Men’s tennis earns sixth place at indoor championships

Noah Crowley, Staff Reporter

The Spartans participated in the ITA DIII Indoor Men’s Tennis Championships this weekend and made it past the first consolation round. The No. 8 Case Western Reserve University men fell to the No. 7 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Tartans for the first of three games this weekend, then split their next two games at the tournament, defeating No. 14 Trinity University but losing to No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer.

Against the Tartans on Friday, Feb. 24, the Spartans had a solid start after winning two of the three doubles matches. After the first three singles matches had ended, the Spartans and Tartans were tied with three victories each. Then, after two tight games, fourth-year student Joshua Dughi fell to his opponent, giving the Tartans a one match lead.

The remaining two matches were neck-and-neck, both of which ended up being decided in three sets. The first of the two singles matches was a highly contested match featuring first-year student Siddharth Rajupet, who pushed his Tartan opponent into three games but ended up losing the game 6-2, giving Carnegie Mellon the final point they needed to secure the victory. The close results proved just how accurate the eighth and seventh rankings of these two teams are, with the Tartans barely edging out the slightly lower ranked Spartans.

Because of the loss, the Spartans were pushed into the consolation bracket for the tournament. They played first against Trinity University from Texas, another meeting that went down to the wire. The Spartans ended up edging out their opponent in the final match of the game thanks to the clutch victory by fourth-year student Kevin Dong. The victory gave the Spartans the opportunity to compete for fifth place in the tournament against Pomona-Pitzer.

The meeting between these two teams was anything but close with Pomona-Pitzer taking seven of the nine matches against the Spartans. The Sagehens completed a clean sweep of the singles matches.

The two Spartan victories came from the doubles pairings of fourth-year students James Fojtasek and Phillip Gruber and second-year student John Benedetto with fourth-year student Fred Daum.

After the loss, CWRU finished in sixth place in the tournament. All of the teams finishing in the tournament’s top four were University Athletic Association rivals, showing the dominance of the conference in men’s tennis.

This coming weekend, the Spartans will be taking on both Allegheny College and Earlham College at the Mayfield Village Racquet Club. The Spartans will be hoping to get on another winning streak like the one they started the year on.