SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 28, 2006 – Ethan Clime outlasted Jason Lee at #3 singles to provide the decisive point in leading the Springfield College men’s tennis team to a close 4-3 victory over cross-town rival Western New England College this afternoon at SC’s Appleton Courts.
With the win, Springfield is now 2-1, while Western New England falls to 4-3.
Clime was ahead 6-4, 5-2 in the second set when Lee, a freshman from Scarsdale, N.Y., staged a tremendous comeback, forcing a tie-breaker and winning the tie-breaker 7-5. That prolonged the team match. A junior from Bristol, Maine, Clime then righted the ship and raced through to a 6-1 victory in the third set, giving Springfield the 4-3 team win three hours and 40 minutes after the match began.
WNEC took a 1-0 lead, winning two of the three doubles matches. That too was close, with the Golden Bears’ freshman Connor Fallon (Springfield, Mass.) and senior Greg Kelly (Pembroke, Mass.) winning 9-8 in a tie-break at No. 3 doubles.
When singles play began, SC freshman Andrew Constant (Kingston, N.Y.) at No. 1 singles and senior Justin Freitas (Providence, R.I.) at No. 2 singles gave Springfield a quick 2-1 lead, winning their matches in straight-sets.
But everything else went three sets beyond that. WNEC freshman Alex Boutin (Bristol, Conn.) tied matters at two-all at No. 4 singles, winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
SC junior Jeff Crofts (Beverly, Mass.) put the Pride up 3-2 at No. 5 singles, winning his match 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. But WNEC sophomore Peter Houser (Longmeadow, Mass.) quickly tied matters once again at three-all, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6.
That left all eyes on Clime and Lee as the match was now under the lights at Appleton Courts.
The match began with doubles play.
1) Andrew Constant (SC) def. Mike Willhoft (WNEC), 6-4, 6-0
2) Justin Freitas (SC) def. Ed Fallon (WNEC), 6-1, 6-2
3) Ethan Clime (SC) def. Jason Lee (WNEC), 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1
4) Alex Boutin (WNEC) def. Joe Lisi (SC), 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
5) Jeff Crofts (SC) def. Connor Fallon (WNEC), 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
6) Peter Houser (WNEC) def. Bobby Schlink (SC), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
1) Constant-Freitas (SC) def. Willhoft-E. Fallon (WNEC), 8-5
2) Lee-Boutin (WNEC) def. Clime-Lisi (SC), 8-5
3) C. Fallon-Greg Kelly (WNEC) def. Schlink-Dave Keenan (SC), 9-8 (5)