CMS men’s tennis team claims national championship

The wait is over. After 34 years and back-to-back losses in the national title match in 2013 and 2014, No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is bringing the national championship trophy home.

The Stags soundly defeated Middlebury 5-0 in the national title match of the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships on Wednesday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. For the Stags, it is the second national title in program history; the other, a tie, coming in 1981.

“It’s been a long road,” senior Warren Wood said after the match. “Two years in the finals and not quite getting there [winning the title], especially at home last year, that really pushed us this year.”

In Wednesday’s match, that motivation and CMS’ national title match experience from the past two seasons showed through. Nowhere was that more evident than in doubles.

After a dominant 8-1 No. 2 doubles win by sophomore Daniel Morkovine and junior Skyler Butts, the Stags had to show its mettle in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Seniors Joe Dorn and Wood came back from a 3-1 deficit and ran off seven consecutive games to win 8-3 against Palmer Campbell and Peter Heidrich at No. 1 doubles.

Fellow senior Nikolas Marino and sophomore Glenn Hull followed with a comeback of their own in No. 3 doubles 9-7.

With all of the momentum heading into singles, the Stags wrapped up the title with wins at No. 1 and No. 6 singles. Wood won 6-1, 6-4 against Ari Smolyar at No. 1 singles and trailed in the second set before coming back to get the win which moved CMS ahead 4-0 and one point away from the title.

Just minutes after Wood won his match, Hull clinched it with a cross-court backhand that Middlebury’s Kyle Schlanger was unable to return. Hull won his match 6-2, 6-2 against Schlanger. The Stags also led at No. 2 (Butts), No. 4 (Dorn) and No. 5 (Morkovine) singles when the match ended.

This was the 11th meeting between CMS and Middlebury since 2005, with CMS having won nine of the matches. It was the first matchup between the two programs in the title match. Last season, CMS defeated Middlebury 5-2 in the national semifinals.

CMS’ historic season closes with a 32-2 record, undefeated against NCAA Division III opponents

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Cal Poly Pomona baseball coach will get to face old friend

The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team will take on University of Tampa (Fla.) on Sunday in the NCAA Division II Elite 8 in Cary, N.C.

A couple of old friends will have their teams square off in a first round game. Cal Poly Pomona coach Randy Betten was a teammate of Tampa coach Joe Urso in 1996 with the Lake Elsinore Storm, then an Angels minor league affiliate.

The two have kept in touch. It was Urso that told Betten if his team won the West regional theirs would be squaring off in the College World Series.

The Broncos (43-15) are making their first appearance in that event in 30 years. Betten’s team finished first in the CCAA in the regular season, then won the postseason conference tournament to win the automatic bid to the West Region which it hosted.

Tampa (39-13) is the South Region champion and making its 16th straight NCAA appearance, including ones in all 15 years Urso has been at the helm.

Here’s what Betten had to say about facing his old friend’s team:

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University of La Verne’s Kelby Scharmann wins national championship

Senior Kelby Scharmann of the University of La Verne shot a 72-hole total of 9-under 279 to claim the Leopards first-ever individual medalist honors at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf National Championship at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro (N.C.).

“I remember my freshman year looking through our record books and seeing that we had never won a championship and I really wanted that,” Scharmann said. “I thought this was something that I could achieve, but it was so far down the road and I didn’t know what it meant.
“To be the first in La Verne history is really cool.”

Scharmann won by six shots over Anthony Maccaglia of Oglethorpe and Jeff Wells of Methodist, but competition was tighter than that.

Maccaglia and Scharmann went into the final round tied for first at seven under par and matched each other shot-for-shot on the front nine on Friday, with both making the turn at even.

Scharmann, playing three holes ahead of Maccaglia, blinked first as he bogeyed his 11th and 13th holes. Maccaglia then birdied the 10th to grab a three-shot lead.

“I had asked my mom after I bogeyed my 13th hole and she told me I was three shots back at that point,” Scharmann said. “Did I think it was over? Kind of. Did I think it was outside of the realm of possibility that I could still win? No. I just kept doing what I’ve doing all year, just trying to clear my head, just keep swinging away and letting it happen.”

Scharmann nailed an eagle on par-5 No. 6 to get back within one stroke of Maccaglia and saved par on No. 7 to pull even with Maccaglia as the Oglethorpe senior bogeyed his No. 4. Scharmann then sank two straight birdies to close out the tournament and saw Maccaglia drop four strokes in his last five holes.

The University of Redlands finished fifth and was the highest local team finisher. The Bulldogs finished at 15-over 303 for the day, their worst showing of the four days, to finish at 34-over 1,186 for the 72 holes. Anthony Estes was the top Redlands player, finishing eighth (290).

Methodist (N.C.) finished first at 1,173, three strokes ahead of runner-up La Grange.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was 13th (1,217) and the University of La Verne 14th (1,219).

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