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Men's Tennis Crushes #10 Cruz 8-1

Alex Johnson (photo Kathy Settles)

CMS Stags Tennis earned a tense doubles sweep and then pulled away from West Region rival UC Santa Cruz on Sunday. Sophomores Warren Wood (Del Mar, CA) and Joe Dorn (Washington D.C.) won at #1 doubles and then the top two singles positions to lead the Stags to the 8-1 win at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.

CMS' 23rd win of the season and 12th straight didn't lack for drama despite another doubles sweep against a quality national opponent. Wood and Dorn won their 24th as a team, earning their second break of serve when returning for the match at 4-7. At #2 and #3 doubles, CMS had to come from a break down in order to secure hard fought wins at both spots. At #2, junior captain Neel Kotrappa (La Verne, CA) and partner Skyler Butts (Fr.- Santa Ana, CA) were broken in the first game of the pro-set and trailed until 4-3, when they broke back to level the score. Then at 5-6, the duo broke again with captain Kotrappa serving out the match at 7-5. At #3, Nikolas Marino (So. - San Diego, CA) and Alex Lane (Sr. - Claremont, CA) were also broken early and struggling to hold in nearly every service game. However, when returning to stay in the match at 7-6, the Stags' #3 got their first break and seemingly a shift in momentum. Leading 40-15 at 7-all with Marino serving, Santa Cruz's #3 scrapped together a gritty break to again serve for the match at 8-7. Marino and Lane again met the challenge, hitting consecutive passing shot winners at 30-all to force the match to a tie-break. The tie-break was all Marino and Lane, with the Stags pair winning the first five points and closing out the sweep at 7-2.

In the singles, CMS played with urgency and purpose, surrendering only a single set in six matches. Senior Alex Johnson (Thousand Oaks, CA) celebrated Senior Day with a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing at #6 for the Stags' third singles win of the afternoon. Johnson is now 17-6 on the season and has won eight straight and 12 of his last 13. Butts' straight set win at #5 put the Stags up 4-0, before Marino got his team-leading 21st win of the season at #3 to clinch the dual match for CMS. Wood also earned his 21st singles win of the season at #1, and is now 19-2 against D3 opponents.

CMS honored its four graduating seniors - Lane, Johnson, Mac Cahill (Southport, CT), and Matt Ellis (Mercer Island, WA) - all participating in their final regular season dual match at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. Up next for CMS is the 113th Ojai Valley Tournament. CMS will have nine singles players and four doubles team participating in the D3 event at the Pierpont Raquet Club beginning Friday, April 26.

#1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8) vs. #10 UC Santa Cruz (1)
April 21, 2013 at Claremont, CA (Biszantz Family Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. Warren Wood / Joe Dorn (CMS) def. Erich Koenig / George Goetz (UC Santa Cruz) 8-4
2. Neel Kotrappa / Skyler Butts (CMS) def. Bryce Bettwy / Max Littlejohn (UC Santa Cruz) 8-5
3. Nikolas Marino / Alex Lane (CMS) def. Andre Halabi / Sam Rodgers (UC Santa Cruz) 9-8(2)

Singles
1. Warren Wood (CMS) def. Erich Koenig (UC Santa Cruz) 6-3, 7-5
2. Joe Dorn (CMS) def. Andre Halabi (UC Santa Cruz) 6-3, 6-2
3. Nikolas Marino (CMS) def. Bryce Bettwy (UC Santa Cruz) 6-1, 6-3
4. Sam Rodgers (UC Santa Cruz) def. Alex Lane (CMS) 2-6, 6-3, (10-8)
5. Skyler Butts (CMS) def. Eli Scandalis (UC Santa Cruz) 6-1, 6-3
6. Alex Johnson (CMS) def. Max Littlejohn (UC Santa Cruz) 6-2, 6-0

Order of completion
Doubles: 1, 2, 3
Singles: 5, 3, 6, 2, 1, 4