Panther men’s tennis look ahead to this weekend

MIDDLEBURY — The top-seeded Middlebury College men’s tennis team fell in the NESCAC final on Sunday, 5-4, to fourth-seeded Bowdoin at Williams College, but the Panthers earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III tournament and will host an NCAA Regional this weekend.
The Panthers advanced to Sunday’s final with a 5-3 victory on Saturday over sixth-seeded host Williams in a match played in Bennington.
The 18-3 Panthers, who lost to Bowdoin in the 2016 NCAA final and were ranked No. 1 in the most recent poll, taken in late April, earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the 16th straight season.
In this weekend’s NCAA Regional, the Panthers on Friday will play the winner of a Thursday first-round match between Baruch (11-2) and Colby-Sawyer (14-10).
Thursday’s other first-round match will pit The College of New Jersey (14-3) vs. Cabrini (11-5). On Friday, Skidmore (11-6) will face the winner of that first-round match.
Friday’s winners will meet on Saturday. Middlebury College officials have prepared two schedules for the event, one assuming weather allows outdoors play, and one contingent on the teams having to use indoor facilities. Those interested in viewing this weekend’s play are advised to log onto athletics.middlebury.edu for scheduling information.
On Sunday vs. Bowdoin, Middlebury took a 2-1 lead in doubles play. Winning were Panthers Lubomir Cuba and William de Quant at No. 1, 8-4, over Luke Tercek and Grant Urken, and Timo van der Geest and Peter Martin, 9-8, over Gil Roddy and Justin Patel. But Bowdoin’s Kyle Wolfe and Jerry Jiang took a 9-8 win over Hamid Derbani and Kyle Schlanger at No. 2.
Bowdoin won the first three singles matches. Justin Patel defeated Allen Jackson at No. 6; 6-3, 6-3; Roddy recorded a 6-0, 7-6 (3) victory over van der Geest at No. 5; and Jiang defeated Schlanger at No. 4, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.
At No. 3, Derbani defeated Wolfe, 7-5, 6-4, and Cuba knotted the match at 4-4 with a 7-6, 6-1, victory at No. 1 over Tercek. At No. 2, Urken claimed the match for Bowdoin, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, over de Quant at No. 2.
Winning for Middlebury vs. the Ephs were Cuba and de Quant at No. 1 doubles and van der Geest and Martin at No. 3 doubles, and in singles de Quant at No. 2, Cuba at No. 1, and Schlanger at No. 4. Schlanger’s win clinched the match. 

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