Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 3: Amherst

Amherst finished last season at #13 in the country and I have them starting this season at #16. They return almost their whole team and 4-star recruit Sean Doerfler arrives on campus, and he was a great catch for the Amherst team. Amherst plays in the NESCAC, and this is unfortunate for them because they enter this year as the #4 team in conference. Last year Amherst made it's way to the Sweet 16 before falling to Middlebury. Although they did not have any key losses, they did not improve their team enough to improve upon their #13 ranking from last year. Amherst is very strong at the top of the lineup with Zack Lerner at #1 singles. He finished last year at #7, which was a great performance for him and I have him as preaseason #9 after he suffered a very close loss at ITA Regionals. Amherst is fairly strong at 2 and 3 but they are very vulnerable at the bottom of the lineup as well as doubles. They will have a tough team beating Williams and Bowdoin, especially with their lack of depth.

The Amherst team will need a great offseason to break into the top 15 in the spring and they will also need to pull an upset to break into the top 3 in the NESCAC. ITA's was a good approximation of where the Amherst team will stand going into the spring. Their players will need to train hard in the offseason and this is difficult for them at such a difficult academic institution. I would expect the Amherst team to finish somewhere between #14 and #17 in the country, just as I have them ranked and Zach Lerner should qualify and have a good showing at NCAAs. Amherst is a dangerous team but they don't have enough weapons to compete with the other Northeast powerhouses.

Projected Lineup
1. Lerner/Avrahmi
2. Doerfler/Mintz
3. Wan/Schwartz
1. Zach Lerner
2. Mike Mintz
3. Sean Doerfler
4. Jeff Wan
5. Geoff Schwartz
6. Tristan Biesecker

Next Week: Middlebury