Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Midd Vs Emory. The Rematch.

Big Day for Midd Tennis
It was just another day for any normal person in Midd Town as the sun rose over Middlebury College on Sunday, but for Panther Tennis battle lines had been drawn and we awoke to play host to second ranked Emory in a heavy weight bout between two of the nations premier teams.

With tremendous fan support, Midd got out of the gates hot in doubles, streaking out to early leads at 1 and 2, while Chris and Will traded blows against the Eagles at 3. About midway through the doubles an argument on court 2 set the tone for the rest of the day being a tooth and nail back alley brawl with neither team willing to give an inch.
Senior Celebration at 51 Main
Peter and Palmer played big boy take it or leave it doubles in their 8-3 knockout at 1 doubles. Palmer serves like John Isner and Pete watches the net like a pirate ready to plunder. Chris and Will competed well but fell just short to a tough team. That set up our glitzy shot makers, Ari and Noah, against Emory’s slow heifer like team at 2. The Midd fans on the sideline cheered and cheered and before long we took the match on yet another Ari double fist pumping shot gun forehand. When will opposing teams learn that Ari’s forehand hits like a Mayweather hook? BAM! Midd up 2-1 going into singles.

Hurricane season is back!
Before trying to describe the intensity and testiness of the singles, lets go into the history books to take a closer look at this Midd-Emory matchup. Last year’s matchup was a 5-4 barn burner won by Emory, filled with edgy antics, dubious line calls, and plenty of primal screams from both sides. Sunday’s match featured largely the same cast of characters so on court player relations were expected to be tense. Not to mention, Emory’s coach played on coach Hansen’s first national championship team, Midd assistant clinched an NCAA semi on Emory, and Emory assistant owns an ncaa singles title; If this match wasn’t aired live in every Vegas bookie booth then I don’t know what was.

Emory tied the match with a straight set win at 6 against Allen. Allen prolonged his match as best he could which was crucial in supporting Will, on the adjacent court, who won his match just as Allen lost, putting Midd up 3-2. Will displayed his ability to take balls on the rise, a skill that will take his higher and higher. Ari tightened the clamps on his skilled opponent who is one of the nation’s top players. Ari handled him in straight sets, making a statement to the world that he is the one calling the shots in D3 tennis- Midd up 4-2.
Attention D3: There's a new sheriff in town.
The remaining 3 matches all went to 3rd sets, with Midd needing just one to clinch the match. Emory battled hard and threw the kitchen sink at us; the Eagles won on court 3 against Palmer to get things to 4-3. Jackson was serving for his match at 5-2 in the second set before his opponent found a new gear to come back and take the set 7-6. Any normal being would be deflated by loosing grip on such an important match, but Jackson calmly regrouped, kept his eye on the prize, and blitzed his mouthy opponent 6-1 in the 3rd set. Snip snip, game, set, match MIDD!

Bring in the Ice-Man
Bonus kudos go out to Noah for winning 6-3 in the 3rd after the match was won against a player like Halpern, another accomplished D3 player.
More bonus kudos go out to Charlie, Jack, Courtney, Hamid, Timo, and Kyle for helping us through every step of the way.
Even more bonus kudos to (you guessed it) the parents of Midd Tennis for another great showing.
And, lastly, kudos to all the Midd students who came out to cheer.

Stay tuned as Midd travels to Maine this weekend to take on Bowdoin and Bates.  
Panther Tennis in its entirety 

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