Men’s tennis defends championship title away

The Carnegie Mellon men’s tennis team started its season strong with a championship win at the Nancy J. Heath Gator Invitational hosted by Allegheny College, beating out the Allegheny Gators and the Division II West Virginia University Mountaineers to defend its title.

The team’s first match was originally scheduled for last Friday against Robert Morris College but was postponed until Thursday due to rain.
The Tartans breezed through their first semi final match against Allegheny, sweeping both singles and doubles 9–0.

The second day provided a greater challenge as Carnegie Mellon went head-to- head against West Virginia. After three fierce doubles matches, the Tartans found themselves down 0–3, putting pressure on every singles match. The Tartans needed to take five of six singles to win the match.

Yet the Mountaineers would continue their lead in overall matches, 2–4. With only three singles left, the Tartans would need to pull out all three to take the championships.
First-year Jeremy King began to lift morale with a win, 6–3, 6–3, followed by sophomore Bobby MacTaggart with a close win in a super tiebreak, 7–6 (4), 4–6, 10–7. With the score tied at 4–4, the pressure was left to veteran junior Jonathan Spero. Initially Spero was down 3–6, 0–3, but a change in strategy allowed him to take the match in a super tiebreak, 3–6, 7–5, 10–8.

“I’m a junior and I’ve never been able to do that,” said Spero of his deciding win. “Coach told me to switch things up and go for my shots a bit more.”

When asked about the tournament, head coach Andrew Girard replied, “It was a good start of the year."

Men’s tennis will take a two- week break from competition before traveling to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. Oct. 4–6 for the ITA Regional Tournament.