The men's tennis team is climbing the rankings after its victory over Middlebury last Saturday. The 5-4 victory marked the Polar Bears' first triumph over the Panthers since the 2008 NESCAC championship match. No. 9 Bowdoin also shut out Brandeis 9-0 on Friday.

Chris Lord '14 and Casey Grindon '13 fought back against Middlebury to win in a tiebreaker after having been down 7-5 at one point. Alex Jacobs '12 said that "their effort and hustle was the difference" in their match.

The other points against Middlebury were won by Grindon at No. 4 singles, Kyle Wolstencroft '15 at No. 6 singles, Sam King '14 and captain Oscar Pena '12 at No. 1 doubles, and Wolstencroft and Doug Caplan '15 at No. 3 doubles.

Alex said that against the Panthers, the Polar Bears "started the match with more energy and confidence than Middlebury. There was a certain determination and fight about us that clearly separated us from our opponents."

Jacobs called this season's roster "the best team I've been on in four years" and said the win against Middlebury is the "biggest win in four years," proof that the athletes' hard work and dedication has paid off.

In previous seasons, the Polar Bears' performance has been good, but never stellar; last season, they made it to the NESCAC semifinals but no farther. Jacobs said the team in the past "beaten the teams we're supposed to beat and lost to the teams that were better," but this year, the team is reaching new heights.

One of the major reasons the Polar Bears are having one of their best seasons to date is their doubles play. The duos, from No. 1 to No. 3, have earned much needed victories and given the team an edge during tough matches.

The team also uses its rookies' contagious energy to its advantage, and so far, it's working. Bowdoin (8-5, 4-1 NESCAC) is currently ahead of last season's pace in conference play.

The win over Middlebury gives the Polar Bears an advantage for an NCAA bid. The key to securing a spot in the tournament will be a victory over Bates this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

If the Polar Bears come away with a win, they will most likely finish eighth in the country and have a better chance of hosting regionals for the final tournament.