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The Middlebury Campus

Tennis Teams Vie for Spots at Top of National Polls

By Claire Messersmith

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams claimed their names in Maine this past Friday and Saturday, April 14-15, as both teams defeated Colby and Bowdoin. The men’s team remains no. 1 in the national polls while the women’s team has moved up to no. 3.

The men’s side knocked off no. 4 Bowdoin 6-3 in what was a rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship. This is Middlebury’s seventhconsecutive win, now 5-0 in the NESCAC.

Lubo Cuba ’19 commented on his team’s success, “If one guy struggled, the team was there to help him, and I think this supportive team environment is what really sets us apart.”

The no. 1 tandem of Cuba and William de Quant ’18 edged their opponents with an 8-4, putting Middlebury up 1-0 as the match opened. At number 3, Timo van der Geest ’18 and Peter Martin ’19 notched a key victory at the end of doubles play, giving the Panthers a 2-1 edge.

In singles, Cuba grabbed a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory at the top seed, while Hamid Derbani ’17, Kyle Schlanger ’18 and Allen Jackson ’17 followed up with three more victories, Jackson closing out singles play at no. 6 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 triumph, putting Middlebury ahead at 6-3 as the final score.

On Friday, April 14, the previous day, the top-ranked team had kicked off its roadtrip to Maine with a 7-2 win over Colby (10-5, 2-3).

On the women’s side, the third-ranked team put up its winning streak to five in a row, sweeping Colby 9-0 on Friday, April 14, and cruising past no. 7 Bowdoin on Saturday, April 15.

“Coming off of last weekend [against Tufts and Williams], everyone was excited and confident in their playing,” said Heather Boehm ’20. “We knew that we had the ability to be a strong team this year, but we had no idea just how good we could be together.”

The team started things off at Colby by notching all three points during doubles play, the no. 1 team of Skylar Schossberger ’20 and Katherine Hughes ’20 posting an 8-0 victory. On the singles side, Boehm was a 6-0, 6-1 winner at no. 3 as the Panthers blanked their opponents.

On Saturday, Middlebury claimed all three doubles matches and only suffered one loss in singles.

“The key thing that gets us through these matches successfully is our energy,” Boehm commented. “The support we give to each other from between and off the courts gives us a huge advantage over other teams.”

Both Panther teams face two Connecticut NESCAC rivals, Trinity and Wesleyan, at home on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, at the courts outside of Proctor.

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