KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For the first time since 2012, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team will not be playing for the national championship. The No. 2-ranked Stags had made three-straight title match appearances in the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships which included a 2015 national championship. That streak ended however for the Stags with a 5-2 loss to No. 8 Chicago on May 23 in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals at Stowe Stadium on the campus of Kalamazoo College.
In the second match-up between CMS (27-5) and Chicago (18-6) this season, Chicago avenged a 7-2 early-season loss to CMS on March 25 in Claremont.
Back in March, CMS swept doubles en route to the win. On Monday, CMS took two of three doubles points. Peter Leung and Charlie Pei moved Chicago out in front with an 8-5 win over freshman Julian Gordy (Tarzana, CA) and senior Oliver Seifert (Los Altos, CA) at #2 doubles. Junior Glenn Hull (Brookings, OR) and senior Lestter Yeh (Arcadia, CA) evened the match at 1-1 when they topped Max Hawkins and Luke Tsai 8-4. Then at #1 singles, senior captain Skyler Butts (Santa Ana, CA) and junior Daniel Morkovine (San Carlos, CA) snuck out a win in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-4) over Nicolas Chua and David Liu to give CMS the advantage and the momentum heading into singles.
Throughout the season, singles had been where the Stags took control of the match, as was the case recently against Texas-Tyler in the third round of the NCAA Championships. In Monday's quarterfinals match, Chicago was the team that dominated singles play, taking four points to seal its 5-2 win. Of the six singles matches, only one match repeated a match-up from when CMS defeated Chicago in March, and that was Butts against Chua at #1 singles. Butts held an advantage (7-5, 2-2) in that match, but did not finish as Chicago won four singles matches in straight sets to eliminate CMS from the postseason.
Leung defeated Yeh at #6 singles (6-3, 6-3) to even the match score at 2-2. Chicago jumped back in front 3-2 when Sven Kranz won 6-4, 6-2 over Morkovine at #3 singles. Liu followed with a 6-4, 6-4 win at #2 over Hull and the clincher came at #4 as Pei beat junior Max Macey (Wilton, CT) 6-2, 7-6 (7-1).
Three Stags now transition over to compete in the singles and doubles competition of the NCAAs, May 26-28, also in Kalamazoo: Butts (singles/doubles), Hull (singles) and Morkovine (singles alternate/doubles). More information will be posted about the singles and doubles portion of the NCAA Championships on the tournament webpage as soon as it becomes available.
As a team, the Stags end the season at 27-5 and have now registered top-10 finishes at Nationals 11 seasons in a row, and 13 of the last 14 seasons.
#8 Chicago 5, #2 ClaremontMuddScripps
1. Skyler Butts/Daniel Morkovine (CMS) def. Chua, Nicolas/Liu, David (UC) 9-8 (7-4)
2. Leung, Peter/Pei, Charlie (UC) def. Julian Gordy/Oliver Seifert (CMS) 8-5
3. Glenn Hull/Lestter Yeh (CMS) def. Hawkins, Max/Tsai, Luke (UC) 8-4
1. Skyler Butts (CMS) vs. Chua, Nicolas (UC) 7-5, 2-2, unfinished
2. Liu, David (UC) def. Glenn Hull (CMS) 6-4, 6-4
3. Kranz, Sven (UC) def. Daniel Morkovine (CMS) 6-4, 6-2
4. Pei, Charlie (UC) def. Max Macey (CMS) 6-2, 7-6 (7-1)
5. Patrick Wildman (CMS) vs. Tsai, Luke (UC) 3-6, 6-3, unfinished
6. Leung, Peter (UC) def. Lestter Yeh (CMS) 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,3,2,4)
NCAA Division III Quarterfinals