Men’s tennis hits NCAA quarters
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s tennis team easily won the NCAA Division III Regional it hosted this past weekend and as a result advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament for the 15th time in the past 16 years.
The 20-3 Panthers reached the semifinal round in 2017 after reaching the finals in each of the past two years. They will be seeking the program’s third NCAA title and first since 2010.
Their quarterfinal opponent on May 21 in Claremont, Calif., where the rest of the tournament will be held, will be Whitman, a team the Panthers have not met this spring. A win in that match would mean a semifinal against either Emory or Williams, and the Panthers have defeated both those teams this season. However, teams that have defeated Middlebury, Bowdoin and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, are lurking on the other side of the bracket.
On Sunday Middlebury won the regional final, 5-1, over Johns Hopkins (19-4) on the team’s own Proctor courts.
The Panthers won two of three doubles matches. At No. 3 Timo van der Geest and Peter Martin defeated Vishnu Joshi and Vik Vasan, 8-4. The Blue Jays evened the match at No. 2 when Joe Cartledge and Austin Gu topped William de Quant and Noah Farrell, 9-7. At No. 1 Kyle Schlanger and Lubomir Cuba gave Middlebury the lead by defeating David Perez and Scott Thygesen, 9-7.
The Panthers then won three singles matches in straight sets for the win. At No. 5 Nate Eazor topped Gu, 6-1, 6-4; at No. 3 de Quant topped Eric Yoo, 6-1, 6-1; and Andre Xiao clinched the match at No. 6 by topping Justin Kang, 6-0, 6-4.
Cuba, Farrell and Schlanger led their matches when Kang finished his match. Middlebury had advanced to the regional final by topping Wilkes on Saturday, 5-0.
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