Men’s Tennis Flips the Script, Wins NESCAC Title at Home

By JACK KAGAN

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN
After winning NESCACs, the men’s tennis team looks to defend their National Championship title.

The men’s tennis team, seeded No. 3 in the NESCAC Tournament, capped off an impressive weekend on Sunday with their second upset of the tournament as they shut down top seed Amherst on the Proctor tennis courts. 

The host Panthers found themselves going into the weekend as the No. 3 seed after tight losses to Wesleyan and Amherst in April. This set them up with a first round match against No. 6 seed Tufts on Friday, May 3. The Panthers downed the Jumbos 5-3 while the top two seeds, Amherst and Wesleyan, got to rest with a bye into the semifinals.

Despite being the lower seed going into Saturday’s semifinal matchup against Wesleyan, the team’s goal was clear. “[The] coaches kept on reminding us that we were right there with these teams and only to focus on the process,” said sophomore Adam Guo. The Panthers wasted no time jumping out to a 2-1 lead in doubles, reversing the result from last month’s match. 

A huge help on Saturday came in the way of senior Lubo Cuba’s dominance out of the top spot. In the regular season, Cuba struggled against the Cardinals sophomore Andrew Finkelman, losing in three sets. He turned it around however in front of the home crowd in a dominant straight set victory. 

The Panthers had yet another rematch set for Sunday morning as they prepared to face the top seeded Amherst Mammoths, who beat the Panthers just one week ago in Massachusetts by a score of 6-3. 

Revenge was again the name of the game for the Panthers, as the doubles squads jumped out to a 2-1 lead. Despite the loss up at Amherst, Noah Farrell ’19 saw familiar doubles foes and got the win, this time with the help of teammate Alex Vanezis ’20. 

From then on, the Panthers could not be stopped. The match saw Nate Eazor ’21 avenge his recent marathon three-set loss to Harris Foulkes; this time Eazor steamrolled his opponent 6-4, 6-0. 

On the top courts, Cuba made quick work of Mammoths sophomore standout Sean Wei, who got the best of Farrell just a week ago. He blanked Wei en route to a 6-0, 6-4 victory. Farrell allowed even fewer games from Amherst’s Kevin Ma, shutting him down 6-2, 6-1 on the center court, clinching the title as his teammates rushed in to celebrate. 

It was certainly a fitting close for the two senior stars, who have headlined the program’s lineup for some time now. “[It] feels so good bringing this title home for the seniors who are leaving … guys on and off the court [brought] the energy throughout the match,” Guo said. 

The Panthers turned some heads at NESCACs by beating two higher seeded opponents and were rewarded for winning the conference. They will host three rounds of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament, for which they received an automatic bid. Friday and likely Saturday will be the last chance to see Cuba and Farrell in action at Proctor as they are seeded to move on to the third round for a potential matchup with No. 31 MIT. 

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About the Photographer
MICHAEL BORENSTEIN, Chief Photo Editor

Michael Borenstein ’19 is Chief Photo Editor.
He has been with the photos team since his freshman fall and has served as an editor since the Spring...

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Men’s Tennis Flips the Script, Wins NESCAC Title at Home