The Gustavus men’s tennis team was unable to extend a 2-1 lead after doubles play as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps defeated the Gusties 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III Indoor Championships at the Swanson Tennis Center on Friday. Gustavus, which entered the tournament as the defending champion, suffered its first loss in the quarterfinal round for the first time in the event’s nine-year history.
The Stags claimed the first point of the match at #2 doubles when Michael Starr and Ronald Wu defeated Charlie Paukert and Ben Tomasek 8-5. Gustavus responded minutes later as Kevin Stickney and Nick Hansen defeated Robbie Erani and Eric MacColl 8-5 at the #3 spot. At #1 singles, the Gusties’ John Kauss and Mike Burdakin knocked off the defending NCAA champions Guillaume Schils and Lawrence Wang 8-5 to give Gustavus a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps evened the match at 2-2 after Russell Brockett defeated Kevin Stickney 6-2, 6-1 at #4 singles. However, John Kauss regained the lead for the Gusties when he defeated Lawrence Wang 6-2, 6-3 at the #1 spot. The Stags grabbed the #2 singles point as Michael Starr defeated Charlie Paukert 7-6 (6), 6-3.
With the match tied 3-3, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps grabbed the next three points as Robbie Erani defeated Mike Burdakin 6-3, 6-2 at #3 singles, Ronald Wu defeated Patrick Clark 6-0, 6-4 in the #6 spot, and Victor Chien defeated Ben Tomasek 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Gustavus, which fell to 3-3 overall, will face Mary Washington on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in the consolation round at the Swanson Tennis Center.