April 27, 2009

The Panther men's tennis team will be the top seeded team for this weekend's NESCAC Championship Tournament taking place at Williams. Middlebury will meet the Bowdoin/Trinity winner on Saturday in a semifinal match at 9:00, with the championship taking place at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Last week, Middlebury won its eighth straight match as they cruised to an 8-1 win over NESCAC foe Williams on Proctor Courts. The Panthers held a 3-0 lead after doubles play, as junior Peter Odell (Scarsdale, N.Y.) gave them a 4-0 advantage with a 6-2, 6-2 win at #5 singles. The match was over quickly as junior Andrew Lee (Eden Prairie, Minn.) earned a 6-1, 6-3 win at #3 singles to seal the contest early. The lead grew to 7-0 on wins by sophomore Andy Peters (Baltimore, Md.) and rookie Derrick Angle (Troy, N.Y.) before the Ephs got on the board. Senior Conrad Olson (Waterloo, Belgium) ended the day with a victory at #1 singles.

Middlebury wrapped up its regular season with a 5-4 win at Amherst. The Panthers complete NESCAC play undefeated with a perfect 9-0 record as they head into this weekend's NESCAC Tournament at Williams. Amherst falls to 23-5 overall, 6-1 in NESCAC play. While fifth-ranked Amherst had its 10-match winning streak come to a halt, the sixth-ranked Panthers picked up their ninth consecutive victory. Middlebury also increased its winning streak over Amherst to 14 matches, as the Jeffs have not defeated the Panthers since the spring of 2001.

The five-hour match came down to Amherst's Andrew Jung and Lee in an intense #3 singles showdown. Jung earned a 6-2 win in the first set and seemed to have the victory wrapped up for Amherst when he led 5-1 in the second-set tiebreaker, but Lee stormed from behind to tie things up at one set apiece, eventually earning a 7-5 win in the third set.

Sunday's match kicked off with Amherst's top doubles pair of Zack Lerner and Moritz Koenig upsetting Middlebury rookie David Farah (Flint, Mich.) and junior Andrew Thomson (W. Bloomfield, Mich.), 8-2. The Lord Jeff duo entered the match ranked #4 in the Northeast, with the Panthers' top pair holding on to the #1 ranking.

Lerner and Koenig gave the Jeffs some early momentum, but the Panthers would head into singles play with a 2-1 lead. In the #2 doubles match, sophomore Rich Bonfiglio (Bronxville, N.Y.) teamed up with Lee to defeat Amherst's Priit Gross and Austin Chafetz by an 8-5 margin. In a very close #3 matchup, Olson and Peters earned a 9-7 win over Jung and Wes Waterman.

Chafetz quickly tied things up at 2-2 when he earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over Thomson at #2, but the Panthers regained the lead when Peters defeated Koenig, 6-3, 7-5 at #4. Amherst pushed right back to tie things up at 3-3 when Amherst's Gross grabbed a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Odell at #5.

In a showdown between the top two players in the Northeast, it was Olson who came out on top in the #1 singles match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Amherst's Lerner. Waterman once again tied the match with an impressive 6-1, 7-6 win over Angle at #6, and it was just minutes later that Lee came from behind in the second-set tiebreaker to send his match with Jung into a third set.
For complete match results, see: http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sports/mens/tennis/
. Men's tennis record: 17-2
. Up next: 5/2 vs. Bowdoin/Trinity @ Williams - 9:00 a.m., 5/3 - NESCAC Champ. - 9:00