Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Panthers in Maine

The Panthers returned late Sunday night from a weekend of action at the Wallach Invitational tournament, hosted by Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. We’ve seen competition every other weekend this fall season, and the chance to go back to the drawing board after each event has led to major strides in certain aspects of our games. In particular, we’ve put a focus on improving our serves and the work we’ve put in showed during the weekend.
Boys of Fall

Our best result was in Ari Smolyar winning the A singles draw; Ari battled through 2 close matches before shifting into high gear for his final two matches, giving up a combined 5 games in the semi-finals and finals. Ari’s commitment to attacking his serve and to maintaining a positive attitude on court came through beautifully.

Natives of North Carolina, USA
Freshman sensation, Noah Farrell, lit up the court en route to the A singles draw semi-finals. His semi-final loss was closely contested and was avenged by Ari in the finals as Panthers always have each other's backs.

Will De Quant had a break out tournament in winning the D singles draw, edging teammate Pete Heidrich in the final. Will used his forehand as a major weapon, and Pete dug his heals in, making Will earn his bacon- hats off to both Panthers.

Captain Frost with rookie teammate, Will DQ
Courtney Mountifield, while losing a match we all know he can win, made a huge stride in his ability to hit an aggressive forehand. Also impressive was Courntey’s serve, which reached velocities previously unseen by spectators, teammates, coaches, and all those familiar with the diverse Mountifield skillset.

This doubles pairing has SKILLS
On the doubles side, we saw high level of play from Chris Frost and partner Will, reaching the final match in the B doubles draw. Chris continues to post solid doubles results with various partners. Despite this good result, it seems we’ve faired better in singles through out the fall season, and thus will enter the next 2 weeks of practice with special attention to doubles. 
Headed to the top!

Our next competition comes in the form of a series of “hidden dual matches” to be played at Tufts University on the weekend of the 25th. We couldn’t be more thrilled to watch the maturation of our boys in competition and to put to test all our hard work as a group.

Over and out, Midd Tennis Nation.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

ITA Regional Roundup


The 2014 ITA Fall Northeast Regional is in the books after 3 days of sunny 80 degree weather and wonderful tennis to match. First off, big thanks to the parents who came out to support us, a fantastic Midd fan presence was felt!
Senior leadership 

While there wasn’t a Panther winner in the singles or doubles, there were certainly results to be proud of and to learn from. With a commitment to controlling points with his forehand and using his serve aggressively, Jackson Frons reeled of 4 straight wins to reach the semi-finals of the singles draw before falling to a tough Wesleyan opponent. It’s promising to see various guys take jumps in their level and lead the way.

The man around town
Ari Smolyar blew through two rounds of competition to reach the second day in the singles tournament. Ari fell just short of a quarterfinal berth after holding 3 match points against Bates’ top player. We’re convinced, with a bit more match and mental experience, Ari will put the finishing touches on matches like these in the future.

Noah won 3 convincing matches en-route to the quarterfinals, keeping up his high level of play from the Midd Invite.

In doubles we used the tournament as another testing round to experiment with different combinations as we have many excellent options for doubles teams; each of our 3 teams in the draw won their first round matchups.   
Courtney 'game face' Mountifield

One highlight in doubles action was the last match played on Saturday night, which was moved indoors to Nelson because of light. Ari and Courtney faced off against the Bates team who went on to win the tournament. Even though Ari and Courtney were defeated, we showed our Panther pride by having the entire team on the sidelines out-cheering the Bates team well into a Saturday evening.

Pete leaning...hard
Since the tournament ended, we have been thinking of ways to improve and gain ground on these teams before we see many of them again in the spring. With the right training, both physical and mental, we hope to build ourselves and add layers of offense to our games before the dual match season.

Next up is the Bates Invite tournament the weekend of October 11th. We’re feeling great about our fall season schedule in having a tournament every other weekend, giving us time to reload and work on parts of our games before the next round of competition.

Thanks and GO MIDD!