April 2, 2012

            The Middlebury College men’s tennis team won two of its first three matches taking place in California over spring break. The Panthers opened with a 6-3 loss to Vanguard before bouncing back with an 8-1 victory over Biola. After a match with Chapman was rained out, Middlebury topped Concordia by a score of 7-2.

Trailing 3-0 after doubles play against Vanguard, the Panthers battled back in singles action with three wins, all by sophomores. Brantner Jones (Winnetka, Ill.) earned a 6-3, 7-6 win at #3, Teddy Fitzgibbons (Mission Hills, Kan.) was a 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 victor at #4, while Zach Bruchmiller (San Antonio, Texas) won in the sixth slot, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Junior Johann Reifkohl (Munich, Germany) and rookie Peter Heidrich (Peoria, Ill.) knocked off a solid team at #3 doubles against Biola to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Senior David Farah (Flint, Mich.) earned a solid 7-5, 6-4 win at #1 singles, while junior Will Oberrender (Edina, Minn.) was a 6-2, 6-4 winner at #6.

In the victory over Concordia, Angle used some crafty play to pick up a 6-2, 6-1 win in the #2 singles slot. Fitzgibbons and Bruchmiller dominated their opponents at five and six singles, with 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-1 victories respectively.

Middlebury ended its spring break with a pair of hard-fought matches against a pair of the nation’s top teams. The #7 Panthers found themselves down 2-1 following doubles play against #12 Pomona. Sophomore duo Andrew Lebovitz (Weston, Mass.) and Jones put on an impressive display at number one doubles with an 8-3 victory helping the Panthers avoid a sweep.

Fitzgibbons evened things up with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 win at five singles, while Bruchmiller kept things going with a 6-1, 7-5 win at six singles. Pomona-Pitzer moved ahead 4-3 after picking up wins at one and two singles, leaving the match up to junior Spencer Lunghino (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Jones. Taking advantage of his huge serve and explosive forehand, Lunghino squared the match yet again with a three set victory at four singles, leaving the match to be decided by Jones. Jones dropped the first set before storming back, taking the second set 7-5 and then routing junior Max Sabel of Pitzer College 6-0 in the third set.

The Panthers ended their break with a tough 6-3 loss to #8 Claremont. The Panthers trailed 2-1 after doubles play and saw Jones earn a 6-1, 6-1 win at #3 and Lunghino pick up a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) victory at #4.
• Men’s tennis record: 8-2
• Up next: 4/6 @ Conn. College, 4/7 @ Stevens Institute