|Timo Van Der Geest|
With the team match tied at 4-4 every individual in Nelson Arena huddled around the final singles match to witness its’ conclusion. Timo Van Der Geest was in a war with the very talented number six player of Wesleyan from Connecticut, both players fighting with everything they had to push their teams to victory. It had been an extremely intense match for these two top ten teams, swings of momentum constantly changing, but with Timo up a set and a break it was looking good for the Panthers. Serving for the match at 5-4 Timo was broken as his opponent played amazing tennis to keep Wesleyan alive, the Wesleyan bench screaming at the tops of their lungs now knowing that this match was far from over. Cool as a cucumber Timo hit back hard to give himself a break point opportunity to go up 6-5 serving, it was clearly the biggest point of the match. The rally was long and the silence palpable, but with a short ball in front of him Timo was fearless as he ripped a forehand winner up the line, pumping his fist to his nearby screaming teammates. Timo collected himself and walked out to serve for the match yet again. He played brilliant and composed tennis as he clinched the match for the Panthers, pushing his team through their first real challenge, and demonstrating true courage and character.
We now find ourselves in Los Angeles California about to play the biggest dual match of our season thus far against number eight Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. After a long day of flying and little sleep last Friday our boys started this spring break trip Saturday afternoon against division two opponent Concordia College. With a doubles sweep and an early 3-0 lead the panthers locked down winning five of the six singles matches and finishing with an 8-1 victory. Easter Sunday we faced a solid division three opponent Lewis and Clark College of Portland Oregon, coming out swinging hard yet again. We found ourselves up 3-0 after a tenacious doubles sweep, having saved match points at third doubles by Will De Quant/Timo Van Der Geest. The Panthers went on to win all six singles matches for a 9-0 finish, including a gritty super-tiebreaker victory by sophomore Noah Farrell who continues to stay composed under pressure. Yesterday was our best doubles effort thus far as we swept Biola University dropping a total of four games collectively. We played aggressive and imposing doubles at all three spots, demonstrating the type of doubles we know we are capable of. We went on to sweep all six singles matches and had great efforts by all players including Panthers not usually in our top six singles spots. Kyle Schlanger, Peter Martin, and Cole Sutton all had straight-set victories adding to the dominating 9-0 victory. For specific scores/recaps of our spring break matches thus far please visit: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/index.
We warmed up well this morning at the Pomona site and will take the courts soon for this scheduled 4pm match. The boys seem composed and at the same time eager, as we are all looking forward to todays big test. Thursday we will play UC Riverside at the UCR campus before our most anticipated match this Saturday against Claremont Colleges. Saturday’s match against CMS will be a rematch of last years NCAA Team Championship, a match we have been anticipating for a very long time.
We want to quickly recognize all the family and fan support we have experienced over spring break. A quick thanks to Mrs. Welch for treating our team to dinner and being a huge supporter through our first two matches. Also a quick thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell along with Mrs. Martin, for their continued support over this spring break in California. We couldn’t do what we do without the efforts from so many fans and family members and to be honest we wouldn’t want to. We will keep you posted on the match results and as always Go Panthers.
Coaching Staff of Panther Tennis
Coaching Staff of Panther Tennis