#10 Men’s Tennis Slips Past #18 Gustavus Adolphus, 5-4

April 4, 2014

In a match featuring two nationally-ranked opponents, #10 Middlebury improved to 9-2 overall with a narrow 5-4 win over #18 Gustavus Adolphus (20-4) Friday afternoon in men’s tennis action. The Panthers will have a week off from competition before they hit the road for a trio of matches next weekend. Their first match is next Friday against #3 Williams at 4:00 p.m.

Moved indoors to the Nelson Recreational Center due to weather, Middlebury got off to a great start winning two of three doubles points. At #2, the nation’s top-ranked duo of Middlebury’s Brantner Jones and Palmer Campbell claimed the first point, cruising to an 8-1 win over Joey MacGibbon and Juan Luis Chu. In the top spot, the visitors evened the match with an 8-6 win by 17th-ranked Mya Smith-Dennis and Motasem Al Houni over 24th-ranked Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz.

The third spot featured one of the most exciting matches of the day. The Panther tandem of Peter Heidrich and Ari Smolyar trailed Andres Saenz and Marcel Gyswyt by a 7-4 score. Not done yet and fighting off match points, Heidrich and Smolyar rattled off five-straight games for a crucial 9-7 win.

During singles, Johnston made it 3-1 in favor of the hosts with a 6-1, 6-3 over Chu at #1, while Jones pushed the Panther lead to three with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Grant Leisner at #3. In the fourth spot, MacGibbon pulled the Gusties to within two with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Courtney Mountifield. At #2, Campbell, ranked 18th, clinched the match for Middlebury with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win against 23rd-ranked Smith-Dennis.

Gustavus Adolphus won the final two matches. At #5, Al Houni got past Smolyar by scores of 3-6, 7-6 and 10-8 in the tiebreaker. In the sixth match, Middlebury’s Jackson Frons won the first set 6-1, but the Gusties’ Bradley Entwiste won the second set and the tiebreaker 6-4 and 10-7.