Tennis Opens Spring Play with Strong Weekend

By Emma McDonald

The Middlebury men’s and women’s tennis teams started off the spring season strong on Saturday, March 8 with wins against Colby and Brandeis. The men’s team first defeated Colby 8-1, while the women shut out Colby 9-0. Later in the afternoon, the men blew past Brandeis 8-1, and that night the women grabbed another win against Brandeis, again winning 9-0.

The 10th-ranked men’s team started off the day against Colby, with Jackson Frons ’16 and Courtney Mountifield ’15 scoring the first point for the team with an 8-2 victory in doubles. First-ranked doubles team Brantner Jones ’14 and Palmer Campbell ’16 added another point in doubles play with an 8-1 win.

The Panthers went on to sweep the singles, with 18th-ranked Campbell winning at No. 1 3-0 after a retirement. Teddy Fitzgibbons ’14, Andrew Lebovitz ’14, Chris Frost ’15, and Zach Bruchmiller ’14 also picked up wins for the team. Sixth-ranked Mountifield added another point after a close third-set tiebreaker to allow the Panthers to cruise past the Mules 8-1.

Later in the afternoon, the men’s team took the court again to face Brandeis, winning again with an 8-1 score. Doubles teams of Alex Johnston ’14 and Lebovitz and Jones and Campbell both picked up victories to add points to the board, while Frons and Mountifield fell in No. 3 doubles, giving the Judges their only point of the day.

Middlebury swept the singles again, with players Allen Jackson ’16, Peter Heidrich ’15, and Ari Smolyar ’16 getting their first action of the day. Jones, Frons, and Johnston proved victorious in singles play, bringing the point total up to 8-1.
Fitzgibbons was satisfied with his team’s spring opening performance.

“We were certainly happy with this weekend’s results, especially with our singles play,” Fitzgibbons said. “We split our team up … and our singles held up at every spot, which is very encouraging. It’s certainly a good way to start our season and we will take this momentum into our spring break matches in Atlanta.”

The women’s team put up a strong start to the season with two shut-outs against Colby and Brandeis.

Sophomores Ria Gerger ’16 and Sadie Shackelford ’16 started off doubles play with an 8-1 win against Colby in the No. 1 spot. Sisters Dorrie Paradies ’14 and Katie Paradies ’15 played a strong No. 2 doubles to put another point on the board with an 8-2 win. Meanwhile, Alexandra Fields ’17 and Jennifer Sundstrom ’17 made their debut in the No. 3 doubles spot against Colby, coming out with an 8-1 win.

In singles play the Panthers won 72 of 78 games against Colby, with shut-outs by Gerger and Dorrie Paradies. Kaysee Orozco ’17 came out strong in the No. 2 singles spot with a 6-1, 6-0 win over her Colby opponent. Margot Marchese ’16 began her season with a win in the No. 3 singles spot, and Sundstrom and Katie Paradies added points to the board to shut out Colby 9-0.

In the late-night matchup against Brandeis, the sixth-ranked Panthers had to fight harder for their 9-0 win.

After doubles wins by Gerger and Sundstrom, Fields and Orozco, and Lauren Amos ’16 and Marchese, the Panthers went on to singles play. Orozco put another point on the board in the No. 3 spot with 6-1, 6-1 victory, with Dorrie Paradies adding a win in the fourth spot. Amos and Shackelford proved victorious in their first singles matches of the day, with 6-1 6-3 and 6-4 7-5 wins, respectively. Gerger fought back against 17th-ranked Carley Cooke after falling behind 2-5 to win 7-5, 6-3.

The women will play M.I.T. next weekend at home on Saturday, March 15.