The Panthers had a blast competing on our home courts, and took the opportunity to build on the historical dominance of Middlebury at our own invitational. Lubomir Cuba picked up where he left off last season by winning the A flight singles draw and demonstrating some gritty performances along the way. In the quarterfinals, he took down Rohan Gupte (a top of the lineup player from Tufts) 6-4, 7-5. Playing his own doubles partner, Will de Quant, in the semifinals, Lubo battled back after losing the first set to win 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-5. de Quant definitely seems to be sharpening his game at the right time leading up to the ITA pushing Lubo to the brink at the Midd Invite. In the finals, Lubo squared off with the #14 ranked player in the nation from Bates, Ben Rosen. Rosen was playing some incredibly high level tennis, having beaten Midd’s own Noah Farrell in the semifinals along his route to the finals. However, his run came to end when Lubo stepped in and smashed an inside in forehand return winner to post a 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 victory.
|Lubo staying focused during the big moments.|
Two Panther seniors Kyle Schlanger and Timo Van der Geest
won the A flight doubles. This marked
the second year in a row that Schlanger took home to the hardware from this
event. Timo and Kyle won their first two rounds relatively easily, and then
took down the #1 doubles team in the nation, their own teammates Cuba and de
Quant. After being down 5-7, Timo and
Kyle buckled down and played some of their best tennis of the match to win 9-7.
Timo and Kyle continued their comeback ways in the finals and won 8-6 after
being down a break. Their ability to enjoy their tennis the most when the match
was at pivotal moments allowed them to thrive under pressure.
|Schlanger is now a two-time Midd Invite A Doubles Champ!|
|Timo took it to the house in both A flight doubles and B flight singles.|
Helping to set our sights on this weekend, here is a brief historical overview of past Middlebury ITA Regional Champions.
Middlebury Fall Regional ITA Champions Since 2004
2004 Doubles: Kevin Bergesen and George Mayer
2004 Singles: Brian Waldron
2005 Doubles: Kevin Bergesen and Nate Edmunds
2005 Singles: Brian Waldron
2006 Doubles: Alex Scott and George Mayer
2006 Singles: Alex Scott
2007 Doubles: Fil Marinkovic and Andrew Thomson
2008 Singles: Conrad Olson
2009 Doubles: Andrew Lee and Andrew Thomson
2009 Singles: Andrew Peters
2015 Singles: Noah Farrell
2016 Singles: Lubomir Cuba
|Conrad Olson 2008 ITA Regional Singles Champ!|
Another highlight of the tournament for Middlebury was the dominance of the B Singles flight. Andre Xiao made the semifinals of the draw and beat a very talented Russian freshman from Tufts along the way, before losing to Timo in the semis. Alex Vanezis made a great run to the finals posting a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the semis and defeating Travis Leaf from Skidmore who had bested him last season. In the finals, Timo triumphed 0-6, 6-2, 11-9 in an absolute war of a match (saving one match point) over Vanezis. These experiences will serve our team well as we prepare to make some deep runs in the ITA draw this weekend.
Thanks for reading and as always, we appreciate all the support from the Midd Tennis Family. Please check this link to follow along as we compete in the ITA Regional Tournament over the next three days: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2017-18/releases/20170927gflcgp
Until next time,The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff