#10 Men’s Tennis Edged by #7 Emory, 5-4

March 29, 2014

Playing its second top-10 team in as many days, the 10th-ranked Middlebury men's tennis team was edged by seventh-ranked Emory on Saturday as part of the Emory Invitational at the Woodruff Physical Education Center. With the setback, the Panthers slip to 7-2 and will conclude the three-day invitational on Sunday against North Carolina Wesleyan at 9:00 a.m.

In doubles, Middlebury grabbed two of the three points as each flight required extra games to be played to decide a victor. In the top doubles match, the 24th-ranked tandem of Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz secured the second point for the Panthers with a 9-8 (7-0) win against Ian Wagner and Alex Ruderman.

In the third flight, the Eagles tied the match at 1-1 with a 9-7 victory from Eric Halpern and Brandon Lee against Ari Smolyar and Peter Heidrich. At second doubles, the nation’s top-ranked team of Brantner Jones and Palmer Campbell gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead headed to singles with an exciting 9-8 (7-4) win over Jackson Isaacs and Ayush Bajoria.  

The singles’ play were highlighted by a trio of matches that went three sets, while the other three required extra games in at least one set. The Eagles grabbed four points in the top-four matches with the deciding point coming at #4. In that respective match, Middlebury’s Courtney Mountfield lost the first set 6-4 to Wagner, but rebounded and grabbed the second set 6-1. In the third, Wagner took the point and the match for Emory by a 6-4 score.

At #1, Runderman defeated Johnston by set scores of 7-6 (7-0) and 6-4. In a battle of top-20 players at #2, Campbell, ranked 18th, lost to seventh-ranked Halpern 7-5, 6-0. In the third match, Jones lost the first set 7-6 (7-5), but rebounded with a 6-2 win in set two against Rafe Mosetick. In the third set, Mosetick, the nation's 12th-ranked player, locked up Emory’s fourth team point with a 6-3 win.

The Panthers won the matches at #5 and #6, respectively. Smolyar took the point at #5 over Nicholas Szczurek by scores of 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, while Frons needed three sets for the point against Will Adams with tallies of 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 10-6.