Men’s Tennis Misses the Ace

By MIGUEL ESPINOSA

Middlebury College hosted the 2018 ITA Division III Men’s New England Regional Tennis Championship from Sept. 28 to 30. The Proctor Tennis courts, busy from Friday 9:00 a.m to Sunday 1:00 p.m, saw 20 Division III teams compete in either a singles or doubles match. The ITA championship format consisted of one singles bracket and one doubles bracket. 64 players competed in singles, while 32 pairs participated in doubles.

The championship comprised of NESCAC rivals, like Williams, Amherst, and Bowdoin, who were no strangers to Middlebury’s courts. Also in attendance were non-NESCAC schools with fairly competitive tennis programs, like Brandeis and MIT. Brandeis, in fact, captured first place in one singles bracket, and in two doubles brackets at the Middlebury Invitational on Sept. 15 and 16.

The Panthers certainly fought hard to assert dominance on their own courts. However, they fell short of achieving their goal of emerging victorious in either the singles or doubles brackets.

Captain Lubomir Cuba ’19, a two-time All-American and 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year, would find himself busy in both the singles and doubles tournaments. Cuba, in the singles bracket, would advance as far as the quarterfinals, defeating Wheaton’s Tracy, Babson’s Mendiola, and Williams’ Taylor, before falling to Williams’ Arturo Kam. For doubles, Cuba would find more success when paired with Nate Eazor ’21. The Cuba-Eazor pair managed to advance as far as the championship round, but would lose to Bowdoin’s Jerry Jiang and Justin Wang, 6-3, 7-5.

On the singles draw, Captain Noah Farrell ’19 would also battle his way to the quarterfinals round, powering through Emerson’s Lin, Bowdoin’s Wang, and Wesleyan’s Anker. Farrell would lose to Tufts’ Sorkin, 6-3 and 7-5. Other players like Nate Eazor ’21 and Stanley Morris ’22 would go as far as the round of 16, while Adam Guo ’21 and Andre Xiao ’21 would advance to just the second round.

For the doubles draw, Farrell and Peter Martin ’19 would fall to the eventual doubles champions, Bowdoin’s Jiang-Wang pair, in the quarterfinals.

Despite the missed opportunity to capture victory at home, the Panthers will have another chance to show their dominance in New Jersey, at the Farmsworth Invitational hosted by Princeton. The Invitational will take place Oct. 5 to 7.