Wesleyan Earns 5-4 Victory over Men's Tennis in Final Set on Sunday

Junior Zach Shaff was part of a second doubles victory for the Jumbos.

MEDFORD – In an incredible match that started outdoors at 10 am and didn't finish until more than seven hours later indoors, the seventh-ranked Wesleyan University Cardinals edged #17 Tufts University 5-4 in NESCAC men's tennis action on Sunday.

With the score tied at 4-4, Jumbo freshman Jack Moldenhauer and Wesleyan freshman Zach Lieb were left to decide the match in sixth singles. Moldenhauer was down 5-2 in the first set before rallying to win in a tie-breaker 7-6 (4). However, Lieb came back to win the second set 6-3 and then closed out the victory with a 6-2 third-set final.

The Jumbos (4-5, 0-2 NESCAC) had exited out of doubles, which was played outside at Voute Courts, with a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Carl-Herman Grant and junior Zach Shaff won a tie-breaker in the second match 8-7 (7) for a 1-0 Tufts lead. The Jumbos went to 2-0 as sophomore Niko Hereford and junior co-captain Ethan Bershtein took an 8-4 third-doubles final. Wesleyan (9-2, 2-1) avoided the doubles sweep with an 8-7 (5) win on the first court, as sophomore Adrian Roji and freshman Noah Lilienthal combined for the victory.

Singles was moved indoors to the Gantcher Center due to wind and rain. With four courts available, the top four matches went on first. Tufts freshman Isaac Gorelik stayed hot, winning his fifth straight match 6-3, 6-4 at third singles to put Tufts up 3-1. Lilienthal pulled Wesleyan within 3-2 by beating Grant 7-5, 7-6 (6) on the fourth court.

Tufts #1 Boris Sorkin won 7-6 (4), 6-2 against sophomore Andrew Finkelman to get the Jumbos within one of a victory, leading 4-2. However, Cardinal freshman Peter Anker outlasted freshman Paris Pentousis at #2 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to close the gap to 4-3 with two matches remaining.

With the last two matches on, Cardinal junior #5 Princeton Carter went three sets to defeat Tufts junior Nathan Niemic 6-0, 3-6, 6-1. That leveled the team score at 4-4, leaving Moldenhauer against Lieb to decide the match. The Cardinal came back from down a set to do so. Wesleyan won four out of six in singles overall.

Tufts is off until hosting Williams College in NESCAC play next Sunday. Wesleyan is at Middlebury next Saturday.