Sagehens Earn NCAA Bid, Face UC Santa Cruz In First Round
Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Tennis team earned its second straight bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, it was announced today.
The Sagehens will open up play in the regional semifinals on Friday (hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) against UC Santa Cruz, the same team which eliminated them in the opening round a year ago. Pomona-Pitzer had never defeated the Banana Slugs in its entire history before a 5-4 win at Pauley Courts earlier this season.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will face the winner of the Thursday opening round match between Redlands and Cal Lutheran in the second semifinal on Friday. The two semifinal winners will meet on Saturday for the regional championship and the right to go to the national quarterfinals in Cary, North Carolina.
There were 43 teams chosen to the NCAA Division III Championships, which comprised of 30 automatic bids and 13 at-larges (six of which came from independents or schools from conference without automatic bids, and seven were "Pool C" selections from the remaining at-large selections). The SCIAC had three of the seven Pool C selections from around the country, with Cal Lutheran and Redlands joining the Sagehens in the field, while the NESCAC also had three (Williams, Middlebury, Bowdoin).
Pomona-Pitzer will be led by senior Tommy Meyer (Bernville, Pa.) and sophomore Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore.) in the top two singles positions. Meyer is ranked No. 20 nationally, while Wiechert was the National Division III Rookie of the Year last season and had a streak of 13 straight singles matches this year.
Meyer and fellow senior Uday Singh (Beverly Hills, Calif.) also come into the NCAA Championship riding a hot streak in doubles as they won all three matches in the SCIAC Tournament by a combined 24-2, shutting out their opponents from Occidental and Cal Lutheran and defeating CMS 8-2.
Juniors Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Frankie Allinson (Waco, Texas) have been the No. 1 doubles team over the second half of the season, and both regularly compete in singles at No. 3 and No. 5. Freshman Connor Hudson (Denver, Colo.) has stepped into the line-up at No. 4 singles during his rookie year, while senior Kevin Prescott (Chicago, Ill.) took over the No. 6 slot in the SCIAC Tournament and picked up a key win against Cal Lutheran.