It took until the 10th match of the season, but the No. 7 Amherst men’s tennis team finally hosted its home-opener this past Wednesday against Conn. College. The Mammoths capitalized on the home court advantage, as they didn’t lose a match, beating the Camels 9-0. Amherst then had its second home match of the season on Friday against Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and although the hosts faced a stiffer challenge, they still emerged with a 6-3 win.
Wednesday’s contest was a rude welcoming for Conn. College, as Amherst started the match off by sweeping all three of the doubles courts. Sean Wei ’21 and Jayson Fung ’20 took care of Ethan Hecker and Ben Sachs by a score of 8-3 in the first doubles slot.
In the second doubles, the junior pairing of Cameron Raglin and Zach Bessette faced a major challenge as Johnny Cissel and Charlie Williams forced their way to a tiebreaker, but the Mammoths prevailed in the end with a 9-8 (4) victory. Jesse Levitin ’19 and Oliver Kendall ’19 had an easier time with third doubles, beating Patrick Farrell and Zak Danz, 8-3. The singles portion was much of the same, as Amherst didn’t drop a single set in any of the six individual matches. Between Wei, Kevin Ma ’21, Levitin and Jon Heidenberg ’19, Amherst only dropped a total of six games. Raglin and Kendall completed the shutout by knocking off Scott Brown and Hecker respectively.
Riding high from the domination of the Camels, Amherst hosted the Engineers on friday. Wei and Fung started off strong, defeating Tyler Barr and Alex Cauneac easily, 8-2. While Ma and Bessette fell in a heartbreaker to Albert Go and Michael Zhao, 8-6, Kendall and Levitin rebounded to beat Sean Ko and Victor Cheng by a score of 8-4. On the singles side, there were some very tight matches, including five sets of at least 12 games played. Wei did his job by narrowly edging Barr, 7-5, 7-6 (5). Ma also was locked in, claiming victory in his match even after Cauneac took the second set off of him, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. The Engineers won the next two matches as Cheng beat Bessette and Ko beat Fung. However, the Mammoths came back to take the final two matches as Levitin held on to beat Go, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, and Heidenberg closed it out with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Zhao.
It was a great week overall for the Mammoths as they improved to 9-2 on the season. Amherst will have one of its biggest weeks of the season coming up, as it plays at home against No. 1 Emory on Friday, April 20 at 3 p.m. before traveling to face No. 11 Wesleyan on Saturday at 2 p.m.