April 10, 2014
As the last of the snow melts away, students and professors alike are ready to embrace warmer weather in Clinton. No spring team could be more excited for this than the men’s tennis team, as the players now get to move to the outdoor courts.
This past weekend, in what was potentially their last indoor match of the season, the Continentals took on Tufts.
Earning two of three wins over the Jumbos, the Continentals started off strong. James Oliver ’15 and Captain Ben Swett ’14 beat the Lazarus/Peleg duo 8-4 and Austin Lokre ’16 and Max McKee-Proctor ’17 pulled out another 8-4 victory.
With this initial 2-1 lead, the men’s team’s confidence grew. Jon Cohen ’17 stated, “We knew doubles were extremely important to win, and I think we did a stellar job against a great doubles team.”
Although the men’s team started off strong, the Jumbos regained the upper hand and went on to win five out of six singles matches, defeating the Continentals 6-3.
The lone winner was Ian Antonoff ’16, who beat his opponent 7-6, 2-6 and 10-7. Even though the Continentals could not pull off an overall victory, many of the matches were close and should give confidence to the Hamilton squad.
Both Jack Vissicchio ’17 and Matthew Billet ’15 played games that went to tiebreakers, though they did not end in their favor.
With this loss, Hamilton drops to 7-6 with seven matches left in the season. The Continentals’ record, however, gives justice to the growth and effort that the men’s team has applied every day.
Junior Matt Billet expressed understanding of the recent struggles when he said, “We’ve had some difficult matches and battled through some injuries but I really like our team dynamic.”
Billet added, “Our five freshmen have come in with some new energy, which definitely gives us a positive outlook for the rest of the season and years to come.”
With the spring season ending in a few weeks, the Continentals look to build confidence for their upcoming matches. The men’s team has four more matches against NESCAC opponents, two of which will be played at home.
Jon Cohen ’17 reasserted the importance of the next few weeks when he stated, “We need to bounce back quickly because we have one of our biggest matches of the year against Colby this weekend.”
Just like many other spring sports teams, the men’s tennis team is looking to solidify a name for themselves in the NESCAC. That being said, with five first-years on the roster and three of them—Jack Vissicchio, Jon Cohen, and Max McKee-Proctor—playing important roles on the starting lineup, the Continentals will continue to improve every practice and match.
The Hamilton men’s tennis team refuses to lose confidence and as captain Ben Swett stated, “We’re right there with a bunch of NESCAC team. We have a match against Colby here on Saturday and...it should be a good battle!”
Hamilton will face Colby on the Gray Tennis Courts on April 12, before they travel to Williams, the second-ranked team in the nation, the following day.