Middlebury advanced to the championship match of the Summers Cup (C Division) at the CSA Team Nationals on Saturday night at Harvard. The third-seeded Panthers (9-10) earned the right with a 5-4 win over The Naval Academy (9-14), the second seed. Middlebury will face Williams in the title match on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The two teams met back on January 5th, a 7-2 Eph victory.
Wiatt Hinton and PK Keller got things going for the Panthers, giving them a 2-0 lead. Hinton picked up a 3-0 (10,6,8) victory at #7, before Keller's come-from behind 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5) win at #6.
The Naval Academy battled back, winning three-straight matches at #3, #9 and #2 to go up 3-2.
Nate Moll broke the streak by battling back from down 2-1 for a 3-2 (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4) victory at #5, making it a 3-3 match. Alex Merrill put Middlebury back on top, earning a 3-1 (11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) victory at the eighth spot in the ladder. Jack Kagan sealed the victory at #4 with a 3-0 (8,9,7) win for a 5-3 advantage.
The final match of the evening was a Midshipmen victory at #1, as Middlebury prevailed, 5-4.
The win avenges an 8-1 loss to The Naval Academy back on January 10th.