Senior Day Brings More Victories for Stags

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s
tennis team ended its dual match regular season with an 8-1 victory
over No. 11 Concordia University Irvine on Monday, April 21. The match marked the Stags’ 23rd win of the
season. The only blemish on the Stags’ record is their March 25 loss to the University of California, Los Angeles. Monday was also Senior Day for the Stags, who will lose Neel Kotrappa CM ’14
and Zhenya Pereverzin CM ’14
at the end of the season.

Kotrappa and
Skyler Butts CM ’16
started off the day with a dominant 8-2 win in No. 3 doubles against the team of Moritz Pronath and Hayden Hensley from
Concordia. Next, Nik Marino CM ’15 and Pereverzin handed Severin Diemand and Kai Kope of Concordia a loss in No. 2 doubles. Despite the momentum, Concordia’s No. 1 team was able to break the streak in their match against Joe Dorn CM ’15 and Warren Wood
CM ’15. After holding tough for the first half of
the match and keeping even with their opponents, Dorn and Wood struggled late
in the match and couldn’t
make up the deficit, losing 8-5 in the end.

“We knew going into the match
that Concordia would be tough, especially at the top two spots,” Wood said. “Doubles was tough
for Joe and I, only losing one service game during the match but not being able
to break back.”

Although Wood
was frustrated with his match in doubles, he felt that the energy from the
other two dominant doubles wins helped the team transition to singles.

“[No. 2 and No. 3] doubles played
well and got the W fairly easily, which gave us confidence going into the
singles,” Wood

At the start of
singles, CMS made a last-minute decision to switch Dorn out of the No. 2 spot and put in Marino. The switch proved to work out just fine, as Marino,
who finished up his doubles match just before singles, defeated his opponent
6-0, 6-2.

The only serious
competition on the singles side of the match came between Wood and the
Concordia No. 1 Christian Wickenhauser, who beat Wood and Dorn earlier in doubles play. Down 5-4 in the first set, Wood was able to turn the
momentum around as he broke Wickenhauser’s
serve and later brought the set to a tiebreaker. Wood won the tiebreaker 7-4 to take the first set. In the second set, it was Wickenhauser who was able to
break Wood late and force a tiebreaker, but Wood once again showed resilience. He
won his ninth straight tiebreaker of the year and won the match in two sets.

The other Stags
all won their singles matches with ease. Victories came from Glen Hull CM ’17, Butts, Pereverzin, and Daniel Morkovine CM ’17.
CMS occasionally lets teams get ahead early on in matches, but they were quick to
act against Condordia. Across all of the singles matches, the Stags pounced

“At all our spots, we got off
to early leads and never looked back,” Wood said. “As the season comes to a close, we are
focusing on becoming more and more aggressive and improving at a faster rate
than other teams.”

Although this
match was a Senior Day celebration, many members of the team, including the
seniors, don’t
see this match as an ending at all. When asked about Senior Day, Kotrappa
commented on the team’s forward focus.

“[Senior day] really hasn’t set in because we’re looking at the
bigger picture here,” Kotrappa said. “When we win that national championship, that’s when I’ll be happy. That’s when I’ll call it my Senior Day.”

The Stags
continue to hold the No. 1 seed in Division III, but Kotrappa also noted that the
team cannot become overconfident in their seed and must continue to train hard
mentally and physically for the postseason. This weekend, the Stags travel to
Thacher School in Ojai, Calif., for the 114th annual Ojai Valley Tournament. After
that, CMS will head to the SCIAC tournament.

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