Men's tennis refuses to fall in autumn

Over fall break the Jeffs visited Lewiston, Me., to participate in the Wallach Invitational hosted by Bates College. Despite the less than ideal vacation destination, the team made the visit worthwhile by winning two of the six events and finishing second in three.

Danny Babkes ’06 represented the Jeffs in the ‘A’ singles bracket and finished runner-up, succumbing in straight sets to Will Boe-Wiegaard of Bates.Lenny Lepner ’07 also reached the quarterfinals before falling. Sophomore Tal Avrahami and first-year Zach Lerner both cruised to the semifinals of the ‘B’ flight before losing tight matches­­-Avrahami in two tie-breakers, Lerner 10-7, in a first-to-10, third-set replacement. Senior Jon Godsall won the ‘C’ flight, battling back from a set down in the final to win by a score of 6-7(6), 6-4, (10-8) over teammate Austin Moller ’08. Sophomore Sam Maurey lost his first match in the ‘D’ flight in straight sets, but Brad Corbin ’09 won two matches to reach the semifinals.

The doubles teams also fared well, with Lepner and Geoff Schwartz ’08 advancing to the finals of the ‘A’ flight before falling to Boe-Wiegaard and teammate Tristan Beach in the finals. Avrahami and classmate Jeffrey Wan won the ‘B’ doubles flight, taking down the top two seeds along the way.

“I think the tournament demonstrated how strong the back of our lineup is, seeing as the two flights that we won were the ‘B’ doubles and the ‘C’ singles,” said Wan.

After driving hours in the rain to play in Lewiston, the Jeffs welcomed the chance to host the White Mules over the weekend. The team rolled easily, with the only loss coming in an exceedingly close match-up between Josh Rilla ’06 and Mule Brian Brown. Brown won a tight first set tiebreaker, but Rilla came back to win the second set 6-3. The duo proceeded to play a marathon rubber with Brown finally prevailing, 11-9.

The rest of the team won easily, dropping just two sets. Babkes was unable to play due to illness, bumping everyone on the rotation up one spot and allowing Wan to play number-six singles. Wan handled the pressure, dispatching his opponent 6-1, 6-0. Lepner, Mike Mintz ’08, Lerner and Godsall handled the two through five slots, respectively, and won each of their matches.

The doubles also went smoothly, which is an encouraging sign for the Jeffs who have recently struggled in this aspect of matches. Lepner and Godsall teamed to win number-one doubles 8-5, while Rilla and Moller secured the point by winning the number-two slot by a score of 8-2.

Although the Jeffs are finished with their fall season, they will be eagerly anticipating their spring slate. They will have two goals for the rest of the year: to improve upon their fifth-place NESCAC finish last year’s and to move up in the national rankings .In order to do so, they will need to close the gap between themselves and Middlebury and Williams Colleges, ranked second and seventh in the nation, respectively.