Thursday, October 25, 2018

Panthers Win Two Titles at TuftsDeis

The Panthers finished the last of our four Fall tournaments with many strong performances and the coaching staff was extremely pleased to see that the Panthers played their best tennis all Fall. Even though we still have many levels of improvement ahead, we are definitely heading in the right direction as a group.

A follow-up to last year’s MIT tournament, the TuftsDeis invitational demonstrated an amazingly high level of competition with eight top tier DIII programs competing.  The Panthers collected two of the four possible titles!

A Flight Champion Noah Farrell '19 
Farrell '19 serving big!
Noah Farrell led the way grabbing the A flight singles crown with five consecutive wins over elite DIII players including a straight set victory over Sean Wei (ranked #9 in the nation after last season). Noah's competitive spirit and ability to switch and use his left hand when on the dead run makes watching his play particularly special and exciting. Winning the B flight doubles crown was Aleks Samets and Andre Xiao. The pair partnered extremely well with Andre tracking from the back and Aleks cleaning up at net, each only having their serve broken once all tournament long en route to their title.
B Flight Doubles Champs Andre Xiao '21 and Aleks Samets '20
                         
The rest of the Panthers also put in some great work including….
·      Stan Morris winning a match versus Austin Barr (ranked #30 nationally).
·      Nate Eazor and Stan Morris got their first win as a doubles pair.
·      Andre Xiao picked up two singles victories over MIT and Bowdoin.
·      Weston Brach picked up two singles wins over Tufts and Brandeis.
·      Weston Brach and David Vilys got a doubles win over Bowdoin.
·      Adam Guo picked up two singles wins over Tufts and Wesleyan.
·      David Vilys picked up two singles wins over Wesleyan and Brandeis.

Eazor '21, Sutton '19, Samets '20, and Guo '21 fueling up!

A complete description of the tournament can be seen here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20181014sys4em

Ring Ceremony
Last weekend we also had a final celebration for our 2018 NCAA Championship with our ring ceremony and reception. Made incredibly special by the return of our three recent graduates (two traveling all the way back from Europe), Will de Quant, Kyle Schlanger, and Timo van der Geest were back in the house! It was an incredibly special event to share memories and reminisce over such a fun and successful year. The lifelong bonds that were formed last year were evident, and the uniquely close camaraderie of the Panther program continues to be a hallmark of our culture.

Beautiful weather for our ceremony at the homecoming
football game.  Midd won by 1 point over Bates!
Another critical component of our success that was again on display was the wonderful and amazing support of our parents both near and far. Three players had parents who joined our celebration including Weston Brach, Nate Eazor, and Cole Sutton. Of course, the parents in attendance helped to document videos and pictures they distributed via our parent group chat so that everyone could feel the love and fun from wherever they were! As always, huge thank you to our incredibly supportive group of parents!

The jewelry!

Off-Season Training
The off-season will be a critical time period where we need to get fully healthy and also continue to build our games and hearts to be fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We look forward to handing the responsibility of off-season training to our four senior captains. Noah Farrell, Peter Martin, Cole Sutton, and Lubomir Cuba will play a huge role in ensuring that each and every Panther player is doing everything they can to get ready for the Spring. Championships are won in the off-season! From on court, in the gym, on the track, and mental training the Panthers will continue to work each aspect of the game to try to give our group the best chance of being successful when it matters most toward the end of the year.

Wishing everyone in the Middlebury Tennis Family a wonderful rest of the Fall!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coach Staff

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Panthers demonstrate Division III’s strength at the Farnsworth; Next Competition the TuftsDeis Invitational in Boston


Six Panther beasts competed in Princeton this past weekend with each player getting to hone their skills across 4 doubles and 4 singles matches within the tournament’s compass draw format. Overall, the Panthers went 18-18 in total matches played indicating that our Division III level holds up just fine amongst Division I foes.

Leading the way for the Panthers, our top doubles pairing of Noah Farrell and Peter Martin went 3-1 notching wins over NJIT, Army, and Lehigh. Noah followed up their strong doubles level by also going 3-1 in singles. Peter Martin, typically a doubles specialist for the Panthers, went 2-2 in singles play.

Farrell '19 showing that DI opponents can learn from how we compete in DIII.
Andre Xiao and Aleks Samets posted two doubles victories for the Panthers over Lehigh and Hofstra, with Samets also notching a singles win versus Army. David Vilys and Adam Guo also beasted their way to victory twice in doubles over Marist and Army. Both Guo and Vilys also notched two singles wins each over Army and Marist.

The rest of the gang that did not travel to Princeton played a tournament on our home courts amongst ourselves and all signs point toward the Panthers finding a path of steady improvement. We will have to stay disciplined and focused all year long to maintain our upward trajectory if we want to play our best when it matters most at the end of the Spring season.

The boys at the Proctor courts including (from left to right)
Gregory '21, Brach '20, Morris, '22, Hilty, '22, and Eazor '21.
TuftsDeis Invitational
Our final fall tournament takes place this weekend (10/12, 10/13, and 10/14) in Boston and is hosted by both Tufts and Brandeis. It will be a stacked draw of many of the strongest DIII teams in the northeast and will be another great opportunity for the Panthers to develop their games. Special shout out to the Brachs for again hosting our annual pilgrimage to Boston. As always, we look forward to testing ourselves with another fun challenge!

Saturday, October 20th Ring Ceremony
To officially celebrate our 2018 National Championship run, our entire roster from last year is returning to campus (two recent graduates coming all the way back from Europe)! We will be honored at halftime of the homecoming 1pm football game versus Bates. We are thrilled and honored that Middlebury College President, Laurie Patton, will participate in the ring ceremony.

We will also host a reception after the football game is concluded, providing food and drinks from 445pm to 630pm in the Kenyon Arena Lounge. All Middlebury Tennis friends and family are welcome to join us. If you can make it, please RSVP by emailing us at rwhansen@middlebury.edu or athomson@middlebury.edu).

Sneak preview of our Men's and Women's Middlebury Tennis All-American History Plaque! This award will be hung up in our new team room in Nelson Arena to honor all of the men's and women's players to receive this honor!
Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Panthers Showing Steady Improvement, Preparing for DI Competition at Princeton


The fall season is in full swing and the Panthers are beginning to find their form. It has been a highlight to see how much we are enjoying the process of training and improving. We know that enjoying the journey every step of the way is not only more fun, but also a more sustainable path of development! This past weekend we hosted and competed in the New England Fall ITA Regional Championships, and as a group we took another step in the right direction improving on our results from the Middlebury Invitational. There were many strong performances that deserve mention, but overall it was the Panther depth that was on display over the weekend.

Adam Guo '21 crushing one of his inside out forehands!
Highlights From the 2018 ITA New England Regional
·      The Panthers went 14-2 after Day 1 (the first round of doubles and two rounds of singles), with the only 2 losses coming in match tiebreakers for a third set.
·      Noah Farrell, Lubomir Cuba, Stanley Morris, and Nate Eazor all reached the Rd of 16, with Farrell and Cuba extending their runs in the Quarterfinals.
·      Noah Farrell and Peter Martin played some spectacular doubles en route to the Quarterfinals, where they were defeated by the eventual tournament champions.
·      Nate Eazor and Lubomir Cuba made an incredible run to the finals of the doubles draw, and battled like champions through any obstacles they faced.
·      Weston Brach and David Vilys partnered extremely well to get an upset over a seeded Amherst team 8-5 in the first round of the doubles.

Noah Farrell '19 has been whizzing backhand
passing shots by opponents for years!
A complete description of tournament results can be found here: http://athletics.middlebury.edu/sports/mten/2018-19/releases/20180930ljx340

Team meetings, in a beautiful setting on our home courts,
are critical for us to build on what we have done well and
to define what we need to focus on for the coming week.
Freshman Spotlight: Get To Know David Vilys
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Siblings: Only child
Favorite Food: Cheeseburger
Favorite Hobby Outside of Tennis: FIFA soccer
Pets: Two cats (George is 12 and Heidi is 8)
Favorite Pro Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Part About Being in Vermont: The warm weather (he hasn’t experienced winter yet)
Best Advice You Have Been Given by a Teammate: Don’t skip practice – Peter Martin

David Vilys '22 on the far left with his fellow classmates!
Next up this weekend is the Farnsworth Invitational hosted by Princeton University on 10/5, 10/6, and 10/7. The Panthers will compete against Division I opponents all weekend. The tournament format is to win or lose as a team of two players, by playing a doubles pro set and then playing two singles matches. Whoever wins 2 of the 3 matches moves on to the next round.

Special thanks to the many parents who were able to join us in Middlebury this past weekend! They provided incredible snacks, drinks, and support to our group.

Photo credits for this blog go to Joanna Brach, Dain McKee, and our very own David Vilys!  Thanks!

Very best wishes,
The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff