Thursday, May 4, 2017

And on to the NESCAC Tournament…

Midd vs Amherst @Indoor Facility


Panther Family,

Last Saturday the boys of top-ranked Middlebury College concluded their regular season with a fantastic win against #8 Amherst College. Before I get into details of this upcoming weekend NESCAC Conference Tournament, I would like to do a quick recap of our match against the Mammoths.

It was our last match of the season, and one with a lot of implications going into NESCAC’S. Arriving Saturday evening we were able to get in a short hit at the Amherst facility, a quick meal, and good night’s sleep. Sunday as we began our afternoon warm up the rain clouds assembled. Ten minutes of abrupt downpour and we were off to a 4-court indoor facility to play our match. Warmup was short, but as we gathered in our circle the tone was set to do what we had came there to do. With an 8-4 loss at #3 doubles Amherst took at early 1-0 lead. Peter/Timo were down an early break, broke back to get on serve 4-4, but were not able to hold on as Amherst pulled away. At #2 Hamid/Kyle put together a fantastic 8-4 match, evening the team score 1-1. Kyle returned amazing and Hamid closed huge as they put together one of their better matches of the season. Last on in doubles was #1 Lubo/Will who went up an early break against the Amherst #1 team. Amherst put together some amazing tennis to break back, and after a huge hold with Will serving we were on to a tie-breaker. Going down 0-4 in the breaker things weren’t looking good for the Panthers. Will made a great return to make it 1-4, and followed it up with two fantastic serves pushing the Midd team to a score of 3-4. 3-4 turned to 4-4, to 5-4, 6-4, and finally 7-4 to clinch the last doubles point. It was an amazing demonstration of resiliency from Lubo and Will as we went into singles up 2-1.

Lubo and Will go from 0-4 to 7-4 during #1 Doubs Breaker

In singles both Lubo and Will continued with their effort notching straight set victories to put the Panthers up 4-1. Both Lubo and Will have had fantastic results all season, making it very clear how tough they are in their respective spots against every team they face. Kyle, who has only lost a handful matches this season, went down in three sets to a tough Amherst opponent at #4 singles making the score 4-2. He locked down and won five straight games to win the second set, but getting down an early break in the third he was unable to turn it around. The clinch came from from our senior Hamid Derbani at the #3 singles spot with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5) victory. It was an absolutely courageous effort as Hamid put together one of his best results of the year when it was needed most. At #5 Timo won his match in straight sets, playing some of the most focused and disciplined tennis I have seen him play this season. At #6 Allen lost the first set and bounced back to play extremely well dominating the second. With a super-tiebreaker 8-10 loss the overall ending score on the day was 6-3 Panthers.

Meet the Player: Timo van der Geest



Hometown: Oegstgeest, the Netherlands

Year: Junior

Height: 6’0

Weight: 170

Major: Economics

Favorite tennis player growing up and why: Roger Federer, the combination of his style of playing and more than impressive results

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor: Chocolate fudge brownie

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why: Maldives, I would love to see the coral reefs and white beaches there

Why you chose Middlebury College: I wanted to do something different than going to a Dutch University. While figuring out whether I wanted to take a gap year and travel, or study in the United States, I started talking to Bob. Learning more about the academics, college environment and tennis program, I became more and more convinced that Middlebury was the right place for me.

Favorite Middlebury tennis moment thus far: Winning the NESCAC championship last year. It was the second year in a row that we won and the atmosphere and team energy was just amazing.

Timo is in his third year here at Middlebury and simply put is an absolute boss. He was a late starter in tennis but with his determined and open attitude seems to improve on a daily basis. Whether it is practice, morning workout, weights, or addressing team culture, Timo leads this team and is respected by every member of this squad. His tennis is catching up with his work as he starts in both singles and doubles for us this year, already having notched wins over some of the best teams in the country.

Tomorrow we leave for the annual NESCAC Conference Tournament in attempt to win our third straight NESCAC Championship. We will be the #2 seed as we fight through the deepest conference tournament in the country. To stay updated with scores please follow us on twitter. We will also attempt to live stream some of our matches which you can access through twitter (fingers crossed). If you want more information on the tournament, draws, match times, etc. please go to www.nescac.com website. For those who traveling to show their support we are so appreciative.

Thank you to everyone invested in our process as we make our final push of this already amazing 2017 season.

Sincerely,


Middlebury Men’s Coaching Staff

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Split Win and Loss over the Weekend, Back to Work We Go

Sophomore Will de Quant


Panther Family,

The young men of Middlebury men’s tennis began last weekend with a 9-0 victory over Trinity (Conn.) here on our home Proctor courts. After a rain delay we moved inside to play our doubles prosets, with Will/Lubo and Peter/Timo winning with scores of 8-4. Playing #3 that day was Allen/Kyle, putting an 8-0 victory on the board to finish the sweep. In singles, after moving back outside, the Panthers refused to lose a set. This included freshman Alex V. at the #6 spot, concluding the 9-0 victory for the Panthers in preparation for our match against #8 Wesleyan (Conn.) that next afternoon.

In doubles we were put in a hole early against the talented Wesleyan team, going down breaks in multiple prosets. Peter/Timo were first off with an 8-3 loss, making good plays but making unforced errors throughout the competition. Later on things got scary as our #1 team of Lubo/Will served 6-7, 0-40, triple match point, while meantime Kyle and Hamid were fighting to stay in their respective match. Incredibly Will and Lubo came back to hold that game, taking the comeback all the way to the finish with a 9-7 victory to even the score at 1-1. Kyle and Hamid lost by a score of 8-6 at #2, and there we were 1-2 going into our six singles matches. Bob reminded us that we had been put in situations like this before, this was a real test but one we were optimistic we would handle. 

At #2 singles Will de Quant played an absolutely inspiring match to even the overall score at 2-2 with his straight-set victory over a very strong Michael Liu. Hamid battled in the second set against his opponent at #3 singles, getting breaks back after getting broken, but in the end it was a Wesleyan victory. Timo was doing everything he could to turn his match around against a very strong Cameron Daniels, but with a 7-6, 6-2 loss, the Panthers were down 2-4 with three matches remaining. The battle persisted as all remaining players (#1 Lubo, #4 Kyle, and #6 Allen) found themselves in third sets. Both Lubo and Kyle were able to hang tough and eventually broke away in amazing fashion to even the score at 4-4 with 6-3 third set victories. Allen fought with everything he had in his third set, but in the end it was a Wesleyan 5-4 victory. We fought extremely hard that day, losses like that are never easy to stomach, but hey, that’s sports. Back to work with some new motivation and an overall knowing that we will learn and grow from this experience. Eyes on the prize: NESCAC'S and NCAA's.   

Meet the Player: Lubomir Cuba



Hometown: Massapequa Park, NY

Year: sophomore

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 170

Major: Economics

Favorite tennis player growing up and why: Roger Federer…Everything he does just seems so effortless. He is also the best player in history so there isn’t much you can dislike about the guy.

Favorite movie: Step Brothers

Favorite food: sushi

Favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor: cookies and cream

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why: Peru…I’ve always enjoyed adventurous vacations and in Peru I would be able to hike Machu Picchu, rock climb, surf and just explore the area.

Why you chose Middlebury College: I’ve always wanted to be part of a national championship program as well as study at a top college. It just so happens Middlebury offers both.

Favorite Middlebury tennis moment thus far: Spending homecoming weekend with the team and winning the ITA Regional tournament.

Plenty of action ahead as Middlebury plays #13 Amherst (@Amherst) at 1pm on Sunday April 30th. This will be our last regular season match as we prepare for the conference tournament the following weekend in Williamstown. Please stay updated via twitter, facebook, and Instagram, and as always big thanks to parents, families, and fans for your amazing support.


Sincerely,

Middlebury Men’s Coaching Staff