Men’s tennis has strong start


Andrew Hodowanec/ Observer

The Spartans hosted the ITA Championships this week where they placed third.

The Case Western Reserve University Spartans’ men’s tennis team won its first match of the season, and then won against two of three opposing teams this past weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoors tournament. The team is starting strong and holds high promise for the rest of the season.

At the ITA National Indoors tournament, the number-eight seed Spartans beat the number-one seed Washington University in St. Louis Bears 6-3 on Friday, Feb. 19. On Saturday, Feb. 20, the Spartans lost to the University of Chicago Maroons in a devastating 7-2 loss in matches. However, the Spartans bounced back and beat the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans in a close 5-4 match that could have gone either way.

First-year student Robert Stroup, whose own wins and losses came on the same days as the entire team’s, beat the Bears’ Tyler Kratky 6-7, lost to the Maroons’ Charlie Pei, and then won again against the Tartans’ Kenny Zheng.

“Against Tyler, I got off to a really good start, gaining a quick lead at 5-1,” Stroup said when asked about his game against Kratky.

However, after this quick start, the Bulls’ player quickly turned his game around and ended up winning the set. After this quick turnaround, Stroup knew he had to focus. “Being so close to winning the set, I knew I could win the next one so I buckled down and focused really hard to start off the next set well,” Stroup said about his following set.

Stroup ended up winning the following set 6-4, and went on to win the match, gaining a point for the Spartans.

Against Chicago, Stroup blames the team’s lesser energy and enthusiasm that they exhibited Saturday, saying that the team was more uncertain while playing.

“Our team chemistry felt strong during the tournament and I have confidence that we can continually improve the program,” said Stroup.

He said that the tournament was a good example of what would be required to beat higher-ranked teams, which would help the players with their confidence going forward in the season.

The team is now three-and-one on the season including this tournament, and looks to keep the pace throughout the year. All eyes are now on this Spartan tennis team, as they should be. The possibilities are exciting.