Eighth-Ranked Spartans Complete Opening Weekend Sweep with Wins over Wabash & Monmouth

Eighth-Ranked Spartans Complete Opening Weekend Sweep with Wins over Wabash & Monmouth

The eighth-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team claimed wins in a pair of matches on Saturday afternoon, defeating Wabash College 7-2 and Monmouth College 9-0 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Playing at the Collett Tennis Center on the Wabash campus, the Spartans improved to 3-0 on the campaign with the two wins.  Wabash dropped to 1-2 with the loss, while Monmouth fell to 1-2 as well.

In the early match against host Wabash, the Spartans claimed wins in two of the three doubles contests.  After senior Fred Daum and sophomore John Benedetto suffered an 8-6 loss to William Reifeis and Patrick McAuley in the first doubles match, CWRU responded with wins at second and third doubles, with seniors James Fojtasek and Phillip Gruber winning 8-3 over Michael Makio and Jordan Greenwell, and freshman Rajeev Laungani and David Zakhodin claiming an 8-4 victory over George Go III and Andrew Denning.

The Spartans would go on to win five of the six singles matches against the Little Giants.  Claiming the first win was senior Josh Dughi with a 6-1, 6-0 win over McAuley in the third match, and a 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 win from freshman Siddharth Rajupet in the second singles match over Makio extending the team lead to 4-1.  Shortly thereafter, freshman Rob Stroup clinched the team win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Greenwell in the fourth singles contest.

Picking up wins for the Spartans in the remaining matches were freshmen Sam Concannon (6-2, 6-0 over Nicholas Pollock in the fifth match) and Anthony Kanam (6-1, 6-0 over Mazin Hakim in the sixth match), while Fojtasek fell at no. 1 singles to Reifeis, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4.

The Spartans went on to pick up the clean sweep over Monmouth in the second match of the day.  In doubles action, CWRU's third pairing of Kanam and Gruber picked up the first win of the match, shutting out Saxon Day and Cole Pyatt 8-0.  Concannon and freshman Zach Hennessey followed with an 8-2 win over Paulo Pliego and Dylan Wong at no. 2 doubles, and Benedetto and Daum completed the sweep of doubles play with an 8-6 win in the first match over Ronnie Griffin and Landon Walker.

In singles play, Zakhodin struck first with a flawless win, 6-0, 6-0, in the sixth singles match over Pyatt.  Kanam clinched the team victory with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Griffin in the no. 2 singles contest.  Adding on wins for the Spartans against Monmouth were senior Kevin Dong with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wong in the first singles match, senior Adam Collins with a 6-4, 6-4 win at third singles over Walker, Laungani with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Paulo Pliego at fourth singles, and Hennessey with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Day at fifth singles.

Throughout the weekend, the Spartans were spurred by the back end of their lineup, both in singles and doubles play.  CWRU's three-through-six singles players went a perfect 12-0, while the second and third doubles pairings were 6-0 over the three matches.

Case Western Reserve will be off from competition until Friday, February 24th, when the team will play host for the ITA Indoor National Championships at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio.  The Spartans, seeded fifth in the tournament, will open up play at the event against nationally seventh ranked and fourth seeded Carnegie Mellon University.  For more information on the ITA Indoor Championships, visit the official tournament website at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mten/2016-17/ITAIndoors/index.