Butts reigns as ITA West Region singles champ

Singles Champion Skyler Butts (Photo Ellen Friedlander)
Singles Champion Skyler Butts (Photo Ellen Friedlander)

CMS' Skyler Butts (So. - Santa Ana, CA) claimed the USTA / ITA West Region singles title, defeating Whittier's David Konstantinov 7-6(5), 6-3 in the championship match on Sunday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. Seeded eighth, Butts won six matches, including three matches against fellow teammates, to give CMS its third straight USTA / ITA West Region singles title, and fourth in the last five years. Butts advances to the USTA / ITA National Small College Championships in Fort Myers, FL Oct 10-13, and earns  ITA All-American honors by virtue of his win.

Butts was one of four Stags quarterfinalists, all of whom populated the bottom half of the draw. Freshmen Max Macey (Wilton, CT) and Daniel Morkovine (San Carlos, CA) earned berths in the final eight despite being unseeded. Macey was a game from elimination before battling back to beat ninth seeded Parker Wilson from Redlands in the second round, and then knocked out sixth seed Alex Nichols of Cal Lutheran in the round of sixteen, before falling to teammate Joe Dorn (Jr. - Washington D.C.) in the quarters. Morkovine's impressive CMS debut included a straight set win over ninth seed Connor Treacy of Cal Lutheran in the first round, and then an epic three set victory over third seed and 2012 finalist Chris Wiechert of Pomona-Pitzer in the round of sixteen. Morkovine was eventually stopped in the quarters by Butts.

Teammates Cameron Bernhardt (Jr. - San Diego, CA) and Dorn provided the most resistance to Butts' championship run. Bernhardt held a 6-2, 3-2 lead on Butts in the round of sixteen, while Dorn held a 2-0 lead in the third set in the semifinal. Bernhardt had two wins in singles and partnered sophomore Lestter Yeh (Arcadia, CA) to reach the quarters of the doubles. Dorn reached the singles semis for the second consecutive year, and lost in the doubles quarters with partner Warren Wood (Jr. - Del Mar, CA). Freshman Glenn Hull (Brookings, OR) was also impressive in his CMS debut, winning five matches without losing a set in the consolation draw, after falling to finalist Konstantinov in the first round of the main draw.

Butts will represent the West as one of eight regional winners in the National Small College Championships in Fort Myers. Each qualifier will play out to place, with the winner advancing to the Small College Super Bowl against the D2, Junior College, and NAIA national champions. Butts joins the ranks of recent West region champions Neel Kotrappa (2012), Alex Lane (2011), and Robbie Erani (2009). Mike Starr (2006) was the last Stag to win the D3 national title and advance to the Small College Super Bowl.

USTA / ITA West Region Singles and Doubles Draws