Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The ITA Regional and Farnsworth Invitational are in the Books, MIT up next!

The fall season is absolutely flying by and the Panthers seem to be gradually playing better and better tennis as our season moves forward. We know that hard work and enjoying the journey is the best path for us to get where we want to go this year. Since our last blog post, we have competed in both the ITA Regional Tournament that we hosted on our home courts as well as the Farnsworth Invitation hosted at Princeton.  There were many strong performances that deserve mention and we will attempt to present a series of highlights for both tournaments. Overall, the ITA Regional demonstrated the depth of this year’s Panther squad as we had 5 players reach the round of 16 and 3 players make the quarterfinals, more than any other school in a region stacked with talent. At the Farnsworth Invitational, the Panthers demonstrated that DIII tennis does not take a back seat to DI and were proud to be the only DIII program represented.

Highlights from the ITA Regional
·      Noah Farrell and Peter Martin played some spectacular doubles en route to the finals winning matches by scores of 8-0, 8-0, 8-4, and 8-5.
·      Timo van der Geest and Kyle Schlanger reached the quarterfinals of doubles building on their momentum from the Middlebury Invitational.
·      Lubomir Cuba reached the semifinals after winning 6-2, 6-0 over the #1 singles player from Bowdoin.
·      Alex Vanezis, Noah Farrell, Kyle Schlanger, William de Quant, and Lubomir Cuba all made the round of 16 demonstrating a deep Panthers team.

Noah Farrell building his doubles resume at the ITA! 
Peter Martin, a doubles specialist last year, playing some great
doubles at the ITA and some great singles at the Farnsworth!

Highlights from the Farnsworth Invitational
·      In A flight singles, Will de Quant beat three DI opponents from Drexel, Temple, and Hofstra.
·      In A flight singles, Kyle Schlanger beat a DI opponent from Bryant.
·      In A flight doubles, Schlanger/Van der Geest got a win over Lehigh and de Quant/Xiao got a win over Marist.
·      In B flight doubles, Eazor/Vanezis got wins over a St. Johns team and a team from Fairleigh Dickinson.
·      In B flight singles, Xiao tallied wins over players from Fairleigh Dickinson and Lehigh and would have played his own teammate Timo Van der Geest who beat two players from Marist on his way to the consolation final.
·      In C flight doubles, Guo/Gregory beat a team from University of Virginia.
·      In C flight singles, Peter Martin got three straight wins over Lehigh, Drexel, and Colombia before losing in the semifinals. Nate Eazor also made a nice run over NJIT and St. Johns before losing in a close battle in the quarterfinals. Weston Brach got a win over a player from Fairleigh Dickinson.
·      In D flight singles, Guo beat players from Fairleigh Dickinson and Marist before losing in the quarters. Thorne Gregory beat a player from Lehigh.

The Farnsworth Invitational at Princeton was a special opportunity as Middlebury was the only Division III team being represented. Playing against opponents from schools such as Colombia, Princeton, and Virginia was a perfect yardstick for the Panthers to test their games and to learn what we need to do to improve to get where we want to go as a team.  Coach Hansen and I had a blast coaching our group and their is a special feeling of motivation to dream big on our team this year.  We cannot wait to get back to competing again next week at MIT.

Thanks for reading. Also, a special shout out to all the parents (i.e., Gregorys, Samets, and de Quants, Farrells, Cubas, Eazors, Brachs) who came to support the Panthers over the past two tournaments including bringing an incredible amount of snacks for the players. 

Nate Eazor enjoying the Midd parents supplied
snacks before putting a beat down on some DI

Stay tuned for more updates after the MIT Invitational this coming weekend!

Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Successful Middlebury Invitation Prepares Us For Hosting The ITA Regional Tournament

The Panthers had a blast competing on our home courts, and took the opportunity to build on the historical dominance of Middlebury at our own invitational. Lubomir Cuba picked up where he left off last season by winning the A flight singles draw and demonstrating some gritty performances along the way. In the quarterfinals, he took down Rohan Gupte (a top of the lineup player from Tufts) 6-4, 7-5. Playing his own doubles partner, Will de Quant, in the semifinals, Lubo battled back after losing the first set to win 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-5. de Quant definitely seems to be sharpening his game at the right time leading up to the ITA pushing Lubo to the brink at the Midd Invite. In the finals, Lubo squared off with the #14 ranked player in the nation from Bates, Ben Rosen. Rosen was playing some incredibly high level tennis, having beaten Midd’s own Noah Farrell in the semifinals along his route to the finals. However, his run came to end when Lubo stepped in and smashed an inside in forehand return winner to post a 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 victory.

Lubo staying focused during the big moments.

Two Panther seniors Kyle Schlanger and Timo Van der Geest won the A flight doubles.  This marked the second year in a row that Schlanger took home to the hardware from this event. Timo and Kyle won their first two rounds relatively easily, and then took down the #1 doubles team in the nation, their own teammates Cuba and de Quant.  After being down 5-7, Timo and Kyle buckled down and played some of their best tennis of the match to win 9-7. Timo and Kyle continued their comeback ways in the finals and won 8-6 after being down a break. Their ability to enjoy their tennis the most when the match was at pivotal moments allowed them to thrive under pressure.

Schlanger is now a two-time Midd Invite A Doubles Champ! 
Timo took it to the house in both A flight doubles and B flight singles.

Helping to set our sights on this weekend, here is a brief historical overview of past Middlebury ITA Regional Champions.

Middlebury Fall Regional ITA Champions Since 2004
2004 Doubles: Kevin Bergesen and George Mayer
2004 Singles: Brian Waldron
2005 Doubles: Kevin Bergesen and Nate Edmunds
2005 Singles: Brian Waldron
2006 Doubles: Alex Scott and George Mayer
2006 Singles: Alex Scott
2007 Doubles: Fil Marinkovic and Andrew Thomson
2008 Singles: Conrad Olson
2009 Doubles: Andrew Lee and Andrew Thomson
2009 Singles: Andrew Peters
2015 Singles: Noah Farrell
2016 Singles: Lubomir Cuba

Conrad Olson 2008 ITA Regional Singles Champ!
Another highlight of the tournament for Middlebury was the dominance of the B Singles flight. Andre Xiao made the semifinals of the draw and beat a very talented Russian freshman from Tufts along the way, before losing to Timo in the semis. Alex Vanezis made a great run to the finals posting a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the semis and defeating Travis Leaf from Skidmore who had bested him last season. In the finals, Timo triumphed 0-6, 6-2, 11-9 in an absolute war of a match (saving one match point) over Vanezis. These experiences will serve our team well as we prepare to make some deep runs in the ITA draw this weekend.

Thanks for reading and as always, we appreciate all the support from the Midd Tennis Family. Please check this link to follow along as we compete in the ITA Regional Tournament over the next three days: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2017-18/releases/20170927gflcgp

Go Midd!

Until next time,
The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff