Carnegie Mellon tennis enjoys home-court advantage

On Tuesday, the Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis team hosted Mercyhurst College (Pa.), handily defeating the Lakers 9–0.

In singles, senior Alison Liu, junior Mona Iyer, sophomores Amy Staloch and Samantha Schultz, and first-years Sheena David and Kelly Nakamura all defeated their Mercyhurst opponents.

Staloch and David then teamed up to defeat Mercyhurst’s Christine Mersch and Jamie Sutyak 8–2. Schultz and David went on to defeat Mercyhurst’s Jennifer Daly and Jaclyn McLean 8–5. Liu and Nakamura finished the day with a pairs win against Mercyhurst’s Maria Franco and Kassie Leuschel 8–0.

The sweep by the Carnegie Mellon women dropped the Lakers to 11–10 and moved the Tartans to 11–5. Coming off a successful fall season, the team’s spring success is no surprise. “We expected them [the women] to be pretty tough,” said assistant coach Kevin Girard.

Carnegie Mellon’s tennis was not done for the week, as the women’s team hosted Washington College on Saturday and went on to beat the Shorewomen 8–1.

The Tartans swept the doubles matches with Liu and Nakamura teaming up to drop Washington’s Lyndsey Beidle and Kristen Hossick 8–1 to start the day. Schultz and David next defeated Washington’s Lydia Bull and Blake Leeser 8–3, and finally Iyer and Staloch captured an 8–5 win over Washington’s Allison Daciek and Beth Foster.

In the number-one singles, Staloch struggled against Daciek, coming back from an early first set deficit 5–4 to take the first set 7–5. Early in the second set, Staloch took a 4–1 lead, but then lost five straight games, falling 6–4 and sending the match to a super tiebreaker. Staloch eventually won the super tiebreaker 10–5.

Staloch was not the only Tartan who needed a super tiebreaker to defeat her opponent. Nakamura went deep into the afternoon before finishing off Leeser 6–4, 6–7 (5–7), 1–0 (10–5) in the number-five singles.

Iyer controlled her number-two singles match against Beth Foster, winning in a straight set 6–1, 6–0.
David overcame a tough second set to defeat Hossick at number-three singles 6–0, 7–5. Schultz defeated Ryoko Sawada at the number-six spot 6–1, 6–2, securing the team victory for the Tartans.

The men’s tennis team also hosted Washington College on Saturday, but was not as successful as the women’s team, falling 3–4.

Sophomore Andrew Clearfield won the number-two singles match against opponent Tim Riskie 6–0, 6–1, with his only loss coming at the beginning of the second set.

Junior Jordan Koslosky eventually won his number-five singles match 1–6, 6–1, 6–1, despite falling behind 5–0 in the first set. Senior Carl Yang won the last match of the day at number four singles with a tough 6–3, 6–2 victory.

Yesterday, women’s and men’s tennis were again at home, hosting Johns Hopkins. In results that were strangely similar to Saturday’s results, the Tartan women again took home a victory 8–1, and the men again fell just short 3–4.

The women again swept the doubles competition, with Staloch and Iyer teaming up to defeat Johns Hopkins players Brittany Matava and Tayna Gulnik 8–4. Nakamura and Liu came together to beat Johns Hopkins players Becky Busch and Stephanie Carr 8–2, and Weiss and Schultz rounded out the doubles victories with their 8–5 win over Priva Puri and Jill Seidman.

Staloch, Iyer, Liu, Nakamura, and Schultz all won their singles matches. When asked about breakout performances by newcomers to the team, Girard noted that first-year Nakamura was a real asset to the team: “Kelly played pretty well today, and she also won the number-four singles.”

Coming up short, Carnegie Mellon was unable to muster up a team win against Johns Hopkins. Singles competitors Yang, Koslosky, and sophomore Stephen Kuhn all won their matches.

In the men’s only doubles victory of the weekend, Munoz and Clearfield teamed up to defeat Johns Hopkins players Kevin Ma and Matthew Naftilan 9–7. After this weekend’s defeats, the Carnegie Mellon men drop to 3–11 in dual meets for the year.

The men went into the spring ranked 22nd in the nation. Considering their ranking, the men have been somewhat disappointed with their recent performances, “We have had some injuries,” said Girard, “and some matches that we lost we should have won.”

Despite some disappointing performances on the men’s side, both teams still have a positive outlook when speaking about the upcoming University Athletic Associate Championship, which is being held at Emory University over Carnival weekend: “We finished strong going into the conference tournament,” Girard concluded.