May 25, 2010

Oberlin, Ohio - The third-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags beat the No. 13 Trinity Tigers 5-2 Tuesday in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship quarterfinals at Oberlin College.

Trinity, which had its 14-match winning streak snapped, completed the season with an 18-10 record. Claremont (22-4) meets the winner of Emory and Amherst in Wednesday's semifinals.

The Tigers, led by first-year head coach and former Trinity standout Russell McMindes, opened the match with a 2-1 lead after doubles. Trinity won No. 1 doubles, as Bobby Cocanougher and Cory Kowal defeated Robert Erani and Ronald Wu 8-1. The Stags took No. 2 doubles, with Eric MacColl and Brandon Wei edging Erick DelaFuente and Max Frey 8-6.

The Trinity team of Benjamin Carroll and Don Murray won No. 3 doubles 9-8, outlasting Russell Brockett and Mikey Lim 8-6 in the tiebreaker.

Claremont, which beat Trinity 9-0 last March in California, won all four of the completed singles matches.

The clincher was at No. 3 singles, as MacColl won a three-set battle with DelaFuente 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.

Lim beat Cocanougher 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, and Alex Johnson was a 6-0, 6-4 winner over Murray at No. 5. The No. 6 singles match went to Mac Cahill, who beat Carroll 6-4, 6-2.

Two matches were halted after the clinch by Claremont. Trinity's Frey took the first set 7-6 (3) from Erani, and was down 5-6 in the second, at No. 1 singles. Kowal lost the No. 4 sigles first set 6-7 (3) to Brockett, rallied to win the second 6-2, and was leading 1-0 in the third when the match was called.

The Tigers made their 13th appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals since 1993, with their previous trip in 2007. Former coach Butch Newman, now Trinity's Director of Tennis, led the Tigers to 16 straight NCAA berths. He also guided the Tiger men and women to the 2000 NCAA Team Championships. Coach McMindes was a key member of the national championship men's team.

Three Tiger players will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, also at Oberlin, from Friday-Sunday. Frey, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla. (Holland Hall), has a slot in the 32-draw singles tournament. Juniors Kowal, from Austin, Texas (Anderson); and Cocanougher, from Southlake, Texas (Carroll), are in the 16-draw doubles event.

The Tiger women will be represented at the NCAA Singles Championship by sophomore Katie Griffith of Spokane, Wash. (Ferris). Griffith will compete in the 32-draw singles tournament Friday-Sunday at the University of Mary Washington at Fredericksburg, Va.

Trinity's women's team is led by second-year head coach Ryan Takao, a former Tiger men's player. Coach Takao was an assistant during the 2000 women's national championship run.

CLAREMONT-MUDD-SCRIPPS 5, TRINITY 2

Doubles
1. Bobby Cocanougher/Cory Kowal, Trinity, def. Robert Erani/Ronald Wu 8-1
2. Eric MacColl/Brandon Wei, C-M-S, def. Erick DelaFuente/Max Frey 8-6
3. Benjamin Carroll/Don Murray, Trinity, def. Russell Brockett/Mikey Lim 9-8 (6)

Singles
2. Lim, C-M-S, def. Cocanougher 6-4, 6-3
3. MacColl, C-M-S, def. DelaFuente 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 (clinch match)
5. Alex Johnson, C-M-S, def. Murray 6-0, 6-4
6. Mac Cahill, C-M-S, def. Carroll 6-4, 6-2

The following singles matches did not finish:
1. Frey, Trinity, vs. Erani [7-6 (3), 5-6]
4. Kowal, Trinity, vs. Brockett [6-7 (3), 6-2, 1-0]