No. 15 Men’s Tennis Splits Saturday Matches

No. 15 Men’s Tennis Splits Saturday Matches

The Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team, ranked 15th in Division III, split a pair of matches on Saturday, dominating Washington College 9-0, before being edged by 32nd-ranked North Carolina Wesleyan College 5-4 in Newport News, Virginia.

The Spartans' record moved to 3-4 on the year with the Saturday split.

Case Western Reserve faced little resistance in the early match, which sent Washington to 0-1 on the year.  The Spartans dominated doubles, with freshman Matthew Chen and senior James Fojtasek claiming an 8-3 win over Justin Panepinto at no. 1 doubles, sophomores Zach Hennessey and Anthony Kanam topping Kyle Hickey and Andrew Smith 8-2 at no. 2 doubles, and freshmen Neil Mabee and Jonathan Powell earning an 8-0 win over Chris Salisbury and John Niswander at no. 3 doubles.

The Spartans went on to win all six singles contests in straight sets.  Playing at no. 1 singles, junior Rob Stroup secured a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Salisbury, and at no. 2 singles, sophomore Siddharth Rajupet surpassed Luke Weaver 6-0, 7-5.  Kanam continued with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Koby Bonta in the third singles match, and sophomore Sam Concannon earned a 6-2, 6-2 win in the fourth singles match.  Rounding out the sweep for the Spartans, freshman Earl Hsieh defeated Panepinto and sophomore Henry Squire topped Smith, each by a 6-1, 6-2 score at fifth and sixth singles, respectively.

The later match proved to be a struggle between the two teams, with North Carolina Wesleyan ultimately pulling out the victory with a third-set tiebreaker win from J.D. Telles over Kanam in fourth singles, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4).  Earlier in the match, the Spartans secured a 2-1 lead after doubles, with a 9-7 win from Fojtasek and Chen in the first match over Sebastian Sikh and Ionnis Brokakis, and an 8-3 win for Mabee and Powell over Mark Sokolov and Jakub Jurasek in the third doubles match.  The team's lone doubles setback came in the second match where Hennessey and Kanam fell to Telles and Aditya Iyer, 8-3.

Concannon earned a straight-set win at sixth singles over David Chang, 6-2, 6-3, and Chen claimed a come-from-behind win at second singles over Brokakis, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.  But, those would prove to be the only two singles victories the Spartans could come away with in the match.  In addition to Kanam's setback, Fojtasek fell to Sikh 6-2, 6-2 at first singles, Iyer topped Stroup 6-2, 6-4 in the third match, and Roberto Puig picked up a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Rajupet in the fifth match.

The Spartans will look to bounce back on Sunday morning, when they face off against 28th-ranked Christopher Newport University at 10:00 a.m.