CMS Men's Tennis defeated #6 UC Santa Cruz 5-3 on Friday to win the West Regional and advance to the quarterfinals of NCAA Division III Men's Team Championships. The Stags staged a dramatic comeback in doubles play to take a 2-1 lead, and then won at #4, #5, and #6 singles to clinch the match. CMS advances to the NCAA quarterfinals, to be played in Oberlin, Ohio May 25-27.
The Stags found themselves down 1-0 very early after a humbling 8-0 set-back at #1 doubles. UC Santa Cruz then led at both #2 and #3 doubles before the Stags scrapped their way back to snatch wins at both positions in a little over ninety minutes of play. Third pair Mikey Lim (Sr. - Honolulu, HI) and Russell Brockett (Jr. - Austin, TX) dropped serve to go down 6-4, but then won five of the next six games for a 9-7 win to level the dual match at one-all. Meanwhile at #2 doubles, Eric MacColl (Sr. - Greenbrae, CA) and Brandon Wei (So. - Lake Oswego, OR) trailed 5-6, love-forty and held serve for six-all; and then faced three consecutive match points at 6-7, love-forty, and another two match points later in the game, before holding serve and then going on to win 7-1 in a tie-breaker.
With the momentum clearly in their favor, CMS took to the courts in singles needing three points to get a win. Brockett at #4, and Mac Cahill (Fr. - Southport, CT) at #6 won fairly convincing first sets, while Robbie Erani (So. - New York, NY), MacColl, and Alex Johnson (Fr. - Thousand Oaks, CA) - at #1, #3, and #5 - all lost first sets. With Erani's loss at #1 singles, the Slugs pulled even at two matches all. Senior captain Lim's 7-6 first set win proved to be pivotal in keeping the momentum with CMS and the singles virtually even. The Stags then took command when both MacColl and Johnson came back to win second sets, while Brockett and Cahill were completing straight set victories. Now up 4-2 in matches, the Stags needed one point at any of the three matches still on court. Lim stayed a game ahead and on serve at #2, while MacColl took a 4-3 service break lead in the third at #3, and Johnson built a 5-2 lead at #5. Santa Cruz rallied at #3 to narrow the match margin to 4-3, leaving the senior Lim and the freshman Johnson to complete the win for the Stags. With Johnson returning at 3-5, the freshman converted on his second match point to give CMS the victory.
With the win, the Stags improve to 22-5 on the season. This will be CMS' third appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals in the past six years.
#3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5) vs. #6 UC
Santa Cruz (3)
May 14, 2010 at Claremont, Calif. (Biszantz Family Tennis Center) - NCAA 3rd Round
1. Robbie Erani / Ronald Wu (CMS) vs. Bryan Pybas / Marc Vartabedian (UCSC) 8-0 UCSC
2. Eric MacColl / Brandon Wei (CMS) vs. Erich Koenig / Shaun Herry (UCSC) 9-8(1) CMS
3. Russell Brockett / Mikey Lim (CMS) vs. Parker Larsen / Andre Halabi (UCSC) 9-7 CMS
1. Robbie Erani (CMS) vs. Bryan Pybas (UCSC) 6-1, 6-2 UCSC
2. Mikey Lim (CMS) vs. Marc Vartabedian (UCSC) CMS led 7-6(2), 5-5
3. Eric MacColl (CMS) vs. Erich Koenig (UCSC) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 UCSC
4. Russell Brockett (CMS) vs. Silvio Chiba (UCSC) 6-2, 6-0 CMS
5. Alex Johnson (CMS) vs. Parker Larsen (UCSC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 CMS
6. Mac Cahill (CMS) vs. Andre Halabi (UCSC) 6-1, 7-5 CMS
Doubles: 1, 3, 2
Singles: 1, 4, 6, 3, 5