Men’s tennis places well at ITA Indoor Nationals

Shreya Ramani, Staff Reporter

This past weekend, CWRU Men’s Tennis traveled to St. Peter, Minnesota to compete in the ITA Indoor National Championships hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College. They went into the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record over their previous opponents and two nationally ranked players. The duo of James Hopper, first-year, and Matt Chen, third-year, are currently ranked number one in D3 National Doubles Ranking. Hopper is currently ranked #5 in the singles ranking while Chen is ranked no. 22. The team played a total of three matches this weekend, culminating a 2-1 record in the tournament. 

Their first match was against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the no. 2 teams in the nation, and unfortunately, they fell to CMS 6-3. Of the three doubles matches, the lone doubles point came from junior Neil Mabee and senior Anthony Kanam, The team of Hopper and Chen, and Jonathan Powell and Zach Hennessey dropped both their matches 8-6. CMS went into the singles play 2-1 and ultimately prevailed by besting Chen—playing at no. 2, Kanam—playing no. 4, and sophomore Max Vicario—playing no. 6. Even with the clinch, all the rest of the singles matches put up a good fight, with second-years Aaron Umen and Chaitanya Aduru winning their matches and Hopper falling to the third-ranked DIII player. 

With the fall to CMS, CWRU still continued to play with a new start, now facing no. 11 Kenyon College. With this match, the Spartans upset the Lords with a 7-2 win. The Spartans started off strong, winning all three doubles points in the same lineup as the previous day. As they headed into the singles, Umen, who won 6-1, 6-3, and Aduru, who won 6-1,6-0, both added to the board with their wins, clinching the match for the Spartans as play carried on. Powell added to the win at fourth singles, besting his opponent 6-0,7-6. As the last matches on court, Kenyon bested the Spartans with the last two wins against Hopper and Chen at no. 1 and no. 2 singles, respectively. 

Win the win over Kenyon, the Spartans faced no. 9 ranked Washington University in St. Louis the following day. The Spartans once again scored a huge upset by topping the Bears 5-2, stopping the match once the last player clinched. The Spartans came from the doubles 2-1, with Kanam and Mabee, Hopper and Chen, winning their positions, while Powell and Hennessey fell at #2. As the singles started, Umen and Aduru once again added to the team record, besting their opponents 6-2, 6-1 and 7-5, 6-0 respectively. Powell fell at #4 singles, but ultimately Kanam clinched the match for the Spartans, winning over his opponent 6-3, 6-3. After Kanam’s match, all play stopped due to decision playing, and Hopper and Chen’s matches were both left unfinished. 

After a successful weekend, the rankings look good for the men’s tennis team down the road for future UAA and NCAA selections as they continue to gain momentum. The Spartans return once again this weekend to play three other teams: Wittenberg University, University of Rochester, and Hobart Colleges. They are set to host Wittenberg College this Saturday at noon at home.