Header Background
 

Stags Tennis Wins One for the Ages

In what will be remembered as one of the most dramatic wins in CMS Men's Tennis history, the Stags came back from a 4-0 deficit against #1 ranked UC Santa Cruz and pulled off the impossible, winning five straight singles matches to earn a 5-4 victory and re-establish themselves as one of the top teams in Division III men's tennis.

After getting swept in doubles and dropping #4 singles in straight sets, it looked as if the Stags were in for a long afternoon against the defending national champions. Mikey Lim (So. - Honolulu, HI) and Drew Sabater (So.- Claremont, CA) were a set down at #3 and #5 singles, while the other three singles matches were all competitive. The number one singles player Lawrence Wang (Jr. - Orange, CA) got the Stags on the board with his 6-1, 6-4 victory, closely followed by freshman Russell Brockett (Austin, TX), who, as a last minute replacement for the injured Ronald Wu, was inserted at #6 singles and won by a 6-1, 6-1 score.

With the match now at 4-2 in favor of Santa Cruz, the Stags still found themselves down a break of serve in the third sets of two of three remaining matches on court. Lim was the first to pull out a three-set victory at #3 and narrow the gap to 4-3 in favor of the Slugs. However, sophomore Eric MacColl (Greenbrae, CA) at #2 was down 5-4 in the third set, with his opponent - 2007 Ojai singles finalist and NCAA semifinalist Bryan Pybas - serving for the match. MacColl broke serve and then traded holds with Pybas to force a tie-break. In the tie-break, the lead switched three times, with neither player ever holding a lead of more than a point. MacColl and the Stags faced elimination, down a match point at 5-6 in the tie-break, but MacColl came up with his biggest serve of the day - a service winner up the tee to the ad side, to level it at 6-all. As MacColl was saving a match point, Sabater at #5 broke his opponent serving for the match at 5-4, to create a massive momentum swing in the Stags favor. MacColl then went on to win two gutty points and secure his match and get the Stags even at 4-all. With Sabater's service hold at 5-all, the junior was now returning serve to complete the impossible comeback. On the first point, Sabater forced a forehand volley error with a passing shot up the line to go up Love-15. A forehand error on the second point followed by a double fault at Love-30, gave Sabater and the Stags three match points. After a service winner saved the first, Sabater ripped a forehand return at 15-40 that was called out and then over-ruled by the umpire, to give the Stags the incredible comeback win.

The win moves CMS to 20-7 overall and marks the second time this season that they have beaten a team ranked #1 in Division III (Gustavus Adolphus - March 26). The Stags host the SCIAC tournament beginning Friday, April 18. As top seed in the tournament, the Stags will face 8th seed Caltech at 9:00 AM. The tournament will conclude on Saturday, with the conference champion advancing to the NCAA tournament.

  

CMS 5

vs

UC Santa Cruz 4

1.

Schils / Wang

lost to

Kamel / Vartabedian

8-6

2.

Hough /  MacColl

lost to

Ortiz / Pybas

8-2

3.

Starr /  Wu

lost to

Liberty-Point / Gendleman

8-6

Order of completion: #2, #3, #1 / CMS trailed 3-0 after doubles

1.

Lawrence Wang

def

Jared Kamel

6-1, 6-4

2.

Eric MacColl

def

Bryan Pybas

6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6)

3.

Mikey Lim

def

Max Ortiz

3-6, 6-3, 6-2

4.

Mike Starr

lost to

Colin Marc-Griffen

6-2, 6-3

5.

Drew Sabater

def

Max Liberty-Point

6-7(8), 6-4, 7-5

6.

Russell Brockett

def

Silvio Chiba

6-1, 6-1

Order of completion: #4, #1, #6, #3, #2, #5