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Panthers are NCAA Men's Tennis Champs

MIDDLEBURY-Middlebury won its second NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship with a 5-1 victory over Amherst (27-11) at Oberlin College in Ohio.

The Panthers end their season with a school-record 23 wins against just two losses. Middlebury's previous title also came over a NESCAC opponent, when they defeated Williams in '04. The National Championship is the 32nd for the school, with 30 of them coming in the last 15 years.

The men's tennis team is now 141-23 over the past seven seasons with six NESCAC titles, four trips to the NCAA finals and two national titles.

In doubles play, the Panthers took two of three matches to take a 2-1 lead early. Andrew Thomson and Andrew Lee got things rolling win an 8-5 win over Austin Chafetz and Robby Sorrel at no. 1, as Thomson sealed with win with a great drop shot. Eliot Jia and Conrad Olson made it 2-0 shortly thereafter, topping Mark Kahan and Moritz Koenig by a score of 8-3. Amherst got on the board in the third doubles contest, when Sean Doerfler and Wes Waterman picked up an 8-4 victory over Chris Mason and Andrew Peters.

Middlebury controlled singles play, winning the first set in five of six matches. Thomson picked up the first win at 4, topping Waterman, 6-3, 6-0. Leading 3-1, the Panthers clinched the title with wins at 2 and 3 ending within moments of one another. Lee made it a 4-1 match, moving past Kahan 6-1, 6-3 in the no. 2 singles spot. Middlebury wasted little time after that, as Olson topped Koenig 6-2, 6-2 at 3 to seal the title for the Panthers.

Jia was closing in on victory at no. 5, winning the first set 6-2, while holding a 4-1 lead in the second over Doerfler. Peter Odell also captured the first set (6-3) at 6, and was leading Priit Gross 2-1 in the second. Peters dropped the first set to Chafetz 6-1 at 1, before answering with a 6-1 win in the second set. Chaftez led 2-1 in the third when the match was halted.

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