The formal fall season for the Middlebury Men’s Tennis Team wrapped up last week. The last week of practice came to an end with a highly competitive and enjoyable intersquad match Saturday. The next phase for the Panthers will be a period of captain’s practices leading up to the J Term. This phase will be led by the three senior captains; Will Oberrender, Alec Parower, and Spencer Lunghino.
Looking back on the fall season, there were many highlights. Player development was a successful focal point of the fall season. Many strides were made in both singles and doubles play throughout the fall. Quite a few new Panthers showed a ton of improvement in a short period of time. Freshman Jack Welch entered the fall with some ground to gain on some other higher ranked recruits, and through his hard work at practice, he did just that. Palmer Campbell made a statement at the Fall ITA with a run to the semi finals dispatching several quality opponents. Jackson Frons opened his Panther career with a great win at the Midd Invite beating a very experienced opponent. The improvement of the freshmen was not the only highlight of the fall season. The Panthers have found a very solid doubles team in the pairing of Lunghino and junior transfer Alex Johnston. The play of Johnston has definitely been a bright spot for the Panthers. Johsnton and Lunghino put on a brilliant display of doubles at the Dartmouth Shootout, winning the “A” flight in impressive fashion.
Some of the younger Panthers excelled during the fall season as well. A huge highlight from the fall was the play of freshman Ari Smolyar at the Dartmouth Shootout. Smolyar won all seven matches he played in at the tournament, teaming up with sophomore Courtney Mountifield to win the “D” flight doubles draw. In addition to his great leadership senior Will Oberrender was impressive in his singles effort at Dartmouth beating several Div l opponents. At the Bates Invitational Tournament, the sophomore duo of Chris Frost and Peter Heidrich took down two quality opponents in doubles, knocking off the number two doubles teams for both Bates and Bowdoin. Another huge contributor to the Panther squad this fall was senior captain Alec Parower. Parower fought through a painful hand injury throughout the fall. His positive attitude and incredible work ethic were a huge source of inspiration for fellow Panthers. Parower’s fall was highlighted by a nice run at the Fall ITA Regional Tournament, where he had a couple of solid wins before falling to Mark Kahan of Amherst in one of the tournament’s best played matches.
From an overall program and team culture standpoint, the team is very much together and on the same page in regards to the common goals shared for the rest of the season. The senior leadership of this team has definitely helped put everyone in a great position to improve everyday in a positive environment, while also making the transition to college tennis incredibly smooth for all of the new members to the program. Many thanks to all parents and alumni for supporting the Middlebury Tennis Program in their efforts to forge a championship team. We will keep you posted with our next projects as we raise support for our Spring Break trip and training enhancements.