CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Nikolai Parodi and junior Jack Katzman squared off in an All-CMS singles final at the ITA West Regionals on Sunday afternoon at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center, and Parodi was able to come away with a two-set victory to earn the regional title.
Parodi won a tightly-contested first set 6-3 and then carried the momentum into the second set to win the championship 6-3, 6-1. Both Parodi and Katzman, who have been All-Americans in singles every year that they have been with the CMS program, guaranteed themselves invitations to the expanded 16-player ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia Oct. 17-20 yesterday by reaching the final match.
The first set saw most games head to several deuce points, with Parodi fighting off a pair of break points from Katzman that would have leveled the set at 4-4 to hold and take a 5-3 lead. Parodi took then Katzman's serve to several deuces and earned the break and the set with a backhand winner. The second set began tied 1-1, but Parodi then took command, winning the final five games in a row, painting the baseline on match point to take the win.
Katzman and Parodi both also competed earlier in the day, with Katzman and junior Robert Liu in action in the doubles semifinals, where they fell to the top seed and eventual champions from Redlands (Brad Cummins and Brycl Libao). Parodi, meanwhile, competed independently in singles at the Claremont Club in the International Tennis Federation's Claremont 25K event as an amateur.
In other action for the Stags, senior Jake Berber came away with the championship of the C Flight singles bracket with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Seth Lipe of Occidental. Sophomore Ethan Carroll reached the finals of the B Singles bracket, but came up short in three sets 6-4, 6-7, 10-8 to Charles Stark of Pomona-Pitzer. First-year Ian Habbestad reached the finals of the consolation bracket with a 2-6, 6-2, 10-8 win in the semifinals over teammate Jake Williams, but fell in a third-set tiebreaker to Matthew Gozalgo of Caltech.
After facing each other in singles, Habbestad and Williams played together in the consolation doubles bracket and came away with an 8-7 (7-4) win over Lucas Chen and Andrew Tjoa of UC Santa Cruz.
Parodi and Katzman will both be making their first appearances at the ITA Cup in singles. Parodi, who studied abroad last fall, went in doubles as both a freshman and sophomore, earning a third-place finish his freshman year. Katzman also finished as the runner-up a year ago to Chad LeDuff of UC Santa Cruz, but only the regional champion last year earned an invitation to ITA nationals.