May 1, 2014
Headed into the final weekend of the season, the men’s tennis team looked to end the season on a high note. After several hours of a hard fought match, Conn College managed to pull away with a 5-4 victory.
The Continentals (9-11, 0-7 NESCAC) have had a competitive season. From Amherst to Williams to Tufts, the NESCAC boasts many of the top 10 Division III schools. Throughout the season, a young Hamilton squad battled to make a name for itself. Unfortunately, Saturday ended with a another loss with a final score of 5-4.
Before their final matches, which were played on Hamilton’s indoor courts, the Continentals honored their captain, Ben Swett ’14. Hamilton quickly went up 2-1 in doubles thanks to strong victories by the Oliver/Swett team (8-4), and the force of Lokre/McKee-Proctor (8-4). Austin Lokre ’ 16 and Max McKee-Proctor ’ 17 tied a school record with 14 doubles wins, demonstrating that their teamwork is going to make them tough competitors for years to come.
First-year doubles star McKee-Proctor said after the match, “Austin and I ended the season on a great note, beating Conn College with tons of energy and crowd support. My first year on this team was incredible, and we wrapped it all up with a great win in one of the most important matches of our season. Even though we couldn’t pull out the overall victory, everyone left it all out on the court and I have a lot of confidence in our team for the years to come.”
Heading into the singles matches, the Continentals were in good shape. Both first-year Jon Cohen, playing in the number 5 position, and James Oliver ‘15, playing in the number 1 position, had commanding victories. However, Hamilton could not scrape out another win in some very close matches, losing the contest in the end.
After the match, Lokre spoke highly of the team in saying, “Our team displayed strong character and fight in our last match and throughout the season. We lost a few very close matches and still managed to battle through adversity and continue to improve as players.”
With only one senior graduating, the men’s tennis team is poised for success in the coming years. Reiterating these sentiments, Lokre stated, “With a young, dedicated team and a knowledgeable coach, the program is bound to reach even more success in years to come.”
Everybody on the team is excited for next fall when the season starts up again. Coach Barr and the entire Hamilton squad is motivated to turn these close matches around. Matt Billet, a rising senior on the team ready to embrace a position of leadership on the team, remarked on the loss, “While the result didn’t play out the way we would have liked against Conn, I was extremely proud of everybody’s hard work and determination throughout the season.”
Looking to the future, the team is ready to make a statement in the NESCAC with strong recruits joining the team next year. Matt Billet, continued his excitement for the team in, saying, “Despite the large turnover on the roster with five freshman, the whole team left everything on the court this season and collectively pushed each other to become better student-athletes.”