Men’s tennis rides 11-match win streak into UAA Championships


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

CWRU’s men’s tennis team celebrates after their 9-0 wins against North Central College and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on April 8.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

The Case Western Reserve University men’s tennis team has gone undefeated in the month of April, extending their win streak to 11 matches and bringing their overall record to 25-4. 

On April 7, the Spartans traveled to Illinois to face the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Lake Forest College. CWRU swept the UW-Eau Claire 9-0, starting with wins from fourth-year James Hopper/second-year Ansh Shah in second doubles (8-2), fourth-years Chris Provenzano/Diego Maza in first doubles (8-6) and third-year Sahil Dayal/fourth-year Michael Sutanto in third doubles (8-4). After Hopper won first singles (6-0, 6-2), third-year Vishwa Aduru clinched the match in second singles (6-3, 6-0). Shah, second-year Casey Hishinuma, second-year Ajay Mahenthiran and Sutanto completed the sweep in singles.

The Spartans swept the doubles against Lake Forest, leading to an 8-1 victory. Third-year Daniel French/Aduru won second doubles (8-0), Dayal/third-year Yuvraj Narang won third doubles (8-6) and Maza/Provenzano took first doubles (8-5). First-year Rohan Bhat, first-year Matthew Plunkett, second-year Ben Martin, first-year Anmay Devaraj and first-year Justin Prochnow all won their respective singles matches in two sets. The only loss came from Maza in first singles.

On Saturday April 8, the Spartans continued their winning ways in Illinois, defeating North Central College and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 9-0 sweeps. Against North Central, Hopper/Dayal took second doubles (8-2), Maza/Provenzano won first doubles (8-2) and Aduru/Sutanto cleaned up third doubles (8-3). Maza’s first singles win (6-0, 6-0) and Sutanto’s second singles win (6-2, 6-0) clinched the match. Devaraj, Hishinuma, Shah and Mahenthiran added the cherries on top for the sweep.

The match against Whitewater was a rematch of the 2022 NCAA DIII Championship Round of 16, but the Spartans took control from the beginning to secure their victory. Shah/Dayal won third doubles (8-4), Hopper/Aduru took first doubles (8-6) and Provenzano/Maza won second doubles (8-4). Mahenthiran (6-2, 6-1) and Hopper (6-0, 6-2) clinched the match with their singles wins. Hishinuma, Shah, Sutanto and Aduru completed the sweep.

Sutanto was named the UAA Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week and the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week after going undefeated in his singles and doubles contests for the weekend.

“We all remembered that [Whitewater] swept us in the doubles at NCAAs last year so we knew we had our hands full at the end of the weekend,” reflected head coach Todd Wojtkowski. “For us to finish stronger than we started it gave us good momentum heading into this weekend.”

The momentum did indeed carry through as the Spartans defeated Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday April 15 and Kalamazoo College on Sunday April 16 on home court.

CWRU snatched up the doubles against CMU, with Maza/Provenzano winning first doubles (8-1), fourth-year John Kasner/Hopper taking third doubles (8-5) and Sutanto/Shah securing third doubles (8-5). The Spartans clinched the match after Hopper won first singles (6-2, 6-2) and Aduru bested his opponent in second singles (6-3, 6-1). CMU continued to fight and won the fourth and sixth singles, but wins from Sutanto and Mahenthiran completed the 7-2 win. 

The Spartans also celebrated Senior Day, honoring Hopper, Kasner, Maza, Provenzano and Sutanto. The quintet led the Spartans to back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2021 and 2022, back-to-back ITA Indoor Championships in 2022 and 2023, and an overall 81-13 record with a 73-4 record against DIII opponents.

“It’s quite an unbelievable class we have to recognize this year,” said Wojtkowski. “These seniors…have been here all four years that started the program [with] first trip to the NCAA finals.”

The players, however, are locked into finishing the season at the top of the DIII. Coach Wojtkowski added, “They really are focused on finishing this mission and finishing stronger than they started so we’re really excited to talk about all the great things that they’ve done for our program this weekend.”

On April 16, the top-ranked Spartans concluded its 2023 regular season with a 9-0 sweep of Kalamazoo. Sutanto/Aduru won third doubles (8-1), Hopper/Shah took second doubles (8-5) and Provenzano/Maza won first doubles (8-5). This marked the 11th straight match CWRU swept doubles and the 20th time this season. Hishinuma, Mahenthiran, Shah, Aduru, Sutanto and Hopper defeated their opponents in singles. With this win, the Spartans stand at a flawless 20-0 against DIII opponents.

CWRU will now enter the postseason at the 2023 UAA Championships with the top seed for the second-straight season in search of their first conference championship. The tournament will be held in Altamonte Springs, Florida from April 21-23.