CLAREMONT, CALIF. - Jack Katzman and Julian Gordy of The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team had a match point in doubles in the third set, but Caltech's top-seeded team of James Wei and Varun Shanker fought it off to hold serve and went on to take the final set in a tiebreaker for a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 win at the ITA West Region Doubles Championship on Sunday afternoon at Pomona-Pitzer.
Katzman, who finished second in the NCAA Division III Singles Championships as a freshman last spring, also ended as the runner-up in the ITA Singles Championship, falling 6-4, 6-4 to third-seeded Chad Leduff of UC Santa Cruz.
The day began with the doubles semifinals, where Katzman and Gordy were able to take an 8-3 win over Leduff and Ryan Dugan of the Banana Slugs to move on to the championship match. Wei and Shanker, who won in tiebreakers in each of their first three matches at the ITA Regionals, moved on to the finals with an 8-4 win over Jake Williams and Robert Liu.
The men played the singles final first with Katzman facing off against Leduff for the right to move on to the ITA Nationals in two weeks in Rome, Georgia. In both sets, Leduff had an early break to take a lead and Katzman was unable to break back before falling just short.
The doubles final then took place in the afternoon, and the Stags had all of the early momentum, taking the first set 6-1, with Katzman finishing off the set with an emphatic overhead.
MTEN: First set to the Stags 6-1 as Julian Gordy holds serve with Jack Katzman finishing it off here with an overhead and a fist pump. Second set of the ITA West Region Doubles championship coming up next! pic.twitter.com/HgkemQJ5jb— CMS Athletics (@AthleticsCMS) September 30, 2018
Caltech regrouped, though, and took the second set 6-3 to force it to a third. The Beavers had an early break to get the lead, but CMS broke back to tie the score 4-4 after numerous deuces, and Katzman quickly held to give the CMS team a 5-4 lead.
After the changeover, the Stags won three straight points to get to 30-40 and earn a match point, but Caltech was able to fight it off and win the next two points as well to pull back even 5-5. Gordy held serve, and Caltech responded to tie it 6-6 and force it into a tiebreaker.
The first six points of the tiebreaker were all won by the serving team as the teams went to a changeover tied 3-3. Caltech won the next point on a CMS serve and then got the lead to 6-4, giving them two match points. Gordy came up big at the net with volley winners to erase both match points and get the Stags even at 6-6, but the Beavers won the next point after the second changeover, and Wei finished it off with an overhead to give Caltech the win.