The Spartans men’s tennis team played two games this past weekend and managed to win them both. Case Western Reserve University entered the weekend ranked No. 11, and hopes to improve upon that rank moving forward.
During the team’s first game against the No. 25 Kenyon College Lords, the Spartans were unable to get the edge after the doubles matches. Of the three duos, only second-year student John Benedetto and fourth-year student Freddy Daum were able to earn a point for their team.
After taking three of the first fives singles matches and with the score tied up at 4, the results of the matchup remained in the balance with one final match. It was second-year student Rob Stroup taking on third-year player Michael Liu of Kenyon in third singles.
Stroup lost the first set 5-7, then came back to win the second set in a nail-biting 7-5 finish. Something must have changed during that second set, though, as Stroup went into the third set ready to play. He ended up winning the set 6-1, crushing the hope of Kenyon’s team and giving the Spartans another win on the season. When Stroup notched his final point, the whole team rushed onto the court to hug their teammate and jump for joy.
The next day, the Spartans were up against No. 31 Lewis & Clark College as they squared off on Kenyon’s courts in Gambier, Ohio. This matchup was far less stress inducing as CWRU was able to win with a comfortable 6-3 advantage.
To start things off, the Spartans won two of the three doubles matches, giving them the edge they had so desperately missed the day before as they went into singles matches. Just like the day before, Stroup’s match went into a third set, but he was again able to win in the deciding final set. No other Spartan matches went the full three sets, with three able to win their matchups in just two sets.
Looking ahead, the Spartans are going to need Stroup to improve on starting out matchups on the right foot and not bringing the team a misstep away from defeat. Nevertheless, the team is grateful for his clutch play this weekend which helped bring the team two more wins.
With a 12-4 overall record, the Spartans are now looking ahead to two home games this coming weekend as the team starts the outdoor portion of their schedule. The home games will give the team a chance to improve upon its 3-2 home record. CWRU will be taking on the State University of New York at Oneonta Red Dragons in two matches starting at 9 a.m. on the Carlton Courts. If Mother Nature does not cooperate, the matches will be moved to Cleveland State University and start at 8 a.m.