Stags Tennis defeats No. 1 Santa Cruz 8-1

On Thursday night, the CMS men's tennis team hosted the Division III defending champions and No.1 ranked UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and came out on top in a dominant performance. The Stags had been looking forward to this matchup since last spring when the Slugs knocked CMS out of the NCAA tournament in the round of 16 on their way to the championship. Although UCSC had lost five of their six senior starters from a year ago, the team rebounded to win the ITA Indoor Nationals tournament in February to retain their No. 1 ranking.

This was the first matchup between archrivals CMS and UCSC at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center, with CMS riding a four match winning streak at home vs. the Slugs.

The Slugs were the first to get on the board, with their No. 5 ranked team defeating the Stags #1 doubles team of Thomas Keiffer CM '10 and captain Mikey Lim CM '10 8-4. Robbie Erani CM '12 and Ron Wu CM '11 evened the score at 1-all with a convincing 8-1 victory at second doubles, and Eric MacColl CM '10 and Brandon Wei HM '12 were close behind with a victory at third doubles, 8-3.

All eyes turned to the singles matches, as the Stags needed three of six to clinch victory. First off was No. 3 ranked Robbie Erani with a crushing 6-2, 6-2 victory over Santa Cruz's No.1, and the Stags were up 3-1, with first set victories in all six matches, unprecedented against a team of Santa Cruz's quality. Erani's partner Ron Wu was next off with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 5, and Victor Chien CM '12 in the six slot, clinched the match for the Stags. Chien was especially impressive: after losing the first two games, he rebounded to win the next 12  and take the match in convincing fashion.

The men continued to pour salt on the Santa Cruz wounds, with MacColl at 3 winning 6-3, 6-3, Lim with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 2, and Russell Brockett CM '11 with a 6-4, 6-1 victory at No. 4 for an 8-1 victory. The 8 to 1 score was the most lopsided ever for the Stags vs. the Slugs and sends a message to the rest of Division III.

The Stags (13-4, 3-0 SCIAC) host No. 25 ranked Gustavus Adolphus on Tuesday night and face SCIAC rival Cal Lutheran April 10th at 9:30 at the BFTC.

Editor's Note: I know there's a joke waiting in there somewhere about salting slugs instead of wounds but I'm just not coming up with it.