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No. 5 Men’s Tennis Gears Up For NESCAC Championship at Middlebury

No. 5 Men’s Tennis Gears Up For NESCAC Championship at Middlebury

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The No. 5 nationally ranked Wesleyan men's tennis team (14-3, 7-2) returns to the NESCAC Championship tournament for the fourth-straight year and as the second seed, will have a bye in the first round. The Cardinals begin play on Saturday with a semifinal matchup against Friday's winner of the third-seed Middlebury and sixth-seed Tufts contest. The Championship weekend is hosted by Middlebury College and will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Wesleyan is 2-0 against its two potential semifinal foes, having triumphed 6-3 over then-No. 2 Middlebury, before easing past Little Three rival and then-No. 7 Amherst 6-1.

The Cardinals seek their first-ever NESCAC title and are 7-2 against conference opponents this spring. Fourth-seeded and then-No. 5 Bowdoin took down Wesleyan 6-3 and is hoping for its third-straight crown on Sunday, while the top-seeded Mammoths look for their first title since 2014.

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DOUBLES PREVIEW:

  • Adrian Roji and Noah Lilienthal, currently ranked No. 1 in the Northeast, have held steady at the #1 spot, boasting an impressive 13-3 overall record this spring. The duo will look to avenge their only two NESCAC losses this weekend as they potentially face the No. 2 ranked Northeast duo of Bowdoin and the No. 3 ranked Northeast tandem of Williams. 
  • The #2 and #3 spots have seen movement throughout the spring, but Princeton Carter has been a stalwart in the second-spot with several different partners. For most of Carter's matches, he has teamed up with Ali Mooraj, as the two have played 11 of 14 matches together.
  • The #3 spot at Wesleyan has seen successes from a few different tandems this spring, with Andrew Finkelman and Marcus Sweeney winning the last four together. Earlier in the season, it was Finkelman and Zach Fleischman who opened the 2019 campaign with a quartet of victories. 

SINGLES PREVIEW:

  • Finkelman, ranked No. 5 in the Northeast, has been steady in the #1 spot for the Cardinals, taking on several top-ranked players in the country. Earlier this spring, Finkelman came back from a set down to top Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury, the 2017 NCAA Singles Champion. Last year, Finkelman had a stellar rookie campaign where he reached the final of the New England ITA Regional Championships, earned a top-10 national ranking, was named All-NESCAC, and was just the third male in Wesleyan history to ever qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship.
  • Peter Anker has played in both the #1 and #2 spots throughout the year, and is ranked No. 20 in the Northeast. He began his rookie campaign this fall, having made it to the quarterfinals in doubles at the ITA Regional Championship, as well as the third round of singles. Anker heads into the tournament riding a three-match win streak.
  • Wesleyan's #3 spot has consistently been Roji this spring. He has won two straight heading into this weekend, including victories over several ranked opponents.
  • In his first-year, Lilienthal has played much of his time in the #4 position, but has moved up to #2 and #3 on occasion. He is 11-2 overall this spring, and 8-2 in the #4 spot, while heading into the tournament on a three-match win streak.  
  • For a majority of the spring, Carter has been steady at #5 for the Cardinals, having dropped just two matches. Carter opened up the spring winning five-straight and has recorded key NESCAC wins against Bowdoin, Williams and Tufts.
  • Zach Lieb rounds out the squad for the Cardinals at #6, having played well in his first year on the team. Lieb has competed a majority of matches at the sixth-spot, but has also seen success at #2, #3 and #5. He started the spring with three-straight triumphs, and has come through with major match-clinching wins over Washington (Mo.) and Tufts.