BABSON PARK, Mass.—The second-seeded Babson College men's tennis team erased a 3-0 deficit after doubles by winning five of six singles matches en route to a thrilling 5-4 victory over the third-seeded Coast Guard Academy in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal on Wednesday afternoon at the Babson Tennis Center.
With the win, Babson improves to 12-4 on the year and will make its sixth consecutive conference tournament final appearance on Sunday. Coast Guard closes its year at 8-5.
The Bears dominated all three doubles matches as juniors Tom Hackett (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Jack Phillips (Raleigh, N.C.) won 8-5 at number one, first-years Kyle Fager (Spokane, Wash.) and Chris Lansing (Manlius, N.Y.) followed with an 8-1 victory at number two, and the duo of senior Mike Melampy (Duxbury, Mass.) and sophomore Adam Bahney (Myerstown, Pa.) completed the sweep with an 8-5 decision at number three.
The Beavers regrouped and got back into the match with a pair of early wins in singles. Senior Ben Roque (Coral Gables, Fla.) doubled Phillips 6-4, 6-3 at number six, while first-year Cameron Gruss (Kittery, Maine) defeated Fager, 6-2, 6-1 at number six. Coast Guard picked up its lone singles victory at number one as Hackett topped Babson junior Brandon Rosenbluth (Pound Ridge, N.Y.), 6-2, 7-6 (9-7), but sophomore Dan Levitan (Winter Park, Fla.) followed with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Bears' sophomore Arthur Wicke (San Marino, Calif.) to bring the Green and White within 4-3.
The Green and White tied the match at number three singles as first-years Chris Kolesnik (Staten Island, N.Y.) held off senior John Hu (Plainsboro, N.J.) 7-5, 1-6, 6-2, and senior Dylan Levy (Miami, Fla.) earned the decisive point with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 triumph over Melampy to finish off the comeback.
Babson will travel to top-seeded MIT on Sunday at 12 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
• The Beavers are 17-6 against Coast Guard going back to 2001, which includes a 5-2 mark in NEWMAC Tournament play.
• Roque and first-year Andre Libnic (Coral Gables, Fla.) had defeated all five of their conference foes in the regular season before suffering a loss at number two doubles on Wednesday.
• Going back 11 years to the 2007-08 campaign, Babson had never won a match when trailing 3-0 after doubles.