With each weekend in April, there are more and more exciting NESCAC matches. This past weekend, the Panthers again demonstrated their grittiness with two rock solid wins. Before I get any further, as I forgot to include this in our last blog post, I want to make sure to give a big shout out to the Middlebury Panther parents, particularly Alex V’s, Weston’s, Peter’s, and Nate’s parents who brought snacks and drinks to help fuel our boys to four straight wins over the past two weekends! Thank you!
Overall, the coaching staff felt that it was our improved doubles play that supported our group to putting two key victories on the board. As we move forward it will be essential to be at our best level on both the doubles and singles side of the ball.
|An admittedly old picture back from spring break of Cuba '19, |
but the Maine weekend was just too action-packed to have many
photos as most were focused on cheering on our boys!
On Friday against Bates, we tested three new doubles teams (comprised of the same six players) and won all three positions on our way to an overall 7-2 team win. On Saturday against Bowdoin, we had an incredible and tightly contested match from start to finish with doubles again setting the tone where our newly formed teams won two out of three matches against some of the best doubles teams at their respective positions in the country.
Bates Match Highlights
With an amazingly warm April day in Maine, we played an outdoor match against Bates. Our doubles play set the tone early, and we rolled to three victories with Cuba/Marin winning 8-2, Samets/Farrell winning 8-2, and Eazor/Xiao winning 8-6. The energy level was great as the Panthers were determined to get our doubles mojo back! The Panthers knew that Bates is a formidable opponent if we were the let our foot off the gas, but our #4 through #6 singles all played at an incredible level securing three straight set matches without anyone losing more than two games in a set. Pretty impressive stuff. At #3 singles, Guo continued his winning ways and pulled out a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set with the rest of our team watching him secure the 7th point for the Panthers. Click here for a full match recap.
|Samets '20 showing off his athleticism!|
Bowdoin Match Highlights
In a tightly contested match at nearly every doubles and singles position, it was an amazingly competitive atmosphere on the road. Bowdoin was hosting their alumni weekend, which made the tennis all the more exciting with so many fans roaring from the sidelines at the local indoor club which hosted our match. On the doubles side of the ball, we got down early at #3 doubles and then roared back to make it extremely competitive before falling 8-6. At #1 doubles, no team had their serve broken but the Panthers played some of their best tennis in the tiebreaker, winning 8-7(5). At #2 doubles, Farrell/Samets played some incredibly exciting tennis playing off of each other’s strength, saving multiple match points, and coming from behind to win 8-7(7) to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
Despite playing some solid tennis at the positions that did not end up going our way, Cuba, Xiao, and Morris all seem to be gradually elevating their games as we head toward the end of our regular season and postseason play. Xiao’s match was just starting a third set when we clinched the match, and having him out there battling until the end gave the rest of our Panthers more breathing room as we fought to put 5 points on the board. Putting the first singles point on the board for the Panthers, Eazor played some aggressive tennis to completely switch the momentum of the match after dropping the first set earning a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory! Winning by an identical score, Guo also roared back after dropping a first set to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Though he had been winning easily in straight sets for our past few matches, senior captain Farrell clinched the deciding point for the Panthers winning by a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 score line. BIG MIDD! The full match recap can be seen here.
|Farrell '19 came up with the clinching win for the Panthers!|
Saturday, April 27th : 12pm at Amherst
Friday-Sunday, May 3rd – 5th : NESCAC Championships @Middlebury
Check out our link for live scoring on our results/schedule page.
The Middlebury Men's Tennis Coaching Staff