Tennis pushes down final stretch

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams completed a difficult mid-season stretch, with the men returning to action after their spring break trip with four games in three days and the women competing in the Blue-Grey Invitational.

The 12th-ranked Spartan men were 3-1 in the stretch from March 27-29, scoring three straight wins over Ohio Wesleyan University, John Carroll University and the Stevens Institute of Technology before losing to Division I Cleveland State University.

In the morning of March 27, the Spartans swept Ohio Wesleyan 9-0, with every singles and doubles team earning a victory. Senior Bas van Lent and sophomore Joshua Dughi, the top two spots for the Spartans, both won their matches in straight sets. The No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams also both recorded 8-0 victories over the Bishops.

That afternoon the team almost completed another sweep over John Carroll, finishing 8-1 and extending their win streak to four. Five of the six singles matches finished with Spartan victories in straight sets, with JCU only winning in the No. 4 match.

All three doubles teams defeated their opponents again as Case Western Reserve University handled John Carroll with ease. Senior Will Drougas and juniors CJ Krimbill and Louis Stuerke were all double winners in the victory.

The next day the Spartan men claimed their fifth in a row, beating No. 24 Stevens, with every player on the squad earning at least one point.

Stuerke was a double winner on the day, as he defeated Stevens’ No. 4 player to win the fifth point and seal the game for the Spartans. Freshman Andrew Komarov also won both his singles and doubles matches.

However CWRU’s winning streak ended March 29, as they faced off with Cleveland State and lost 6-1. Krimbill was the team’s only winner, winning the tiebreaker third set 10-5.

The men’s team currently holds a 13-8 record and will play ninth-ranked Carnegie Mellon on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

On the women’s side, the Spartans are ranked 23rd in Division III, with an 8-4 record. They competed in the Blue/Grey Invitational on March 20-22 in Fredericksburg, VA.

Case Western finished with a 0-3 record in the tournament, with losses to No. 23 University of Mary Washington (5-4), No. 14 Sewanee (7-2) and No. 20 Skidmore College (5-4).

The No. 2 doubles team, made up of junior Sara Zargham and freshman Nithya Kanagasegar, and No. 4 singles player Michelle Djohan, both won all of their matches throughout the tournament.

The team managed to push forward and earned an 8-1 victory over 22nd-ranked Hope College on their senior day last Saturday.

Marianne Bonanno, the team’s sole senior, finished her last match in Cleveland with a win and won both her singles and doubles matches to boost the Spartans ahead. Kanagasegar also pulled off the double win, securing her position as fourth in the Central Region.

The women move on Friday to the Midwest Invitational, located in Madison, WI. After that the Spartans only have two more competitions until the University Athletic Association Championship.