The Middlebury men's tennis team started its spring break trip through California with a narrow 4-3 victory over Division II Biola (6-8) on Saturday at the Biola Tennis Center. The second-ranked Panthers (5-0) return to the courts on Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. eastern match at Occidental, followed by a 6:00 p.m. contest against George Fox at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
The match was played under Division II rules where you must win two of the three flights in order to secure the doubles point. The top Panther tandem of Noah Farrell and Peter Martin defeated Quentin Lau and Logan Blair, 6-2. Middlebury clinched the point when the No. 2 team of Nate Eazor and Alex Vanezis edged Derek James and Erik Martinez by a 6-4 score. Despite the result not factoring into the outcome, the Eagles were victorious at the No. 3 spot by a narrow 7-6 (6) tally.
During singles action, Zach Hilty gave the Panthers a 2-0 advantage with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Martinez in the sixth spot. Biola cut the deficit in half with a three-set win atop the lineup. Vanezis pushed the Middlebury lead to 3-1 behind a 6-3, 7-6 (6) triumph over Andres Meneses at No. 4.
The Eagles earned three-set victories at No. 2 and No. 3 to tie the match at 3-3. David Vilys fought back after dropping the opening set in the fifth slot, earning a 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-1 win against David Garcia to give the Panthers the 4-3 victory.