LEXINGTON, Va. – The No. 23 Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team responded to a recent four-place drop in the national rankings with a 5-4 upset of No. 16 University of Mary Washington (Va.) in its spring trip opener on Friday afternoon at the Duchossois Athletics Facility.
Senior captain Rohan Patel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) broke a 4-4 tie with a straight-set victory at No. 4 singles to clinch the upset.
The Spartans (9-5 overall) dropped from No. 19 to No. 23 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national poll released yesterday, but the team also moved up to No. 3 in the Central Region. Friday's upset of Mary Washington (4-5) evened the Spartans' record to 2-2 versus nationally-ranked opponents this season.
Case grabbed a 2-1 lead after doubles competition with victories at No. 1 and No. 2. In first position, the region's No. 3-ranked duo of sophomore John Healey (Columbia, Md./Atholton) and junior Kyle Gerber (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) won by a count of 8-5. In second position, senior Sean Carr (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) and junior Richard Brunsting (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) claimed victory, 8-2.
Singles play went back-and-forth and the Spartans picked up key points by No. 5 regionally-ranked freshman Will Drougas (Roanoke, Va./Salem) and Healey.
Drougas defeated Sam Wichlin 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1, while Healey knocked off Donato Rizzolo by an identical count at No. 6.
Patel then clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-3 win versus Tyler Carey.
The Spartans return to action with a pair of spring break matches tomorrow versus Washington & Lee University (Va.) at 9:00 a.m. and Bridgewater College (Va.) at 4:00 p.m.