Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals with a 5-1 victory over Skidmore on Saturday in a match played outdoors on the Proctor Tennis Courts. The top-ranked Panthers (20-3) will play in an NCAA Quarterfinal match on Monday, May 22 at the Champion Tennis Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while 25th-ranked Skidmore finishes its season at 12-7. The Panthers advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 14th time in the last 15 years.
Middlebury grabbed a 2-1 lead after doubles play. The Panther duo of Hamid Derbani and Kyle Schlanger picked up the first point at No. 2 with an 8-3 win over Skidmore's Steven Koulouris and Travis Leaf. Middlebury's Timo van der Geest and Peter Martin doubled the hosts' advantage minutes later with an 8-6 victory in the third flight over Lucas Pickering and Nils Akesson. In the closest match, Skidmore's top tandem of Kai Yuen Leung and John Wynne held an 8-7 lead over Middlebury's Lubomir Cuba and William de Quant, but the Panther pair won the next game in the back-and-forth match to tie it at 8-8. In the tiebreaker, the score was knotted at 4-4 before Leung and Wynne put the Thoroughbreds on the board, claiming the final three points for the 9-8 (4) victory.
In the singles matches, Middlebury picked up their third point with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 from de Quant over Koulouris. Derbani made it 4-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Pickering in the third flight, while van der Geest clinched the match when he defeated Leaf at No. 5 by scores of 6-2, 6-4.
The three remaining matches went unfinished. Cuba dropped the opening set atop the lineup against Yeung (6-1), but rebounded to level the match at a set apiece with a 6-4 win in the second. At No. 4, Schlanger fell in the opening set to Wynne in a tiebreaker (7-6 (5)), but Schlanger was up 3-0 in the second. In the bottom spot, Allen Jackson took the first set 6-1 and was up on Ted Berkowitz by a 4-1 tally.