Friday, May 20, 2016

NESCAC Champs on to the NCAA's at the Zoo

2016 NESCAC CHAMPIONS


Dear Panther Family,

A lot has happened since our last entry so we would love to take a moment to highlight the recent
accomplishments of this 2016 Men's Panther Tennis Team:

-Finishing our regular season 16-1 against Division 3 opponents

-Undefeated in NESCAC dual matches

-2016 NESCAC Team Tournament Champions

-Noah Farrell NESCAC Player of the Year, Ari Smolyar, Palmer Campbell and Hamid Derbani All-
Conference award winners

-Two 5-0 victories to get to the Elite 8 in Kalamazoo Michigan

-Noah Farrell and Ari Smolyar qualify for NCAA Singles Individual Tournament

-Doubles Team Palmer Campbell and Hamid Derbani qualify for NCAA Doubles Individual Tournament

I was very proud of our accomplishment of going undefeated in NESCAC dual matches which was a testament to strong and consistent preparation. Since our last update we defeated a strong and talented Amherst team 7-2 and beat Connecticut College and Trinity College 9-0 heading into our conference tournament. As the top seed at NESCACs we received a bye and played Wesleyan University in the semifinals which turned out to be one of our most challenging matches. Reversing a doubles deficit the first time we played them, we went up 2-1 after doubles and won three singles to complete a 5-2 hard fought victory. In the finals, we defeated second seed and #4 nationally ranked Bowdoin College aided by a doubles sweep leading to a 5-1 final outcome. Winning the conference for the second straight year was a huge accomplishment and a positive reflection of the consistent effort from top to bottom from our student athletes. 


Our strong regular season granted us the opportunity to host the first three rounds of the NCAA Team Championships which was another deserved thrill for our team. Always nice to play at home, we did not disappoint as we came away with two strong 5-0 efforts against Wilkes College (23-3) and #20 ranked Skidmore College (14-5). Sweeping the doubles for our final three matches was a fitting conclusion to our focused effort to enhance our doubles skillset, and something we all feel very good about heading into the Elite 8 in Kalamazoo, Michigan next week. At Kalamazoo, a historically significant location and home of the most prestigious hardcourt tournament in the U.S., we enter as the three seed and play perennial power Washington University of Saint Louis. They are talent laden, well coached, and have been one of the most consistent final four teams over the last decade. It should be a wonderful match as we enter with a great head of steam. 


It has been, and continues to be, a wonderful journey on many, many levels. Hats off to our assistant coaches for their outstanding efforts who have served to create a wonderful foundation for our athletes to explore their full potential. Courtney’s contribution to recruiting and conditioning have been incredible impactful and Bryce has been involved each step of the way since joining us, providing insight, humor, experience, and talent on all levels. Moreover, our work with Morgan Shepherd in the Fall continues to bear fruit as our technical skills are ever expanding. Thanks again to our amazing Panther family for your amazing support. We are deeply appreciative of the many people that contribute to this fine program and we clearly would not be able to consistently approach our current level of excellence without your help! 

For more detail, individual scores, and highlights please visit our team site on the Middlebury Athletics webpage at http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/index. For those of you who want to follow our progress at the NCAA's please visit: http://hornets.kzoo.edu/tournaments/tennis/2015-16/index

Very best wishes,

Bob, Bryce and Courtney

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