Comeback over Midd sends Stags to NCAA title match

Max Macey (Photo by Ellen Friedlander)
Max Macey (Photo by Ellen Friedlander)

[Watch the Macey's match point and celebration]

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – For the fourth time this year, the No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team came back from a 3-0 deficit after doubles play for a spectacular team win. This time, the Stags topped No. 1 Middlebury 5-4 to advance to the National Championship match. After multiple delays due to storms during the day, the match was ultimately played indoors at The Baylor School.

The Stags will face No. 2 Emory University in the NCAA Division III National Championship match tomorrow, May 24 at 11 a.m. PT. Live stats and video links will be posted on the men's tennis schedule page when they become available.

Since the last time the teams met up, Middlebury only had one edit in the doubles lineup, inserting Peter Martin to pair with Timo Van Der Geest at the No. 3 spot. The Stags, on the other hand, did not have any of the same doubles pairings or singles lineup as the match back on April 1. This time, CMS' confidence and depth was bolstered by Hull's presence in both singles and doubles play.

The pairings of Jake Williams (HMC '20) / Julian Gordy (CMC '19) and Nikolai Parodi (CMC '20) and Daniel Morkovine (CMC '17) fell 8-4 within minutes of each other to the stout Middlebury doubles teams at No. 3 and No. 1 respectively. The final doubles point was drawn out to the 9-7 final in Hamid Derbani and Kyle Schlanger's favor to give Midd the 3-0 lead going into singles play.

Hull won the team's first point at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 7-5. Meanwhile, four of the five other singles courts went to first set tiebreakers while Max Macey (CMC '17) earned the 6-3 first set win. In those tiebreakers, CMS only came out on top at the No. 6 position for Alex Brenner (CMC '17). Brenner went the distance again in the subsequent set and won the second tiebreaker of the day for the Stags, earning CMS its second team point.

Second set wins for Parodi, Morkovine and Park forced a trio of third sets. Fueled by the team's momentum, Parodi pulled out the 7-5 win in the third set to avenge the straight set loss to Lubo Cuba back in April. After taking the second set 6-0, Park maintained his pace of play and earned the 6-4 win in the third to give CMS its first lead of the day at 4-3. At No. 3, Morkovine rallied back for the 6-4 win in the second set but then faltered in the third, 6-1. With the team score all tied up at 4-4, it all came down to Macey and Schlanger at the No. 4 position.

Macey initially took the 5-3 lead in the second set but Schlanger was relentless and climbed back into the match, tying it up 5-5. After the hard-earned break to go up 6-5, Macey held serve for the team victory.

Doubles
1. Lubo Cuba / Will de Quant (Midd) def. Daniel Morkovine / Nikolai Parodi (CMS) 8-4
2. Hamid Derbani / Kyle Schlanger (Midd) def. Jake Berber / Glenn Hull (CMS) 9-7
3. Timo Van Der Geest / Peter Martin(Midd) def. Jake Williams / Julian Gordy (CMS) 8-4

Singles
1. Nikolai Parodi (CMS) def. Lubo Cuba (Midd) 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5
2. Glenn Hull (CMS) def. Will de Quant (Midd) 6-3, 7-5
3. Hamid Derbani (Midd) def. Daniel Morkovine (CMS) 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-1
4. Max Macey (CMS) def. Kyle Schlanger (Midd) 6-4, 7-5
5. Daniel Park (CMS) def. Timo van der Geest (Midd) 6-7(3), 6-0, 6-4
6. Alex Brenner (CMS) def. Allen Jackson (Midd) 7-6(5), 7-6(5)

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

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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