Fifth-ranked women’s tennis defeats Kenyon

The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Gambier, Ohio last Saturday to face off against Kenyon College. The fifth-ranked women’s team won its fourth straight match of the spring, upending the previously undefeated Kenyon to improve their overall record to 5–2 in dual matches. However, the men’s team was unable to hold off Kenyon’s undefeated and veteran squad as they lost 8–1, falling to 6–2 overall.
The men’s team played tough, sending four singles matches into the third set, and losing by just a combined three games in two of their doubles matches, but the players weren’t able to seal the deal Saturday. The normally strong doubles pair of sophomores James Muliawan and Nikola Ljuboja, who had won five of their past six doubles matches, lost to Kenyon at the at the first spot by a score of 8–2. First-year Bobby MacTaggart and sophomore Ravi Raghavan teamed up as the number-two team and came within a game of victory, losing by a handful of points in a tiebreaker. Junior Yiran Liu and first-year Alex Nemerov also played their team close, but were beaten 8–6 in the end.
At the singles spots, senior Andrew Clearfield, sophomore Jon Spero, and MacTaggart played some highly contested matches, each reaching the third set before losing to a Kenyon player. Nemerov was the lone Tartan to come away victorious, winning in his own three-set match 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 at the second singles position.
Although he won, Nemerov found flaws in his own game and was disappointed about the events of the day.
“Personally, I feel I could have won in two sets if I just played solid consistently,” he said. “As a team, we went in expecting to win, yet things obviously didn’t go our way. I feel we should have won the match despite the lopsided score. ”
The women had a brighter finish this weekend, extending their own winning streak while ending another. In winning their fourth straight match of the spring, the Tartans defeated the previously unbeaten Kenyon College women’s team 7–2.
The team swept the doubles spots in the process, with senior Amy Staloch and first-year Jennifer Chui handily beating their opponents at first doubles 8–0. The first-year pairing of Kelly Hart and Ashley Herrick emerged as victors upon winning 8–4 against two seasoned veterans. Sophomore Alisa Liebowitz and first-year Brooke Loar were able to grind it out in their match, winning the final game for a score of 9–7.
Staloch and Chui earned wins at the top two singles positions, letting their opponents win just seven games combined against the two of them. Liebowitz and Herrick won two matches on the day too, holding off junior Natalie Larew and sophomore Eva Ceja at fourth and fifth singles, respectively. Hart and fellow first-year Danielle Rosenfeld tried to shut out the opponents overall, but both women lost in three sets at their respective third and sixth singles positions.
“Our team did very well, and we dealt with the unusual pressure of having rowdy fans in a good way,” Chui said. “I still feel I need to work on some things for next time, though, especially getting a higher percentage of my first serves in.”
Tartan tennis will continue the season on March 1 at Oberlin College. Both teams will take on Case Western Reserve, and the women will play Oberlin.