Amherst Edges Men's Tennis 5-4 in Battle of NESCAC Top 20 Teams

Dan Coran won the #3 singles match for Tufts

MEDFORD - Freshman Gabe Owens won the third set at #5 singles to lift 14th-ranked Amherst College to a narrow 5-4 victory at #19 Tufts University in NESCAC men's tennis action on Saturday afternoon.

Played indoors at the Gantcher Center due to snow in Medford, the teams waged a long, tight battle that wasn't resolved until fifth singles. Tufts freshmen Nathan Niemiec defeated Owens 6-4 in the first set at #5, but Owens posted a pair of 6-2 wins to clinch the match for the visitors.

Amherst had taken two out of three in doubles play to begin things. The #1 pair of Jayson Fung and Zach Bessette defeated Jumbos Griffin Brockman and Rohan Gupte 8-3. At #2, the Tufts pair of Zach Shaff and Benjamin Battle earned Tufts' only doubles win 8-6 over Amherst's Anton Zykov and Oscar Burney. Third doubles play went to Amherst, with Josh Marchalik and Nathan Kaplan defeating Tufts' Zain Ali and Ross Kamin 8-4.

Three of the six singles match would go three sets. In addition to Owens' victory at #5, Amhert's Fung had a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Shaff. Tufts' Kevin Kelly played well in defeating Burney - the #19 singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings - in the sixth match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In the first three singles matches, Tufts' Ali also posted a win over a top 20 player with a 6-3, 6-2 final against #20 Marchalik at #2. Amherst's Bessette won 6-4, 7-6 against Gupte in the #1 singles match, while Tufts junior Danny Coran was a 6-2, 6-2 #3 singles winner versus Zykov.

Tufts (4-3) returns to action tomorrow in a 1 p.m. match at Trinity College. Amherst (12-2) is off until hosting Bowdoin next Saturday at 1 p.m.