CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Bowdoin College men's tennis team mounted a dramatic rally but came up just short in a 5-3 loss to Middlebury in the NCAA Division III Championship match on Wednesday afternoon.
The Polar Bears finish a phenomenal season with a record of 23-2 as the Panthers get revenge for a loss in the NESCAC title match to Bowdoin and end the year with a mark of 25-4.
- The teams traded convincing doubles wins - Middlebury taking an 8-3 win at number three from Peter Martin/Tim van der Geest and Bowdoin replying with an 8-4 win at number two courtesy of Jerry Jiang/Kyle Wolfe.
- In what proved to be a pivotal match in the course of the entire contest, Bowdoin's Luke Tercek and Grant Urken trailed 6-2 at number one doubles only to rally to 8-8 and force a tiebreak against Middlebury's Lubomir Cuba and Kyle Schlanger.
- Cuba and Schlanger took control in the tiebreak, winning 7-2 and giving the Panthers a key 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
- Middlebury appeared ready to run away with the title as singles play began, getting quick straight-set wins from Cuba (6-4, 6-2) and Andre Xiao (6-1, 6-4) to take a 4-1 lead.
- Gil Roddy stemmed the tide for Bowdoin, closing the gap to 4-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win at number five singles.
- Down a set, Jiang fended off championship point, broke serve and forced a third set at number four singles, just as Luke Tercek closed out a 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 win to close Middlebury's lead to 4-3.
- Down a set at number three, Kyle Wolfe also forced a third set, rallying from a 6-3 loss in the opening set to win 7-5 in the second.
- Early in the third set, the tide seemed to have turned as Jiang led 3-2 at number four and Wolfe led 3-1 at number three.
- However, Middlebury's Kyle Schlanger shook off an injury timeout early in the third set and rallied to storm past Jiang, winning four consecutive games to clinch the title for Middlebury.
- Wolfe was tied 5-5 with de Quant in the third set at number three when the match finished.
- Bowdoin's 23 wins establishes a new school record for wins in a campaign.
- The three-man senior class of Luke Tercek, Kyle Wolfe and Gil Roddy cemented themselves as the best class in school history, ending their careers with a 79-16 record, two NESCAC Championships and the 2016 Division III title.
- Grant Urken and Luke Tercek will compete as a doubles team and as individuals in the NCAA Individual Championships beginning tomorrow in Claremont.