Tennis Teams Return Intact to Uphold Reputations
By Matt Fernald '13, Section Editor
It won’t be an easy feat for the men’s and women’s tennis teams to surpass all that they accomplished last year, but they certainly have the talent and drive to do just that. Last season was a historic one for the men, who in successive matches in the NCAA Division III tournament knocked off Middlebury in the quarterfinals (in doing so ending a 15-match losing streak to the Panthers) and then-defending champion Washington University in the semifinals before falling to University of California, Santa Cruz in the finals.

For the women, they ended their season in the same manner in which it began: with a tough loss to archrival Williams College. But between those losses they enjoyed a brilliant 19-match win streak that even included two victories over Williams — one of which sealed the Jeffs’ sixth straight NESCAC title.


The men form a relatively young team, their lineup consisting of nine sophomores and four freshmen out of a total of 23 players, but it is a team loaded with talent and potential.

Leading the team this year will be seniors Daniel Kim, Alex Kaufman, Dan Gonzalez, Robert Abbey and Scott London. All of them posted solid records in both singles and doubles last year, and Coach Chris Garner will certainly be looking to them to display leadership.

Behind the seniors come the juniors: Moritz Koenig, Priit Gross, Tony Sheng, Sean Doerfler and Max and Alex Gumport. Koenig, Gross and Sheng were all key assets, winning several singles and doubles matches throughout the season.

The sophomores this year are headed by last year’s ITA Northeast Rookie of the Year, Austin Chafetz. Chafetz went 18-1 in singles play last year in the No. 2 slot, as well as 19-7 in doubles. Also among the sophomore elite are Andrew Jung and Wes Waterman, both of whom were regulars in the starting lineup and who served as the Jeffs’ third doubles pair. Jon Thaler, Surain Asokaraj, Julian Camacho, Robby Sorrel, Sam Sperling and Chris Morrison round out the sophomore class, all of whom had very successful seasons last year and are expected to only improve this year.

Mark Kahan somewhat overshadows the first-years this year. Already determined as a steady starter in the lineup, Kahan went 6-0 in his last six singles and doubles matches of the fall season. Alex Kim, Daniel Keolasy and Will Rives round out the freshmen class.


As for the women, the 2009-10 squad will have a strong chance to return to the national championship match once again, as the squad returns all six singles players from last year’s lineup, while losing just one doubles competitor in Anuja Ankola. Headlining this year’s senior class is quad-captain and three-time ITA All-American Brittany Berckes. She is joined by classmates Jill Wexler, Jennifer Ouyang and Christina Martinez to form the team’s quad-captain group. Wexler has consistently played both singles and doubles for Amherst, while Ouyang and Martinez will look to break into the lineup as regulars this season.

Amherst returns seven juniors to the courts this fall, including four regulars from last year’s singles ladder. Leading the class of juniors is the twin sister duo of Carlissa and Laken King, who played singles in nearly every match last year. Classmates Mimi Bell, Jennifer Kim and Charlotte Wilinsky will look to contribute coming off a strong year of development last season. Juniors Natasha Brown and Danielle Erb took the fall season off to study abroad, but will return to give the team a boost once again this spring.

Sophomores Laura Danzig, Ashley McCall and Kim Snyder return after a successful rookie year. Danzig played as the number six singles player for most of her first season, and should slide back into a regular role this fall, while McCall and Snyder will hope to find a slot in the lineup this year.

Amherst also welcomes four first-years to the program, with rookies Kate Paul, Caroline Richman, Priyanka Kumar and Sarah Nyirjesy arriving on campus this fall. Both Richman and Paul were heavily recruited coming out of high school and could make an impact as soon as this year.

Issue 18, Submitted 2010-03-10 05:20:27