Claremont, California - The eighth-ranked Tiger men's tennis team fell short in its bid for a second national championship, as fourth-ranked Amherst College earned a narrow 5-3 win in the NCAA Semifinals on Tuesday afternoon.
Trinity had its 11-match winning streak snapped in the loss, falling to 25-7 this season. The loss for the Tigers is just the third of the season against Division III opponents.
The match started off well for Trinity, as the Tigers swept all three doubles points to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Amherst rallied in singles play, though, taking each of the five completed matches to win the team competition.
The top line of doubles was the only one that didn't go to a tiebreak, but Trinity prevailed 9-8 in both, winning 7-4 and 7-3 in the tiebreakers.
Singles play also started off well for the Tigers, as Trinity scored first-set victories in two matches, then added a third a few minutes later. Amherst won the other three to split the opening sets among the six singles matches.
Amherst won at No. 1 singles to start its comeback, then continued on its strong comeback by forcing a third set in each of the three matches in which Trinity had the lead. Amherst won the sixth line of singles to make it 3-2, then completed an unlikely rally at line three to tie the match 3-3 overall.
Trinity held a 5-3 lead in the third set of that No. 3 singles match, but Amherst roared back for a 7-5 lead, keeping the Tigers from gaining any momentum. Amherst then finished off the victory at No. 4 singles.
The only match that didn't finish was a 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 5-5 thriller at No. 2 singles between Chris Dale of Amherst and Trinity's Greg Haugen.
Trinity will face Middlebury (VT) College in the NCAA Third Place match tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (PT). Middlebury lost to tournament host and top-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges 5-2 this afternoon.