|Ready to rumble in Atlanta.|
However, comfortable or not day two of the trip provided our first competitive matches as we squared off against Ogelthrope University in the morning and University of the South in the afternoon. Against the Storming Petrels (Oglethrope's mascot) Midd swept doubles and shut the door quickly in singles play dropping only 8 total games in the 6 singles matches.
In the afternoon match the Panther's took a 2-1 lead
in doubles before dominating the bottom half of the singles for a 7-2
victory. The highlight of day two was undoubtedly the great depth we
once again showed. We were able to play two completely different
singles lineups and only dropped one match. Versus University of the South Zach Bruchmiller won 6-1, 6-1 at the #4 spot, Allen Jackson (who also grabbed a win in the morning match) won 6-2, 6-4 and the #5 position, and doubles specialist Andrew Lebovitz showcased his versatility clipping his opponent 6-2, 6-2. Knowing we have such depth gives us the confidence to play a variety of players in matches and also ensures every player pushes one another in practice.
|Frost using his acrobatic ability to roll versus Oglethrope.|
Though it seems impossible that he won this particular point.
|Bruchmiller's still got it!|
|Johno loading the Howitzer.|
up wins at the 2, 3, 4, and 5 spots for a 7-2 win.
|Welch working the chip n' charge. A new play in his ever expanding arsenal.|
|Allen Jackson holding his finish.|
Doesn't that bear have one too many claws?
Day four provided the season's first true test when the Panther's faced emerging NAIA powerhouse Gerogia Gwinett College. To give you an idea of the level of Georgia Gwinett, their #2 singles player has a career high ATP ranking of 650. Once again our #1 doubles team played incredible tennis and battled back from a 0-4 deficit to win 8-6. In singles we won first sets at #4, #5, and #6 and also served for the first at #3. However, we were only to come away with #5 singles as Smolyar defeated the older (and slightly tubbier) brother of Gwinett's #1 player. Given the level of competition and the howling winds the coaches were happy with how hard our guys competed at every spot.
|Pete doing Pete things.|
|Bob and Max carefully observe.|
|James Burke deep in thought, likely pondering which opponent he will dismantle next.|
|Ted enjoying the off day.|
|Bruchmiller visualizing pre-match.|
|Introductions versus Emory.|
|Per usual, Lebo brought the energy.|
|Palmer and B-Jones came up big in doubles where they still haven't lost a match to a Division III opponent this spring.|
|Court battled all week against some talented players.|
The Panthers wrapped up their trip Sunday morning with a 7-2 victory over North Carolina Wesleyan. Our #2 doubles team of Campbell and Jones didn't start well but did a good enough job of scrapping together a 8-6 victory to remain undefeated in Division III play this year. Zach Bruchmiller stepped in at #6 singles and after finding himself down 1-4 in the first set, won 12 of the next 15 games for a 7-5, 6-2 win. After the match we ran to the hotel for a quick shower, grabbed some Steak-N-Shake (Bob's favorite place for some peculiar reason) and went to the airport for a easy direct flight back to Burlington.
All in all this was a wonderful trip for the team. We were able to get all of our players a lot of competitive matches and get a really clear idea of where we are as a team and what we need to work on. Most of all we want to thank the parents for their incredible support throughout the trip. Every single match we had a glut of of snacks and great vocal support. Special thanks to the Frons', Brian for his great match photos (many of which were used in this blog post), and Jeanine for keeping Jackson in line.
for some great photos later in the week (which we also used a few of). The Jackson's
for the wonderful dinner on Thursday night. John
and Lisa Campbell for
making sure Palmer
was as fresh as could be. Jackie Welch who
saw Jack grab a dual match point versus Shorter.
for contributing to stellar
snack selection. Kenneth Jones who
was watching Brantner
play for the first time in a while and surely contributed to his
excellent showing versus Emory. The Frost's who
saw Chris kill it in
doubles. And last but not least Anita Mountifield for
helping the superstitious Courtney
maintain his ever changing arsenal of rituals.
|Jeanine, Jackson, and Brian Frons.|
|Jack with his mom and little sister.|
|Teddy, Bruch, James, and Brantner catching some rays.|
|Bonus stache' pic.|
-Coaches Bob, Max, and Charles