Men’s tennis takes sixth at UAA Championship

The Spartans competed in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament this past weekend, playing in three matches. They lost the first and last, but won the one in the middle. Case Western Reserve University entered the weekend ranked No. 12 nationally, and now sit on a 20-6 season record.

To start off the UAA Championships, CWRU was put up against their rival, the No. 7 Carnegie Mellon University Tartans. The first round of the tournament was painful at best for the Spartans, as they were one set away from being swept for the day.

Starting off, the Tartans slammed on the gas in the doubles competition. The Spartans fought hard in all three matches, but failed to come away with a single win, trailing by three points before singles competition began.

After four singles matches, the Spartans were down 7-0. The Tartans had already sealed their victory, but CWRU was looking to protect their dignity with the final two matches. Both of the remaining matches went into a third set. The first to end was also the first win for the Spartans as fourth-year student Josh Dughi came away with a clutch victory, giving his team their first and only win for the day.

Having fallen 8-1 in their first match, the Spartans were thrown into the consolation bracket, where they were paired up against the University of Rochester.

Against Rochester, CWRU regained their top-tier form. They annihilated their competitors in every single match, making the case that perhaps they weren’t deserving of being in the consolation bracket. After all was said and done, the Spartans had earned nine points and swept Rochester, 9-0.

The team advanced to the fifth place match, where they faced off against No. 34 Brandeis University.

Despite being ranked so much higher than Brandeis, the Spartans stumbled. Brandeis took all three doubles matches, putting the Spartans in a tough spot.

Entering singles matches, the Spartans thought they could regain control and win five of the six to take the matchup. When the first singles match ended, the Spartans were down 4-0, one loss match away from elimination in the tournament. And in a bitter 0-6, 3-6 match, fourth-year student Kevin Dong’s loss gave the victory to Brandeis.

Even though they had already lost against Brandeis, the remaining four CWRU players each won their matches, making the final score a respectable 5-4 loss that deceives one into believing the entire matchup was close.
The Spartans have three more matches on the season, all of which are at home on April 29. The team is set to face John Carroll University, Marietta College and Franciscan University of Steubenville with the first match starting at 8:30 a.m. Before the second match at 12:30 p.m. the team will be honoring six members who have competed for four years in a special “Senior Day” celebration.