Cross country, tennis teams get on track for new season

As the steamy summer weather comes to a close, the Case Western Reserve University cross country and tennis teams will embrace the chilly weather and prepare for their upcoming seasons.

Now with another year of experience under their belt, the men’s tennis team, composed of 18 student-athletes, will look to improve their solid 17-10 record, with losses only to nationally ranked opponents. Third-year players Anthony Kanam and Sam Concannon received All-University Athletic Association (UAA) Second Team honors last season and will look to lead the young team to more victories this season.

The women’s tennis team lost Nithya Kanagasegar to graduation. Kanagasegar ranked in the top 40 players in NCAA Division III last year and made the quarterfinals with now second-year student Madeline Paolucci. Second-year student Nicole Cardwell, who earned UAA Honorable Mention at second doubles, will lead the young Spartans to another strong season.

Fourth-year student Jessie Liu anticipates the team will get better throughout the season.

“I feel like our teamwork and support for each other is one of the strongest aspects of our team and will help us succeed this season,” Liu said.

Both tennis teams received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team award, while eight members of the men’s team and six members of the women’s team were recognized as ITA scholar athletes, which requires a grade point average of 3.5 or above.

The men’s cross country team will sorely miss now-graduated two-time All-American Sam Merriman, who finished 11th at the NCAA Division III Championships and set the school record in the 8,000-meter run with a time of 24:37.00. Third-year runner Andrew Green will look to lead the team with his consistent 27 minute 8,000 meter finishes and top-seven team finishes.

Last year, Danielle Kulpins was the top Spartan finisher in six of the seven races and finished 17th at the All-Great Lakes Regionals. Third-year runner Madeline Lindemann, who finished 11th in the UAA Championships and received All-UAA Second Team honors, will look to lead the team with fourth-year runners Isa Torres-Padin and Jennifer Hoffman and third-year runner Vanessa Pasadyn.

The cross country teams will compete at the Sundeck Sunset Classic Stampede in Chagrin Falls, Ohio on Aug. 31. The women’s tennis team will begin their fall season at the Oberlin Invitational on Sept. 7, while the men’s team will compete in the Kenyon Invitational on beginning Sept. 8.