CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – After a historic first day of action, the University of Chicago men's tennis team kept its momentum rolling all the way to the semifinals at day two of the NCAA Division III Singles & Doubles Championships on Friday.
Nicolas Chua was one of two Maroons competing in the quarterfinals of the national singles draw. In his third-straight appearance at the individual NCAA Championships, the junior put together a career-best performance. In Friday's quarterfinal, Chua bested Daniel Morkovine (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) by scores of 6-4, 6-3. His run was ended in the semifinals by another CMS player – No. 3 seed Nikolai Parodi – by a 6-0, 6-1 final tally.
Chua concluded his season with a 20-9 singles record. He also became the first UChicago men's tennis player to ever reach the NCAA semifinal round in singles.
The other singles quarterfinalist was freshman Erik Kerrigan. In his debut appearance in the national singles draw, Kerrigan previously picked up a pair of wins on Thursday to set up a quarterfinal with No. 1 seed Lubomir Cuba (Middlebury College). The UChicago rookie battled to a tiebreaker in the first set before ultimately ending his season with a 7-6, 6-3 loss to Cuba. Kerrigan led the team in singles victories at 21-5 on the year.
Kerrigan was back in action in the late afternoon playing doubles with freshman teammate Ninan Kumar. Their quarterfinal opponents were Scott Rubinstein and James Spaulding – the No. 3 seeds from Emory University. UChicago went up 5-3 and looked to close out the first set, but the Eagles rallied back to tie at 5-5. Undeterred, the Maroons broke back at 6-5 and held serve to capture the set, 7-5. Kerrigan and Kumar jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 5-2 in the second set and eventually finished off the victory at 6-4.
This marks the first time a UChicago men's doubles team has advanced to the NCAA doubles semifinal in program history.
"Today was another great day for us," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "It was great picking up five wins on the first day, but to clinch two more quarterfinal victories is equally impressive because of how tough it is to win on day two in a tournament of this quality. I think if the guys continue to play with this level of focus and energy, then they have a shot against just about anyone."
- Saturday, May 27 @ 11:30 AM (ET) – UChicago at NCAA Division III Singles and Doubles Championships (Chattanooga, Tenn.)