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Danny Babkes
Sophomores Danny Babkes (pictured) and Josh Rilla took home the No. 1 doubles crown on Sunday.

Rilla, Babkes Lead Jeffs to Sixth-Place Showing at NESCAC Championships

April 25, 2004

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - Sophomores Josh Rilla (Westboro, MA) and Danny Babkes (Baltimore, MD) took first place in the No. 1 doubles flight with a 9-7 victory over Tufts University senior Jon Bram and junior Rifat Perahya, leading the Amherst College men’s tennis team to a sixth-place finish and earning First-Team All-NESCAC honors at the NESCAC Championship Tournament, hosted by Williams College Friday through Sunday.

Rilla and Babkes opened tournament play with an 8-6 first-round victory over Hamilton senior Erick Volp and junior Duncan Cameron, and downed seniors Andrew Murray and Daniel Murray of Williams, 8-5, in the quarterfinals. They advanced to the finals with an 8-5 semifinal win over Trinity sophomore Jonathan Hart and first-year Brian Marsden.

Sophomore Jon Godsall (Toronto, Ontario) posted the top singles performance for the Jeffs, advancing to the No. 6 semifinals before being ousted by eventual champion Lex Urban of Williams 6-0, 6-2. Godsall defeated Hamilton junior Brian Tilley 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round and moved on to the semis with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bates first-year Greg Little. Rilla, Babkes, senior Rob Feeley (Chappaqua, NY), junior Max Rettig (Rockford, IL) and first-year Jeff Lawrence (Irvine, CA) all advanced to the quarterfinals in their respective singles flights before falling. Godsall and Lawrence teamed to reach the quarters in No. 2 doubles play, while sophomore Scott Bronner (Chicago, IL) and first-year Karti Subramanian (Washington, DC) fell in the No. 3 doubles quarterfinals as well.

Middlebury claimed its first-ever conference title, edging Williams by just three points and ending the Ephs’ 11-year run as NESCAC Champions. Bates sophomore Will Boe-Wiegaard won his second consecutive No. 1 singles title and earned First-Team All-NESCAC singles honors along with Perahya, Daniel Murray, Middlebury sophomores Nathan Edmunds and Brian Waldron and Bowdoin junior McAfee Burke. Joining Babkes and Rilla on First-Team All-NESCAC doubles were Bram and Perahya, and Urban and senior John Haywood.

Middlebury took home most of the individual awards as well as Edmunds earned NESCAC Player of the Year honors and George Mayer was awarded conference Rookie of the Year. Panther head coach Dave Schwartz shared NESCAC Coach of the Year acclaim with Bowdoin’s Jane Patterson, while Williams seniors Andrew Murray and Daniel Murray received the Chaffee Award.

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