The 15th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team suffered a pair of losses to Division I opponents during its opening day of competition of the 2018 spring season, dropping a 5-2 decision to Northern Illinois University and a 6-1 decision to Cleveland State University at the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday.
In the early match against Northern Illinois, freshman Neil Mabee and sophomore Zach Hennessey were able to defeat Tom Hjertonsson and Erich Schuette in a tiebreaker in the third doubles match, 7-6 (2). However, Northern Illinois claimed wins in the other two doubles matches, jumping out to a 1-0 lead with Division I scoring in effect. In singles play, freshman Matthew Chen defeated Kristopher Ortega 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at no. 2 singles, and sophomore Henry Squire picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Louis-Philippe Hamel at no. 6 singles to claim the Spartans' two points in the match.
Northern Illinois improved to 6-1 with the victory.
Later in the day against Cleveland State, freshmen Jonathan Powell and Josh Hsia defeated Luke Phillips and William Malm at no. 2 doubles, 6-4, but against the Spartans' Division I opponent would claim two of the three doubles matches to earn a point. The Spartans' lone team point in the match would come in the fifth-singles match, where sophomore Anthony Kanam topped Benjamin Slade in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Cleveland State, which topped Northern Illinois earlier in the day, improved to 5-2 with the win.
The Spartans will be back in action with three matches next weekend, beginning with a matchup against Oberlin College at 7:00 p.m. at the Cleveland Racquet Club on Friday, February 9th.