The 2019 Middlebury Invitational demonstrated both that we have great potential, youth, experience, and many areas to keep shoring up as a team. Overall, we excelled in singles and although we won many doubles matches, but did not have any deep runs in either the A or B doubles flights. As doubles has been a perennial strength of the Panther program, we know we need to emphasize our training in this department.
|Head Coach Bob Hansen getting in some ab work |
at a morning workout with the boys!
On the singles side of the ball, we had four incredibly runs to the final in each of the four flights. Zach Hilty ’22 continues to improve every time he gets a chance to compete and won three straight set matches on his way to the D Flight finals including a decisive win over the #1 seed in the D Flight from Tufts. His fellow sophomore, David Vilys ’22 also displayed some incredible grit and perseverance on his way to the finals. He won two matches in a third set match tiebreak, and played some incredible tennis on the biggest points. In the B Flight, freshman Robby Ward ’23 played with great passion and heart in every single match mowing down three tough opponents to earn a trip to the finals. Ward ’23 ended up on the wrong end of a third set match tiebreak in the finals, but showed that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with for the Panthers for many years to come! Last but not least, Stan Morris ’22 again had a wonderful Middlebury Invite. Winning the B Flight last year, Morris ’22 followed that up with a great run to the A Flight finals also ending up on the wrong end of a third set match tiebreaker. Morris ’22 showed that he has continued to build on his aggressive style of play and always brings the fire each and every time he takes the court!
Special shout out also goes to all the freshmen Panthers, who all made their dent at the Middlebury Invite, each posting their first college victory! Andrew Mueller ’23 won a straight set singles match over a player from Bates, and Aidan Harris ’23 partnered with Alex Vanezis ’20 to secure a win over a team from Tufts. It is particularly exciting to see these young guys hit the ground running, and the Panther men’s tennis class of 2023 is clearly going to be a huge force in our program right from the get go!
A complete description of tournament results can be found by clicking here.
|Guo '21 (left) with Mueller '23 (right) |
at our community service event.
Freshman Spotlight: Get To Know Andrew Mueller
Hometown: Antigua, Guatamala
Siblings: Older brother Ryan (also a college tennis player) and younger sister Caroline (soccer phenom).
Favorite Food: Tacos
Favorite Hobby Outside of Tennis: Bouldering
Pets: Maya (Golden Doodle)
Pets: Maya (Golden Doodle)
Favorite Pro Tennis Player: Roger Federer
Best Part About Being in Vermont: Scenic landscape
Favorite Thing About Middlebury College So Far: Team culture
Shout Out To A Teammate(s): Aidan and Robby - great crew to join team with, looking forward to 4 years with these guys.
|The squad ready to get to work removing all of the invasive |
weeds in the pond at Middlebury Elderly Services.
Community Service at Middlebury Elderly Services
This past Saturday, Middlebury Men’s Tennis took part in Addison County’s Days of Caring by doing a pond reclamation project for Middlebury Elderly Services. Our contribution was a two pronged approach. First we removed all of an invasive species of plant that had overrun an otherwise flourishing pond. We had guys in canoes, waders, and roaming the shores to return the pond to its more natural state.
|Hard at work!|
In addition, a unique entertainment event for the seniors involved a tournament hosted on the Elderly Services campus next to the pond. The format was a first to 9 points single set played on an artificial turf mini tennis court using small rackets and foam balls. We also had a player act as an announcer for each of the matches who had a microphone and sat atop a ladder for additional color commentary and background. The twelve person draw included all 11 of the Panther players (two of our boys are still overseas) and our veteran assistant coach (and author of this blog post). In a grueling tournament that exhibited amazing skills from passing shots on the run, skied lobs, and knifing volleys the final result pointed out that in the right context anyone can shine (see picture below).
|All smiles before their mini tennis battle in front of the crowd!|
Our next tournament begins Friday at Colby College in Waterville, ME. The Fall ITA New England Regional is an amazing tournament with all of the best teams in our region represented, and we are excited to see our group compete again!
Very best wishes,
The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff