Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wrapping Up The Fall 2017 Season

It’s in the books! The 2017 fall season has been completed and the Panthers demonstrated yet another level of improvement from the beginning of the fall season only seven weeks earlier.  The coaching staff was extremely proud of the effort that the guys invested into our time together and feel good about handing the reins over the guys for the off-season training. Led by three strong leaders in Will de Quant, Kyle Schlanger, and Timo Van der Geest, the Panthers will no doubt continue their trajectory of improvement after a short period of rest and relaxation. As good as our fall results were, the Panther program has yet again aimed to reach the top of the mountain and our group understands it will take nothing short of our very best to give us the best chance to succeed during the spring. 

Schalnger, Van der Geest, and Gregory
wearing their Panther gear with pride!
de Quant serving it up!

The MIT tournament remained an extremely strong event and is amazingly only in its second year of existence. An incredibly strong draw allowed for competitive matches from the get go. The Panthers were led by three amazing runs by each of the seniors. Kyle Schlanger put on a show winning his first four matches reaching the semifinals of the main draw. His straight set victory over Andrew Finkleman from Wesleyan (finalist at the ITA regional) capped an impressive run. William de Quant made the finals for the second straight year at MIT, and after gutting out a third set victory in the first round did not drop another set en route to the finals. The Panthers played so well this tournament, that more often than not it seemed like the only team that our guys were losing to was other Middlebury teammates as de Quant ousted Schalnger in the semifinals and Schlanger beat Farrell in the round of sixteen. To round out the senior performances, Timo Van der Geest rebounded from a first round loss by winning five straight matches to win the consolation draw and did not even drop a single set along the way beating players from Amherst, Tufts, and Brandeis.
Martin, Farrell, and Van der Geest in the house!

Brach, de Quant, and Hansen watching our boys compete!

The rest of the Panthers also put in some great work…
·      Alex Vanezis won three matches to reach the semifinals of the consolation draw.
·      Noah Farrell and Nate Eazor won two matches to reach the Rd of 16 of the main draw.
·      Andre Xiao and Weston Brach won a match to reach the Rd of 32 of the main draw.

Team dinner at the Brachs!  Too good!

Farrell covering some serious court and probably
hitting a backhand passing shot winner.

As we turn our attention to the off-season, the coaching staff is keeping busy with an eye on recruiting, hosting prospect camps, and preparing all the details for us to hit the ground running in the spring.

Wishing everyone in the Middlebury Tennis Family a wonderful fall!

Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The ITA Regional and Farnsworth Invitational are in the Books, MIT up next!

The fall season is absolutely flying by and the Panthers seem to be gradually playing better and better tennis as our season moves forward. We know that hard work and enjoying the journey is the best path for us to get where we want to go this year. Since our last blog post, we have competed in both the ITA Regional Tournament that we hosted on our home courts as well as the Farnsworth Invitation hosted at Princeton.  There were many strong performances that deserve mention and we will attempt to present a series of highlights for both tournaments. Overall, the ITA Regional demonstrated the depth of this year’s Panther squad as we had 5 players reach the round of 16 and 3 players make the quarterfinals, more than any other school in a region stacked with talent. At the Farnsworth Invitational, the Panthers demonstrated that DIII tennis does not take a back seat to DI and were proud to be the only DIII program represented.

Highlights from the ITA Regional
·      Noah Farrell and Peter Martin played some spectacular doubles en route to the finals winning matches by scores of 8-0, 8-0, 8-4, and 8-5.
·      Timo van der Geest and Kyle Schlanger reached the quarterfinals of doubles building on their momentum from the Middlebury Invitational.
·      Lubomir Cuba reached the semifinals after winning 6-2, 6-0 over the #1 singles player from Bowdoin.
·      Alex Vanezis, Noah Farrell, Kyle Schlanger, William de Quant, and Lubomir Cuba all made the round of 16 demonstrating a deep Panthers team.

Noah Farrell building his doubles resume at the ITA! 
Peter Martin, a doubles specialist last year, playing some great
doubles at the ITA and some great singles at the Farnsworth!

Highlights from the Farnsworth Invitational
·      In A flight singles, Will de Quant beat three DI opponents from Drexel, Temple, and Hofstra.
·      In A flight singles, Kyle Schlanger beat a DI opponent from Bryant.
·      In A flight doubles, Schlanger/Van der Geest got a win over Lehigh and de Quant/Xiao got a win over Marist.
·      In B flight doubles, Eazor/Vanezis got wins over a St. Johns team and a team from Fairleigh Dickinson.
·      In B flight singles, Xiao tallied wins over players from Fairleigh Dickinson and Lehigh and would have played his own teammate Timo Van der Geest who beat two players from Marist on his way to the consolation final.
·      In C flight doubles, Guo/Gregory beat a team from University of Virginia.
·      In C flight singles, Peter Martin got three straight wins over Lehigh, Drexel, and Colombia before losing in the semifinals. Nate Eazor also made a nice run over NJIT and St. Johns before losing in a close battle in the quarterfinals. Weston Brach got a win over a player from Fairleigh Dickinson.
·      In D flight singles, Guo beat players from Fairleigh Dickinson and Marist before losing in the quarters. Thorne Gregory beat a player from Lehigh.

The Farnsworth Invitational at Princeton was a special opportunity as Middlebury was the only Division III team being represented. Playing against opponents from schools such as Colombia, Princeton, and Virginia was a perfect yardstick for the Panthers to test their games and to learn what we need to do to improve to get where we want to go as a team.  Coach Hansen and I had a blast coaching our group and their is a special feeling of motivation to dream big on our team this year.  We cannot wait to get back to competing again next week at MIT.

Thanks for reading. Also, a special shout out to all the parents (i.e., Gregorys, Samets, and de Quants, Farrells, Cubas, Eazors, Brachs) who came to support the Panthers over the past two tournaments including bringing an incredible amount of snacks for the players. 

Nate Eazor enjoying the Midd parents supplied
snacks before putting a beat down on some DI

Stay tuned for more updates after the MIT Invitational this coming weekend!

Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff