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Danny Babkes '06
Junior Danny Babkes (pictured) teamed with classmate Josh Rilla to win the doubles title at last year's NESCAC Championship Tournament.

Rilla, Babkes & Co. Set to Lead Men's Tennis

September 9, 2004

2003-04 Season Recap
The Amherst menís tennis team compiled a 6-8 record last season and posted its best finish in three years at the NESCAC Tournament, placing sixth. The Jeffs opened their fall season with a 6-1 victory over Salve Regina University and a first-place finish at the ECAC North Championships, hosted by Vassar College. Sophomores Josh Rilla, Danny Babkes and Jon Godsall led the way, sweeping every set in the No.ís 1, 3 and 5 singles championships, respectively. Amherst went on to split its final two matches with a 5-2 loss at the University of Hartford and a 4-3 win at Brandeis University, and competed at the Omni ITA New England Menís Tennis Championships, hosted by MIT, where Rilla was the top finisher, reaching the semifinals.

After beginning the spring 0-2, Amherst rebounded to win four of its next five matches, including a 5-2 victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan University. Unfortunately, the Jeffs went on a four-match skid leading up to the NESCAC Tournament, but behind the outstanding efforts of Rilla and Babkes they managed their sixth-place finish. Rilla and Babkes teamed to take home the No. 1 doubles flight championship, earning First-Team All-NESCAC honors and securing a bid to the NCAA Doubles Championships, where they fell in the opening round to Emory Universityís Mark Odgers and Alex Jacobs, the second-ranked doubles team in the nation.

Key Losses
Co-captain Rob Feeley was the lone graduate and will be missed after playing in the No. 5 singles spot most of last season.

Key Returnees
The Jeffs return five of their top six players from last season, and hope to return to the NCAA Tournament after a three-year absence. Rilla and Babkes look to improve upon their success after playing in the No. 1 and 2 singles slots, respectively, last season. However, Rilla and classmate Jon Godsall, who played No. 6 singles, will miss the fall studying abroad, but will return ready for the spring. Also returning are senior Max Rettig and sophomore Jeff Lawrence.

Amherst welcomes seven newcomers this season, including Lennart Lepner, a transfer from the University of South Carolina, and first-years Tal Avrahami, Sam Maurey, Michael Mintz, Austin Moller, Geoffrey Schwartz and Jeffrey Wan. All seven have impressive competitive backgrounds and will have an opportunity to contribute this year.