Monday, January 20, 2020

Middlebury Tennis Enters It’s 100th Season of Competition in 2020

Happy 2020 to our Middlebury Tennis family! We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and also share with you our excitement for the upcoming Spring tennis season. As Middlebury College’s first men’s tennis program competed in 1920, this Spring will mark the 100th season of competition. Middlebury Tennis competed in only a single match in 1920 and posted a final record of 0 wins and 1 loss. Things sure have changed drastically through the decades, but it is fun to have a sense of being connected to where our program began. To see the team record during the past 99 season, click here.

Returners from Study Abroad
As a coaching staff, we consistently have to pinch ourselves for the privilege we have in being able to work with another wonderful group of young men this year. The Fall was incredibly fun and productive, but we are especially thrilled to have our full team in force on campus now with the return of Nate Eazor and Thorne Gregory from their experiences studying in Australia and Spain. We love the enthusiasm and passion they both will add to our already sizzling team culture!

Nate and Elaine (Mom) in Australia!

Thorne and friends traveling in Europe!

After making their respective journeys back to campus in the new year, there is always a sense of excitement that fills the air about J-Term. Being able to focus on only one class for a month, often taking a fun Physical Education class (e.g., Bob is teaching Pickleball this J-Term), and beginning to gear up for the Spring season ahead is a wonderful combination. Our senior captains, Weston Brach, Aleks Samets, and Alex Vanezis are an incredibly organized group (guaranteed three future leaders wherever their paths take them after college), have done an amazing job galvanizing our group and facilitating the on and off court preparation that needs to be completed for us to hit the ground running in February when official team practices begin again.

End of Fall and Pre-Season Rankings
The team pre-season rankings for the 2020 season were just recently released by the ITA and the Panthers have been recognized as the #3 team in the nation and #1 in the northeast. It is certainly fun to begin the season at these heights, but we know that every year it takes a new effort and that we will have the opportunity to challenge ourselves against many strong opponents throughout the season. As always, we do not put too much stock in the numbers, but rather aim toward building a championship program that sets its sights high. We strive to explore our mastery of the game of tennis and are not shy in setting our goal at trying to be the #1 team in the nation when it is all said and done. We look forward to the fun and challenging journey ahead this season!

Individually, we have three players who earned spots in the top 50 national ranking list with Stanley Morris at #2, Robby Ward at #43, and Alex Vanezis at #44. So fun to have multiple guys earn this amazing honor! These same players three players are currently ranked in the top 10 in the Northeast region at #2, #9, and #10 respectively. Great to see the depth of our program being recognized in this way.

Two thirds of our freshman class is all smiles
and making good use of our college's own ski hill!

2020 Schedule
We also wanted to share with you our finalized schedule for the spring. As a reminder, all times are listed in EST. We have a fun and challenging schedule planned, with many matches that will allow us to test ourselves against some of the toughest competition in DIII, as well as some challenging matches against non-DIII opponents as well.

As always, our match schedule picks up steam on our spring break trip when we will be returning to Claremont, CA. Taco Man here we come!

Spring-Break Fundraising
Among our highest priorities for creating a rich and meaningful Middlebury College Tennis experience for our players is ensuring a successful Spring Break trip each year. This critical time is an event where the travel strengthens our bonds and camaraderie, and acts as a catalyst for our journey to compete for a national championship by testing ourselves against high level competition throughout the week. We would not be able to make this trip happen for each and every one of our team members, without the generous help and support of our Middlebury Tennis friends and family. 

Please click the following link to donate and contribute to our spring break fundraising.

Thanks for reading along and stay tuned for more blog updates soon!

Go Midd!

The Middlebury Men’s Tennis Coaching Staff