May 16, 2011

            The Middlebury College men’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinal round for the ninth consecutive season with a 5-2 win over Bowdoin (13-7) in the regional finals. The Panthers (18-3) will defend their national title at championship week with a quarterfinal match on Tuesday, May 24th in Claremont, California.

            Middlebury took the #3 doubles match 8-4 and picked up an 8-6 win at #2 to lead 2-0. The #1 singles match between Middlebury senior Andrew Peters (Baltimore, Md.) and first-year player Brantner Jones (Winnetka, Ill.) and Bowdoin’s Stephen Sullivan/Oscar Pena was a long one. Bowdoin was up a break and serving for the match at 7-6, but the Panthers broke to tie the match at 7-7. Middlebury then held service and once again broke the Polar Bears to pick up the 9-7 win.

            Bowdoin jumped right back into the match with a pair of singles wins. Sam King earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory over first-year player Zach Bruchmiller (San Antonio, Texas) at #2, before Chris Lord fought off cramping and came from a set down to defeat sophomore Alec Parower (Scarsdale, N.Y.) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 at #3.

            Shortly after Lord’s victory, Peters gave the Panthers a two-point lead, coming from a set down to pick up a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Sullivan in the #1 singles slot. Junior Derrick Angle (Troy, N.Y.) sealed the victory for Middlebury at #4, topping Oscar Pena, 6-3, 6-2.

            Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Regional finals with a 5-1 win over Stevens Institute (12-6) on Saturday.

            With Middlebury leading 1-0 in doubles, the final two contests were tightly contested, both going to tie-breakers. Arik Zeevy and Jason Ringstad of Stevens edged senior Mike Malhame (Douglaston, N.Y.) and Angle of Middlebury 9-8 (5) to tie the match at 1-1. In the final doubles contest, Peters and Jones outlasted Chris Rosensteel and Shota Tasaki 9-8 (4) in a lengthy contest.

            Angle gave Middlebury a 3-1 lead with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Tasaki at #4, before Peters made it a 4-1 match with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Rosensteel in the #1 slot. Parower sealed Middlebury’s victory with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ringstad at #3.

            Bruchmiller was up a set at #2, sophomore Spencer Lunghino (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)  had a slim lead early on at #5, while the #6 match did not start.
• Men’s tennis record: 18-3
• Up next: 5/24 vs. Emory @ Claremont, Calif. (NCAA Quarterfinal)