Men’s tennis starts season with three victories
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The eighth-ranked Spartans had three wins this weekend, starting the year on the right foot. They traveled all the way to Indianapolis on Friday to play against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin’ Engineers. The day after, Case Western Reserve University took on two more opponents in Indiana, defeating Wabash College and Monmouth College.
Friday was an overcast day in Indianapolis as the Spartans took to the road to start their season. The first match ended as one for the visitors as Spartan first-year students Sam Concannon and Anthony Kaman teamed up to win their doubles match 8-4. At the end of the other two doubles matches, the Spartans were up 2-1 against the Fightin’ Engineers.
With the score slightly on their side, CWRU went into the singles matches ready to increase their lead. The Spartans won all of the first four singles matches with clean sweeps, allowing not even a single set to go to their opponent. However, fourth-year student James Fojtasek fell in the first set against Rose-Hulman’s Georges Adam 4-6. Despite the slow start, Fojtasek ended up taking the match after winning the next two sets, giving the Spartans a 7-1 edge with only one singles match left to finish. At the end of the day, the Spartans walked away with their first win of the season by a 7-2 margin.
The next day, the weather warmed up as much as the Spartans had after their first day of the season, reaching the mid-60s for a comfortable climate perfectly suitable for tennis.
CWRU first faced Wabash College from Crawfordsville, Indiana. Unlike the day before, the first match of the day against Wabash did not go well for CWRU as second-year student John Benedetto and fourth-year student Freddy Daum fell to Wabash’s duo 6-8. Shortly after the loss, the Spartans took the other two doubles matches, again giving the team a 2-1 edge going into singles competition.
Fourth-year student Josh Dughi won the first singles match with a nice 6-1, 6-0 score. The first three singles matches all went to the Spartans, securing the win for the team as they took a 5-1 lead. The next singles match was a win for Wabash, closing the lead to 5-2. However, despite their opponent’s best efforts, CWRU won the remaining two matches, winning 7-2.
Later that same day, the tired Spartans went up against Monmouth College. They won every single match against Monmouth, defeating the Fighting Scots 9-0. Kanam teamed up with fourth-year student Phillip Gruber to win their match 8-0. Two more Spartans, first-year student Zach Hennessey and second-year student David Zakhodin, won their singles matches without allowing a single point, as well. Zakhodin’s sweep was quick and over before any other singles match, but Hennessey’s match dragged on with strong volleys from both sides.
Now, the Spartans are sitting on a solid 3-0 record after the first weekend of play for the season. They look forward to hosting their rival, the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Tartans, on their home courts on Friday, Feb. 24 at noon to open up the ITA Indoor Nationals, which will continue through the weekend. CMU is currently ranked seventh nationally, just ahead of the Spartans, so the match-up will show just how accurate the rankings are and should promise for several close matches that go down to the wire.