Liu Edges Carroll in All-CMS Singles Final, Four Stags Advance to ITA Cup
CLAREMONT, Calif. - After the CMS men's tennis team began Saturday with seven of the eight quarterfinalists at the ITA West Regional singles championships, it came down to Robert Liu and Ethan Carroll in this morning's championship, and Liu won a tightly-contested battle 6-4, 7-6 to earn All-America honors for the 2021-22 season.
By reaching the finals, both Liu and Carroll will advance to the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia from Oct. 14-17, as will the doubles team of Philip Martin and Nathan Arimilli, which reached the finals in their draw as well.
Liu earned All-America honors for the first time in his career with the regional championship in a triumphant return to the courts after an 18-month absence. He was a second-team All-SCIAC selection in 2019, when he had a 28-6 record in doubles, but lost the 2020 season to the pandemic. He took a tight first set against Carroll 6-4 and fell behind early in the second, but broke back and got it into a tiebreaker, which he won 7-3 to take the two-set win.
The weekend also was a showcase for the CMS depth. In addition to the seven quarterfinalists in singles, the Stags saw Carroll make it all the way to the finals as an unseeded entrant, defeating fourth-seeded Caleb Wilkins of Chapman in the first round, and his second-seeded teammate Matthew Robinson in the semifinals. It was the second time that Carroll has had a big performance at the ITA Regionals, as in 2018, he defeated the defending champion and top seed in the draw, Chase Lipscomb of Redlands, in his very first collegiate match.
Martin and Arimilli also earned their way into the doubles finals this morning by winning a Stags vs. Stags matchup against Liu and Jack Katzman, who were the top seed in the tournament. The Stag duo dominated the first set against Pomona-Pitzer in the finals 6-2, but fell in the second set 6-3, and then dropped a closely-contested tiebreaker. They trailed 8-6 before rattling off three straight points to have a chance at the title, but the Sagehen duo had a service winner to tie it and then took the next two points for an 11-9 win.
The four Stags will look to have a successful showing at the ITA Cup. In 2019, Nikolai Parodi and Katzman played for the ITA West Singles title, and both reached the semifinals of the ITA Cup before coming up just short of having a head-to-head rematch.