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Amherst and Cruz Pull Off Upsets to Reach Team Final

In two intense semifinal matches at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center on Wednesday, Amherst College and UC Santa Cruz earned upset victories and will face each other for  the Division III Men’s Team Championship. Amherst College earned its second upset in as many days with a gritty 5-2 win over #1 ranked and defending national champion Washington University in St. Louis on Wednesday. The Slugs swept the doubles and then held on for a 5-4 win over 2nd ranked Emory in the other semifinal.

Amherst’s Priit Gross and Austin Chafetz earned victories in doubles and singles that proved to be integral to the upset win. The duo fought back from a late service break down to win 9-7 at the #2 position and give Amherst a critical 2-1 advantage after doubles. Then it was Chafetz who provided the first singles win at #2, and later Gross who clinched the victory with a three-set win at #5.

Meanwhile, UC Santa Cruz built a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead with three comfortable wins in the doubles. However, Emory battled and got straight set wins at #1, #2, #3, and #5 singles. Senior Ilya Gendelman got the Slugs’ fourth point of the afternoon with a win at #4, while Marc Vartabedian earned the clinching victory for Cruz at #6 singles.

Sixth ranked Amherst and third ranked UC Santa Cruz will meet each other for the first time this season in the national championship match.

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