CMS Men's Tennis Faces Bowdoin in NCAA Quarterfinals Monday

Jack Katzman is undefeated in singles in dual matches this season (photo by Alicia Tsai)
Jack Katzman is undefeated in singles in dual matches this season (photo by Alicia Tsai)

NCAA Division III Championships Home Page

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The top-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's tennis team begins play at the NCAA Division III Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when it faces Bowdoin in the quarterfinals on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. (11 a.m. Pacific).

CMS heads to nationals with a 31-1 record on the year, with the only loss a road defeat to Amherst on its Spring Break back in March. The Stags stand three wins away from its third national title in program history, joining the 1981 and 2015 teams with first-place finishes. 

The Stags advanced to the eight-team nationals with a 5-0 win over Trinity (Texas) in the regional finals, marking the tenth year in a row that they have won their regional. CMS has made the national four times in that span, most recently in 2017, when it finished as the national runner-up to Emory.  

The winner of the CMS-Bowdoin match will advance to the semifinal round on Tuesday at 2 p.m., meeting the winner of the quarterfinal between Chicago and Amherst. Chicago was the No. 1 team in the nation before the Stags defeated the Maroons 6-3 on March 29, while the Mammoths are the only team to defeat CMS this season on their home courts. The other half of the bracket features Middlebury against Wesleyan in an all-NESCAC match-up, and Emory taking on Washington University. 

After the NCAA Division III Finals match on Wednesday, championships week will shift into the singles and doubles championships from Friday through Sunday. Junior Nikolai Parodi was chosen for both, along with doubles partner Julian Gordy, while sophomore Jack Katzman will also represent the Stags in singles. Parodi finished as the national runner-up as a freshman and reached the semifinals last year, while Katzman was the runner-up a year ago as a freshman as well. 

Bowdoin's Grant Urken defeated both Parodi and Katzman on his way to the NCAA singles title last year, while helping the Polar Bears reach the national championship match as a team (falling to Middlebury). Urken added a win in the fall over Katzman at the ITA Grasscourt Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, while Parodi was able to earn the head-to-head win over Urken in the dual match between the two teams this year, which CMS won 7-2 in the finals of the Stag-Hen Invitational on March 16. 

In that match, Bowdoin took a 2-1 lead after doubles, before CMS stormed back to sweep singles. Parodi won the showcase match at No. 1 singles 7-6, 7-5 over Urken, while Katzman picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jerry Jiang in a battle of nationally ranked singles players. Julian Gordy and Robert Liu each won 6-0, 6-1 in singles at No. 3 and No. 4, while Daniel Park won 6-3, 7-6 at No. 5 and Casey Morris picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6. 

Katzman leads CMS in wins this season at 26-2 in singles, mostly playing at No. 2, including 20-0 in dual matches. He hasn't dropped a set in any of his last 17 wins, since taking a three-setter at No. 1 against RPI. Freshman Nic Meister has stepped in at No. 6 in the closing stretch of the season and has a 16-1 record in duals, with the only loss 12-10 in a third-set tiebreaker to Pomina-Pitzer.

Parodi stands at 20-6 at No. 1 and has played his best tennis down the stretch, winning his last 11 decisions. Gordy also has 20 wins at No. 3 (20-9, 17-4 in duals), while Robert Liu stands at 17-6 at No. 4 (15-5 in duals). Junior Daniel Park has missed some time this year, studying abroad in the fall and sitting out for two weeks with an injury, but stands at 11-2, including the clinching win against No. 1 Chicago. 

Links to live scoring and video (which will be broadcast from select courts) are at the NCAA Division III Championships Home Page, which is hosted by Kalamazoo College.