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Panthers seventh in NCAA Division 3

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College finished seventh among 325 NCAA Division III colleges and universities that registered points in the 2016-2017 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.
The Panthers earned their 14th straight top-10 finish, highlighted by winning the cup in 2011-12. Points are earned by participation in postseason NCAA action.
Williams won its fifth straight and 20th overall title with 1,325 points, followed by Washington-St. Louis (1,227) and Tufts (926). Middlebury finished with 836 points as four NESCAC schools cracked the top 10; Amherst was eighth.
The fall season opened with five Panther teams participating in NCAA play. The field hockey team advanced to an NCAA Regional final and finished the season with a 15-5 mark. The Panther women’s soccer team moved into an NCAA Sectional and also finished 15-5. Middlebury’s volleyball squad (18-9) won the NESCAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, and in cross-country course, the women placed 14th and the men 26th at the NCAA championships.
The winter season saw the Middlebury men’s basketball team host two NCAA tournament weekends and reach a sectional final before ending their year at 27-4 mark, including a NESCAC title. The women’s hockey team also took home a NESCAC crown, earning a 19-7-2 mark with a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Middlebury ski teams finished 14th at the NCAAs, while the swim teams and indoor track squads combined for 169 points in the Directors’ Cup standings.
In the spring, the Middlebury teams made deep runs into the NCAA Tournament. Both the men’s (21-4) and women’s (17-4) tennis teams advanced to the NCAA semifinals. The Panther women’s lacrosse team won three NCAA games before bowing out in the regional final with a 16-5 mark, and the men’s and women’s track and field teams sent athletes to the NCAA championships to earn team points for the Panthers.

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