Men’s tennis faces 10 opponents on spring break trip

Claire Nordt, Sports Editor

Spring break did not ensure a break for the men’s tennis team. The team faced 10 opponents throughout the course of the break, walking away victorious against seven of them.

To start the break off, the Spartans traveled to the United States Tennis Association National Campus in Orlando, where the team faced the University of Scranton and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The day began with a sweep against Scranton. The Spartans then faced CMU. The Tartans started strong, claiming wins in both first and third doubles. Third-year Spartan Zach Hennessey and second-year teammate Matthew Chen were able to grab the win in second doubles, bringing CWRU down one heading into singles contests.

In singles play, CMU increased their lead early on, claiming wins in fourth singles over first-year Spartan Max Vicario and in fifth singles over fourth-year Spartan Rob Stroup. These losses brought the Tartans to a 4-1 advantage. At sixth singles, Jonathan Powell was able to earn a win for the Spartans, followed by a win by Chen at first singles. First-year Spartan Aaron Umen picked up a win in third singles, bringing the two teams to a tie with only second singles remaining. Third-year student Anthony Kanam competed for the Spartans in the match.

His Tartan opponent claimed the first set, but Kanam came back to win the next set, forcing a third set to decide the match. A Tartan win in the third set brought the final score to 5-4 for an overall match win for CMU.

The Spartans next competed on March 11, facing Hampden-Sydney College (HSC), Wheaton College and Webber International University. In the match against HSC, the Spartans swept the doubles contests, giving the team an early lead. CWRU maintained their lead in singles play, claiming wins in all six singles contests and ending the match in a victory.

In their match against Wheaton, the team again swept the doubles contests. A sweep of the singles contests followed, earning the Spartans another 9-0 victory for the day.

Later that day, the team faced their third opponent, Webber International. The Warriors claimed an early lead with a win at second doubles. Chen and Powell teamed up to compete in first doubles, and second-year student Earl Hsieh and first-year teammate Chaitanya Aduru paired together for third doubles. Both pairs earned wins for the Spartans, giving CWRU a 2-1 lead at the start of singles play. The team maintained their lead with wins in five of the six matches, earning the Spartans a match win, 7-2.

The following day, the team was back in action, taking on Trinity University. Trinity started with an early lead after claiming wins in first doubles and second doubles, where Chen and Hennessey were defeated in a tiebreaker. CWRU was able to respond with a win at third doubles, where the first-year duo of Aduru and Umen bested their opponents. The Spartans were able to claim a win at sixth singles, but three losses at second, fifth and first singles secured the match to Trinity. In the remaining two singles contests, Kanam claimed a win at third singles, and Stroup suffered a loss at fourth singles, bringing the overall match score to 6-3 for a Spartan loss.

Continuing on the spring break trip, the Spartans then faced Austin College and Kenyon College on March 13. The team split the matches, with a win against Austin followed by a loss against Kenyon.

The match against Kenyon started with a win and two losses for the Spartans in doubles play, where they claimed their win in first doubles with the pairing of Kanam and Powell. Powell would go on to also claim a Spartan win in his singles match at fifth singles. The win brought his record for singles matches to 15-2 for the season, a team best. Three Spartan losses in the next three singles contests secured the win for Kenyon. The Spartans followed with two wins in the following contests. Third-year Spartan Sam Concannon won in fourth singles and Aduru claimed sixth singles. The two wins brought the final score to 5-4 for a Kenyon win.

In their match against Austin College, the Spartans swept the three doubles contests. CWRU then followed with wins in five of the six singles matches, falling only in second singles.

The Spartans returned to action on Friday, competing in their final two matches of the spring break trip. The trip ended on a successful note with wins against both Amherst College and Dickinson College.

CWRU started strong against Amherst, sweeping all three doubles matches. In singles play, the Spartans added to their lead with a win by Powell at fifth singles. Amherst fought back, claiming wins at third singles and fourth singles, cutting the Spartan lead to two, but a win by Chen at first singles secured the win for CWRU. Aduru and Kanam added two more wins for the Spartans at sixth and second singles, respectively.

The men finished up their trip with the match against Dickinson. The match started with singles play, and the Spartans swept the six contests in straight sets. In doubles play, CWRU added wins in first and third doubles. The lone loss for the Spartans occurred in second doubles, and the match ended 8-1 for a Spartan win.

With the conclusion of that match, the team ended its spring break trip. The team’s 7-3 record on the trip brought the Spartans to 12-5 for the season. Standing out among the Spartan men was Powell, who finished the trip with a perfect 8-0 record in singles contests and 6-2 in doubles play.

The Spartans will return to action on March 30 when the team will travel to Rochester, New York to face the University of Rochester and Hobart College.