The hard work they put in on a daily basis certainly paid off for the Castleton men’s tennis team, which ended its season of dominance with a North Atlantic Conference championship. The squad entered the North Atlantic Conference Finals with a 9-2 record, improving significantly from last year’s winless season. With the luxury of playing the championship on their home courts, the Spartans went up against Becker, Johnson State and Thomas College.
Castleton started off the singles competition strong, winning five of the six first-round games to send Justin Davis, Ted Panasci, Robbie Gray, Jessee Maranda and Jason Gramling to the final round of each tournament.
In the first singles final, Davis played Trevor Kelson of Johnson State for the third time this season. With each having a win over the other, the rubber-match would be the last singles match for both seniors. Kelson was victorious for Johnson State with scores of 6-0 and 6-2.
But Castleton would get back to its dominant singles form after that match, winning all four of the remaining finals. Three-time NAC rookie of the week Robbie Gray was impressive in his win, and two-time conference player of the week Jessee Maranda shrugged off a first set loss to win the next two. Jason Gramling and Ted Panasci’s victories in their respective finals were beneficial to the Spartans’ lead heading into the doubles matches.
Two of the three doubles pairings for Castleton won their first round games to enter the finals. The previously unbeaten duo of Gramling and Panasci suffered a tough 8-6 loss to Thomas College. But the Spartans had no need to worry, as Maranda and Jeremy Henderson won their doubles final and clinched the NAC title for the Castleton men.
The Conference title was the team’s second in their three years of existence.