CLAREMONT, Calif. - One day after knocking off No. 1 Chicago, the fourth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team came up with another huge home victory, defeating No. 2 and defending national champion Middlebury 7-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. The Stags pulled off the feat of defeating No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 CMS defeated No. 1 Wash U in St. Louis and No. 2 Emory by 9-0 and 8-1 scores in succesive days. Then in 2014, CMS defeated Wash U 8-1 in the Stag-Hen championship match, and defeated No. 2 Williams twelve days later by the same score.
CMS, which also knocked off UC Santa Cruz yesterday in between defeating No. 1 and No. 2, improves to 17-1 on the year with the 3-0 weekend. Middlebury falls to 8-3 while suffering its first loss to a Division III team (the other two were to Division I UC Irvine and Division II Azusa Pacific), one day after Chicago saw its undefeated season (11-0) end on the Biszantz hardcourts.
The Stags nearly swept doubles, but then had to respond to a momentum swing after Lubomir Cuba and Nate Eazor won a dramatic 10-8 tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles to salvage the final point and cut the CMS lead to 2-1, edging the CMS sophomore duo of Jack Katzman and Robert Liu. Senior Julian Gordy and junior Nikolai Parodi dominated at No. 2 doubles with an 8-1 win, and juniors Daniel Park and Oscar Burney prevailed 8-6 at No. 3 doubles to put CMS ahead 2-0.
The momentum from the tiebreaker win at No. 1 doubles didn't carry over at all for Middlebury, though, as CMS won five of six singles courts. Katzman and Liu, who had three match points at No. 1 doubles but couldn't secure the Stags sweep, responded with the most dominant performances of all, dropping only two games apiece. Katzman earned his win at No. 2 singles (6-0, 6-2), which put CMS ahead 4-1, while Liu earned a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 5.
Katzman's win came shortly after Parodi finished off a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 1, coming up with a big break of serve against Cuba to take a 5-3 lead and then serving it out for the win. The victory respresented a continued resurgence for Parodi, who is starting to play his best tennis of the season after winning twice yesterday, 6-2, 6-0 against Jeremy Yuan of Chicago (ranked No. 16 nationally in singles) and 6-2, 6-2 over Chad LeDuff of UC Santa Cruz (ranked No. 2 after winning the ITA West Regional Championship in the fall). Parodi also takes a 3-2 career lead in his rvialry with Cuba, having won the last two regular season matches including Saturday's.
Freshman Nic Meister provided the clinch for the Stags at No. 6, finishing off a 6-2, 6-3 win as he improves to 5-0 in dual matches this season, including wins at No. 6 against Chicago and Middlebury. Liu and Gordy (6-2, 6-3 at No. 3) extended the CMS lead to 7-1 with straight set wins, with Gordy joining his doubles partner Parodi in completing a singles-doubles sweep. Middlebury salvaged the final point in singles 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4, where Andre Xiao was able to win his match against Park.
CMS will next be in action when it opens SCIAC play at Chapman on Friday, before hosting Gustavus Adolphus and Whittier on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
#4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (7) vs. #2 Middlebury (2)
March 30, 2019 at Claremont, CA (Biszantz Family Tennis Center)
1. Lubomir Cuba / Nate Eazor (MIDD) def. Jack Katzman / Robert Liu (CMS) 8-7 (10-8)
2. Julian Gordy Nikolai Parodi (CMS) def. Noah Farrell / Peter Martin (MIDD) 8-1
3. Oscar Burney / Daniel Park (CMS) def. Aleksandr Samets / Andre Xiao (MIDD) 8-6
1. Nikolai Parodi (CMS) def. Ludomir Cuba (MIDD) 6-4, 6-3
2. Jack Katzman (CMS) def. Noah Farrell (MIDD) 6-0, 6-2
3. Julian Gordy (CMS) def. Stanley Morris (MIDD) 6-2, 6-3
4. Andre Xiao (MIDD) def. Daniel Park (CMS) 6-3, 6-2
5. Robert Liu (CMS) def. Adam Guo (MIDD) 6-2, 6-0
6. Nic Meister (CMS) def. Nate Eazor (MIDD) 6-2, 6-4
Order of completion
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 1, 2, 6, 5, 3, 4