#8 Men’s Tennis Sweeps Doubles in 6-3 Victory at #5 Williams

April 11, 2014

In a key NESCAC matchup between a pair of nationally-ranked opponents, #8 Middlebury improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference with a 6-3 win at #5 Williams (8-3, 2-1) Friday afternoon in men’s tennis action. The Panthers, winners of four of their last five matches, continue a three-match road trip with an 11:00 a.m. match Saturday at #29 Wesleyan.

The Panthers swept the doubles portion of the match. The Middlebury combination of Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz took a one-break lead midway through the match at #1. The Panther duo held on to the advantage and went on to an 8-5 win over Matt Micheli and Alexander Schidlovsky. The one-break margin was the same in the match at #2. Palmer Campbell and Brantner Jones were able to edge the Eph pairing of Conrad Harron and Brian Astrachan by an 8-6 score.

On court three, Middlebury’s Peter Heidrich and Ari Smolyar battled the Eph duo of Jose Raventos and Rohan Shastri to an 8-8 score, resulting in a tiebreaker. The Williams’ tandem, ranked 16th nationally, couldn’t convert a match point with a 6-5 lead, as Heidrich and Smolyar rattled off three-consecutive points for an 8-6 win.

In singles, the Panthers utilized the momentum of their solid doubles play. Campbell was the first off the court, easing past Howard Weiss in straight sets at #2, 6-2, 6-0. The decisive match point came from Jones at #3. He raced out to a 6-1 first-set victory over Harron, but Harron, ranked 13th nationally, evened the match with a similar 6-1 second-set win. In the third set, Jones blanked Harron, 6-0.

The Ephs got on the board at #1, where Micheli lost the first set 6-4 to Johnston. Micheli rebounded and took sets two and three by tallies of 6-4 and 6-2. At #4, Schidlovsky lost the first set by a 6-2 score to Courtney Mountifield. Schidlovsky bounced back and took the second set 6-3, along with an 8-6 score in the tiebreaker.

The Ephs and the Panthers split the last two matches. Smolyar downed Raventos in a close, straight-set match at the five position 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), before Astrachan managed a comfortable win over Jackson Frons at #6, 6-4, 6-2.