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The CMS women's tennis team earned its ninth SCIAC title in a row
The CMS women's tennis team earned its ninth SCIAC title in a row

CMS Women's Tennis Takes SCIAC Title with Dramatic 5-4 Win over Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Crystal Juan picked up the decisive win to break a 4-4 tie with a three-set win at No. 1 singles (6-4, 3-6, 6-2) to lead the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team to a 5-4 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament finals match on Saturday at the Pauley Tennis Complex.

With the win, CMS improves to 22-3 on the year and turns the tables against a Pomona-Pitzer team that defeated CMS twice during the regular season (once in the ITA Indoors and once in a SCIAC match). The Athenas earned their ninth straight SCIAC title, a streak which stretched over eight years from 2012-19, and then resumed this year after a two-year COVID hiatus. 

The last time the two teams met, CMS fell into a 3-0 hole after doubles and couldn't battle its way back out. This time around, though, CMS took a 2-1 lead, with Alisha Chulani and Nikolina Batoshvili providing the swing point with an 8-7 win in a tiebreaker at No. 1. Sarah Bahsoun and Devon Wolfe also added an easy 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles. 

Bahsoun added a dominant win at No. 6 singles (6-2, 6-1) to push the lead to 3-1 and Nikolina Batoshvili added a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5. Pomona-Pitzer was able to pick up straight set wins at No. 2 and No. 3, and that left two three-setters to determine the match. 

Ella Brissett battled back after dropping the first set at No. 4, but ended up on the short end of a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 defeat to Marissa Markey to level the score at 4-4. That brought it down to No. 1 singles, where Juan fell in three sets to Maria Lyven in the regular season match after being hampered physically in the third set. This time, she got stronger as the match went on, winning the last four games in a row for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win and the SCIAC Championship. 

With the banner in hand, CMS will next turn its attention to the NCAA Regionals, after it finds out its opponent and location when selections are announced on Monday.