#12 Men’s Tennis Falls to #2 CMS to Open ITA Indoor Nationals

CWRU men's tennis team huddle

The 12th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team put up a tough battle against last year's NCAA runners on Friday afternoon, but ultimately suffered a 6-3 loss to second-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor National Championships at the Swanson Tennis Center in St. Peter, Minnesota.

The loss was the first of the season for the Spartans, who dropped to 5-1 on the year and will now move to the consolation bracket of the draw, where they will face 11th-ranked and sixth-seeded Kenyon on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. CMS improved to 8-0 with the win, and will face fourth-ranked and third-seeded Chicago in the semifinals of the main draw on Saturday.

The Spartans' lone point in doubles came from junior Neil Mabee and senior Anthony Kanam in the third match, as the duo bested Jake Berber and Daniel Park 8-5. However, the victory came after a pair of losses in the top-two matches, as first-year James Hopper and junior Matthew Chen suffered their first doubles loss to a Division III opponent this season, falling to Ian Freer and Nikolai Parodi 8-6 at no. 1 doubles, and junior Jonathan Powell and senior Zach Hennessey dropped an 8-6 match to Jack Katzman and Robert Liu, the 23rd-ranked pairing in Division III, at no. 2 doubles.

Trailing 2-1 heading into singles play, the Stags extended their lead as Katzman, ranked fourth in Division III in singles, bested 22nd-ranked Chan in the no. 2 match, 6-0, 6-0. Wins at no. 4 singles from Freer over Kanam, 6-3, 6-3, and at no. 6 singles from Park over sophomore Max Vicario, 6-2, 6-4, clinched the victory for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Despite the clinch, the Spartans continued to put up at fight. At third singles, sophomore Aaron Umen topped Nic Meister (ranked 42nd in Division III) in three sets, 6-7, 7-3, 10-6. Sophomore Chaitanya Aduru followed at fifth singles with a 6-2, 7-6 victory for the Spartans over Liu. At no. 1 singles, Hopper came close to besting Parodi, ranked third in Division III, but ultimately succumbed in a hard-fought match, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6.

Next up for the Spartans will be Kenyon, which suffered a 5-4 loss to Chicago in the opening round of play at the ITA Nationals on Friday. The loss was the first of the season for the Lords, who dropped to 4-1 on the campaign. The team's lineup features Jake Zalenski, who entered the weekend as the sixth-ranked singles player in Division III.

Fans can follow the action on Saturday with live results and video of each court at https://gustavus.edu/athletics/mt/2020ITAIndoor/. Results and a full recap of the Spartans' performance at the match will be posted to athletics.case.edu following the completion of competition.