CLAREMONT, Calif. - The No. 1-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team earned a quick 5-0 sweep of Pomona-Pitzer to win the 2019 SCIAC Championship and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.
With the win, CMS improves to 29-1 overall on the year, and will likely be a host for an NCAA Regional next weekend, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan from May 20-22. The Stags have not lost a SCIAC regular season or postseason match since 2005, a stretch of 133 wins in a row.
CMS took a 3-0 lead after taking all three doubles points from Pomona-Pitzer, sweeping doubles (27-0) in its nine conference matches for the first time in program history. Junior Daniel Park and junior Oscar Burney were the first to finish, taking an 8-4 win at No. 2. They were followed quickly by sophomore Jack Katzman and sophomore Robert Liu, who earned an 8-4 win at No. 3, while senior Julian Gordy and junior Nikolai Parodi then finished off the 3-0 sweep with an 8-3 win at No. 1.
With NCAA Tournament matches only played until the clinching fifth point is earned, CMS only needed to win two of the six singles courts to secure the championship. Gordy was the first to finish at No. 3 (6-2, 6-0), earning a victory in his final SCIAC match of his career. Freshman Nic Meister then got the clinch, taking a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 6 to end the match and give CMS its 14th straight league championship.
When the match was called, Katzman (6-0, 4-5 at No. 2), Liu (6-3, 4-1 at No. 4) and Park (6-2, 3-0 at No. 5) were all in strong shape in their singles matches as well. Pomona-Pitzer's Jed Kronenberg had a 6-4, 3-3 lead at No. 1 against Parodi, but that was the only set that the Sagehens were able to take against the top-ranked Stags.
CMS will head into the NCAA Tournament looking to get back to the quarterfinals for the 10th straight season, or every year this decade since falling to UC Santa Cruz in 2009. The Stags won their programs second national title in 2015 during that stretch, and finished as the runner-up three times, most recently in 2017 (to Emory).
The Stags will also head into NCAA play with a 16-match win streak, since suffering its only loss on March 21 at Amherst. Since then, the closest Division III matches that the Stags have had were 6-3 wins over both Williams and Chicago (which were ranked No. 5 and No. 1 at the time).
#1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5) vs. #18 Pomona-Pitzer (0)
May 4, 2019 at Claremont, CA (Biszantz Family Tennis Center) - SCIAC Tournament Finals
1. Julian Gordy / Nikolai Parodi (CMS) def. Josh Gearou / Octave Bellet (PP) 8-3
2. Daniel Park / Oscar Burney (CMS) def. Avery Bicks / Charlie Stark (PP) 8-4
3. Robert Liu / Daniel Park (CMS) def. Jed Kronenberg / Nils Skattum (PP) 8-4
1. Nikolai Parodi (CMS) vs. Jen Kronenberg (PP) 4-6, 3-3 DNF
2. Jack Katzman (CMS) vs. Octave Bellet (PP) 6-0, 4-5 DNF
3. Julian Gordy (CMS) def. Joshua Gearou (PP) 6-2, 6-0
4. Robert Liu (CMS) vs. Sam Gearou (PP) 6-3, 4-1 DNF
5. Daniel Park (CMS) vs. Jacob Schoenherr (PP) 6-3, 2-0 DNF
6. Nic Meister (CMS) def. Jansen Comadena (PP) 6-3, 6-1
Order of completion
Doubles: 2, 3, 1
Singles: 3, 6