Nikolai Parodi's NCAA Singles Run Ends in Quarterfinal Round for CMS Men's Tennis

Nikolai Parodi's NCAA Singles Run Ends in Quarterfinal Round for CMS Men's Tennis

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Junior Nikolai Parodi advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship for the third year in a row, but was unable to make his third semifinal appearance as he was defeated by Bernardo Neves of WashU 7-6, 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The loss ends the 2018-19 season for the Stags, who finished with a 33-2 record as a team while reaching the national championship match for the fifth time in the last seven years, including the program's second national title in 2015. CMS was the runner-up this season to Emory after falling 5-3 in the national finals on Wednesday, but continued on in the individual championships with two entrants in the singles championship (Parodi and sophomore Jack Katzman) and one in the doubles (Parodi and senior Julian Gordy).

Parodi was the last one standing coming into Saturday after earning two-straight singles wins on Friday, the second coming against SCIAC rival Chase Lipscomb, while Katzman fell to Sean Wei of Amherst in the Round of 16 after earning All-America honors with his opening-round win. Parodi and Gordy, meanwhile, fell to the No. 1 doubles team from Chicago in their Round of 16 match on Friday evening.  

Parodi got off to a strong start in Saturday's quarterfinal round in singles, getting two aces to win his first service game, and then breaking at love for a 2-0 lead. The momentum shifted after Parodi went ahead 3-0, though, and Neves was able to win the next five games to go up a break. Neves had a set point on Parodi's serve leading 5-3, but Parodi was able to fight it off and get his hold. He then broke Neves on for straight points for the second time in the set to get back on serve. After each player held their final service game, th first set ended up going to a tiebreaker, but Neves was able to take control early and win it 7-1 for the first set. 

The second set started off similar to the first with Parodi earning a break on Neves' first serve and taking a 3-1 lead. This time, though, Neves seized the momentum and never gave it back, winning the last five games in a row for a 7-6, 6-3 victory which advanced him through to the semifinals. 

CMS will have to replace Gordy next season, who has been a mainstay at the top of the doubles lineup and a 20-win player at No. 3 in singles, as well as graduating seniors Avinash Vemuri and Alfred Simental, but the Stags do have a loaded line-up returning next season as they eye a potential run at a national title. Parodi and Katzman return in the 1-2 spots for the third year in a row, and also return sophomore Robert Liu, junior Daniel Park and freshman Nic Meister, who ended the year in the 4-6 singles positions.

Several other key returning players are back as well, including junior Oscar Burney, who finished the year playing No. 2 doubles, junior Jake Williams, who also had a turn in the doubles lineup, junior Matthew Jacobs and sophomore Casey Morris, who each held down the No. 6 spot in the singles ladder at times this year, and freshman Ethan Carroll, who had some big wins in his freshman campaign, including a win over Lipscomb in the ITA Fall Regionals.