The Middlebury College men's tennis team will make its 16th NCAA Quarterfinal appearance in the last 17 years when it meets Wesleyan on Monday, May 20. Matches will take place at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The event is hosted by Kalamazoo College. The Panthers are making their 18th-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Sixth-ranked Middlebury enters the weekend with an 18-6 overall record. The Panthers have squared off with 13 opponents who were ranked in the top 25 this season. Middlebury started its campaign 7-0 before falling to Division I UC Irvine and Division II Azusa Pacific during its spring trip through California. After going 2-3 over their next five matches, the Panthers posted a 4-1 record to close out the regular season, with their lone loss coming in the regular-season finale at fourth-ranked Amherst, 6-3.
While hosting the NESCAC Championship Tournament, third-seeded Middlebury recorded a 5-3 win over sixth-seeded Tufts in the opening round, followed by a 5-3 triumph against second-seeded Wesleyan in the semifinals. The Panthers claimed their third NESCAC title in the last five years and ninth overall with a 5-1 victory over top-seeded and fourth-ranked Amherst.
In last weekend's NCAA regional, the top-seeded Panthers received a bye into the second round where they cruised past Goucher by a 5-0 score. On Saturday morning, Middlebury recorded a 5-0 victory in the regional final over MIT.
The Panthers won the 2004 NCAA title over Williams 5-4, earning its second national crown in 2010 with a 5-1 win over Amherst in the championship match. Last spring, Middlebury tallied its third national title with a 5-3 victory against Bowdoin. The Panthers have advanced to the final four in 12 of the past 16 seasons, finishing as the runner-up in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The program earned its first NCAA Tournament bid in 2001-02 and boasts a 53-17 record in NCAA Tournament play.
Led by two-time NESCAC Coach of the Year Bob Hansen, the singles lineup features experienced players from teams that captured the 2018 NCAA title as well as having played in each of the last three championship matches.
Atop that lineup is senior Lubomir Cuba (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), the 2017 NCAA Singles and 2017 and 2018 Doubles Champion and northeast region's second-ranked individual. He has a record of 15-7 overall playing against the opponent's top player. The three-time All-NESCAC First-Team selection and 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year is 67-17 during his three seasons with the Panthers. He tallied two triumphs during the regional and is currently on a six-match winning streak.
The second slot in the lineup for the Panthers has been held down by senior Noah Farrell (Wilton, Conn.). The three-time All-NESCAC selection has a 20-10 record. The 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and 2016 NESCAC Player of the Year ranks second on the team with 20 wins (20-10). The 2016 USTA/ITA Small College Singles Champion and 2016 All-American goes into the NCAA Quarterfinals with a 93-36 career record in singles and ranked ninth in the ITA Northeast Region.
Playing No. 3 is sophomore Andre Xiao (Fremont, Calif.). He has posted a 12-15 record this season. Xiao has accumulated a tally of 32-25 during his first two seasons.
Sophomore Adam Guo (Redmond, Wash.) will play in the fourth flight, sporting a team-best 23 wins (23-10) this season and is riding a four-match winning streak heading into play in Michigan. He also sported a 5-2 record during NESCAC matches this spring. Guo has played in all six spots of the Panther lineup this season and has accumulated a record of 31-14 as an individual over his career.
Sophomore Nate Eazor (Dallas, Texas) and rookie Stanley Morris (Santa Monica, Calif.) along with junior Alex Vanezis (Frankfurt, Germany) have logged significant playing time in the No. 5 and No. 6 slots of the lineup for the Panthers this season. Eazor is 13-7 overall this season, including 6-2 in the No. 5 position. Morris has a 14-11 record, while Vanezis is 8-2 and both Panthers have played all six positions in the lineup this spring.
In the doubles lineup, Cuba and senior Peter Martin (Orinda, Calif.) tallied All-NESCAC Second-Team accolades. The duo was paired together late in the season, combining for a mark of 5-3 in dual matches in the top position. The ITA Northeast region's 15th-ranked tandem was a perfect 2-0 mark during the NCAA Regional.
Farrell and Vanezis have played No. 2 doubles in the latter stages of the spring with a 4-0 record. The pair earned two points during the NESCAC Tournament and two more in the regional.
The third flight has seen the tandem of Eazor and Xiao play together over the last half of the spring. The duo has won four-straight matches, including two wins last weekend for key points.
Wesleyan enters Monday's match with a 16-4 record and ranked fifth nationally. The Cardinals posted a 5-0 victory in the regional semifinal over John Carroll, followed by a 5-2 triumph against 11th-ranked Kenyon a day later to advance to Michigan.
Monday's national quarterfinal match between Middlebury and Wesleyan marks the third meeting this season and 30th between the two programs. The Cardinals defeated Middlebury 6-3 in Vermont on April 6, before the Panthers edged Wesleyan 5-3 in the NESCAC Tournament semifinals. The Cardinals own a 19-10 advantage in the all-time series.
2019 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament
Kalamazoo, Michigan - Stowe Stadium
Quarterfinals – Monday, May 20
No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (31-1) vs. No. 8 Bowdoin (18-4) – 2:00 p.m.
No. 2 Chicago (19-2) vs. No. 4 Amherst (18-4) – 2:00 p.m.
No. 6 Middlebury (16-6) vs. No. 5 Wesleyan (16-4) – 4:30 p.m.
No. 3 Emory (19-2) vs. No. 7 Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) (19-7) – 4:30 p.m.
Semifinals – Tuesday, May 21
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps/Bowdoin winner vs. Amherst/Chicago winner – 2:00 p.m.
Middlebury/Wesleyan winner vs. Emory/Washington-St. Louis winner – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 22
Championship Match - 3:00 p.m.
**Rankings by the ITA**