The 12th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's tennis team secured its second-straight upset win, topping ninth-ranked Washington University (Mo.) 5-2 on Sunday morning to place fifth at the 2020 ITA Indoor National Championships, hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.
With the win, CWRU finished with a 2-1 record at the tournament, and improved to 7-1 overall. Washington dropped to 3-3 with the loss, and placed sixth at the ITA Championships.
Senior Anthony Kanam and junior Neil Mabee got the Spartans on the board with a win at no. 3 doubles, topping Ethan Hillis and Mark Wu 8-2. The Bears evened the score with an 8-2 win from Bernardo Neves and J.J. Kroot at second doubles over junior Jonathan Powell and senior Zach Hennessey, but first-year James Hopper and junior Matthew Chen broke in the Spartans' favor going into singles play with an 8-6 win over Sam Komis and Daniel Li in the first doubles match.
In singles play, sophomore Aaron Umen picked up a quick 6-2, 6-1 win over Li at third singles to extend the Spartans' lead to 3-1. Sophomore Chaitanya Aduru added a 7-5, 6-0 win against Ricardo del Olmo Parrado at sixth singles to put CWRU on the brink of clinching the win. After Washington's Kroot bested Powell 6-4, 6-0 in the fourth singles match to make the score 4-2, Kanam locked up the victory for CWRU with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Koki Takabatake at fifth singles.
With the teams playing to decision, two matches were left unfinished. Hopper trailed Hillis in the third set of the no. 1 singles match, 4-6, 6-3, 3-1, while Chen led Neves by a set, 7-6, 5-5.
The victory was the Spartans' first over Washington University since the 2015-16 season. While still early in the season, Sunday's win could have potential impact on both seeded for the UAA Championships and, along with the team's victory over Kenyon on Saturday, the NCAA Championship selections down the road for the Spartans.
The Spartans will be back in action this Saturday, February 29, returning home to host Wittenberg University at noon.