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Middlebury edges men's tennis 5-4 in NESCAC playoff

Rob Crampton won or helped win two of Bates' first three points. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates men's tennis team gained two points from its March matchup against Middlebury, but the No. 12 nationally ranked Panthers edged the No. 14 Bobcats 5-4 on Friday in the first round of the NESCAC Men's Tennis Championship at Williams College.

Bates took a 2-1 lead after doubles play, in contrast to the 7-2 loss at Middlebury on March 11, when the teams entered singles play with Middlebury up 2-1.

In singles, juniors Rob Crampton (Wilton, Conn.) and Matt Bettles (Taunton, England) kept the Bobcats right in contention until the end. After Middlebury evened the score at 3-3 with wins at first and fifth singles, Crampton finished off Alec Parower in a rout at second singles, 6-0, 6-2. Middlebury regained a 4-3 edge, but Bettles evened it up again by putting the wraps on a 6-2, 6-3 win over Derrick Angle at third singles. Middlebury's Spencer Lunghino clinched Middlebury's advancement in the conference semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win at fourth singles.

Bettles and Crampton continued their brilliant doubles play this season with an 8-4 win over Brantner Jones and Lunghino at No. 1 doubles. At second doubles, sophomore Timmy Berg (Bradenton, Fla.) and first-year Pierre Planche (Natick, Mass.) defeated Angle and Andrew Lebovitz 8-6 to assume the Bobcats' 2-1 lead.

The Bobcats finish team competition with a 10-8 record, while Middlebury improved to 13-5. The Panthers will take on top-seeded Amherst Saturday at 1pm.

Bates will look to participate in the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships, in the singles and doubles competition, hopefully on both the men's and women's sides, May 27-29 in Cary, N.C.

Bates College vs Middlebury College
May 04, 2012 at Williamstown, Mass.
(Torrance M. Hunt Courts)
Middlebury College 5, Bates College 4

Singles
1. Brantner Jones (MIDDM) def. Timmy Berg (BATESM) 6-2, 6-2
2. Robert Crampton (BATESM) def. Alec Parower (MIDDM) 6-0, 6-2
3. Matt Bettles (BATESM) def. Derrick Angle (MIDDM) 6-2, 6-3
4. Spencer Lunghino (MIDDM) def. Pierre Planche (BATESM) 6-4, 6-3
5. Edward Fitzgibbons (MIDDM) def. Jeffrey Beaton (BATESM) 6-0, 6-0
6. Eric Vehovec (MIDDM) def. Ben Bogard (BATESM) 6-0, 6-4

Doubles
1. Matt Bettles/Robert Crampton (BATESM) def. Brantner Jones/Spencer Lunghino (MIDDM) 8-4
2. Timmy Berg/Pierre Planche (BATESM) def. Derrick Angle/Andrew Lebovitz (MIDDM) 8-6
3. Edward Fitzgibbons/William Oberrender (MIDDM) def. Peter Yanofsky/Kyle DeSisto (BATESM) 8-5