The Brandeis men’s tennis team entered Friday’s matchup as the number 20 Division III school in the nation. They had a 5-1 record and their only loss came at the hands of a Pamona-Pitzer squad that was ranked at 14. They had also defeated ranked opponent Bates College. Their season looked incredibly promising, but they were about to face their biggest task yet. Middlebury College was at the time the third ranked men’s team in the country and was showing no signs of slowing down. Had the Judges beaten the vaunted Panthers, it would have changed the course of their season and elevated the team to the company of those considered the nation’s top teams. However, that win did not come to fruition and Middlebury blanked the Judges 9-0. Even with the loss, the Judges did gain a spot in the national rankings, as they have the tiebreaker with Bates College. Brandeis fell to 5-2 on the season, while the Panthers continued their perfect season and improved to 5-0. 

In doubles action, David Aizenberg ’20 and Anupreeth Coramutla ’21 faced a daunting task for the first match of the day. Their opponents were Kyle Schlanger and Lubomir Cuba. Cuba is the reigning Division III champion for both singles and doubles. They were quickly defeated 8-2. In the second doubles match, Jackson Kogan ’19 and Tyler Ng ’19 faced Peter Martin and Timo van der Geest of Middlebury. Their luck was not any better than their teammates; as they were similarly defeated 8-3. In the third and final doubles match of the day, a pair of first-years, Nikhil Das ’21 and Rajan Vohra ’21, came the closest to defeating Bates. The duo lost to Weston Brach and Nate Eazor of Middlebury by a score of 8-5. 

In singles action, the Judges’ luck did not improve. Even though the 9-0 score seems like utter domination, some of the individual singles games were competitive. In the first game, Kogan drew the short straw and matched up against defending champion Cuba of Middlebury. He was defeated in two sets by a combined score of 12-6. In the second match, Coramutla faced off against Kyle Schlanger of Middlebury. Schlanger made short work of Coramutla, winning both sets by a combined score of 12-1. The third singles match of the day was the closest Brandeis got to winning a game. In the first set, Vohra fell to  Middlebury’s van der Geest 6-3. But he did not give up and was able to battle back, flipping the score by winning the second set 6-3. The match went to a third superset and both athletes battled back and forth. While Vohra gave his best effort, it was simply not enough and he lost the superset 10-8. The fourth singles game was also interesting, as it also came down to a super tiebreaker. Ng took the first set from Alex Vanezis of Middlebury 6-3. However, he would go on to lose the next set 6-4 and would eventually fall in the superset 10-1. In game five, Das squared off against Eazor and fell by a combined score of 12-4. In the sixth and final singles match of the day, Benjamin Wolfe ’20 was matched up against Andre Xiao of Middlebury. He was unable to string points together and fell by a combined score of 12-5.

The men’s team will be back in action on Friday when they take on Colby Sawyer College. The women’s team will join the men on Saturday as they both face Trinity College.