Claremont, California - Trinity sophomore Paxton Deuel opened the NCAA Singles Championships as the sixth seed on Thursday afternoon, but lost his opening match in straight sets.
Deuel was the top line singles player for the Tigers all season, and held an 18-7 record in dual match play. He was the only Trinity player selected for the singles championship.
Today's singles tournament began early in the morning at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, which was also the site of the three-day team tournament. Deuel lost 6-7 (4-7), 0-6 to Carl Reid of Colby (ME) College, and was eliminated from contention.
This past fall, Deuel was fifth at the ITA Small College Championships, winning the Consolation Finals. He was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, leading Trinity to a fifth straight conference title.
In the team competition that began on Monday, Deuel led Trinity to a third place finish nationally, defeating second-ranked Washington (MO) University and third-ranked Middlebury (VT) College. The Tigers did lose to fourth-ranked Amherst (MA) College, which went on to win the NCAA Division III Championship.
The third-place finish was Trinity's best since winning the national title in 2000. The Tigers had previously lost seven times in the NCAA Quarterfinals prior to Monday's win over Washington University.
The Tigers are led by Head Coach Russell McMindes, who was named the Wilson/ITA National Division III Coach of the Year yesterday. McMindes has led the team to five SCAC Championships and four appearances in the quarterfinals during his five seasons at the helm of the Trinity men's tennis program.