Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Successful ITA Regional, Two More Fall Tournaments to Go!

As the Fall season marches forward, the coaching staff has been impressed with the enthusiasm and work ethic of our team this season. More importantly, our guys have really demonstrated one of our core values, which is ENJOYING the process!

Morris '22 led the way for the Panthers at the ITA regional making a run to the finals
and earning a spot at the Oracle Cup in Rome, GA.

Highlights from the 2018 Fall ITA Regional
The Panthers highlighted our depth and tenacity at the ITA regional event hosted by Colby College. After completing the journey to Maine on Thursday evening, our group came out determined and hungry from the get go.  We won two out of our three first round doubles matches, and then proceeded to go 9-2 in singles on Day 1. There were many incredible performances across the board, but two particularly noteworthy matches were: 1) Aidan Harris ‘23 having a come from behind win in three sets over a Tufts player who won the B flight at the Middlebury Invitational and 2) Alex Vanezis ’20 taking down the top seed in the tournament from Amherst (who was ranked #8 in the nation last season). Stan Morris ‘22 and Robby Ward ‘23 also won both of their matches on the first day, leaving Middlebury with 4 players in the round of 16, the most of any school. This is no easy feat given the strength and depth of our regional play.

The fun in the tournament continued on Day 2 as Robby Ward ‘23 fought his way to a quarterfinal finish behind his bold and courageous brand of tennis that is a pleasure to watch (stay tuned for his Freshmen Spotlight below). Stan Morris ‘22 also continued his run winning his first three matches of the tournament in three sets, before earning two straight victories on his trip to the finals. Stan demonstrated that he can compete with the best in the country, and by making a run to the finals before falling to last year’s winner from Tufts, he booked himself a trip to Rome, GA for the ITA Oracle Cup. This year, they now invite a total of 16 players to this national event, and we are thrilled that Stan will be representing us at this prestigious event!

A full recap of the event can be found by clicking here. 

Robby Ward '23 (far left) is our Freshman Spotlight this week, riding in the car with  Aidan Harris '23 (middle)
and Adam Guo '21 (right), along with Teddy Thomson (Coach Thomson's Australian Shepherd).  

Freshman Spotlight: Get To Know Robby Ward (pictured above on the left)
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware
Siblings: Two older sisters (Julia who plays Squash at Williams and Carolyn who works as a tutor for underprivileged middle school students)
Favorite Food: Raspberries
Favorite Hobby Outside of Tennis: Skiing
Something My Teammates Do Not Know About Yet: Played the cello
Pets: Two Dogs; Nala (Mutt) and Cooper (Black Lab)
Favorite Pro Tennis Player: Stan Wawrinka
Best Part About Being in Vermont: Snow – love snow!
Favorite Thing About Middlebury College So Far: Tennis team environment
Shout Out To A Teammate(s): Zach Hilty, helping me to grind out learning computer science. Not bad for a pre-med guy.

Upcoming Schedule
·      Stan Morris competes at the ITA Cup, October 17-20 in Rome, GA.
·      Wesleyan Invitational, October 19-20 in Middletown, CT.
·      Bryant Mini Dual, October 26-27 in Smithfield, RI.

As always, the Panthers keep working on exploring their
potential on the courts as seen by David Vilys '22.

Very best wishes and until next time,

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff