CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Down 3-0 after doubles, Amherst roared back to life, rallying past Trinity (Texas) 5-3 to advance to the NCAA national championship match for the fourth time in program history.
Extending its win streak to six, the Jeffs improved to 35-3 on the season and will face host Claremont-M-S in Wednesday's title tilt slated for 2 p.m. ET. Winners of 11 in a row entering Tuesday's contest, the Tigers (25-7) square off against Middlebury in the consolation match scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Paxton Deuel and Nicolas Moreno staked Trinity to an early advantage by ousting Amherst’s top-ranked doubles pairing of Joey Fritz and Justin Reindel 8-5. Entering championship week with an 18-5 record and ranked No. 1 in the ITA’s Northeast Region, Fritz and Reindel have now dropped each of their past two matches.
With Amherst needing to win five of the six singles matches to stave off elimination, Fritz made quick work of Deuel at the top of the order 7-5, 6-4. After dropping the first frame of his sixth singles showdown against Curtis (6-2), Reindel trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with consecutive 6-2, 6-0 triumphs. Also down a set in his third singles tussle against Moreno (6-2), Solimano suddenly pulled the Purple & White even by taking the next two frames by scores of 6-4 and 7-5.
Meanwhile on the No. 5 court, Yaraghi was engineering a comeback of his own, recovering from a 7-5 first set loss to Mayer with a pair of 6-3, 6-3 wins that put the Jeffs on the verge of victory. Locked in another hotly contested battle, first-year Anton Zykov put the finishing touches on the remarkable Amherst turnaround, besting Aaron Skinner 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.