MEDFORD – The Tufts University men's tennis team will return to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship this weekend (May 3-5) at Middlebury College.
Tufts was named as the sixth seed for the tournament field announced today after a vote by the selection committee. Amherst was awarded the #1 seed followed by Wesleyan, host Middlebury, Bowdoin, Williams and Tufts.
The Jumbos (8-8, 4-5) will play #3 seed and host Middlebury (13-6, 6-2 NESCAC) in the opening round on Friday not before 11:30 am. The winner of that match will advance to the semifinals and face two-seed Wesleyan (14-3, 7-2) on Saturday also not before 11:30 am. The conference championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 9 am.
The NESCAC Tournament berth is Tufts' first since 2016 and the sixth for the program since the tournament went to a head-to-head format in 2006. The Jumbos will be looking for their first-ever NESCAC Championship victory during that time frame. They had opening-round losses in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011. Tufts' top finish at NESCAC's was third in the 2004 flighted tournament.
On April 13, Tufts won all three doubles matches and Middlebury swept singles for a 6-3 Panthers victory at the Proctor Tennis Courts. The teams have met once before in the conference tournament with Middlebury winning a 2013 first round match 5-1.
Head coach Karl Gregor's Jumbos are currently #19 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll and Middlebury is at #6.
The young Tufts line-up in its most recent match had sophomore Boris Sorkin at #1 singles, freshman Paris Pentousis playing #2, freshman Isaac Gorelik at third singles, sophomore Carl Herman-Grant playing fourth, sophomore Owen Bartok in the fifth spot and freshman Jack Moldenhauer at #6. The doubles tandems were Sorkin with Grant (#1), junior Zach Shaff with Pentousis second and juniors Ethan Bershtein (co-captain) and Niko Hereford at #3.
The Panthers' most recent line-up featured senior Noah Farrell at #1 singles, senior Lubomir Cuba second, sophomore Andre Xiao playing third singles, sophomore Adam Guo fourth, sophomore Nate Eazor in the fifth spot and freshman Stanley Morris sixth. For doubles, Cuba with senior Peter Martin were #1, Farrell with junior Aleksandr Samets played second and Xiao with Eazor were third.
The NESCAC champion will receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.