#12 Spartans Defeat 14th-Ranked CMU 5-2 to Finish Fifth at UAAs

#12 Spartans Defeat 14th-Ranked CMU 5-2 to Finish Fifth at UAAs

The 12th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team defeated 14th-ranked Carnegie Mellon University 5-2 on Sunday morning to finish fifth at the 2019 University Athletic Association Championships at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

With the win, the Spartans wrap-up their regular season with a 21-9 overall record, including a mark of 9-8 against nationally-ranked teams.  Carnegie Mellon fell to 9-9 overall following the loss.

It marked the second-straight season that CWRU has placed fifth in the conference, and the 15th top-five finish at UAA Championships in program history.

The Spartans and the Tartans split the first two doubles matches of the day, with freshmen Chaitanya Aduru and Aaron Umen defeating Ray Boppana and Josh Pinckney 8-3 at third doubles, and junior Anthony Kanam and sophomore Jonathan Powell falling to Daniel Levine and Chaz Downing 8-2 at first doubles.  The deciding doubles point was secured by sophomore Matthew Chen and Zach Hennessey, who defeated Nicholas Calzolano and Vayum Arora 8-4 at second doubles, giving CWRU a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.

Powell added to CWRU's lead, defeating Robert Levin 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth singles match to give the Spartans a 3-1 advantage.  At third singles, Boppana bested Kanam 6-0, 6-2 to provide the Tartans their second point of the match, but a win by Aduru at fifth singles over Clark Safran, 6-2, 7-5, put the Spartans on the brink of clinching the win.

Junior Sam Concannon would provide the match-clinching victory, picking up a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Sam Gibson to secure a fifth-place finish for the Spartans. 

At the time the match was completed, Chen split the first two sets with Levine in the first singles match, 3-6, 7-5, and trailed 1-3 in the third set.  At second singles, Umen dropped an 11-9 tiebreaker in the opening set, and led 6-5 in the second against Downing.

Sunday's play completed a stellar UAA Championship run for Aduru, who was 3-0 at fifth singles and 3-0 with Umen at third doubles.  Concannon was also perfect during the weekend, notching a 3-0 singles record as well.

With the team's regular season now complete, the Spartans will await the selection of the fields for the NCAA Team and Individual Championships to see if their campaign will continue into the postseason.  Team selections will be posted to NCAA.com by noon on Monday, May 6th, while individual selections will be announced on NCAA.com on Wednesday, May 8th by 7:00 p.m.