Amherst tennis kicked off spring conference competition this weekend with matches against the Connecticut College Camels and the Wesleyan Cardinals. The No. 9-ranked women’s team swept Connecticut 9-0 in a dominating performance before falling to Wesleyan in a 4-5 thriller. The men’s team won both their matches, sweeping Connecticut 9-0 and beating Wesleyan 6-3.
Due to rain, the Mammoths traveled to the indoor tennis courts at the Ludlow Tennis Club for their Saturday match against Conn, instead of playing at Amherst’s outdoor courts on campus.
The three doubles teams started the match off strong, dropping just four games throughout the entirety of the competition. The No. 2 pair Deliala Friedman ’25 and Julia Lendel ’24, and No. 3 pair Anya Ramras ’22 and Amy Cui ’25 each won their matches 8-2. The No. 1 pair Jackie Bukzin ’22 and Mia Kintiroglou ’25 demolished their opponents 8-0, sending the Mammoths into their singles matches with confidence.
Bukzin, who is currently the No. 1-ranked singles player in the Northeast region, won every single game of her match. In the No. 5 and No.6 spots, Calista Sha ’23 and Anya Ramras ’22 followed Bukzin’s lead by sweeping their opponents 6-0, 6-0. The rest of the team also won their matches, collectively dropping only six games.
The action continued on Sunday with a top-10 showdown against No. 5-ranked Wesleyan. The Cardinals captured an early 2-1 lead in doubles play, defeating Bukzin and Kintiroglou, along with Friedman and Lendel. Ramras and Cui held strong to secure a crucial point, though, winning their match 8-3.
At the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, Bukzin and Cui fought hard to win their matches and give Amherst the lead — Cui’s match lasted a close three games. At No. 3 and No. 4, Lendel and Friedman fell to their opponents, but Sha was able to tie up the match again with a dominant 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 5. Unfortunately, Ramras lost her match at No. 6, leaving the Mammoths with a one-point deficit.
Women’s tennis returns to action next weekend, with matches against No. 16 Bowdoin and No. 32 Colby in Maine.
The men’s team also opened their weekend competition in the Ludlow indoor courts against the Camels.
Their match started in similar fashion, with all three doubles teams winning their matches, only dropping five games in the process. In singles competition, Damien Ruparel ’22, who had not lost a match this season, continued his undefeated streak at the No.1 spot. The rest of the Mammoths followed suit, with every athlete winning their match in two games.
The next day, Amherst returned to play Little Three rival Wesleyan, who is currently ranked 26th in the nation. The Mammoths secured an early 2-1 lead in doubles matches, with No. 1 pair Ruparel and Sujit Chepuri ’25 and No. 3 pair Micah Elias ’24 and Kobe Ellenbogen ’25 winning their games in dominant fashion. No. 2 pair Harris Foulkes ’22 and Ed Opie ’25 lost a point in a tight match that ended in a tiebreaker.
Wesleyan came back strong in the singles matches, winning at the No.1 and No. 3 spots. Ruparel lost his first match this season to Peter Anker, while Chepuri was beaten in a match that required tiebreak wins in both sets. Amherst swept the rest of the matchup, though, with convincing wins from Foulkes, Elias, Opie, and Willie Turchetta ’22, which was enough to bring home the win.
The men’s tennis team will also head to Maine next weekend to face No. 7-ranked Bowdoin and No. 33-ranked Colby.