The men's tennis team faced its toughest competition of the year last Saturday when it traveled to Middlebury to play against the top-ranked team in the country. Middlebury played extremely well and defeated Bowdoin 9-0. The Panthers improved to 13-2 overall and 6-0 in the NESCAC, their skills proving to be too much for their competition to handle.

"The match was tough," said captain Tyler Anderson '10. "We didn't play our best out there but Middlebury is a very solid team. We have to learn from the match and just move past it. This weekend we have another important match and the guys are ready for the test."

Despite the loss, Bowdoin will look to bounce back as the regular season winds down. Just two NESCAC matches remain before the playoffs begin. This weekend, Bowdoin will take on a tough Williams squad at home.

Williams is currently ranked 12th in the country, just one spot ahead of Bowdoin. If the Polar Bears can bounce back from the loss last weekend and focus on the task at hand, the match with the Ephs should prove to be interesting.

Aside from marking a crucial match, this weekend is also alumni weekend at the College. For the team, this means family, friends and alumni from tennis teams of the past will attend the match on Saturday against Williams. The crowd will be loudly rooting for the Polar Bears to defeat their rival, and the team is excited about the opportunity to play in front of their family and alumni against Williams.

"Playing in front of family as well as the alumni is always enjoyable," said senior captain Matthew Knise. "More energy is brought to the match when alumni return and families are's a great atmosphere."

Bowdoin will look to improve its NESCAC record this weekend. The Polar Bears are currently 9-4 overall and 4-2 in the NESCAC. The match against Williams this weekend will have implications for the seeding in the conference tournament. Williams is 5-4 overall and 2-1 in NESCAC play.

Following the Williams match, the team's final regular season competition will be against Bates on April 30.

The conference tournament begins on May 7. Only two years ago, Bowdoin defeated Middlebury 5-4 in the finals of the NESCAC Championship.

Juniors and seniors on Bowdoin remember the victory and use it as motivation to become NESCAC champions once again.

"Two years ago we made a great run and learned a lot from the experience," said Stephen Sullivan '11. "Our goal is to make it back to that point but right now we are just focused on the Williams match and we will take it from there."