May 14, 2012

The Panther men’s tennis team saw its season come to a close with a 5-2 loss at the hands of Johns Hopkins in the NCAA Regional Finals on Sunday. The Panthers end their 2012 campaign with a 14-7 record.

Middlebury took an early 1-0 lead in the match as sophomore Brantner Jones (Winnetka, Ill.) and junior Spencer Lunghino (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) defeated Jacob Barnaby and Warren Elgort, 8-4, at first doubles. Hopkins answered at three, when Tanner Brown and Erik Lim posted an 8-3 win over sophomore Teddy Fitzgibbons (Mission Hills, Kan.) and junior William Oberrender (Edina, Minn.). Senior Derrick Angle (Troy, N.Y.) and sophomore Andrew Lebovitz (Weston, Mass.) then closed out doubles in a thriller, winning 9-7 at second over Andy Hersh and Jeff Kamei, to give Middlebury a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.

Brown quickly tied the match for the Blue Jays with a 6-0, 6-2 win over junior Alec Parower (Scarsdale, N.Y.) at second singles. Jensen Reiter then put Hopkins on top, 3-2, when he beat Lunghino, 6-2, 6-3 at fourth. Lim pushed Hopkins one win closer to victory with his win at sixth. He won the first set 6-3 and was ahead 5-0 in the second before senior Eric Vehovec (Toronto, Ont.) battled back to force a tiebreaker. Lim would win the breaker, 7-0, to take the match and give Hopkins a 4-2 lead. Ben Hwang then clinched the win and the NCAA Quarterfinal berth with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Angle at third.

Middlebury opened NCAA play with a 5-0 win over Grove City at Johns Hopkins. Middlebury surrendered just three games in doubles play, with Fitzgibbons and Oberrender opening with an 8-0 win over Steve Harrison and Scott Yanak. Jones and Lunghino followed with an 8-1 win at #1 over Andrew Deckert and Peter Riley. The match moved to 3-0 when Angle and Lebovitz topped Caleb Fuller and Anthony Rosselli, 8-2.

Needing just two singles points, Fitzgibbons blanked Yanak 6-0, 6-0 at #4 to make it a 4-0 match. Angle sealed the match moments later, topping Fuller, 6-0, 6-0 at #2.

Lunghino, Vehovec and Lebovitz each were up a set, while Jones led 5-1 in the first.

• Men’s tennis final record: 14-7