Courtesy Bowdoin Sports Information
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The most outstanding year in Bowdoin Athletics history ended with a flourish on Sunday as the Polar Bear duo of Stephen Sullivan and Oscar Pena won the NCAA Men's Tennis Doubles Championship. Sullivan and Pena knocked off Zhenya Pereverzin and Ronald Wu of Claremont Mudd Scripps for the title, 6-4, 6-4. They are the first tennis players in Bowdoin's history to win a national title.
Tied at four in the opening set, Bowdoin was able to break serve and claim the first set 6-4. The Polar Bears immediately broke Pereverzin and Wu's serve in the second set, but the CMS pair rebounded from championship point to break Bowdoin's serve and claw back into the match, closing to within 5-4. But Pena held serve for the Polar Bears in the decisive game, as Bowdoin took the match with a 6-4 second set win.
The road to the title wasn't easy for the Polar Bears, despite cruising to a first-round win Friday over Robert Kjelberg and Antti Saari of North Carolina Wesleyan (6-1, 6-3). They then rallied for a dramatic win Saturday against the doubles pairing of Parker Larsen and Brian Pybas of UC-Santa Cruz. Down a set, Pena and Sullivan rallied to win (4-6, 6-2, 7-5) and then bounced Issac Stein and Max Woods of Washington U in the semifinals earlier on Sunday (6-4, 4-6, 6-2).
After being joined as Bowdoin's No. 1 doubles team earlier this spring, Sullivan and Pena posted an 11-2 overall record this year.
Pena also advanced to the NCAA title match as a first-year in 2009, where he and teammate Jamie Neely finished as national runners-up. Sullivan, a senior who advanced to the national semifinals individually as a first-year in 2008, missed Bowdoin's graduation Saturday in order to play in the championship.