined matches this past weekend, the men’s and women’s tennis teams have completed their regular season. In conference play, both teams swept Bates but lost to Tufts. The women’s team also lost a tough match to MIT.

Micah Elias '24 and Kobe Ellenbogen '25 celebrate winning a match earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams closed their regular seasons with extensive road trips this past weekend. The women headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to play MIT on Friday, April 29, before traveling to Lewiston, Maine the next day, where both squads swept Bates on the road. The teams then traveled back to the Boston area for matchups with scalding-hot Tufts squads on Sunday, May 1, where both teams closed their regular seasons with defeats at the hands of the Jumbos.

Men

The No. 18 men’s team began their week at Bates. Despite eventually sweeping the Bobcats, the biggest scare came during the doubles matches. The top pairing, Sujit Chepuri ’25 and Damien Ruparel ’22, were down 7-4 at one point in the eight-game match. They fought off some match points, though, to bring the match to 7-7 and force a tiebreaker, which the Mammoths won. The second and third pairings, Kobe Ellenbogen ’25/Micah Elias ’24 and Shaw Rhinelander ’23/Zach Ostrow ’23, sailed through their matches with 8-2 and 8-1 wins, respectively.

The Mammoths then rolled through the singles portion, winning all 12 sets across six matches. Ruparel kicked things off with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 win at the top spot before Harris Foulkes ’22 and Edred Opie ’25 turned in a pair of 6-4, 6-2 wins at the two and three spots, respectively. Chepuri took care of business at the fourth position, and Ellenbogen and Willie Turchetta ’22 were near perfect at the five and six spots, losing just two combined games in 6-1, 6-0 victories. The 9-0 victory was the team’s fourth sweep of the season.

The next day, the squad turned to what was set up to be one of their toughest challenges of the season, against a No. 3-ranked Tufts team that had won 14 straight matches.

Things went as the rankings would suggest in the first two doubles matches. Chepuri and Ruparel lost 8-4 at the top spot before the Foulkes and Opie pairing followed them with a quick 8-2 defeat. Elias and Ellenbogen, playing one spot down from the day before, gave Tufts a tough match, forcing a tiebreaker but eventually losing it 8-6. The Mammoths entered the singles matches down 3-0, seeking five wins out of six to rescue the win.

The hope for a win was shattered quickly, though, as the Jumbos closed the door at the top of the singles ladder. Ruparel, the No. 7 player in the region, lost 6-3, 6-2 to Isaac Gorelik, the No. 4 player in the region, at the top spot. Foulkes was off the court quickly at the second spot, losing 6-0, 6-0. Opie, playing in the third position, put up a fight. He lost the first set 6-1 but battled back to claim a 6-2 victory in the second and force a tiebreaker. The tides changed again during the tiebreaker, though, and Opie lost 10-3. Chepuri was the second Mammoth of the day to go without claiming a single game, losing 6-0, 6-0 at number four. Ellenbogen was a bright spot for the Mammoths on the day, coming through with a decisive 6-2, 6-2 victory at the fifth position. Turchetta rounded out singles play with a 6-2, 6-3 loss.

With the 8-1 overall win, Tufts improved to 15-1 on the season, good for second in the NESCAC. The Mammoths snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped to 10-7 but still sit in fifth place in the conference. The team will host the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC Championship next weekend for a single-elimination tournament. The Mammoths will face Bowdoin in the first round on Friday, May 6. The Mammoths lost to the Polar Bears earlier in the season by the narrowest of margins — a 5-4 match decided by a tiebreaker in doubles play.

Women

The women began a set of three matches in three days with a trip to Cambridge for a meeting with No. 6 MIT. On the Engineers’ duPont tennis courts, play began, with three doubles matches. Two first-years — Deliala Friedman ’25 and Mia Kintiroglou ’25 — led the ladder for the Mammoths. Their match proved close: the two sides battled to a 7-7 split, forcing a tiebreaker. The pair went to work in the clutch, winning the tiebreaker 7-3 to claim the Mammoths’ first win. However, things proved tougher for the next two pairings. Julia Lendel ’24 and Calista Sha ’23 were off the court first, losing 8-4. In the third spot, Katelyn Hart ’25 and Amy Cui ’25 put up a solid fight but ultimately dropped their match by a score of 8-6. The Mammoths entered singles play down 2-1.

Six mammoths took the court for singles play. Sha was off the court first at the number-four spot, winning just two games across two sets. Hart followed her with a 6-0, 6-4 loss at the sixth position. Friedman then turned in the Mammoths’ first singles win — her second win on the day — with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-1 victory at the third position to narrow the team score to 4-2. The Mammoths needed to take all three remaining matches to win. That started to look possible after No. 5 Kintiroglou picked up a win in a roller coaster of a match, winning 3-6, 6-3, 7-6. With Mammoths’ No. 1 Cui and No. 2 Lendel still on the court, the Mammoths had a chance. Ultimately, though, the pair couldn’t get it done. Cui lost 6-4, 6-3. Lendel won the first set, but her opponent came back to force and, after 22 points, win a tiebreaker. The 6-3 win was the Engineers’ 15th in a row, and dropped the Mammoths to 9-6 on the season but did not affect their all-important conference record. All three wins came from the doubles duo of Kintiroglou and Friedman.

Conference standing was at stake, however, on the following day, as the Mammoths faced the Bates Bobcats, though Amherst made quick work of their opponents. None of the doubles matches were particularly close. Friedman and Kintiroglou won 8-5, Lendel and Sha 8-3, and Hart and Cui a breezy 8-1. The dominance continued through the singles matches: the Mammoths denied the Bobcats a single set. The drubbing was highlighted by dominant performances from Sha at number three and Anya Ramras ’22 at number six. They won 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-2, respectively. The win brought the Mammoths’ NESCAC record to 7-2 ahead of the final match of the season the following day.

After yet another bus ride the following day, No. 10 Tufts proved a much tougher test. The Jumbos ultimately claimed an overall victory 8-1, but that score does not fully reflect what was actually a tight contest. The Jumbos claimed fairly comprehensive victories at one and two doubles, but Ramras and Cui, playing together at three — came within inches of a win. They played to a tiebreaker but ultimately lost 7-4.

Though Amherst won just one singles match — Sha won 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 at the fourth position — the Mammoths made things anything but easy on their opponents. At the top of the ladder, Cui lost in two sets, but both were decided by the narrowest of margins; she lost the first 7-5 before forcing a tiebreaker in the second, which she ultimately lost. Lendel, playing at number two, took the first set off her opponent but lost the next two. Kintiroglou, at number five, nearly won the first set. Ramras lost her first set but also forced a tiebreaker in the second, which she barely lost 8-6.

The Mammoths’ loss solidified their third-seed position in next weekend’s NESCAC tournament, and set up a first-round matchup with Williams — who they have already beaten twice this season. The match will be played on the Mammoths’ home courts on Friday, May 6. If the Mammoths advance, subsequent matches will be played at Wesleyan.