KALAMAZOO, Mich. – National Senior Player of the year and senior captain Skyler Butts (Santa Ana, CA) of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis closed his career with a national championship in singles at the NCAA Division III Tennis Championships. Butts came away with a three-set win (6-2, 6-7 (0), 6-2) over Branden Metzler of host Kalamazoo College for the national title on May 28 at Stowe Stadium. With Metzler in the finals, the match was played in front a large contingent of Kalamazoo fans.
This is the first NCAA Division III singles championship for Butts, who finished as the national runner-up in 2015.
In the deciding third set, Butts did not trail. He moved ahead 1-0 and 2-1. Metzler then evened the set at 2-2 before Butts wrapped up his championship by winning four-straight games.
The second set saw Metzler earn a big comeback and capture the momentum to tie the match up at 1-1 and push Butts to a third set. Butts led 5-3 (40-15) before Metzler won two-straight games to tie the second set at 5-5. Butts went ahead 6-5 and Metzler answered again to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Metzler did not lose a point.
The match began with Butts controlling the first set. He led 3-0 before Metzler won his first game. At 3-1, Butts won back-to-back games to move within a game of winning the first set. Metzler made it 5-2 before Butts closed out the first set.
Butts becomes the sixth singles national champion in CMS men's tennis program history and second-straight.
By Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College
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