Lane Finshes 3rd at Small College Nationals
Alex Lane (Jr. - Claremont, CA [pictured right]) won two of three matches at the USTA / ITA Division III National Championships in Mobile, AL. Lane won in three sets in the quarters, lost in three in the semis, and then won his final match in straight sets to claim third place in the eight-man nationals field.
Seeded second, Lane faced junior Yevgeny Perepelov of Hunter College in the quarterfinals. After a one-sided first set victory for Lane, Perepelov rallied to win the second set in a tie-break. In the third, Lane played some important early break points very well and was physically too strong for Perepelov as the match concluded 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-2.
In the semifinal, Lane found himself up against Adam Putterman of Washington University St. Louis, who had knocked off third seeded Joey Fritz of Amherst in the quarters. With a fast start similar to his first match, Lane jumped out to a 6-3 one set lead. Putterman responded in the second and third sets with big returns and a go-for-broke playing style that got him to a one break lead midway through the deciding set. After Lane had broken back to 4-all, the duo battled in what would turn out to be the pivotal game of the match. Lane saved three break points from love-forty, then earned a game point before making three costly forehand errors to get broken back. Putterman then served out the match with two aces and a service winner for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.
In Lane's final match against Andy Hersh of Johns Hopkins, the Stags' #1 controlled play from the beginning with the depth of his shots and movement to finish points at the net. Lane's 6-3, 6-2 win earned him a third place finish in the tournament and a top three fall national ranking in Division III. He is the fourth Stags singles player to qualify for the prestigious event since 2006. Robbie Erani (2009) and Mikey Lim (2007) also finished third, while Mike Starr (2006) was national champion and remains the only Division III singles player in the past twenty years to win a match at the Small College Super Bowl.