Courtesy of Middlebury Sports Information
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Middlebury men's tennis won its third NESCAC Men's Tennis Championship in the last five years and ninth overall by a 5-1 score Sunday over top-seeded Amherst. The contest took place at the Proctor Tennis Courts. The Panthers (16-6) will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament when the selections are announced on Monday, while the Mammoths (16-4) will likely earn an at-large berth.
Middlebury took an all-important 2-1 lead after doubles play. Andre Xiao and Nate Eazor topped Kevin Ma and William Turchetta by an 8-2 score at No. 3 to start things off. The Mammoths knotted the match at 1-1 with an 8-5 win in the top spot. The No. 2 Panther pairing of Noah Farrell and Alex Vanezis battled back from a 6-2 deficit in the tiebreaker, won four-straight points and earned an 8-7 (7) victory over Zach Bessette and Harris Foulkes for the 2-1 advantage.
In singles play, Lubomir Cuba eased past Sean Wei atop the lineup by 6-0, 6-4 scores for a 3-1 lead. Shortly after, Eazor posted a 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Foulkes at No. 5. Farrell clinched the match and the championship via a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Ma in the second slot for the 5-1 win.
In the three matches remaining on the court when the decision took place, the Panthers were ahead on each one. Xiao claimed the first set in a tiebreaker against Jayson Fung at No. 3 by a 7-6 (5) score, before Fung won the initial game of the second set. Adam Guo earned a 6-3 win in the first against Bessette in the fourth position with Guo up 3-1 in the second, while Stanley Morris earned a 6-4 decision in the opening set against Turchetta.