Junior Josh Rilla posted wins at No. 1 singles and doubles on Saturday.
20th-Ranked Jeffs Fall to Defending National Champ Middlebury
April 16, 2005
AMHERST, MA - Amherst junior Josh Rilla (Westboro, MA) took down the top-ranked singles player in the region, junior Brian Waldron (Rye, NY), and paired with classmate Danny Babkes (Baltimore, MD) for an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles, but that was all the 20th-ranked Jeffs could muster in a 6-1 loss to visiting defending national champ Middlebury College on Saturday.
Rilla, ranked eighth in the East, used a rifle forehand and lightning backhand to rip winner after winner against Waldron, and the match was all but decided shortly after it began. Meanwhile, Babkes won the first set against junior Ari Bielin (Hamilton, MA), but dropped the second and third sets 6-0, 6-1.
Perhaps the afternoon’s most captivating match pitted Amherst sophomore Lenny Lepner (Tartu, Estonia) against Middlebury junior Nate Edmunds (Birmingham, MI) at No. 3 singles. The robotic Lepner lost the opening set 6-3 but consistently forced Edmunds into 20- and 30-hit rallies, and the moon-balling Edmunds paid the price, suffering paralyzing leg cramps in the second set, which Lepner won with ease. Rather than play a third set, which Lepner would have most likely taken like candy from a baby, the two parties decided to play a 10-point tiebreaker, and Edmunds claimed the victory with an underhand serve on match point, as he was in too much pain to make a conventional serve.
Amherst rookie Mike Mintz’s (New York, MY) match took an interesting turn when his No. 4 singles opponent vomited twice during the second set, causing a mild delay and a change of court, but Mintz would fall, 6-1, 6-4.
Middlebury improved to 12-2 with the win.
Now 8-4 on the season, Amherst returns to action tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 p.m. against visiting Bowdoin College.
Middlebury 6 - Amherst 1
1. Josh Rilla (Amh.) def. Brian Waldron (6-3, 6-3)
2. Ari Beilin (Mid.) def. Danny Babkes (4-6, 6-0, 6-1)
3. Nate Edmunds (Mid.) def. Lenny Lepner (6-3, 2-6, 11-9*)
4. George Mayer (Mid.) def. Mike Mintz (6-1, 6-4)
5. Alex Scott (Mid.) def. Max Rettig (6-2, 6-2)
6. Salih Unsal (Mid.) def. Jon Godsall (6-2, 6-0)
1. Rilla/Babkes (Amh.) def. Kevin Bergesen /Mayer (8-4)
2. Beilin/Scott (Mid.) def. Mintz/Godsall (8-1)
3. Edmunds/Waldron (Mid.) def. Tal Avrahami/Jeff Wan (8-2)
*Edmunds and Lepner played a 10-point tiebreaker instead of a third set.