Senior Josh Rilla, ranked 24th in the nation for singles play, will lead the Jeffs this year.
17th-Ranked Jeffs Eye Second Consecutive NCAA Team Tournament Appearance
September 15, 2005
2004-05 Season Recap
The Amherst men's tennis team compiled a 10-6 record last year and posted its best finish in four years at the NESCAC tournament, placing fifth. Amherst opened its fall slate with a third-straight first-place finish at the ECAC Men's Tennis Championships, taking the team crown by the largest margin in the event's eight-year history, thanks to wins in five of the six singles flight championships. The Jeffs never looked back, going on to finish the fall undefeated, highlighted by clean sweeps of Brandeis, Roger Williams and NESCAC rival Colby. Amherst also competed at the Omni ITA Men's Tennis Championships, where senior Danny Babkes won four matches in succession before bowing out in the semifinals.
After two tough losses to start the spring, Amherst bounced back to win four of its next five matches, including convincing wins over NESCAC rivals Wesleyan, Connecticut College and Trinity. The Jeffs then suffered tough losses to nationally-ranked Middlebury and Bowdoin squads, mustering impressive singles wins in both matches, highlighted by senior Josh Rilla's defeat of Middlebury's Brian Waldron, the then-top-ranked player in the nation. Amherst rebounded with its impressive fifth-place showing at the NESCAC Tournament, highlighted by sophomore Mike Mintz's appearance in the fourth singles flight championship. The Jeffs continued their strong play in the NCAA Northeast Regional, upending 18th-ranked Bates College by posting a near-sweep in singles play. Amherst's season came to a close when it fell in the Northeast Regional Final to top-ranked and defending national champion Middlebury. The Jeffs finished the season ranked 17th in the nation.
Captain Max Rettig was the lone graduate and will be missed after playing in the No. 5 singles spot for most of last season.
The Jeffs return five of their top six from last season, and look to return to NCAA Tournament play for a second consecutive year. Babkes, junior Lenny Lepner, Mintz and sophomore Geoff Schwartz return for the Jeffs after winning their respective flights at the ECAC Championships in 2004. Sophomore doubles tandem Tal Avrahami and Jeff Wan are back after winning the doubles crown at the ECAC event. Rilla also returns, after earning All-NESCAC honors for his semifinal appearance in the first singles flight at the NESCAC Tournament, and competing in the NCAA Division III men's tennis singles championships, where he fell in the second round to defending national champion Matt Seeberger of the University of California-Santa Cruz.
Amherst welcomes first-years Brad Corbin, Zach Lerner, and Caleb Rozwenc this season. All three have impressive competitive backgrounds and add depth to a strong squad.