Panther men’s tennis falls to Bowdoin in NCAA final

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Bowdoin upset the Middlebury College men’s tennis team in Wednesday’s NCAA Division III final, 5-0, in the process avenging two losses this spring to the Panthers, including a 5-1 setback in the NESCAC championship match. Both teams finished the season at 20-3. The No. 3 Panthers were making their sixth appearance in an NCAA tennis final and second straight.
The Panthers had advanced to Wednesday’s final with two solid victories in a Monday quarterfinal and a Tuesday semifinal.
In Monday’s quarterfinal, the Panthers defeated Washington-St. Louis, 5-1. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead in doubles play, with the No. 1 Middlebury team of Palmer Campbell and Hamid Derbani defeating Jason Haugen and Konrad Kozlowski, 8-3, and the No. 3 duo William de Quant and Kyle Schlanger defeating Jeremy Bush and Tyler Kratky, 8-4. Middlebury’s No. 2 tandem of Noah Farrell and Ari Smolyar dropped a tiebreaker at No. 2, 9-8.
In singles, at No. 4 de Quant gave Middlebury a 3-1 lead with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Haugen. Next to finish was Farrell at No. 1; he made it 4-1 by defeating John Carswell, 6-4, 6-0. Campbell then clinched the match for Middlebury by downing Kratky at No. 3, 6-3, 6-2.
On Tuesday, the Panthers knocked off No. 8 Chicago, 5-2, starting by taking two of three doubles matches. At No. 1, Campbell and Derbani lost to Nicolas Chua and David Liu, 8-4. At No. 3 de Quant and Schlanger defeated Max Hawkins and Luke Tsai, 8-3. At No. 2, Smolyar and Farrell defeated Peter Leung and Charlie Pei, 8-6.
In singles play, de Quant made it 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Pei at  No. 4. In the sixth slot, Chicago made it 4-2 when Leung defeated Schlanger, 6-4, 6-2. Derbani gave the Panthers a 4-2 edge with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Tsai in the fifth spot, and Campbell again clinched the match at No. 3, defeating Sven Kranz, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. 
But Bowdoin, ranked No. 4 and coming off an upset of No. 1 Emory, rolled past the Panthers on Wednesday.
In doubles, the Bears grabbed the first point at No. 2 when Jerry Jiang and Kyle Wolfe lost the first two games but reeled off eight of the next nine for an 8-3 win over Smolyar and Farrell. At No. 1, Campbell and Derbani were tied with Luke Trinka and Luke Tercek at 3-3, but the Polar Bear duo won five of six games to win, 8-4. At No. 4 Polar Bears Gil Roddy and Grant Urken rallied from down 2-0 to win, 8-4.
In singles play, at No. 3 Trinka defeated Campbell, 6-2, 6-3, and Bowdoin clinched the match at No. 5 when Roddy defeated Derbani, 6-4, 6-4.

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