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May 5, 2012

Stags Tennis Wins Seventh Straight SCIAC Title

CMS Stags Tennis completed its seventh consecutive perfect SCIAC season with a 6-3 triumph over #9 Pomona-Pitzer in the conference tournament final at Redlands on Saturday. Senior captain Robbie Erani (New York, NY) led the Stags with wins at #1 doubles and #3 singles, as CMS won its 65th straight conference match.

Erani and partner Alex Lane (Jr. - Claremont, CA) won their tenth match as a team and gave CMS its first point of the match with an 8-2 win at the top position. That tied the dual at one-all, meaning that the outcome of number three doubles would determine which team would have the advantage going into singles. Stags' third pair Neel Kotrappa (So. - La Verne, CA) and Brandon Wei (Sr. - Lake Oswego, OR) trailed 6-3 but broke back and eventually evened the match at 6-all. After trading holds until 8-all, Kotrappa and Wei got ahead in the tie-break early and held on for a 7-2 win to put CMS up 2-1.

Heading into singles play, CMS hoped to replicate its April 14 sweep of all six positions against Pomona-Pitzer with the loss of only one set. Freshman Nik Marino (San Diego, CA) and Erani were first to convert for the Stags, each winning in straight sets to expand CMS' lead to 4-1. However, the other three matches on court were being closely contested. Freshman Warren Wood (San Diego, CA) and Lane found themselves down a set on the top two courts, while juniorAlex Johnson (Thousand Oaks, CA) failed to convert an early break and lost the first set at #5. With Johnson serving at 5-6, love-forty and facing three match points in the second, the momentum began to change for the Stags. Johnson held serve and then won the second set on his first set point in the tie-break, while Wood and Lane won 7-6 and 7-5 second sets respectively. Pomona-Pitzer inched closer by pulling out a third set at #2, leaving Johnson to clinch for the Stags with a 6-2 third set at #5. Up 5-2, the Stags had chances at #1, where Wood couldn't capitalize on a 4-1 lead in the third, but closed out the dual with a straight set victory by Mac Cahill (Jr. - Southport, CT) at #6.

After winning the conference tournament and league title outright, four Stags were awarded All-SCIAC honors. Wood, Lane and Erani were named to the 1st Team, while Marino was named to the 2nd Team. Wood and Marino earn all-conference honors for the first time, while Erani earns his fourth all-conference accolade (1st Team as a freshman and sophomore, 2nd Team as a junior). Lane, named to the All-SCIAC 1st Team in 2012, was the SCIAC Athlete of the Year in 2011.

CMS earns the automatic qualification into the NCAA tournament by virtue of winning the SCIAC outright. Tournament pairings and host sites are expected to be announced by Monday, May 7 at 1:00 PM PST, with opening rounds set to begin on Friday, May 11 and continuing through Sunday, May 13.

#5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6) vs. #9 Pomona-Pitzer (3)
May 5, 2012 at Redlands, CA - SCIAC Tournament Final (Verdieck Courts)

Doubles
1. Robbie Erani / Alex Lane (CMS) def. Max Sabel / Frankie Allinson (Pomona-Pitzer) 8-2
2. Tommy Meyer / Uday Singh (Pomona-Pitzer) def. Warren Wood / Nik Marino (CMS) 8-2
3. Neel Kotrappa / Brandon Wei (CMS) def. Chris Wiechert / Alex Groth (Pomona-Pitzer) 9-8(2)

Singles
1. Tommy Meyer (Pomona-Pitzer) def. Warren Wood (CMS) 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4
2. Chris Wiechert (Pomona-Pitzer) def. Alex Lane (CMS) 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
3. Robbie Erani (CMS) def. Max Sabel (Pomona-Pitzer) 6-2, 6-3
4. Nik Marino (CMS) def. Connor Hudson (Pomona-Pitzer) 6-3, 6-3
5. Alex Johnson (CMS) def. Frankie Allinson (Pomona-Pitzer) 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2
6. Mac Cahill (CMS) def. Kevin Prescott (Pomona-Pitzer) 7-5, 6-3

Order of completion
Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Singles: 4, 3, 2, 5, 1, 6