MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — No. 6 Middlebury College came into Sunday's match against the No. 13 Wesleyan University men's tennis team red hot, having just defeated No. 1 and defending national champions Emory 8-1 yesterday. Despite a strong resistance from the Cardinals, the Panthers continued their winning ways, prevailing 5-4.
In doubles, all three matches were tight. At No. 1 and No. 2, both teams went back-and-forth but Middlebury pulled away on both courts for a pair of 8-6 victories. At No. 3, the senior pair of Steven Chen and Cam Daniels found themselves down 6-2, and at risk of having the Cardinals fall behind 3-0. The duo found a new energy and level of tennis, however, and reeled off five straight games before eventually playing an excellent tiebreaker to win the match 9-8(1).
The win at No. 3 doubles gave Wesleyan some momentum going into singles, and the Cardinals would continue to give Middlebury all they could handle. After tight first sets on a number of courts, the Panthers began to pull away on three courts, while the other three matches remained tight. Before things could get too interesting, Middlebury won at No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 to clinch the match. After the clinch, it became clear that all three of those matches were vital, as the Cardinals came out on top in the other three spots.
At No. 1, Chen topped defending national singles champion Lubomir Cuba, 6-2, 5-7, 10-4 to complete at 4-0 weekend. At No. 2, freshman Andrew Finkelman won his second match of the weekend, topping former ITA National Champion Noah Farrell 1-6, 6-1, 10-8, and at No. 6, after a quick first two sets that went by before the overall match was decided, sophomore Princeton Carter won a full third set filled with fire and energy, topping Andre Xiao 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
The 5-4 loss was Wesleyan's second in two days, as it fell in a heartbreaker to Amherst on Saturday.
- Wesleyan will travel to New London, Conn. on Tuesday for a match with Connecticut College, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The Camels are currently ranked No. 19 in the Northeast Region.
-- Recap by Ben Shapiro --