Men’s Tennis Defeats Gustavus Adolphus in NCAA Quarterfinal

Kyle Schlanger clinched the match on Monday with his victory at No. 4 singles.
Kyle Schlanger clinched the match on Monday with his victory at No. 4 singles.

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Men's Tennis Semifinals for the 11th time in program history with a 5-1 win over 21st-ranked Gustavus Adolphus in a quarterfinal match. The contest took place at the Champions Club Tennis Complex at Rivermont Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The top-ranked Panthers (21-3) advance to the semifinals for the fourth-consecutive year and will play No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who defeated fifth-ranked Wesleyan 5-0, on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in the NCAA Semifinals. The Gusties finish their season at 26-9.

Middlebury jumped out to a 2-1 advantage after doubles play on Monday. The No. 3 pair of Timo van der Geest and Peter Martin grabbed the first point via an 8-2 victory over David Hagberg and Yassine Derbani. The Gustavus Adolphus second pair of Tommy Entwistle and Chase Johnson tied the match with an 8-6 victory over Middlebury's Hamid Derbani and Kyle Schlanger. The Panthers took a 2-1 edge headed to singles when Lubomir Cuba and William de Quant claimed the final three games for a 9-7 win over Mohaned Al Houni and Patrick Whaling.

In singles action, the Panthers won the first three matches in straight sets coming in quick succession. At No. 5, van der Geest posted a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Johnson. In the No. 2 slot, de Quant put the Panthers up 4-1 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Ekstein. Schlanger clinched the match seconds later with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph in the fourth flight against Entwistle.

In the other three matches that went unfinished, Cuba won the first set in a tiebreaker by a 7-6 (4) score atop the lineup and led 2-0 in the second, while Derbani was up a set and playing for the match at No. 3 (6-2, 5-3). At No. 6, Allen Jackson won the opening set 6-2 and was tied 3-3 with Johnson in the second set when the match was decided.

Monday's national quarterfinal match between Middlebury and Gustavus Adolphus marked the eighth meeting in the all-time series that started in 2003 between the programs with the Panthers now owning a 7-1 advantage. The teams have met five times in the NCAA Tournament and three times during the regular season. 

Middlebury and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will meet for the 15th time overall and second time this season on Tuesday. The Stags own an 11-3 advantage in the series, but the Panthers earned a 6-3 victory during their spring trip to Texas earlier this year. The teams have played four times in the NCAA Tournament with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps winning each time.