WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- In a key NESCAC matchup between a pair of nationally ranked opponents, No. 8 Middlebury improved to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference with a 6-3 win at No. 5 Williams (8-3, 2-1) on Friday afternoon. The Panthers have now won four of their past five matches.
The Panthers swept the doubles portion of the match. The Panther combination of Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz took a one-break lead midway through the match at No. 1. The Middlebury duo held on to the advantage and went on to an 8-5 win against Matt Micheli and Alexander Schidlovsky. The one-break margin was the same in the match at No. 2. Palmer Campbell and Brantner Jones were able to edge the Eph pairing of Conrad Harron and Brian Astrachan by an 8-6 score.
On court No. 3, Middlebury’s Peter Heidrich and Ari Smolyar battled the Eph duo of Jose Raventos and Rohan Shastri to an 8-8 tiebreaker. The Williams’ tandem couldn’t convert the match point with a 6-5 lead, as Heidrich and Smolyar rattled off three consecutive points for an 8-6 win.
In singles, the Panthers utilized the momentum of their solid doubles play. Campbell was the first off the court, easing past Howard Weiss in straight sets at No. 2 6-2, 6-0. The decisive match point came from Jones at No. 3. He raced out to a 6-1 first-set victory against Harron, but Harron evened the match with a similar 6-1 second-set win. In the third set, Jones blanked Harron 6-0.
The Ephs got on the board at No. 1, where Micheli lost the first set 6-4 to Johnston. Micheli rebounded and took sets two and three by tallies of 6-4 and 6-2. At No. 4, Schidlovsky lost the first set by a 6-2 score to Courtney Mountifield. Schidlovsky bounced back and took the second set 6-3, along with an 8-6 score in the tiebreaker.
The Ephs and the Panthers split the last two matches. Smolyar downed Raventos in a close, straight-set match at the five position 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), before Astrachan managed a comfortable win against Jackson Frons at No. 6 6-4, 6-2.