Blue Jays Handle Middlebury to Reach Men's Tennis Elite Eight
Johns Hopkins 5, Middlebury
The 13th-ranked Johns Hopkins men's tennis team rallied from an early 2-1 deficit to defeat 12th-ranked Middlebury in the NCAA Sweet 16 Sunday afternoon. The Blue Jays improve to 19-4 on the season as they advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time in program history. The Panthers see their season end at 14-7.
The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead in the match as Brantner Jones and Spencer Lunghino defeated seniors Jacob Barnaby and Warren Elgort, 8-4, at first doubles. Freshmen Tanner Brown and Erik Lim answered just a few minutes later with an 8-3 win over Teddy Fitzgibbons and William Oberrender at third. Derrick Angle and Andrew Lebovitz closed out doubles in a thriller, winning 9-7 at second over juniors Andy Hersh and Jeff Kamei, to give Middlebury a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
Brown quickly tied the match for the Blue Jays with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alec Parower at second singles. Freshman Jensen Reiter then put Hopkins on top, 3-2, as he beat Lunghino, 6-2, 6-3 at fourth. Lim pushed Hopkins one win closer to victory with his win at sixth. He won the first set 6-3 and was ahead 5-0 in the second before Eric Vehovec battled back to force a tiebreaker. Lim would win the breaker, 7-0, to take the match and give Hopkins a 4-2 lead. Freshman Ben Hwang (pictured) clinched the win and the NCAA Quarterfinal berth with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Angle at third.
Hopkins will face the winner of the Emory-NC Wesleyan third round match in the quarterfinals. The NCAA Quarterfinals are set for Monday, May 21 at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, NC.