May 11, 2009

The Panther men's tennis team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals after a 5-0 win over Skidmore in an NCAA Regional match-up on campus. The Panthers will take part in the NCAA Championship week beginning on Tuesday, May 19th in Claremont, California. Middlebury improves to 20-2 on the season with a dozen straight victories, while Skidmore ends its year with a 16-3 mark.

Middlebury excelled in doubles play once again, taking a 3-0 lead early. Juniors Elliot Jia (Mount Desert, Maine) and Andrew Thomson (W. Bloomfield, Mich.) earned an 8-3 win in the top slot, followed quickly by junior Andrew Lee (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and sophomore Rich Bonfiglio's (Bronxville, N.Y.) 8-5 win at #2. The #3 doubles match saw Middlebury senior Conrad Olson (Waterloo, Belgium) and sophomore Andrew Peters (Baltimore, Md.) come from down 6-2 to pick up an impressive 9-8 (4) come-from-behind victory in a tie-breaker.

Peters made it a 4-0 lead for the Panthers at #4, as he earned a 6-0, 6-0 singles win over Spencer Cheng. The match was completed shortly after, as Lee defeated Lorenzo Cabrera 6-4, 6-0 to seal the match with a win at #3 singles.

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals with a 5-0 win over Ithaca on Saturday. The match began at 2:00 p.m. on the outdoor courts and was moved inside the Nelson Rec Center due to rain. Following a few minutes of action indoors, a power failure caused a lengthy delay with action resuming at Middlebury Indoor Tennis at 8:15 p.m.

Middlebury jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, sweeping all three doubles matches. Jia and Peters were the first victors, earning an 8-2 win in the #3 slot. Lee and Bonfiglio earned an 8-3 win at #2, followed by rookie David Farah (Flint, Mich.) and Thomson's 8-4 win at #1.

The Panthers needed just two singles matches to advance, after taking the first set in all six contests. Peters was the first singles player to earn a victory, defeating Jimmy Newton 6-0, 6-1. Lee clinched the victory for the Panthers with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Josh Rifkin.

For complete match results, see: http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sports/mens/tennis/
. Men's tennis record: 21-2
. Up next: 5/19 vs. Amherst (NCAA Quarterfinals @ Claremont)