|Panthers Texas bound for spring break|
Last weekend was huge step in the right direction for the young men of Middlebury men’s tennis. Before we move on to the challenges that we will face ahead during our spring break trip here in Texas, we would like to do a brief recap of this successful past weekend. If you are looking for exact scores and match breakdowns, please go to our Middlebury College Men’s Tennis website.
Our first match of the weekend was against Brandeis University on our home nelson indoor courts. Hamid Derbani returned to our doubles lineup at #2 with partner Kyle Schlanger, and the Panthers went on to sweep at all three doubles matches. The momentum didn’t stop with straight set victories from Lubo, Will, Kyle, and Alex Vanezis. Our only two loses were by Timo and Allen, who ended up coming up short in very close super-tiebreakers after the conclusion of the match had been decided.
After a couple of hours to eat and shower we jumped in the vans and headed to Troy New York for the Sunday double-header. We had our typical Chipotle dinner and turned in early as we would be playing a RPI early that next morning. The Panthers jumped to an early 3-0 lead early with 8-5 victories at all three doubles spots. Lubo/Will, Hamid/Kyle, and Timo/Allen, all played our type of imposing doubles, setting the tone as we headed into singles. Our singles went on to be a fantastic effort, winning at all six spots and finishing the morning with a 9-0 victory. Will dominated his match at #1, Kyle and Timo won in an action-packed super-breakers, while Allen, Alex V, and freshman Weston Brach won in straight sets. Next up was our toughest of the three schools, #26 Skidmore College.
The boys started with amazing energy and drive as we jumped to early leads at all three doubles spots. Skidmore plays tough aggressive doubles and it was exciting to see how we reacted. Lubo/Will and Hamid/Kyle went on to have dominating wins, while Allen/Timo put themselves in a hole as their opponents served for the match at 7-6. With some serious grit and clutch play, Allen and Timo went on to win the match 8-6 in the tiebreaker. Sweeping 9-0 in doubles on our three matches over the weekend was a real accomplishment, something the boys definitely earned with their doubles work given over the months prior. The singles matches were extremely competitive and intense that Sunday afternoon, we coaches were extremely pleased with how our boys elevated their games to the challenge. With straight set victories from Lubo (against a very tough #5 Kai Yuen), Will, Kyle, and Allen, the match was decided. Both Timo and Alex V. ended up losing in very close super T’s, not taking away with how well they played that afternoon. Overall it was a great weekend, packed with highlights and lessons to learn as we returned to practice later that week.
Before I talk about our spring break lets do our “meet the player”
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Favorite tennis player growing up and why: Gael Monfils because the guy is an absolutely unreal athlete and makes tennis incredibly entertaining to watch
Favorite movie: The Lord of the Rings, it’s too hard to pick a particular one
Favorite food: A large, warm chocolate chip cookie under vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and caramel sauce
Favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor: Half Baked
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why: Westworld because it provides an incredible interactive experience in a western setting
Why you chose Middlebury College: I chose Middlebury first because of the great academic opportunities it provided, second because of the chance to win a national championship in an awesome team environment, and third because it’s just a fun place to be
Favorite Middlebury tennis moment thus far: Probably the win over Bowdoin in season last year. We had a pretty big, rowdy crowd, and the atmosphere was great for a really tight and important match
This is Cole’s second year on the team here at Middlebury. He is an incredible athlete, occasionally letting our team know this by blowing by them during our sporadic 200m races (Prefontaine style…), and continues to improve at an impressive rate. Especially this season we have seen major growth in Cole’s tennis game as he adds dimensions of control and ball tolerance to his natural tracking skills. He is an amazing teammate and member, always providing concern and action to our overall team mission.
Today is the first day of our spring break trip, 10 days in Texas with 8 competitive dual matches. Our schedule looks like this for the week:
Saturday (today): UT Dallas
Sunday: SouthWestern & UT Tyler
Monday: #19 Gustavus Adolphus & St Edwards
Tuesday: Day off
Wednesday: #20 Trinity University (San Antonio)
Thursday: Day off
Friday: #1 Emory
Saturday: #2 CMS
Please feel free to follow our progress via twitter, Instagram, and facebook. It is going to be a truly testing week with lots of action, we will keep you posted.
Middlebury Men’s Coaching Staff