The Middlebury men’s tennis team is headed to Baltimore this weekend to compete in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The regional site hosted by John Hopkins features five teams with the Panthers playing the winner of Penn State – Harrisburg and Grove City College. The other side of the regional features a match between host John Hopkins and Elizabethtown.
The NCAA qualification comes after a semifinal appearance by Middlebury in last weekend’s NESCAC Conference Tournament. A 5-4 win over Bates in the quarterfinals of NESCACs likely assured a bid to the NCAA Tourney for the Panthers. After knocking off Bates, Midd fell to Amherst 5-1 in the semifinal round. The match was much closer than the final score showed, with the Panthers taking sets at one and four singles and falling in a tiebreaker at one doubles. The coaching staff and players would like to thank everyone who came and supported Midd during the NESCAC tournament. A special thank you to former players Elliot Jia and Andy Peters, both of whom were members of the 2010 National Champion Midd team. Former Middlebury Coach Dave Schwarz was also in attendance, much to the delight of many current Panthers. A special thanks also goes to Ken Jones for treating the Panthers to a great post match dinner Saturday night.
The men seem to be hitting their stride with the first round of NCAAs right around the corner. In particular, the doubles play of all the Panthers is moving in the right direction after a great deal of emphasis on doubles during the last few weeks of practice. Follow the progress of Midd this weekend on twitter.