Claremont, Calif. – The UC Santa Cruz Men's Tennis team won three singles matches in three sets to capture a 5-3 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Friday afternoon at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the NCAA West Regional semifinals.
Junior Frankie Allinson (Waco, Texas - pictured) won at both singles and doubles for Pomona-Pitzer, which ends its season at 14-11. Senior No. 1 singles player Tommy Meyer (Bernville, Pa.) will continue on to play at the NCAA Singles competition on May 24-26 in Cary, North Carolina.
Allinson and fellow junior Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) clicked early at No. 1 doubles, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over UC Santa Cruz's Erich Koenig and Parker Larsen and cruising to an 8-2 win. At No. 2 doubles, Meyer and fellow senior Uday Singh (Beverly Hills, Calif.) picked up a service break for a 5-2 lead and held on for an 8-5 win to give the Sagehens a 2-0 advantage.
At No. 3 doubles, sophomore Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore.) and senior Alex Groth (Delevan, Wis.) had an early break for a 3-1 lead, but the UC Santa Cruz team of Devin Nerenberg and Eli Scandalis was able to break back to pull even at 5-5. The Banana Slugs took an 8-7 lead and had a chance to win, but Wiechert and Groth were able to hold them off and force the match to a tiebreaker, but the Banana Slugs were able to salvage the final doubles point to close the gap to 2-1 heading into singles.
The singles competition saw UC Santa Cruz gain the early advantages as Larsen jumped out to a 4-0 lead at No. 4 over freshman Connor Hudson (Denver, Colo.) and Ian Stanley led 4-0 at No. 6 over junior Kevin Prescott (Chicago, Ill.), before both went on to 6-1 wins. Meyer and Wiechert both had back-and-forth matches at No. 1 and No. 2, with Meyer prevailing 6-4 in the first set over Nerenberg, and Wiechert falling 7-5 at No. 2.
Larsen closed out his match first at 6-1, 6-3 to bring the Banana Slugs even at 2-2, but Prescott regrouped at No. 6 for a 6-3 win in the second set to level his match at a set apiece. Wiechert and Allinson did the same thing at No. 2 and No. 5, while Meyer lost a second-set tiebreaker with a chance to close out his match, forcing four singles matches into a third set.
Allinson was able to get a win for the Sagehens at No. 5, picking up a 6-4 win in the third set. However, Prescott suffered a narrow 7-5 defeat at No. 6, and Nerenberg and Koenig controlled the third sets at No. 1 and No. 2 to close out the win for the Banana Slugs, winning 6-2, and 6-1, respectively. Sabel and Andre Halabi were in a slow-moving match at No. 3 singles with Halabi up a set that was not completed once UC Santa Cruz clinched the win.
Pomona-Pitzer won the regular season meeting with UC Santa Cruz 5-4, which was the first time the Sagehens had ever defeated the Banana Slugs since the schools started playing in the late 1980's.
1. Max Sabel/Frankie Allinson (PP) def. Erich Koenig/Parker Larsen 8-2
2. Tommy Meyer/Uday Singh (PP) def. Ian Stanley/Erik Rosner 8-5
3. Devin Nerenberg/Eli Scandalis (UCSC) def. Chris Wiechert/Alex Groth 9-8
1. Devin Nerenberg (UCSC) def. Tommy Meyer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
2. Erich Koenig (UCSC) def. Chris Wiechert 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
3. Match not completed (Andre Halabi v Max Sabel)
4. Parker Larsen (UCSC) def. Connor Hudson 6-1, 6-3
5. Frankie Allinson (PP) def. Bryce Bettwy 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Ian Stanley (UCSC) def. Kevin Prescott 6-1, 3-6, 7-5