(Watch Joe Dorn's postmatch interview above)
#1 CMS Stags Tennis defeated #3 Amherst 5-0 in the NCAA Team Championship Semifinals on Tuesday at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A dramatic doubles sweep followed by convincing straight set wins at #3 and #6 singles advanced the Stags to their first NCAA Championship match since 1994.
CMS was led by junior captain Neel Kotrappa (La Verne, CA) and senior Alex Lane (Claremont, CA) who each had two wins on the afternoon. Lane and partner Nikolas Marino (So. - San Diego, CA) got CMS on the scoreboard first with their 8-4, two-break victory at #3 doubles. Kotrappa and partner Skyler Butts (Fr. - Santa Ana, CA) then earned an intense 9-8(5) win at #2 doubles by converting their second match point returning at 5-6 in the tie-break. Moments later, CMS' #1 team of Joe Dorn (So. - Washington D.C.) and Zhenya Pereverzin (Jr. - Clackamas, OR) faced match point against them serving at 5-6 in their tie-break, but converted the next three points to complete the doubls sweep.
Needing only two wins in singles to clinch, Lane and Kotrappa played focused and efficient tennis to secure their straight set triumphs. Lane was never in trouble in his 6-1, 6-1 win at #3 singles, while Kotrappa reeled off the last four games to complete a 6-3, 6-3 victory for the clinch at #6.
CMS will face #6 Williams in the NCAA Championship match at 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday. CMS defeated Williams 5-4 on March 29 at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center, in the teams' only previous meeting this season.
#1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5) vs. #3
May 21, 2013 at Kalamazoo, MI (Stowe Stadium) - NCAA Team Championships Semifinals
1. Joe Dorn / Zhenya Pereverzin (CMS) def. Mark Kahan / Michael Solimano (Amherst) 9-8(6)
2. Neel Kotrappa / Skyler Butts (CMS) def. Ben Fife / Andrew Yaraghi (Amherst) 9-8(5)
3. Nikolas Marino / Alex Lane (CMS) def. Joey Fritz / Justin Reindel (Amherst) 8-4
1. Joe Dorn (CMS) vs. Joey Fritz (Amherst) 6-7(5), 2-2, DNF
2. Nikolas Marino (CMS) vs. Mark Kahan (Amherst) 6-4, 1-2, DNF
3. Alex Lane (CMS) def. Andrew Yaraghi (Amherst) 6-1, 6-1
4. Skyler Butts (CMS) vs. Ben Fife (Amherst) 0-6, 3-5, DNF
5. Alex Johnson (CMS) vs. Chris Dale (Amherst) 6-2, 1-6, 3-2, DNF
6. Neel Kotrappa (CMS) def. Justin Reindel (Amherst) 6-3, 6-3
Doubles: 3, 2, 1
Singles: 3, 6