Claremont McKenna College student-athletes William Ellison '07 and David Oehm '07 have won the Division III men's doubles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III national championships in Fort Myers, Fla. Freshman Mike Starr (HMC '10) also won the Division III Men's Singles Championship, and then advanced to the final of the Small College "Super Bowl" during the Oct. 11-14 event, making him the first Division III male to reach the final since 1994. Ellison and Oehm, playing as partners for the first time, are the second consecutive team from CMS to win the national doubles title. (Guillame Schils and Lawrence Wang, both Class of '09, won last year.)
Participants are determined through placement in qualifying tournaments of the Wilson/ITA Regional Championships, held in September and October. CMS hosted the ITA West Regionals Sept. 29-Oct. 1, with Ellison, Oehm, and Starr winning the doubles and singles titles, respectively, to advance to nationals in Florida.
All three Claremont-Mudd-Scripps players earn All-American status as a result of their wins this fall at the regional and national tournaments, putting the Stags in a position to be ranked first or second, nationally, in Division III, going into the spring season.
"David and William both serve and return very well, and are intimidating because of their size, power, and reach," says CMS head tennis coach Paul Settles. "What is exciting is that these guys should be even better in the spring: more disciplined in their shot selection, more aggressive in their movement."
Stephanie Hammond '08 and Lisa Steckmest '09 finished seventh in the women's doubles championship, with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Trinity University.
The annual ITA National Small College Championships began in 1986 and crowns men's and women's singles and doubles national champions in each of the ITA's four, small-college divisions (NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College). Each division (men's and women's singles and doubles) consists of the eight champions from the regional tournaments, from which a national (divisional) champion is determined during the first 2 1/2 days of competition. National champions from each division then square off in the "Super Bowl" of small college tennis to determine the overall ITA national small college champions, who then earn berths into the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, a Division I event in November.
--- Samantha Stecker '08