April 8, 2013

The Middlebury College men’s tennis team picked up two wins in a pair of home matches this weekend. The Panthers opened spring NESCAC play with a 7-2 win over Wesleyan. The Cardinals got off to a great start in the match, taking two of three doubles matches. Wesleyan was no match for the ninth-ranked Panthers in singles play, as Middlebury swept all six matches. The Panthers were without two singles regulars, but were able to come away with the win. Rookies Ari Smolyar (Short Hills, N.J.) and Allan Jackson (Charlotte, N.C.) filled in for the missing pair, winning at #5 (6-2 6-3) and #6 (6-0, 6-2) singles.

Junior Alex Johnston (Leeds, England) tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-4 6-2 win over Stephen Monk at #1 singles. The Panthers took the lead at #4 singles when junior Teddy Fitzgibbons (Mission Hills, Kan.) topped Sam Rudovsky (7-6 {2}, 6-4) and never looked back.

Middlebury won its second match in as many days, picking up an 8-1 win over 28th-ranked Trinity (5-5).

After struggling in doubles play on Saturday, the Panthers came out strong with three wins on Sunday. The top two doubles matches were 8-4 wins, while senior Will Oberrender (Edina, Minn.)  and sophomore Chris Frost (Niskayuna, N.Y.) were 9-7 winners over Kayong Lee and Ford Traff at #3.

Middlebury earned straight-set wins in singles slots 1-4, with Trinity picking up a win at #5. Johnston, junior Brantner Jones (Winnetka, Ill.), Fitzgibbons and Smolyar earned wins, while rookie Jackson Frons (Encino, Calif.) filled in for Middlebury in the sixth slot with a victory.

• Men’s tennis record: 13-1

• Up next: 4/14 @ Colby