KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A historic campaign for the University of Chicago men's tennis team came to a close on Tuesday afternoon, as the Maroons were defeated in the NCAA Division III Championship semifinals 5-1 by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
The No. 2-ranked Maroons finished the year at 20-3 overall, setting a new school record for wins. The squad reached the NCAA semifinals for fourth time in the past five seasons.
The two teams previously met on March 29, with the No. 1-ranked Stags coming away with a 6-3 decision at home.
CMS went up 2-0 in doubles with wins at the second and third positions. A big comeback at No. 1 nearly went to the Stags as well, but UChicago juniors Erik Kerrigan and Ninan Kumar forced a tiebreaker and pulled out the 8-7 victory.
In singles play, the Stags were able to string together three wins at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 6 to clinch a spot in Wednesday's national championship match.
It also marked the final action for the Maroon senior class of Charlie Pei, Max Liu and Jonathan Li. The program produced a 75-19 mark in dual matches – the most wins in a four-year span in school history.
"CMS played great today and deserves to be moving on," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "We played well and had some chances early to maybe make it a little more interesting but they slipped away quickly. Against a team like CMS, you only get one chance sometimes before it is gone.
"Overall, we had a tremendous year with many, many highlights and I feel very good about the direction of the program. It wasn't long ago that we weren't making the NCAA tournament and now we've made four Final Fours in the past five years, which is something our players need to be proud of. The programs we've been competing against have a 30-40 year history of winning championships and we are still learning, but I think we will get there soon."
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5, UChicago 1
1. Nikolai Parodi (CMS) def. Erik Kerrigan (UC) 6-1, 6-4
2. Jack Katzman (CMS) def. Jeremy Yuan (UC) 6-2, 6-3
3. Julian Gordy (CMS) vs. Charlie Pei (UC) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
4. Robert Liu (CMS) vs. Joshua Xu (UC) 6-1, 5-4, unfinished
5. Alejandro Rodriguez (UC) vs. Daniel Park (CMS) 7-6, 3-4, unfinished
6. Nic Meister (CMS) def. Max Liu (UC) 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
1. Erik Kerrigan/Ninan Kumar (UC) def. Julian Gordy/Nikolai Parodi (CMS) 8-7 (8-6)
2. Oscar Burney/Daniel Park (CMS) def. Charlie Pei/Joshua Xu (UC) 8-4
3. Jack Katzman/Robert Liu (CMS) def. Tyler Raclin/Jeremy Yuan (UC) 8-7 (7-2)