Both of the Sixth Street rivals proved their merit this past weekend as they dominated the tennis courts in the 2016 Fall ITA tournament. In the men’s singles and doubles, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps established their spot as king of the court, while Pomona-Pitzer proved their skill in women’s singles and doubles.
Daniel Morkovine CM ’17 won the men’s singles and helped his partner, Julian Gordy CM ‘19, to victory in doubles.
On the other side, Caroline Casper PO ’19 triumphed in the women’s singles, and Grace Hruska PZ ’18 and Joy Kim PO ’19 snagged the women’s doubles.
When asked to recall any memorable moments from the tournament, P-P member Jake Yasgoor PO ’17 said, “A critical point was in my third round match against my teammate, Josh Gearou. I knew that was going to be a tough test, especially with his consistent style of game, crazy athleticism, and the searing heat. I came up with a great sequence of shots towards the end of the first set that really gave me the confidence to close that first set in style and run away with the second.”
Yasgoor went on to play rival school player Alex Brenner CM ’17 in a very close match in the quarterfinals.
“I put my opponents on defense right away and felt that my serve was on in key points throughout the matches,” Yasgoor commented. “One aspect I wish I had performed better at was the mentality and mental toughness of pulling out close sets. What became my demise was the lack of match-play under my belt and, as a result, losing two very close and competitive sets in the quarterfinals.”
On the other side of the same bracket was Nikolai Parodi CM ’20. Parodi made it all the way to the finals even though he faced some very skilled opponents, including the number one seed and fellow teammate Glenn Hull CM ’17. In the finals, he faced off against another teammate, Morkovine, in a tight game that went to three sets.
“In the quarterfinals against Glenn, breaking him in the first game of the third set was a big moment,” Parodi said. “It ended up being the only break of the third set. In the finals against Daniel, I was up 5-4 30-15 on his serve. He played the next three points really well. I think it shifted the momentum to his side for the rest of the set.”
Parodi had similar success in men’s doubles with his doubles partner, Hull, making it all the way to finals to face up against Morkovine again as well as his doubles partner.
“I am really happy with how I played and competed this weekend,” Parodi said. “As a freshman, to reach the finals in both singles and doubles was really cool. This result will definitely boost my confidence.”
In the women’s side of the tournament, number one seed Casper took the tournament in style, only dropping one set in the entire tournament against Kyla Scott HM ’18.
Similar success was found in the second round consolations by Kim after losing her first match but fighting her way all the way to the finals to take it 1-6, 6-4, 10-7.
Her doubles partner, Hruska, had similar success in singles, making it all the way to semifinals.
However, together, they were able to win it all in the women’s doubles bracket. Hruska and Kim were dominant, reaching the finals without dropping a set and faced against their teammates Casper and Arianna Chen PO ’19.
“Remembering the last point was pretty great,” Hruska said. “Once the ball hit the net and I knew it was over, a huge wave of emotion overcame me. It was a feeling of relief and utter happiness of winning and being able to accomplish a personal goal of mine.”
The P-P men’s team next take the courts against University of the Pacific at Walla Walla, Washington, on Feb. 4. The P-P women’s team next strike the courts against Occidental College at home on Feb. 4.
The CMS men’s team next plays at the Ducey Cup at home on Feb. 18. The CMS women’s team next play against University of California, San Diego, at home on Feb. 11.