The ninth-ranked Middlebury men’s tennis team edged #3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) 5-4 on Friday night. With the win, the Panthers improve to 6-2, while snapping the Stags’ (12-3) eight-match win streak.
Trailing 1-0 in doubles, Middlebury’s tandem of Stan Morris and David Vilys earned a point in a hard-fought battle in the top spot (8-7(5)). Panther dup Neel Epstein and Zachary Hilty also won by tiebreaker at #3 (8-7(7)) to put the team up 2-1 heading into singles action.
CMS won two-straight singles matches to take a 3-2 edge. Morris tied the contest at 3-3, cruising at the top of the ladder (6-2, 6-2). The Stags were victorious in the second spot to move to 4-3 and put the match within reach, but the Panthers came from behind to win. In the fifth spot, Hilty won the first set 6-3 before dropping the second 6-1 to force a third. In the third set, Hilty came out on top with a 6-4 victory to tie the match at 4-4. The deciding fifth point came from Zihao Yuan in the sixth slot. Yuan edged his opponent 7-5 in the first set, before winning the second 6-3 to lift Middlebury past CMS 5-4.