KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A dominating doubles display allowed the University of Chicago men's tennis team to make its return to the national semifinals, racing past Amherst College 5-0 at the NCAA Division III Championship on Monday.
The No. 2-ranked Maroons established a new school record for wins in a season at 20-2. They also advanced to the NCAA semifinal round for the fourth time in five years. The No. 4-ranked Mammoths fell to 18-5.
The last time the two teams met, UChicago pulled off a 5-4 thriller over Amherst in the 2015 NCAA quarterfinals. In a match that stretched past midnight, David Liu fought off cramps to win at No. 6 singles (6-4, 5-7, 6-3).
UChicago roared through doubles play with on-court aggression, blitzing Amherst to build a formidable 3-0 lead. At the top spot, juniors Erik Kerrigan and Ninan Kumar won for the 12th-straight time, finishing quickly 8-2. The second and third positions were not far behind as the duos of senior Charlie Pei/first-year Joshua Xu and junior Tyler Raclin/sophomore Jeremy Yuan were victorious by matching 8-3 margins.
With the team only needing two singles wins to earn the decision, sophomore Alejandro Rodriguez obliged with 6-0, 6-2 triumph at No. 5. Then it was Pei's turn, as the senior finished off the clinch at No. 3 by scores of 6-2, 6-3.
The next opponent on the docket is No. 1-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, with a scheduled start of 2:00 PM (ET) on Tuesday.
"We came out playing some fast and loose doubles and went up a break on each court pretty quickly, which gave us a ton of confidence to continue to play aggressive," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "We had a plan once singles started and I thought we really stuck to it. The 3-0 lead certainly helped, but our singles guys did a great job of locking it down. We have to prepare for another big challenge tomorrow in CMS – hopefully we can challenge them a bit."
UChicago 5, Amherst 0
1. Sean Wei (AMH) vs. Erik Kerrigan (UC) 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
2. Jeremy Yuan (UC) vs. Kevin Ma (AMH) 6-3, 3-2, unfinished
3. Charlie Pei (UC) def. Jayson Fung (AMH) 6-2, 6-3
4. Joshua Xu (UC) vs. Zach Bessette (AMH) 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
5. Alejandro Rodriguez (UC) def. Harris Foulkes (AMH) 6-0, 6-2
6. William Turchetta (AMH) vs. Alex Guzhva (UC) 6-1, 2-3, unfinished
1. Erik Kerrigan/Ninan Kumar (UC) def. Jayson Fung/Sean Wei (AMH) 8-2
2. Charlie Pei/Joshua Xu (UC) def. Zach Bessette/Harris Foulkes (AMH) 8-3
3. Tyler Raclin/Jeremy Yuan (UC) def. Damien Ruparel/William Turchetta (AMH) 8-3
- Tuesday, April 21 @ 2:00 PM (ET) – UChicago vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (at Kalamazoo, Mich.)