LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997, the Babson College men's tennis team fought valiantly before falling 5-1 to The College of New Jersey in a First Round match at the Grande Meadows Indoor Courts on Thursday afternoon.
With its first NCAA Tournament win since 2011, The College of New Jersey moves to 15-1 on the season while Babson sees its season come to an end at 11-9.
First-year Roberto Perez (Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain) earned the lone point for the Beavers, winning 6-2, 6-2 over senior Marc Nichols (Lawrenceville, N.J.) at number one singles. Sophomore Connor DeFiore (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) fell 7-5, 6-3 at number five singles and first-year Davin Garcia (Essex Junction, Vt.) lost 6-3, 6-3 to Lions' senior Jordan Cruz (Manasquan, N.J.). Babson first-year Victor Vu (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore Ramone Doyley (Kingston, Jamaica) were both tied at a set apiece in their respective matches when TCNJ clinched the victory.
The Lions got off to a fast start in doubles play as their top duo of senior TJ Riley (Mount Laurel, N.J.) and sophomore Jack August (Medford, N.J.) topped Perez and Vu, 8-3, to earn the first point of the day. Doyley and DeFiore, playing together at number two doubles, got within 4-3 midway through their match with Nichols and junior Howard Telson (Edison, N.J.) before the TCNJ pair won four of the final six games for an 8-5 win.
The match of the day came at number three doubles where senior Mitchell Henry (Wellesley, Mass.) and first-year Saif Rahim (Hong Kong) rallied from a 5-4 deficit, holding serve and then breaking Cruz and first-year Riley Cooper (Moorestown, N.J.) of TCNJ to take a 6-5 advantage. Both teams held serve over the next four games as the Beavers would serve with an 8-7 lead to finish the match. Cruz and Cooper rallied, though, winning the game to even the match at 8-8 before ousting the Babson duo 7-5 in a tiebreaker to take a 3-0 lead after doubles play.
TCNJ moves on to play host Amherst College on Friday morning at 9:00am while Babson, which won 11 matches, posted its highest win total since the 2007-08 season.