Thursday, May 4, 2017

And on to the NESCAC Tournament…

Midd vs Amherst @Indoor Facility

Panther Family,

Last Saturday the boys of top-ranked Middlebury College concluded their regular season with a fantastic win against #8 Amherst College. Before I get into details of this upcoming weekend NESCAC Conference Tournament, I would like to do a quick recap of our match against the Mammoths.

It was our last match of the season, and one with a lot of implications going into NESCAC’S. Arriving Saturday evening we were able to get in a short hit at the Amherst facility, a quick meal, and good night’s sleep. Sunday as we began our afternoon warm up the rain clouds assembled. Ten minutes of abrupt downpour and we were off to a 4-court indoor facility to play our match. Warmup was short, but as we gathered in our circle the tone was set to do what we had came there to do. With an 8-4 loss at #3 doubles Amherst took at early 1-0 lead. Peter/Timo were down an early break, broke back to get on serve 4-4, but were not able to hold on as Amherst pulled away. At #2 Hamid/Kyle put together a fantastic 8-4 match, evening the team score 1-1. Kyle returned amazing and Hamid closed huge as they put together one of their better matches of the season. Last on in doubles was #1 Lubo/Will who went up an early break against the Amherst #1 team. Amherst put together some amazing tennis to break back, and after a huge hold with Will serving we were on to a tie-breaker. Going down 0-4 in the breaker things weren’t looking good for the Panthers. Will made a great return to make it 1-4, and followed it up with two fantastic serves pushing the Midd team to a score of 3-4. 3-4 turned to 4-4, to 5-4, 6-4, and finally 7-4 to clinch the last doubles point. It was an amazing demonstration of resiliency from Lubo and Will as we went into singles up 2-1.

Lubo and Will go from 0-4 to 7-4 during #1 Doubs Breaker

In singles both Lubo and Will continued with their effort notching straight set victories to put the Panthers up 4-1. Both Lubo and Will have had fantastic results all season, making it very clear how tough they are in their respective spots against every team they face. Kyle, who has only lost a handful matches this season, went down in three sets to a tough Amherst opponent at #4 singles making the score 4-2. He locked down and won five straight games to win the second set, but getting down an early break in the third he was unable to turn it around. The clinch came from from our senior Hamid Derbani at the #3 singles spot with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5) victory. It was an absolutely courageous effort as Hamid put together one of his best results of the year when it was needed most. At #5 Timo won his match in straight sets, playing some of the most focused and disciplined tennis I have seen him play this season. At #6 Allen lost the first set and bounced back to play extremely well dominating the second. With a super-tiebreaker 8-10 loss the overall ending score on the day was 6-3 Panthers.

Meet the Player: Timo van der Geest

Hometown: Oegstgeest, the Netherlands

Year: Junior

Height: 6’0

Weight: 170

Major: Economics

Favorite tennis player growing up and why: Roger Federer, the combination of his style of playing and more than impressive results

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor: Chocolate fudge brownie

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why: Maldives, I would love to see the coral reefs and white beaches there

Why you chose Middlebury College: I wanted to do something different than going to a Dutch University. While figuring out whether I wanted to take a gap year and travel, or study in the United States, I started talking to Bob. Learning more about the academics, college environment and tennis program, I became more and more convinced that Middlebury was the right place for me.

Favorite Middlebury tennis moment thus far: Winning the NESCAC championship last year. It was the second year in a row that we won and the atmosphere and team energy was just amazing.

Timo is in his third year here at Middlebury and simply put is an absolute boss. He was a late starter in tennis but with his determined and open attitude seems to improve on a daily basis. Whether it is practice, morning workout, weights, or addressing team culture, Timo leads this team and is respected by every member of this squad. His tennis is catching up with his work as he starts in both singles and doubles for us this year, already having notched wins over some of the best teams in the country.

Tomorrow we leave for the annual NESCAC Conference Tournament in attempt to win our third straight NESCAC Championship. We will be the #2 seed as we fight through the deepest conference tournament in the country. To stay updated with scores please follow us on twitter. We will also attempt to live stream some of our matches which you can access through twitter (fingers crossed). If you want more information on the tournament, draws, match times, etc. please go to website. For those who traveling to show their support we are so appreciative.

Thank you to everyone invested in our process as we make our final push of this already amazing 2017 season.


Middlebury Men’s Coaching Staff