Trio of three-set wins lift Stags over #3 Middlebury 6-3

Daniel Morkovine (photo Ellen Friedlander)
Daniel Morkovine (photo Ellen Friedlander)

#4 CMS Stags Tennis earned a second come-from-behind win over a top ten opponent in as many days, this time defeating #3 Middlebury 6-3 at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. CMS was a 9-0 winner over Cal Lutheran in the first half of the double header.

Junior Daniel Morkovine (San Carlos, CA) was a three match winner on the day, earning two with partner Skyler Butts (Sr. Capt. - Santa Ana, CA), while also winning at #3 singles against Middlebury. Morkovine's singles win sparked a Stags comeback from having lost two of three doubles matches and trailing by a set in three of six singles matches. Sophomore Patrick Wildman (Cincinnati, OH) also won in straight sets for the second consecutive day to give CMS their first lead at 3-2. With Butts falling in straight sets at the top spot and the match level at 3-all, CMS needed two of the three matches still on court to go their way.

At #5 singles, senior Lestter Yeh (Arcadia, CA) pulled himself back into the match after trailing 6-1, 5-3, and with his opponent two points from winning while serving for the match at 5-4. Yeh broke serve and then forced a tie-break that he won handily, setting up a decisive third set. Meanwhile, junior Max Macey (Wilton, CT) also trailed by a set and service break down at 6-4, 2-1 before breaking twice himself to take the second set. And then at #2, junior Glenn Hull (Brookings, OR) won a tough first set tie-break after saving a set point serving at 5-6, but then dropped the second set 6-2, to set up yet another third set.

With both Macey and Yeh getting out to two-break 4-1 leads in the third, and Hull down a break, it looked as if the match would be decided on courts four and five. Yeh was broken back once but then closed out his match with two straight games to put the Stags one match away from victory at 4-3. Macey was broken twice to bring his match to 4-all, then broke to serve for the match but still couldn't close out. Meanwhile Hull had erased his one break deficit and had taken a 5-2 lead at #2. A double fault on match point, followed by a racket abuse carryover point penalty, meant that Hull had again clinched aganist Middlebury, and that Macey was now at 3-all in the deciding tie-break, instead of being down 3-2. Macey, then won four of the next five points to complete the 6-3 win for CMS.

In the morning dual against Cal Lutheran, CMS was led by senior Bryan Mehall (Snowmass Village, CO) and junior Alex Brenner (San Francisco, CA), who won at #3 doubles and then in straight sets at #2 and #3 singles. The Stags are now 18-2 overall and 4-0 in SCIAC, and resume conference play on Friday, April 9 at #15 Redlands.

#4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (9) vs. Cal Lutheran (0)
April 2, 2016 at Claremont, CA (Biszantz Family Tennis Center)

1. Skyler Butts / Daniel Morkovine (CMS) def. Gio Valdez / Jesper Lunding-Johanssen (CLU) 8-3
2. Glenn Hull / Lestter Yeh (CMS) (CMS) def. Lucas Tilly / Chris Hartman (CLU) 9-7
3. Bryan Mehall / Alex Brenner (CMS) def. Dara Kashani / Mike Sulahian (CLU) 8-4

1. Avi Vemuri (CMS) def. Gio Valdez (CLU) 2-6, 6-3, (10-6)
2. Bryan Mehall (CMS) def. Dara Kashani (CLU) 6-4, 6-0
3. Alex Brenner (CMS) def. Jesper Lunding-Johanssen (CLU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Rohan Shankar (CMS) def. Chris Hartman (CLU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Oliver Seifert (CMS) def. Mike Sulahian (CLU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Freddie Simental (CMS) def. Lucas Tilly (CLU) 6-3, 6-3

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

#4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6) vs. #3 Middlebury (3)
April 2, 2016 at Claremont, CA (Biszantz Family Tennis Center)

1. Skyler Butts / Daniel Morkovine (CMS) def. Noah Farrell / Ari Smolyar (Midd) 8-2
2. Hamid Derbani / Palmer Campbell (Midd) def. Lestter Yeh / Glenn Hull (CMS) 8-3
3. Timo Van der Geest / Kyle Schlanger (Midd) def. Max Macey / Bryan Mehall (CMS) 8-6

1. Noah Farrell (Midd) def. Skyler Butts (CMS) 6-1, 7-5
2. Glenn Hull (CMS) def. Ari Smolyar (Midd)  7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2
3. Daniel Morkovine (CMS) def. Palmer Campbell (Midd) 6-1, 6-1
4. Max Macey (CMS) def. William de Quant (Midd) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
5. Lestter Yeh (CMS) def. Hamid Derbani (Midd) 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2
6. Patrick Wildman (CMS) def. Timo Van der Geest (Midd) 6-3, 6-3

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