Panthers Defeat Wesleyan, Move Into NESCAC Championship

Lubomir Cuba posted a straight-set win atop the singles lineup on Saturday.
Lubomir Cuba posted a straight-set win atop the singles lineup on Saturday.

Third-seeded Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC Championship match for the fifth-consecutive year via a 5-3 win Saturday over second-seeded Wesleyan (14-4) in a match played at the Proctor Tennis Courts. The Panthers (15-6) will take on top-seeded Amherst, a 5-2 victor over fourth-seeded Bowdoin, at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning for the crown.

The Panthers moved out to a 2-1 advantage following doubles. The No. 2 tandem of Noah Farrell and Alex Vanezis won 8-5 over Princeton Carter and Jonathan Holtzman. The Cardinals leveled the match with an 8-7 (3) victory atop the lineup. Shortly after that, Middlebury took a 2-1 lead when the third duo of Andre Xiao and Nate Eazor edged Andrew Finkelman and Marcus Sweeney in a tiebreaker by an 8-7 (7) tally.

During singles action, Wesleyan evened the match at 2-2 behind a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2, before taking a 3-2 lead with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph one spot below. The Panthers regained the advantage when Eazor battled back from a 5-2 second-set deficit for a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win over Carter at No. 5, before Lubomir Cuba put the hosts up 4-3 with a 6-2, 6-4 in the top spot over Finkelman.

Middlebury's Adam Guo clinched the match, posting a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Adrian Roji at No. 4.

The remaining match went unfinished, as Middlebury's Stanley Morris won the opening set 6-1 against Zach Lieb and the two were in a second-set tiebreaker.