#6 Men’s Tennis Records 2-0 NESCAC Weekend in Maine

Ari Smolyar recorded the Panthers' fifth team point Saturday with an impressive victory at #1 singles. (photo by Ellen Friedlander)
Ari Smolyar recorded the Panthers' fifth team point Saturday with an impressive victory at #1 singles. (photo by Ellen Friedlander)

The sixth-ranked Middlebury men's tennis team posted a perfect 2-0 week in a pair of NESCAC road contests in Maine. On Saturday, the Panthers were victorious by an 8-1 score over #8 Bowdoin at the Pickard Tennis Courts, and followed that up with a 7-2 win Sunday at the Wallach Tennis Center against 20th-ranked Bates.  

In Saturday’s win, Middlebury secured a 3-0 lead after doubles' play. The Panther tandem of junior Ari Smolyar (West Orange, N.J.) and rookie Noah Farrell (Wilton, Conn.) secured the first point against the Polar Bears with an 8-2 victory over Kyle Wolstencroft and Gil Roddy at #2. In the third spot, senior Chris Frost (Niskayuna, N.Y.) and rookie William de Quant (Monaco, France) gave the Panthers their second point with an 8-3 win over Noah Bragg and Kyle Wolfe. The #1 team of junior Palmer Campbell (Nashville, Tenn.) and senior Peter Heidrich (Peoria, Ill.) completed the sweep posting a thrilling 9-8 (5) triumph against Luke Trinka and Luke Tercek.

In singles play, Tercek gave Bowdoin its lone point with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over junior Jackson Frons (Encino, Calif.) in the fourth flight. The Panthers rattled off the next five matches, including three that needed a third-set super breaker to decide a victor. Campbell gave the Panthers a 4-1 lead via a 6-2, 6-2 win over Wolfe at #3, while Smolyar clinched the decisive fifth team point in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Trinka in the top spot.

Rounding things out were senior Courtney Mountifield (Bedford, N.H.) over Roddy at #6 (3-6, 6-0, 10-7), Farrell at #2 topping Bragg (6-2, 5-7, 10-8) and de Quant in the fifth spot over Wolstencroft (6-1, 5-7, 10-8).

On Sunday, Middlebury grabbed a narrow 2-1 lead after doubles' play in a trio of tightly-contested matches. The Panther tandem of Frost and de Quant gave the visitors the first point with an 8-5 win at #3 over Adam Schwartz and Ben Rosen. The other two matches required tiebreakers to reach a decision. At #2, the Bobcat team of Henry Lee and Patrick Ordway earned a 9-8 (5) win against Smolyar and Farrell.

With a crucial point in the balance, the Panther tandem of Heidrich and Campbell gave Middlebury a lead headed to singles with a 9-8 (5) victory in the top spot over Pierre Planche and Chris Ellis.

Much like they have done all season, the Panthers dominated singles play. Farrell was the first to finish at #2 with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Ellis, while Frons was right behind in the fourth spot, posting a similar 6-0, 6-1 triumph against Brent Feldman. Needing one more point to secure the team victory, de Quant eased past Rosen in the #5 slot by scores of 6-3, 6-1.

In the top spot that featured a pair of regionally-ranked opponents, the top-ranked player in Smolyar was victorious over #6 Planche by scores of 6-4, 6-1. Campbell matched Smolyar's result by the same scores with a victory at #3 against Schwartz, while Ordway picked up the lone singles point for Bates with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win in the #6 spot over Mountifield.

• Men’s tennis record: 16-2
• Up next: 4/25 @ Amherst – 1:00