The Middlebury Campus

Sports Briefs

By WILL CASE

Men’s Basketball

The men’s basketball team is on an 11-game win streak and looks to finish the season with 21 wins with conference battles against Hamilton and Amherst on the road tomorrow, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10. With a win over Hamilton tomorrow night, the Panthers would wrap up the regular season Nescac title and home court advantage for the conference tournament. By winning their last two games, the No. 5 team in the D3Hoops.com poll will have equaled their 21-win total from last season in which they went all the way to the Elite Eight.

Women’s Basketball

The 16–6 women’s basketball squad will play host to Hamilton and defending national champion, top-ranked, and undefeated Amherst at Pepin Gym tomorrow, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, to wrap up their most successful season since their 2001-02 campaign when they rode a 22–4 record into the championship game at the 2002 Nescac tournament.

Assuming the Panthers split their final two games, they will clinch the four seed in the Nescac tournament which will mean a home game in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 17. (Amherst has not lost since the Final Four at NCAAs in March 2016). Middlebury has already defeated their prospective quarterfinals opponent, Wesleyan, earlier this season at home 77–60. The Panthers will tip off tomorrow night against Hamilton at 7 p.m. and on Saturday for the season finale at 3 p.m. against Amherst.

Men’s Hockey

This weekend the men’s hockey team is set to take on Williams in a home-and-home with the Ephs. They will be in Williamstown for a 7 p.m. puck-drop tomorrow night, Feb. 9, and then will be back in Kenyon for the home side of the back-to-back on Saturday when the puck will drop against the Ephs at 7 p.m.

While the Panthers have struggled of late, they have given some promising signs with ties against Conn. College 2–2 at home on Jan. 26 and against Tufts 1–1 at home on Jan. 27. With four games left to play in the season, the Panthers still have a chance to qualify for Nescacs, as they are only one-and-a-half games behind Tufts for eighth place.

Women’s Hockey

With four games left in the season, the Panthers play tomorrow, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, against Colby. Currently, the Panthers (14–4–2, 10–1–1) lead Conn. College (14–3–3, 9–1–2) by a half game in the Nescac standings.

After their 10-game unbeaten streak was snapped when they fell 2–1 at No. 1 Plattsburg hSt. on Jan. 30, the Panthers shut-out Wesleyan, outscoring the Cardinals 7–0 in two games at Kenyon this past Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3. Sidney Portner ’20 and Jessica Young ’18 led the way for the Panthers in the two-game series with two goals apiece.

A highlight for the Panthers was their 2–2 tie on Tuesday on the road against No. 2 Norwich. After two early goals by Jenna Marotta ’19 and Young, Norwich capitalized on a power play opportunity in the second period and then registered a late goal before time expired in regulation. Puck drop tomorrow night in Waterville, Maine, is set for 7 p.m.

Track & Field

The track teams collectively finished first at the Middlebury Invitational on Jan. 26 and 27 in the penultimate home indoor meet at Virtue Field House for the winter season. The Panthers were led on the men’s side by Matthew Durst ’21 in the 500 meter race (1:09.98), Kevin Serrao ’18 in the 1,000 (2:30.74), the 4×400 relay team of Durst, Arden Coleman ’20, Tyler Farrell ’18 and Cameron Mackintosh ’20 (3:28.08), the 4×200 relay squad of Nicholas Hendrix ’20 , Jimmy Martinez ’19 , Jackson Bock ’19 and Michael Pallozzi ’18 (1:31.47), Jonathan Perlman ’19 in the one-mile race (4:19.62), Harrison Knowlton ’19 in the 5,000 (15:18.73), Minhaj Rahman ’19 in the 35-pound weight throw (52’7.5″), John Natalone ’19 in the pole vault (14’5.25″) and Jonathan Fisher ’20 in the heptathlon (4,197 pts – school record). On the women’s side the Panthers winning efforts were led by Alex Cook ’20 in the long jump (16’11.25″), Lucy Lang ’19 in the 500 meter race (1:21.65), Kate McCluskey ’18 in the 400 (57.89s) and Lang, McClusky, Kai Milici ’21 and Meg Wilson ’20 in the 4×400 relay (4:05.69). Last weekend the Panthers took part in the unscored Tufts challenge and they will head to the David Hemery and Gordon Kelly Invitational meets tomorrow, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, where they will tune up the for Division III New England Championships that will take place next week, Feb. 16-17.

Skiing

The ski teams have enjoyed several eventful weeks as the weather has turned more favorable for their craft. Highlights have included the men’s Nordic squad’s 10K Classic win at the Vermont Carnival last Saturday, Feb. 3. In the final races, Peter Wolter ’21 finished third (27:04), which came on the heels of his being named Men’s Nordic Skier of the Week by the EISA, Adam Luban ’18 finished six seconds behind Wolter (27:10) and Sam Wood ’19 also headlined the Panthers’ efforts (27:22). The women’s side finished third in the 5K Classic, led in the final races by Katie Feldman (15:20), Alexandra Lawson (15:25) and Cate Brams ’18 (15:26). On the Alpine side of the UVM event, the usual slalom contributors led the way for the Panthers. On the women’s side that was Lucia Bailey ’21 (combined 1:53.57) and Caroline Bartlett ’19 (combined 1:54.24), and on the men’s that was Erik Arvidsson ’21 (combined 1:47.61) and Riley Plant ’18 (combined 1:50.70). The previous day, the only finisher for the women’s side in the GS was Katie Utter ’20 (combined 2:16.67), while the men’s side saw Arvidsson (combined 2:05.45) and Angie Duke ’19 (combined 2:10.08) finish. The Alpine squad was also in action in the previous week’s St. Michael’s Carnival, which was headlined by Riley Plant’s career best GS sixth-place finish (1:48.01).

Tomorrow and Saturday, Feb. 9–10, the Nordic and Alpine teams will head east to New Hampshire to take part in the Dartmouth Carnival.

Men’s Squash

Men’s squash has played some of its best squash of the season over the last few weeks – timely as it coincided with the toughest stretch of the team’s schedule.

Following a third-place finish at Nescac’s Feb. 3–4 in Clinton, New York, where the Panthers avenged a 6–3 Jan. 6 loss to Williams by beating the Ephs 8–1 in the third-place game, the Panthers stand at 21st in the College Squash Association’s rankings heading into this weekend’s matchups on the road against Nos. 16 Navy, 11 George Washington and 12 Drexel. This weekend will decide the team’s seeding fate for nationals later this month.

Women’s Squash

Women’s squash has continued playing well as J-term wound down and with the second semester set to begin. Following a 9–0 loss to a top-10 Cornell Big Red team in the home finale Sunday Jan. 21, the Panthers have won three of five and defeated the likes of Nos. 18 Bates and 16 Amherst to finish third at the Nescac tournament Feb. 3–4.

The Panthers head into this weekend ranked No. 15 and solidly in place to play in the B bracket for the Kurtz Cup at nationals next weekend, Feb. 16–18, in Boston. The Panthers are set to play tomorrow, Feb. 9, against Georgetown at Navy’s courts in Annapolis, Maryland, in what promises to be a compelling matchup given that Middlebury coach Mark Lewis held the head job at Georgetown prior to coming to Middlebury. Bigger challenges for the Panthers will be their matchups this Saturday, Feb. 10, at No. 14 George Washington, and then on Sunday, Feb. 11, on the courts of No. 9 Drexel.

Swimming & Diving

After an eventful January, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are off this weekend in advance of Nescacs later this month. The women’s side will be in action next weekend, Feb. 16–18, where the championships are set to take place in Williamstown, while the men’s side gets two weeks off before heading to Brunswick, Maine, where the championships are set to take place from Feb. 23–25.

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