CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – University of Chicago men's tennis players Erik Kerrigan and Ninan Kumar stamped their names in the school record books with a semifinals appearance at the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship on Saturday.
The freshman tandem became the first UChicago men to ever reach the NCAA doubles semifinal. They matched up with No. 1 seeds Brian Grodecki and Alex Taylor (Williams College). The Ephs eventually came away with a 6-3, 7-5 decision over the Maroons. Kerrigan and Kumar concluded the season with an 18-9 record.
Overall, UChicago hauled in four All-American honors during the week-long national championships. Junior Nicolas Chua and Kerrigan were both All-Americans in singles play, while Kerrigan and Kumar achieved the same distinction in doubles.
"We ran into a hot Williams team today and just couldn't quite get over the hump," Head Coach Jay Tee said. "We hung in there and found a way to battle, but a couple untimely errors did us in. All in all, the guys had a great tournament and a great year. For two freshmen to play No. 1 doubles and make the NCAA semifinals is very impressive. I think they've only scratched the surface in terms of what they're capable of and I believe with some hard work, they can compete for an NCAA championship in the next few years.
"I was also really impressed with the way all three of our guys continued to compete in this tournament after a heartbreaking loss in the team championships," Tee continued. "For them to come down to Tennessee during eighth week, and after five months of tennis, and compete this hard is a testament to their character. We are very fortunate to have them be a part of our program."