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Monday, Jun 24, 2024

Men’s and women’s tennis teams off to a strong start this fall

Julian “Juju” Wu ’26 lunges for the ball at the Middlebury Invitational, where he was crowned singles champion.
Julian “Juju” Wu ’26 lunges for the ball at the Middlebury Invitational, where he was crowned singles champion.

Although the fall season is short, it is off to a sweet start for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams. Both teams opened their season the weekend of Sept. 16 and have begun gearing up for the regional and cup Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) competitions. 

The men’s team kicked off their season at the Middlebury Invitational on Sept. 16–17, hosting seven teams in a series of single and double matches. Julian “Juju” Wu ’26 claimed the top spot for the Panthers, bringing his career singles play record to 29–4. 

“We had someone win the Midd Invite, which is a new thing for us,” said Noah Laber ’24, one of the men’s team captains. “We don’t historically have a lot of success at the Midd Invite, so that was really exciting. We’re definitely having more success at home than we’re used to, especially early in the season when sometimes people aren’t as prepared.”

While the men’s team hosted the Middlebury Invitational, the women’s team traveled to Skidmore College that weekend to compete in the Thoroughbred Invitational. Four players went undefeated during singles play, while doubles team Amy Delman ’24 and Sahana Raman ’25 went a perfect 4–0.

This past weekend, the women’s team traveled to Wesleyan University to compete in the ITA Regional Championship. Raman and Delman finished second in the ITA Doubles Regional Competition, earning an automatic bid to play the ITA Cup in Rome, Ga., Oct. 12-16. 

“It has been exciting to be all together again at practice, and traveling helped show us all how much fun we have during match weekends,” Sami Remis ’24, one of the women’s team captains, wrote in an email to The Campus. “We are very supportive of one another, and everyone has such a positive attitude at matches and practice so that we can continue to get better.” 

The women’s team is preparing for another away weekend at Bowdoin’s Polar Bear Invitational Oct. 7–8. Remis said she is excited to play at home later in the season. 

“I am looking forward to our home invite in October, where we get to play at the Proctor courts. It is always fun to play at home!” Remis wrote. “We are all getting excited to compete in our season in the spring.” 

The men’s team will next play in Brunswick, Maine, on Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 for their ITA Regional Championship. Laber predicts that being on the road will help his team zone in on the game. 

“When we’re on the road, we’re more focused on tennis. When we’re home, we have friends here; it’s easier to do school work and go to the library late at night,” Laber said. “It’s just a different level of focus we can bring to an away match that we haven’t really fostered here.”

Joe Mairs ’24, another men’s team captain, is excited by the mix of athletic talent across class years. 

“We’re returning almost the entire team plus three freshmen. We got some new guys coming up and guys who are hungry to get in the lineup. It’s going to be a fun, competitive season this year,” Mairs said. 

Overall, the Panthers are looking forward to a competitive fall tennis season.

“We definitely have some chances to do things there especially with players like [Wu] and promising freshmen, as well as seasoned returners who have proven themselves, especially in the last couple of weeks,” Laber said. “There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Charlie Keohane

Charlie Keohane ’24 (she/her) is an Editor at Large. She previously served as the SGA Correspondent and a Senior Writer.   

She is an environmental writing major and a psychology minor from Northern California. Outside of academics, Charlie is a Senior Admissions Fellow at the Middlebury Admissions Office. She also is involved with the women’s track team and hosts Witching Hour, a radio show on 91.1 WRMC. In Spring 2023, she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching Greta Gerwig movies, polar plunging, sending snail mail, and FaceTiming her rescue dog, Poppy.