Middlebury Rallies For 5-4 Win Over Sagehens

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore. - pictured) won at both singles (his 12th straight singles victory) and doubles, but the No. 7 ranked Middlebury Men's Tennis team rallied from behind for a 5-4 win over 13th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer on Thursday at Pauley Courts.

The Sagehens were in good shape as they led 2-1 after doubles, and then took the first set at 1-4 singles. However, Middlebury's Spencer Lunghino rallied for a three-set win at No. 4 to tie the score 4-4, and Brantner Jones won a three-setter at No. 3 to give the Panthers the 5-4 win.

Wiechert was dominant at singles, capturing a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 over Derrick Angle, extending his personal winning streak to 12 straight matches, 11 of which have come against nationally ranked teams. He was last defeated by Michael Razumovsky of No. 6 Kenyon in the first round of the ITA Nationals on Feb. 24, a loss he avenged with a three-set victory at home on March 16. He also earned a three-set win against No. 1 Amherst in his last outing.

Wiechert and doubles partner Alex Groth (Delvan, Wisc.) won the pivotal doubles match to give the Sagehens a 2-1 lead. Jones and Andrew Lebovitz took an easy 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles for Middlebury, while Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Frankie Allinson (Waco, Texas) cruised to an 8-1 win at No. 2. Wiechert and Groth were stuck in the tightest match with Lunghino and David Farah, but pulled out an 8-6 win.

Senior Tommy Meyer (Bernville, Pa.) finished off his win at No. 1 singles in straight sets (6-3, 6-4), while Wiechert finished off his quickly as well. However, Middlebury answered with straight set wins at 5 and 6 to stay within 4-3. Michael Chang (Milpitas, Calif.) battled to stay in the match at No. 6 with a break to pull within 5-5, only to be broken back and eventually fall 6-1, 7-5.

Connor Hudson (Denver, Colo.) dominated the first set at No. 4 singles 6-2, but Lunghino regrouped to take a 6-1 win in the second set and then finished off a 6-3 third set to level the match at 4-4, just as Sabel and Jones were starting their third set.  Sabel had a chance to break Jones with the second set tied 5-5, jumping out to a 30-love lead, but Jones rallied for the win and then broke Sabel to force their match to a third set.

Sabel was broken in his first service game of the third set, and then suffered a minor injury which took away much of his mobility after Jones had already taken a 3-0 lead. Sabel came out of the long delay and double-faulted on two of his first three service points, and Jones took advantage to break again, and then finish off the hobbling Sabel with a 6-0 third set.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action when it returns to SCIAC play on Friday with a home match against Whittier, before hosting a non-league match against regional rival UC Santa Cruz on Saturday.

Doubles:
1) Brantner Jones/Andrew Lebovitz (MC) def Tommy Meyer/Uday Singh (PP) 8-3
2) Max Sabel/Frankie Allinson (PP) def Derrick Angle/Alec Parower 8-1
3) Chris Wiechert/Alex Groth (PP) def Spencer Lunghino/David Farah 8-6

Singles
1) Tommy Meyer (PP) def. Alec Parower 6-3, 6-4
2) Chris Wiechert (PP) def Derrick Angle 6-2, 6-2
3) Brantner Jones (MC) def Max Sabel 3-6, 7-5, 6-0
4) Spencer Lunghino (MC) def Connor Hudson 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
5) Edward Fitzgibbons (MC) def Frankie Allinson 6-1, 6-2
6) Zach Bruchmiller (MC) def Michael Chang 6-1, 7-5