Bowdoin Wins NESCAC Championship

Bowdoin Wins NESCAC Championship

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Bowdoin won its first NESCAC Men's Tennis Championship with a dramatic 5-4 win at Middlebury. The Polar Bears earn the league's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament, while Middlebury will hope to be selected as an at-large team when selections are announced.

The Panthers, who were looking for their fifth straight NESCAC title, found themselves trailing 2-1 after doubles play. Middlebury tied the match with a win at #3 singles by Andrew Thomson over Alex Caughron, 6-1, 6-1. Bowdoin regained the lead as Stephen Sullivan was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Filip Marinkovic in the #2 slot. The lead extended to 4-2 as Garrett Gates earned a 6-4, 7-5 win in the #1 singles match over Middlebury's Andrew Lee.

Bowdoin needed just one of three singles matches remaining for the win, and had taken the first set in two of the three contests. Middlebury's Andrew Peters defeated Jamie Neely at #4 singles 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to bring the Panthers within one at 4-3. After dropping the first set 7-6 (12), Rich Bonfiglio of Middlebury battled back to pick up 6-2, 6-4 wins over Alex White at #6 singles to tie the match at 4-4.

The final contest between Tyler Anderson of Bowdoin and Middlebury's Peter O'Dell went to a third set after Anderson took the first set 6-3, and O'Dell was a 7-6 (5) winner in a second set tie-breaker. The final match of the day saw back and forth play, as Anderson pulled out a 6-4 win to clinch the NESCAC title for Bowdoin.

The victory avenges an earlier loss this season to Middlebury as the Polar Bears become the lowest seed (four) ever to win the NESCAC Tennis Tournament. The squad, who has rallied from a struggling start to win 10 of their last 12 matches, become the second Bowdoin team to win a NESCAC title in the 2007-08 academic year. They are also the first men's team to win a NESCAC Championship since 2002 (cross-country).

1. Garrett Gates (B) def. Andrew Lee - 6-4, 7-5
2. Stephen Sullivan (B) def. Filip Marinkovic - 6-1, 6-4
3. Andrew Thomson (M) def. Alex Caughron (B) - 6-1, 6-1
4. Andrew Peters (M) def. Jamie Neely (B) - 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
5. Tyler Anderson (B) def. Peter O'Dell (M) - 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4
6. Rich Bonfiglio (M) def. Alex White (B) - 6-7 (12), 6-2, 6-4

1. Gates/Caughron (B) def. Marinkovic/Thomson (M) - 8-2
2. Sullivan/Neely (B) def. Chris Mason/Lee (M) - 8-5
3. Bonfiglio/Peters (M) def. Anderson/White (B) - 8-4