Thursday, May 28, 2015

NCAA Tournament Wrap-up

Captains plus Will
The 2015 season is officially in the history books. This season was special to everyone on multiple levels, and even though we were disappointed by the loss in the NCAA Team Championship match, no Panther kept his tail between his legs for long because there were so many high points during our journey to this match.

Since I'm sure most have been following our results in Cincinnati closely, I'll highlight some lesser-known points of the championships. I'll start this post in the way that I end most posts, by dishing out kudos, as they are well deserved.



What an effort by our guys! They put so much passion into the tournament both with their preparation and their play. To put that much mentally and emotionally into accomplishing a goal shows amazing fortitude and thus the first, and most important, kudos go out to every member of the team for their passion and commitment.

Banger Bros! 
A large recognition goes out to all the guys who didn't see the court while in Cincinnati but were with us every step of the way pushing everyone to the peak of their abilities. Weather it was tweeting about our results, offering valuable input during team meetings, or being at every practice with a racket in hand ready to jump in, everyone played a big part in this year's success.

The parents who made the trip and those that supported us along the way are greatly appreciated and all your help, including the fantastic dinner Wednesday night, contributed greatly to our success and enjoyment.

Now for some match specific acknowledgements:

We mounted a very impressive doubles sweep in the quarterfinals, on indoor courts, against, dare I say it, the National Indoor Tournament Champions. Yes folks, they were crowned the top indoor team in the country this year and we came out and put a 3-0 sweep on them in the doubles. After doubles, Jackson and Will would seal the match 5-0 for us. Speaking of Jackson Frons, what on earth did he eat for breakfast before both this match and the semifinal match against Chicago? I kid you not, Jackson came out in both matches swinging at forehands and moving like Marat Safin. And we all know he's got the looks to match!
Bring in the Secret Weapon



Additionally, Will logged two impressive wins at the 5 spot against Trinity and Chicago. Will's game really blossomed this spring and these two victories are a testament to his efforts.

In the final match against Claremont, we came in ready for the moment and well prepared. We weren't overwhelmed at the opportunity before us or suffering from a lack of belief. We came out to play hard but simply ran into a team that was too good for us on that day. Hats off to Claremont for wielding an impressive team and a strong effort.

We're extremely proud of our guys for their openness to take on the challenge of aiming to win it all, but at the same time, staying grounded on the special season we had despite coming up just short.
Before leaving Midd for the tournament, guys offered up these season highlights:

-Regaining the NESCAC crown.
-Edging Emory in what many would call the DIII match of the year.
-Coming away with “The Thriller in Redlands” match.
-Ari winning three of four fall events and being the top ranked player in our region.
-Noah being named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year
-Defeating Bowdoin a third time to claim the NCAA Regional Title

Power doubles players
Also, congratulations to Peter and Palmer for reaching the semifinals of the individual doubles draw. They notched an impressive win in the first round against a talented Mary Washington team, and an even more impressive win against the top duo from Wash U on stadium court. Particularly in their second round win, Peter and Palmer played at a level previously unseen by Bob and myself. Palmer, again and again, made plays on the ball that resembled LeBron James driving to the hoop. On several occasions through out the match, Bob and I looked at each other thinking 'where did Palmer learn to ball like that!?'

Before I sign off for the summer, please enjoy the following pictures showing the adventures of Midd Tennis!


Bullwhip

Your 2015 NCAA Doubles Semi-finalists


Taking names

Yes Mr. President, the Panthers are in the finals.

Año de la M grande
All women's matches were suspended during the taking of this photo
Battle meeting

The mothers of M Tennis, thank you!


Road to glory

Semi-final vs. Chicago

Passion and grit

Mike Tyson

Big M's = Big friends

The Midd Tennis entourage 

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