Monday, February 4, 2019

Your Middlebury Panthers Sit Atop Pre-Season National ITA Rankings


Pre-Season National ITA Rankings
As we enter the 2019 season as the defending NCAA team champions and have achieved the #1 national ranking in the ITA pre-season poll (https://www.r2sports.com/system/rankings/ITArankings.asp), we remain vigilant that we do not become complacent. There are a host of phenomenal teams across the country that we will compete against, and we are keenly aware that we need to do everything within our control to prepare be at our very best to face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead this season.

With excitement for the 2019 season building during J-Term, the Panther players and coaching staff are both hard at work. With only one class on their plate and led by a strong core of returning leadership, the Panther players were focused on sharpening their games, competing with each other, and building their off-court fitness. The coaching staff was also hard at work on the recruiting trail and is thrilled to be able to announce the roll-out of our most recently installed project, PlaySight!


PlaySight
In January, we completed the installation of permanently wired high-definition cameras on ten of our tennis courts (4 indoor courts and 6 outdoor courts) that will provide live streaming and video capture throughout the Spring season! Our Middlebury Squash program also outfitted seven of their courts with similar technology. We will of course be following up with many more details about watching the live stream for our home matches this year, as well as an updated live scoring system that we plan to roll out for both home and away matches. It should be a very exciting year to be a fan of Middlebury Tennis, and we want to thank everyone in our Middlebury Tennis Family who has generously contributed to this on-going project!

Check out this image of Court 2 in Nelson captured by our PlaySight camera.

Our leader describing the impact of adding PlaySight to our Middlebury courts.


Alumni Spotlight: Teddy Fitzgibbons '14
It is always amazing for us as a coaching staff to hear and learn about the incredible accomplishments of our Middlebury Tennis Alumni. We wanted to give a special shout out on the blog for the singular prosocial efforts of Teddy Fitzgibbons ’14. Outside of his full-time job in finance, Teddy started a nonprofit called Hearty Start in January of 2015 with the goal of supporting the vulnerable homeless population in New York City. Just four years after its inception, Hearty Start reported delivering more than 78,000 meals and another 25,000 water bottles / juice boxes this past year!  Well done Teddy and keep up the phenomenal work!  To learn more or support Teddy and Hearty Start, please check out this link: https://www.heartystart.org/

Fitzgibbons '14 looking highly professional these days!

Alumni Weekend (April 6th and 7th)
We cordially invite you to watch some great tennis, to have a chance to get back on your home courts with some open court and round robin tennis on Saturday, and also to join us at a Happy Hour hosted by the coaching staff that will take place after matches have been completed on Saturday. We will be competing against Wesleyan on Saturday, and hosing both Connecticut College and Emory University on Sunday. As a reminder, please RSVP to the coaching staff (athomson.middlebury@gmail.com or bob.w.hansen@gmail.com) so that we can order an appropriate amount of food and drinks on Saturday.


A team photo of the 2004 NCAA National Champion Panthers!

Senior Night (April 13th)
The Senior Night celebration for our players and their families will occur on Saturday, April 13th. We will host a dinner in conjunction with our women’s team after our match versus Tufts University that day. After properly celebrating our accomplished senior group, we will compete against Williams College the next day. Please RSVP to let us know if you will be joining us if you have not already.


Fundraising
A huge thank you to all those who have provided us with incredibly supportive donations that are crucial to support our projects such as the new live streaming system. Your support is also critical in allowing us to go on our annual spring break trip. To provide additional financial support for your Middlebury Men’s Tennis Program, please click on the following link: http://sites.middlebury.edu/middgoal/2015/08/27/mens-tennis-training-trip-2/

Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men's Tennis Coaching Staff


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Happy New Year 2019: Middlebury Tennis Edition

Happy 2019 to our Middlebury Tennis family! First, we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled with excitement and fun. We also imagine that everyone is starting to get that warm and fuzzy feeling only associated with knowing that the spring tennis season is just around the corner! As a coaching staff, we feel incredibly thankful to be able to work with our current group of fourteen players and are thrilled with the journey that lies ahead. We also want to announce a resounding welcome back to Alex Vanezis, who has returned from a semester abroad in Japan!


Vanezis '20 pictured on the left with
fellow Juniors  Brach '20 and Samets '20

As our players returned to campus after the winter holiday, there was a palpable feeling of enthusiasm as the official start to our spring season is about 6 weeks away. Since the end of the fall season, the Panthers have made sure to set specific training goals for themselves that they are working to achieve to be fully prepared for Spring. Our captains, Cole Sutton, Peter Martin, Lubomir Cuba, and Noah Farrell will be leading the charge for us this season and we will be leaning heavily on their experience this year. The coaching staff is also incredibly appreciative for the leadership already on display from the juniors, sophomores, and freshman as well. Very fun when our group is motivated from top to bottom!


Our Senior Panthers are a very tight knit
group leading the way for us this year!

Echoing our excitement for this season, the ever popular DIII tennis blog is beginning to release season previews of many DIII teams. Although the season preview for Middlebury has yet to be posted, it is fun to read about the potential lineups and schedules of many of our competitors: http://www.division3tennis.com/blog/. As a reminder, the coaching staff also would like to clarify that we are not the authors of the blog, but do appreciate their work giving DIII tennis more publicity!

2019 Schedule

Most importantly, we also wanted to share with you our finalized schedule for the spring (http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/schedule). As we did last year, we have a wonderful schedule planned with many matches that will allow us to test ourselves against some of the toughest competition in DIII, as well as some challenging matches against DI and DII programs.

As always, our match schedule really starts to heat up on our spring break trip when we will be returning to Claremont, CA again.

Fundraising: We are currently behind in our annual fundraising efforts for this critical and important trip. Here is the link for anyone who is interested in donating to support our journey: http://sites.middlebury.edu/middgoal/2015/08/27/mens-tennis-training-trip-2/

Regular Season Schedule Highlights:

3/16 2:30pm Brandeis College Middlebury, VT
3/25 3pm UC Irvine Irvine, CA
3/26 2:30pm Azusa Pacific Azusa, CA
3/28 4pm Pomona Pitzer College Claremont, CA
3/30 12pm CMS Claremont, CA
4/6 12pm Wesleyan Univ Middlebury, VT
4/14 12pm Williams College Middlebury, VT
4/20 2pm Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
4/27 12pm Amherst College Amherst, MA

Potential Postseason Schedule:

5/3-5 All Day NESCAC Championships Middlebury, VT
5/9-11 All Day NCAA 1st-3rd rounds TBD
5/20-25 All Day NCAA Championships Kalamazoo, MI



Thanks for reading along and stay tuned for more blog updates soon!


Go Midd!


The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Panthers Win Two Titles at TuftsDeis

The Panthers finished the last of our four Fall tournaments with many strong performances and the coaching staff was extremely pleased to see that the Panthers played their best tennis all Fall. Even though we still have many levels of improvement ahead, we are definitely heading in the right direction as a group.

A follow-up to last year’s MIT tournament, the TuftsDeis invitational demonstrated an amazingly high level of competition with eight top tier DIII programs competing.  The Panthers collected two of the four possible titles!

A Flight Champion Noah Farrell '19 
Farrell '19 serving big!
Noah Farrell led the way grabbing the A flight singles crown with five consecutive wins over elite DIII players including a straight set victory over Sean Wei (ranked #9 in the nation after last season). Noah's competitive spirit and ability to switch and use his left hand when on the dead run makes watching his play particularly special and exciting. Winning the B flight doubles crown was Aleks Samets and Andre Xiao. The pair partnered extremely well with Andre tracking from the back and Aleks cleaning up at net, each only having their serve broken once all tournament long en route to their title.
B Flight Doubles Champs Andre Xiao '21 and Aleks Samets '20
                         
The rest of the Panthers also put in some great work including….
·      Stan Morris winning a match versus Austin Barr (ranked #30 nationally).
·      Nate Eazor and Stan Morris got their first win as a doubles pair.
·      Andre Xiao picked up two singles victories over MIT and Bowdoin.
·      Weston Brach picked up two singles wins over Tufts and Brandeis.
·      Weston Brach and David Vilys got a doubles win over Bowdoin.
·      Adam Guo picked up two singles wins over Tufts and Wesleyan.
·      David Vilys picked up two singles wins over Wesleyan and Brandeis.

Eazor '21, Sutton '19, Samets '20, and Guo '21 fueling up!

A complete description of the tournament can be seen here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20181014sys4em

Ring Ceremony
Last weekend we also had a final celebration for our 2018 NCAA Championship with our ring ceremony and reception. Made incredibly special by the return of our three recent graduates (two traveling all the way back from Europe), Will de Quant, Kyle Schlanger, and Timo van der Geest were back in the house! It was an incredibly special event to share memories and reminisce over such a fun and successful year. The lifelong bonds that were formed last year were evident, and the uniquely close camaraderie of the Panther program continues to be a hallmark of our culture.

Beautiful weather for our ceremony at the homecoming
football game.  Midd won by 1 point over Bates!
Another critical component of our success that was again on display was the wonderful and amazing support of our parents both near and far. Three players had parents who joined our celebration including Weston Brach, Nate Eazor, and Cole Sutton. Of course, the parents in attendance helped to document videos and pictures they distributed via our parent group chat so that everyone could feel the love and fun from wherever they were! As always, huge thank you to our incredibly supportive group of parents!

The jewelry!

Off-Season Training
The off-season will be a critical time period where we need to get fully healthy and also continue to build our games and hearts to be fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We look forward to handing the responsibility of off-season training to our four senior captains. Noah Farrell, Peter Martin, Cole Sutton, and Lubomir Cuba will play a huge role in ensuring that each and every Panther player is doing everything they can to get ready for the Spring. Championships are won in the off-season! From on court, in the gym, on the track, and mental training the Panthers will continue to work each aspect of the game to try to give our group the best chance of being successful when it matters most toward the end of the year.

Wishing everyone in the Middlebury Tennis Family a wonderful rest of the Fall!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff