Thursday, October 11, 2018

Panthers demonstrate Division III’s strength at the Farnsworth; Next Competition the TuftsDeis Invitational in Boston


Six Panther beasts competed in Princeton this past weekend with each player getting to hone their skills across 4 doubles and 4 singles matches within the tournament’s compass draw format. Overall, the Panthers went 18-18 in total matches played indicating that our Division III level holds up just fine amongst Division I foes.

Leading the way for the Panthers, our top doubles pairing of Noah Farrell and Peter Martin went 3-1 notching wins over NJIT, Army, and Lehigh. Noah followed up their strong doubles level by also going 3-1 in singles. Peter Martin, typically a doubles specialist for the Panthers, went 2-2 in singles play.

Farrell '19 showing that DI opponents can learn from how we compete in DIII.
Andre Xiao and Aleks Samets posted two doubles victories for the Panthers over Lehigh and Hofstra, with Samets also notching a singles win versus Army. David Vilys and Adam Guo also beasted their way to victory twice in doubles over Marist and Army. Both Guo and Vilys also notched two singles wins each over Army and Marist.

The rest of the gang that did not travel to Princeton played a tournament on our home courts amongst ourselves and all signs point toward the Panthers finding a path of steady improvement. We will have to stay disciplined and focused all year long to maintain our upward trajectory if we want to play our best when it matters most at the end of the Spring season.

The boys at the Proctor courts including (from left to right)
Gregory '21, Brach '20, Morris, '22, Hilty, '22, and Eazor '21.
TuftsDeis Invitational
Our final fall tournament takes place this weekend (10/12, 10/13, and 10/14) in Boston and is hosted by both Tufts and Brandeis. It will be a stacked draw of many of the strongest DIII teams in the northeast and will be another great opportunity for the Panthers to develop their games. Special shout out to the Brachs for again hosting our annual pilgrimage to Boston. As always, we look forward to testing ourselves with another fun challenge!

Saturday, October 20th Ring Ceremony
To officially celebrate our 2018 National Championship run, our entire roster from last year is returning to campus (two recent graduates coming all the way back from Europe)! We will be honored at halftime of the homecoming 1pm football game versus Bates. We are thrilled and honored that Middlebury College President, Laurie Patton, will participate in the ring ceremony.

We will also host a reception after the football game is concluded, providing food and drinks from 445pm to 630pm in the Kenyon Arena Lounge. All Middlebury Tennis friends and family are welcome to join us. If you can make it, please RSVP by emailing us at rwhansen@middlebury.edu or athomson@middlebury.edu).

Sneak preview of our Men's and Women's Middlebury Tennis All-American History Plaque! This award will be hung up in our new team room in Nelson Arena to honor all of the men's and women's players to receive this honor!
Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Panthers Showing Steady Improvement, Preparing for DI Competition at Princeton


The fall season is in full swing and the Panthers are beginning to find their form. It has been a highlight to see how much we are enjoying the process of training and improving. We know that enjoying the journey every step of the way is not only more fun, but also a more sustainable path of development! This past weekend we hosted and competed in the New England Fall ITA Regional Championships, and as a group we took another step in the right direction improving on our results from the Middlebury Invitational. There were many strong performances that deserve mention, but overall it was the Panther depth that was on display over the weekend.

Adam Guo '21 crushing one of his inside out forehands!
Highlights From the 2018 ITA New England Regional
·      The Panthers went 14-2 after Day 1 (the first round of doubles and two rounds of singles), with the only 2 losses coming in match tiebreakers for a third set.
·      Noah Farrell, Lubomir Cuba, Stanley Morris, and Nate Eazor all reached the Rd of 16, with Farrell and Cuba extending their runs in the Quarterfinals.
·      Noah Farrell and Peter Martin played some spectacular doubles en route to the Quarterfinals, where they were defeated by the eventual tournament champions.
·      Nate Eazor and Lubomir Cuba made an incredible run to the finals of the doubles draw, and battled like champions through any obstacles they faced.
·      Weston Brach and David Vilys partnered extremely well to get an upset over a seeded Amherst team 8-5 in the first round of the doubles.

Noah Farrell '19 has been whizzing backhand
passing shots by opponents for years!
A complete description of tournament results can be found here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20180930ljx340

Team meetings, in a beautiful setting on our home courts,
are critical for us to build on what we have done well and
to define what we need to focus on for the coming week.
Freshman Spotlight: Get To Know David Vilys
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Siblings: Only child
Favorite Food: Cheeseburger
Favorite Hobby Outside of Tennis: FIFA soccer
Pets: Two cats (George is 12 and Heidi is 8)
Favorite Pro Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Part About Being in Vermont: The warm weather (he hasn’t experienced winter yet)
Best Advice You Have Been Given by a Teammate: Don’t skip practice – Peter Martin

David Vilys '22 on the far left with his fellow classmates!
Next up this weekend is the Farnsworth Invitational hosted by Princeton University on 10/5, 10/6, and 10/7. The Panthers will compete against Division I opponents all weekend. The tournament format is to win or lose as a team of two players, by playing a doubles pro set and then playing two singles matches. Whoever wins 2 of the 3 matches moves on to the next round.

Special thanks to the many parents who were able to join us in Middlebury this past weekend! They provided incredible snacks, drinks, and support to our group.

Photo credits for this blog go to Joanna Brach, Dain McKee, and our very own David Vilys!  Thanks!

Very best wishes,
The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Young Panthers Impress at Midd Invite; Next Up Hosting Fall ITA Regional

The 2018 Middlebury Invitational was an up and down experience for the Panthers this year, but with many highlights that deserve note. In A flight doubles, Farrell/Martin made a run to the semifinals displaying spots of brilliant tennis and demonstrating their potential to be one of the top teams in the nation if they play their best. Eazor/Cuba also notched their first win together as pair before losing in a tie-breaker to the eventual champions from Brandeis. Sutton/Gregory also posted a win in the B doubles flight. 

Nate Eazor '21 keeping his eye on the ball.
In D flight singles, freshmen Zach Hilty ’22 demonstrated that he is ready for prime-time action making a run to the semifinals before losing in a tough match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. Not bad at all for his first college tournament. Cole Sutton ‘19 also posted a first round win for the Panthers.

In C flight singles, juniors Aleks Samets ‘20 and Weston Brach ’20 posted three wins combined, with Brach leading a charge to the semifinals. Both players have made significant strides in their games, and are primed to take another jump in level this year.

In B flight singles, the Panthers dominated the draw. Freshman David Vilys ’22 picked up his first collegiate victory in the first round. Sophomore Adam Guo ’21 and freshman Stanley Morris ’22 played each other in the semifinal round in one of the best-played matches in the whole tournament. Morris ’22 gutted out a third set match tiebreak victory over Guo ’21, and displayed an amazing resilience in close matches throughout his run to becoming the B flight singles champion! This is no easy feat as a freshman, and definitely sparked our group after the tournament to realize how deep the talent on our team runs this year. 

Freshman Spotlight: Get To Know Stanley Morris
Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Siblings: One younger sister
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite Hobby Outside of Tennis: Going to the beach
Pets: Two dogs (Golden Retriever named Kayla, King Charles Cavalier name Mia)
Favorite Pro Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Part About Being in Vermont: The beautiful nature
Favorite Thing About Middlebury College So Far: The people

Stanley Morris '22 put in a lot of sweat equity
on his road to winning the B flight!
A complete description of tournament results can be found here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20180916synjy7

To be sure, some of our veteran players were not yet at their sharpest during the Middlebury Invite this year, and have redoubled their efforts after the tournament with sharper motivation to get their play on track to their normal standard.

Andre Xiao '21 staying focused on putting in work.
Since the Invite, the Panthers have been honing their skills over the past two weeks in preparation for the ITA. We have definitely emphasized the technical side of the game, especially after a one-week visit from Guest Coach Morgan Shepherd (one of Coach Hansen’s former UCSC players who is an expert in stroke mechanics).

Our next tournament begins tomorrow, right at home in Middlebury! We are hosting the Fall ITA New England Regional for the second year in a row, and you can check out the draws here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20180926i5so3p

Reminder: Our Ring Ceremony will take place on October 20th at halftime of the homecoming Panther football game (vs Bates)! Please let us know if you are planning to join.

Very best wishes,
The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff