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May 4, 2008

Stags Move on to NCAA Quarterfinals with Win Over #1 Santa Cruz

CMS Men's Tennis advanced to the NCAA Division III Team Championship Quarterfinals on Sunday with a thrilling 5-3 victory over #1 ranked UC Santa Cruz. Senior captain Ben Hough (Spokane, WA) stayed perfect on the weekend by earning two more wins, and the Stags won the final match at CMS' Marks and Smith Courts in dramatic fashion.

Three weeks to the day of their first encounter - in which CMS rallied from a 4-0 deficit to pull off an improbable 5-4 victory - the two teams faced each other on Sunday ranked #1 and #2 in Division III. Having been swept in doubles three weeks ago, the Stags were eager to get an early advantage with a doubles lead. Number two pair Hough and Eric MacColl (So. - Greenbrae, CA) delivered early with an 8-1 win against the reigning Ojai champs Ortiz and Pybas. After a setback at #3 doubles evened the match score at 1-1, number one pair Guillaume Schils (Jr. - Shaker Heights, OH) and Lawrence Wang (Jr. - Orange, CA) earned an exciting 8-6 win to put the Stags up 2-1 heading into the singles.

In the singles, CMS got the upperhand early by winning the first set on four of six courts. Hough put the Stags up 3-1 with a straight set win at #6. However, despite winning the first sets at #2 and #4, CMS lost three setters at both positions to even the match at 3-all. At #5, freshman Russell Brockett (Austin, TX) was ahead 6-3, 4-3 when opponent Jeff Fong took a medical timeout for cramping. After a long service hold put Brockett up 5-3, Fong then cramped severely and was unable to continue, receiving a point, then game penalty to end the match. This put the Stags up 4-3 with both Wang and Mike Starr (So. - San Ramon, CA) at #1 and #3 respectively, late in the third set of matches where each had come back from a one set deficit. After decisive breaks in the third put both players up a service break, it was Wang who clinched the dual match in front of a partisan home crowd, with his 6-4 third set win.

The win over UC Santa Cruz is CMS' third over a #1 ranked team this season (Gustavus Adolphus on 3/26, and UCSC on 4/13). The Stags advance to the NCAA Team Championship Quarterfinals in Lewiston, Maine, where they will face #8 Williams College on Tuesday, May 13. The Stags will look to avenge a loss to Williams on March 29 in Austin, Texas. This is the second time in the past three years that the Stags have advanced to the elite eight.

 

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5 vs UC Santa Cruz 3 Winner Score
1. Guillaume Schils / Wang vs Kamel / Vartabedian CMS 8-6
2. Hough / E. MacColl vs Max Ortiz / Pybas CMS 8-1
3. Brockett / Starr vs Ilia Gendelman / Liberty-Point UCSC 8-2
CMS led 2-1 after doubles / Order of Completion: #2, #3, #1
1. Lawrence Wang vs Jared Kamel CMS 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. Eric MacColl vs Bryan Pybas UCSC 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Mike Starr vs Colin Mark-Griffin unfinished 4-6, 7-6(3), 5-3
4. Drew Sabater vs Max Liberty-Point UCSC 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Russell Brockett vs Jeff Fong CMS 6-3, 6-3
6. Ben Hough vs Marc Vartabedian CMS 6-4, 6-1
CMS wins 5-3 / Order of Completion: #6, #2, #4, #5, #1