Middlebury

MEN’S TENNIS EARNS NCAA BID

May 8, 2012


The Panther men’s tennis team will make its 11th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament when they travel to Johns Hopkins for a regional from May 11-13. The Panthers will take on the winner of the Penn St.-Harrisburg vs. Grove City match on Saturday, May 12th. If victorious, they will battle the Johns Hopkins/Elizabethtown winner on Sunday, May 13th in the regional final.

Middlebury dropped a hard-fought 5-1 battle to Amherst at Williams in the NESCAC semifinals. The Panthers fell to 13-6 on the season, while Amherst improved to 28-2.

Every doubles match was tight, with 2-3 needing extra play. After falling 8-5 at #1, sophomore Teddy Fitzgibbons (Mission Hills, Kan.) and junior William Oberrender (Edina, Minn.) outlasted Wes Waterman and Chris Dale at #2 9-7 to even the match. The Jeffs took the #3 doubles contest 9-8 for a 2-1 advantage.

Amherst made it a 3-1 match as Waterman topped senior Eric Vehovec (Toronto, Ont.) 7-5, 6-2 at #6 before Andrew Jung defeated Fitzgibbons 6-4, 6-2 at #5. Falling 7-5 in the first set, junior Alec Parower (Scarsdale, N.Y.) went down 6-4 in the second to Austin Chafetz, as the Jeffs earned the 5-1 win.

Amherst narrowly won the first set in five of six singles contests, earning the victories by a total of nine games.

Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC semifinals with a 5-4 win over Bates in a first-round match played at Williams.

Junior Spencer Lunghino (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) finished off Pierre Planche in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, to send Middlebury into the semifinals. Bates took a 2-1 lead out of doubles play with the tandems of Matt Bettles/Robert Crampton and Timmy Berg/Planche providing victories. Middlebury quickly seized control of the four singles matches they needed for a team win.

First, sophomore Brantner Jones (Winnetka, Ill.) knocked off Berg 6-2, 6-2 at one singles. Fitzgibbons breezed 6-0, 6-0 at five to make it 3-2 Middlebury. After Crampton tied the match at three with a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles, Vehovec fought off Bates’ Ben Bogard at six singles for a 6-0, 6-4 victory.

Bettles won 6-2, 6-3 at three singles to tie the match at four, but by that time Lunghino had a 6-4, 5-2 lead over Planche at four and finished him off 6-3 to send Middlebury to the semifinals.

• Men’s tennis record: 13-6

• Up next: 5/11-13 –NCAA Regional @ Johns Hopkins

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