Men’s tennis falls in NCAA semifinal

CLAREMONT, Calif. — The Middlebury College men’s tennis team won its NCAA Division III quarterfinal match on Monday, but on Tuesday lost an NCAA semifinal to top-ranked tournament host, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Middlebury was making its first appearance in the semifinal round since 2010.
Individual matches were almost all close as CMS defeated the Panthers, 5-2. The No. 3 Panthers (21-4) were set to face Trinity of Texas in a consolation match on Wednesday afternoon after the deadline for this edition of the Independent. No. 4 Amherst was set to meet Claremont for the title.
CMS took a 2-1 lead in doubles. Joe Dorn and Warren Wood secured the first point for the Stags with an 8-5 victory against Middlebury’s Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz at No. 1. At No. 2, Panthers Brantner Jones and Palmer Campbell edged Skyler Butts and Neel Kotrapp, 9-7, while at No. 3, Stags Nik Marino and Zhenya Pereverzin tipped Middlebury’s Ari Smolyar and Peter Heidrich, 9-7.
In singles, Johnston evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Wood. However, CMS recorded three straight singles’ victories for the win. Marino edged Campbell at No. 3, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
At No. 4, Butts tallied the Stags’ fourth point, battling back to edge Smolyar, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5. Pereverzin secured the match for the Stags with a marathon 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) victory at No. 6 against Middlebury’s Jackson Frons.
In the pair of singles matches that went unfinished, Jones and Dorn each won a set at No. 2 with Dorn ahead by a 4-3 score in the third. In the fifth flight, CMS’s Daniel Morkovine and Middlebury’s Courtney Mountifield each won a set, and Mountifield led the final set, 3-0.
On Monday, the Panthers knocked off No. 9 Case Western Reserve, 5-1. All three doubles teams won, Heidrich and Smolyar, 8-2; Jones and Campbell; 8-3; and Johnston and Lebovitz, 8-8 (7-5).
Winning the clinching singles matches were Frons at No. 6, 6-4, 6-2 and Johnston at No. 1, 6-1, 7-5. 

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