Panther men’s tennis falls in NCAA semi-final

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Emory University on Tuesday, May 21, defeated the Middlebury College men’s tennis team, 5-3, in an NCAA Division III semifinal played in Kalamazoo, Mich. Emory improved to 21-2 with its second win of the spring over Middlebury, while the defending NCAA champion Panthers concluded their season at 17-7.
Emory took two out of three doubles points. At No. 1 the Eagle team of Adrien Bouchet and Jonathan Jemison outlasted Panthers Lubomir Cuba and Peter Martin, 8-6. At No. 2 Panthers Noah Farrell and Alex Vanezis defeated Eagles James Spaulding and Will Wanner, 8-3. At No. 3, Eagles Hayden Cassone and Antonio Mora defeated Nate Eazor and Andre Xiao, 8-3.
At No. 1 singles Cuba evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jemison. Emory went back on top when Spaulding earned a 6-0, 7-5 victory at No. 6 over Stanley Morris. The Eagles took a 4-2 lead when Andrew Esses downed Eazor 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5,  but Farrell made it a 4-3 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 defeat of Cassone at No. 2. At No. 3 Bouchet edged Xiao, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to clinch the match for Emory. The No. 4 match went unfinished: Adam Guo and Mora were tied in the third set.
The Panthers reached the final by defeated NESCAC foe Wesleyan, 5-2, in the same locale the day before. Winning matches for Middlebury were Nate Eazor and Andre Xiao at No. 3 doubles, and in singles, all in straight sets, Eazor at No. 5 singles, Farrell at No. 2, Cuba at No. 1 and Xiao at No. 3.
The teams had split earlier meetings this spring, with Wesleyan winning in the regular season, but the Panthers prevailing in the NESCAC semifinals on the way to the league title.

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