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Men's tennis NCAA run ends in singles semis, doubles quarters

Matt Bettles '13 teamed up with Rob Crampton '13 to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA men's doubles championship. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen)

CARY, N.C. -- The Bates men's tennis team finished play at the NCAA Division III Singles and Doubles Championships on Friday, as junior Rob Crampton finished a 15-match win streak as a semifinalist in the singles tournament, and Crampton and junior Matt Bettles bowed out as doubles quarterfinalists.

Crampton (Wilton, Conn.) started the second day of the tournament with a bang, registering a 6-3, 7-5 upset win in the singles quarterfinals over Felix Sun of Williams, the NESCAC Player of the Year and the second-ranked singles player in the Northeast by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Crampton was finally stopped in the semifinals, falling 6-1, 6-0 to Dillon Pottish of Emory. The loss ended an astounding personal 15-match win streak for Crampton. Pottish will face Nicholas Ballou of Cal Lutheran in Saturday's final.

Crampton and Bettles (Taunton, England), who had ensured All-America honors in doubles as well with their win Thursday in the Round of 16, fell in a hard-fought match to Gustavus Adolphus duo of Amrik Donkena and Mya Smith-Dennis. Gustavus took a 6-1 first-set win, with the fact that Crampton was playing his sixth match in two days surely a contributing factor (Crampton defeated Smith-Dennis in the first round of singles play yesterday). Gustavus prevailed in the second set in a second-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (8-6).

Thursday Recap

After they were done defeating Robert Kjellberg and Alexey Rumyantsev of North Carolina Wesleyan on Thursday, both Bettles and Crampton were two-time All-Americans.

Crampton kicked off the Bates tennis teams’ excursion to the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships by becoming the eighth All-American in team history, winning his first-round match in singles play on Thursday morning and winning again on Thursday afternoon in the Round of 16. Finally, in his third match of the day, Crampton teamed up with Bettles to win in the Round of 16 in the doubles championship.

Crampton came back resoundingly from a set down to defeat Mya Smith-Dennis of Gustavus Adolphus in the Round of 32 of the men’s singles championship by a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, securing his first career All-America award. Crampton advanced to the Round of 16 to face Eric Shulman of Christopher Newport University, and eliminated Shulman from the field with relative ease, by a 6-3, 6-1 score.

After a brief rest, Crampton and Bettles made it to the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament with the win over NC Wesleyan, immediately becoming Bates’ third All-America doubles team, after Will Boe-Wiegaard ’06 and Tristan Beach ’06 and Ben Stein ’09 and Amrit Rupasinghe ’10.

Also Thursday evening, Bates’ first women’s competitors at an NCAA championship, the doubles pair of senior Meg Anderson (Cohasset, Mass.) and first-year Elena Mandzhukova (Lisbon, Portugal), came up short in their quest for All-America honors against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps duo Kristin Lim and Jessie Huang, as Lim and Huang advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over the Bates pair.

Crampton joined Bates’ All-Americans list, the most recent member of which was Bettles, who also reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA singles championship in 2011. The others on the list are Rupasinghe, Stein, Beach, Boe-Wiegaard, current head coach Paul Gastonguay ’89 and Buddy Schultz ’81.

Find links to championship brackets and live results.