May 17, 2010

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the eighth straight year, with a 5-0 win over M.I.T. (15-2) in an NCAA Regional final match on campus. The top-ranked Panthers (20-2) have now won 16 straight matches and record their fourth 20-win season. Middlebury will take part in the NCAA Championship week beginning on Tuesday, May 25th at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Seniors Eliot Jia (Mount Desert, Maine) and Conrad Olson (Waterloo, Belgium) wasted little time, topping Kevin and Larry Pang by a score of 8-0 at #2. Seniors Andrew Thomson (W. Bloomfield, Mich.) and Andrew Lee (Eden Prarie, Minn.) led 4-3 before holding twice and breaking twice to earn an 8-3 win at #1 over Ken Van Tilburg and Matthew Skalak. A lengthy match at #3 saw senior Chris Mason (Owings Mills, Md.) and junior Andrew Peters (Baltimore, Md.) defeat Andrew Cooper and Brian Oldfield, 8-3.

Lee gave the Panthers a 4-0 advantage, earning a quick 6-1, 6-2 win over K. Pang in the #2 singles slot. Thomson sealed the match for Middlebury 20 minutes later, defeating Oldfield 6-2, 6-2 in the fourth spot. Olson was nearing a victory for the Panthers at #3, while M.I.T.'s Van Tilburg took the first set from Peters at #1 singles. Jia/Hamamsy at #5 and senior Peter Odell (Scarsdale, N.Y.)/Skalak at #6 had each won a set and were battling in the third when the match ended.

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Regional finals by cruising to a 5-0 win over Skidmore (10-11). The top-ranked Panthers (19-2) lost just six of 70 games completed in singles play, dropping just five games in doubles.

Thomson/Lee got things going for the Panthers, earning an 8-2 win over Spencer Cheng and Lorenzo Cabrera at #1. Jia/Olson were victors over Luke Granger and Max Bevan by the same score at #2, before Mason/Peters earned an 8-1 victory over Alex Fromson and Jeremy Hogan in the third slot.

The Panthers needed just two wins in six singles matches, and wasted little time as Thomson made it a 4-0 match with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Fromson at #4. Jia sealed the victory as he cruised past Bevan 6-0, 6-0 for a win at #5 singles. Peters, Lee, Olson and rookie Alex Parower (Scarsdale, N.Y.) were all up a set and leading in the second set when the match was halted.
• Men's tennis record: 20-2
• Up next: NCAA's - 5/25 vs. N.C. Wesleyan (NCAA Quarterfinals @ Oberlin)