In the first match of the day, the Jeffs took on 22nd-ranked Wesleyan. While an Amherst victory was expected, the Jeffs won in impressive fashion, dominating the Cardinals in an 8-1 victory, only losing the first-seed match. Wesleyan was only able to snag one other game win besides their sole victory, while the Jeffs won seven games by shut-out as well as many 9-0 game wins. Brian Lawrence ’05, David Bauer ’04 and Asad Haque ’04 all allowed two points or fewer in their respective matches. Sophomore Michael Strong and co-captains Carlo Valdesolo ’03 and John Holodnak ’03 also had strong performances en route to the Jeffs’ victory.
Unfortunately, the Amherst men had a much more difficult time when taking on archrival Williams two hours later, as they lost 6-3 in a close, hard-fought match-up. Although there were a few disappointing losses for the Jeffs, the match also had many exciting contests. Valdesolo’s five-game victory in the third slot, Holodnak’s comeback from a 9-0 first-game loss to win the next three games and the overall match were some of the highlights.
Lawrence took the third Amherst win in the seventh slot in the only Jeff shutout, while freshmen Nick Haslett and Tyler Mixter, as well as Bauer, all got edged in four- and five game-matches.
“As expected, we beat a struggling Wesleyan team before playing our biggest match of the year against Williams,” said Strong. “We knew our teams were similarly matched and that we needed to play well to win. Unfortunately, Williams played better and escaped with a 6-3 win.” Strong continued, “However, we will keep this match in mind these next two weeks as we prepare for the nationals at Princeton where we should have the chance to face Williams again.”
After the two matches this weekend, the Jeffs still find themselves with a record of 7-6 and remain 11th in the national rankings. They have one contest left in the regular season this coming Saturday at noon, which will be a tough match-up against visiting fourth-ranked Yale University, by the National Championships the next weekend at Princeton University.