The No. 4-ranked Emory men's tennis team saw its bid to defend its national title came to an end Monday afternoon as it fell to No. 3 Amherst in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Lord Jeffs advanced to the semifinal round and boosted their overall record to 30-8 following a 5-3 decision over the Eagles who closed out their campaign with a 16-7 won-lost slate.
Emory held a 2-1 lead after doubles with the Eagles' No. 2 tandem of Jackson Isaacs and Ayush Bajoria breezing to an 8-2 decision over the Lord Jeffs' duo of Ben Fife and Andrew Yaraghi, their fourth straight win and fifth in sixth decisions. Shortly after, Emory extended its advantage to 2-0 when sophomore Eric Halpern and Simon Lavoie-Perusse battled to an 8-6 verdict over Joey Fritz and Justin Reindel at No. 3. Amherst averted the sweep and picked up its first point of the match in the process when its No. 1 team of Mark Kahan and Michael Solimano got the better of the Eagles' Elliot Kahler and Ian Wagner, 9-8, with the tiebreaker going in the Lord Jeffs' favor by a 9-7 count.
Amherst seized momentum of the contest in the early stages of singles, knotting the match at 2-2 following the results at No. 2 where Yaraghi defeated Wagner in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, just Wagner's fifth setback in 26 decisions. The Lord Jeffs then took the lead after Fritz topped Halpern at No. 1, 6-4, 6-4, and built their advantage to 4-2 and to within one point of clinching the match following Kahan's win at No. 2 over the Eagles' Alex Ruderman, 6-2, 7-5. Freshman Rafe Mosetick kept Emory's hopes alive when he scrapped his way to a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 win over Fife at No.4 singles, his seventh straight triumph and 21st in 27 decisions this year. With the Nos. 5 & 6 matches the last two being contested, it was Reindel who sealed the decision in Amherst's favor with a three-set verdict over Will Adams at six, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.