Slugs Lose Heartbreaker to CMS
Dear Slug Fans,
In one of the most dramatic Dual matches ever played on our courts we dropped a very tough one to our So Cal rivals #3 ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripts. Doubles started well with both two and three doubles out to an early lead. Erich Koenig and Sam Rodgers played amazingly well in winning 8-5 to get us on the board first with a great close to conclude their match. Erik Rosner and Ian Stanley battled hard but lost serve when serving at 6-7 for the final mark of 8-6 to knot the match at 1-1. At one doubles Brian Pybas and Parker Larsen went down a break early and played an incredible break game at 6-7 where both players hit multiple winning returns to break and even the match. Parker held for 8-7 and then it got very interesting! We had at least 6 set points and held off at least 5 hold points in an amazing game. The level was super high with both teams forcing errors or hitting winner. CMS finally held to send it to a breaker. We jumped out to an early lead that they erased. We faced set point at 5-6 in the breaker but battled back to win in super dramatic fashion 9-7 as Parker stepped up on match point and Brian hit an amazing finishing swing volley to set up the match point.
With a 2-1 lead going into the singles all matches were battles. Brian won the first set at one as did Parker at three and Andre at four. Erich Koenig was up early in the first set but ended up losing a close set. Sam Rodgers served for the first set but lost it in a tiebreaker. Yushi Ayabe lost two close sets at six singles to even the match at 2-2. Next off was Sam who lost 6-3 in the second followed by Erich who lost is two very close sets at two singles. Andre Halabi continued his great play at four singles serving it out for a straight set win to put us at 3-4 with Brian and Parker now both in the third. Parker got out quickly at three singles going up 5-1. Brian was down an early break but was held up by the crowd, Parker's lead and Andre's win. Parker had one match point at 5-1, three more at 5-3 and one at 5-4. A win of any one of these would have put the match on Brian's racket which is good news for the Slugs. Brian battled back and had two match points at 4-5 in the third and had his third match point when Parker's opponent sealed the match for CMS.
The crowd was amazing, our fight and character were outstanding and yet it was a very hard loss for our young men. I could not be more proud of their effort this year and if you would have told me at the start of the season that we would beat CMS in the regular season and hold match points to get to the final 8 I would have been pleasantly surprised! The journey has been great! Parker Larsen was not in our singles lineup till the end of last year and did an amazing job all year at three. Combined with Brian to be the top doubles team from our region, he had an amazing year. Andre struggled at times last year at six and this year lost to only one player in Div lll at four all year long! Erich Koening was the top number two player in our region and was a key part of our doubles success as well. Sam Rodgers who was not in our singles or doubles lineup last year had some great matches at five singles and he and Erich were one of our most solid teams at the end of the season. Erik Rosner and Ian Stanley started the year on fire and then found their form again late to be a super solid two team with great potential going forward. Yushi Ayabe was in my advanced tennis class last year and lost his only dual match of the year in today's final contributing a great attitude and work ethic. And then there is our rock in senior Brian Pybas. We all had no doubt he would have found a way to close out his match as this has been his pattern his whole career.
Thanks again to everyone who helped support this great event. Our crowd was amazing and it was so nice to see so many of our Slug Alums, family and friends. Special thanks to the OPERS Staff led by Erin Ness, Julie Roth, and AD Linda Spradley. Thanks to all of our second team members for their work all year and support at this event. There are way to many people to name but we all felt amazing at the level of support. When I am able to pick myself off the mat I will do a more thorough recap of this amazing team season. Brian, Erich and Parker will be practicing for the Individual NCAA singles and doubles championships to be played in Claremont at the end of the month.
Thanks again for all the love and support and our collective Slug hearts will heal and we will be at it better than ever!
Sincerely, Coaches Hansen, Seeberger and Parmelly