Men’s tennis finishes fourth

| Senior Sports Editor
Junior John Watts hits a backhand at a match in the Bear's 5-3 victory over Gustavus Adolphus College in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Junior John Watts hits a backhand at a match in the Bear's 5-3 victory over Gustavus Adolphus College in the NCAA Quarterfinals. (Matt Mitgang)

Washington University’s men’s tennis team saw their school record setting 19 match win streak end and finished fourth in the NCAA Championships.

The top ranked Bears were upset 5-2 by No. 6 Amherst College in the NCAA national semifinal round on Wednesday. That loss was the team’s first since Feb. 22, setting up another battle with UAA rival Emory University in the third place match.

Emory defeated the Red and Green 5-3 to take third nationally. The Bears held the 2-1 advantage after doubles play as junior John Watts and senior Nirmal Choradia delivered the No.3 doubles point with an 8-2 win. Seniors Charlie Cutler and Chris Hoeland then won at No. 1 doubles. The momentum started shifting as Emory won three straight singles points. Down 4-2, Watts had a 6-3, 2-6 and 6-3 win at No. 1 singles over Michael Goodwin. Emory’s Chris Redmond defeated Hoeland 6-3, 4-6, 1-6, sealing the Bears’ fate.

With Wash. U.’s loss, both teams continued their recent trend of trading wins. Wash. U. defeated Emory in the 2008 NCAA championship match. Emory then triumphed over the Bears in the 2009 ITA Division III Indoor Team Championships in February. Wash. U. captured its first UAA championship in school history after defeating Emory in April.

In the Amherst match, Wash. U. took only one of three doubles points as Watts and Choradia won at No. 3 doubles. Watts delivered the only other point with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Zach Lerner. Amherst picked up wins at the No. 2, 5, and 6 slots securing their trip to the championship match.

Wash. U. cruised through most of the tournament after securing a first round bye. In the second round, the Red and Green swept Carthage College 5-0. The Bears then defeated No. 12 DePauw University 5-0 in the Central Regional Championship match.

The Red and Green encountered some difficulty with No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus College with only a 5-3 win. Sophomore Isaac Stein, junior Danny Levy and Hoeland all picked up singles wins at No. 4, 5 and 6 respectively. Watts and Choradia won at No. 3 doubles while Stein teamed with classmate Max Woods in a victory at No. 2 doubles.

Watts competes in the NCAA Men’s Singles Championships while Hoeland and Cutler aim for the Doubles Championship. First round action begins on May 22.