Parodi and Morkovine capture Ojai singles and doubles titles

Doubles Champs: Nikolai Parodi & Daniel Morkovine
Doubles Champs: Nikolai Parodi & Daniel Morkovine

OJAI, Calif. – Freshman Nikolai Parodi (CMC) was given an opportunity to replace senior teammate Glenn Hull (CMC) in the 117th Ojai Tournament just a day before play began. He responded by winning the singles and doubles titles, defeating senior teammate Daniel Morkovine (CMC) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for the singles crown, and then teaming with Morkovine for the first time to capture the doubles championship. This was the fourth straight Ojai with CMS capturing both the singles and doubles titles.

Parodi entered as the top seed in singles and was nearly ousted in the second round, needing a third set tie-break to subdue Pacific's Oscar Wight. The Stag freshman started to hit his stride on day two of the tournament, winning his quarterfinal and semifinal matches in straight sets. On Sunday in the championship match, Parodi started slowly by winning just one of the first six games, but found his range and pulled away by winning fifteen of the last twenty games. The Parodi versus Morkovine final marked the fourth consecutive year of all-CMS singles finals at The Ojai. Parodi becomes the first freshman to win the Ojai singles title. Morkovine reached the singles final for the second straight year, having lost to teammate Skyler Butts in the 2016 championship match.

Despite the disappointment of falling just short in the singles, Morkovine found redemption in claiming his third straight Ojai doubles title, joining Butts as the only other Stag to achieve that milestone. The first time Stag tandem had close calls in both their first round and semifinal matches, defeating teams from Whittier and Pomona-Pitzer by 9-7 scores. Against Avery Bicks and Marko Mandic of Pomona-Pitzer in the semis, Morkovine and Parodi saved a match point at 6-7 on a Parodi reflex let cord volley winner.

In Sunday's doubles final against Redlands' Joey Dulle and Jake Ly, Morkovine and Parodi faced little resistance in a 6-3, 6-1 victory. The win was the 100th of Morkovine's career, joining only three other Stags (Butts, Warren Wood, and Larry Wang) to win 100 or more doubles matches in their careers. By adding four more singles wins over the weekend, Morkovine is now at 93 career singles wins.

Next up for the Stags is the SCIAC tournament which begins this Friday, May 5. CMS (25-3, 7-0) is the tournament's top seed and will host eighth seed Occidental (4-12, 0-7) at 3 p.m. at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. Tournament play will then move to Pomona-Pitzer's Pauley Tennis Complex for the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7.

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