MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — #10 Williams narrowly defeated #5 Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon, with the Ephs clinching the 5-4 victory in a third set in the final singles match of the day. Despite a 2-1 lead after doubles, the Cardinals were unable to stop Williams, as the visitors took a 4-2 lead and held off a late push by Wesleyan. With the loss, Wesleyan drops to 10-3 (3-2 NESCAC), with only four matches remaining in the regular season.
The Cardinals received some outstanding play from different players in doubles today, with new teams stepping in at #2 and #3. At #2, Princeton Carter joined forces with fellow junior Jonathan Holtzman for the first time. Despite their inexperience as a pairing, the two were in lockstep the entire match, earning an 8-4 win.
#3 was an even more dominant performance for the Cardinals, as sophomores Andrew Finkelman and Marcus Sweeney paired up for the first time since the fall season. The two were almost flawless, winning a quick and efficient 8-0 match.
Williams came out strong in singles, taking first sets on five of the six courts and winning at #2, #3, and #4 to put themselves on the brink of victory. Of the three remaining matches, Wesleyan needed to win all three, a task they nearly pulled off.
The first singles point came at #1, where Finkelman bounced back from a tough first set to swing the momentum back in Wesleyan's favor with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
All eyes then shifted to #5, where Carter also fought back from being down a set, using his fitness and toughness to roar back to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win—sealed with an exhilarating backhand passing shot down the line.
With the match knotted at 4-4, everything came down to #6, where freshman Zach Lieb was starting a third set. Though Lieb had been the clincher several times already this spring, it was not to be this time around, as he fell 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.
A key match for the Cardinals awaits them next Sunday at 10 AM when they host #7 Amherst.
--Recap by Ben Shapiro--