Men’s tennis relinquishes GLCA title

After a long weekend of close sets and intense rallies, the Carnegie Mellon men’s tennis team fell short of defending its title at the Great Lakes Colleges Association tournament held at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. The Tartans fought their way to the final day but were stopped from making the finals by 18th-ranked DePauw University, who squeezed out a 5–4 win. The Tartans did not let that loss affect their morale and went on to defeat 28th-ranked Kalamazoo University 5–2 in the playoff match later that day. Carnegie Mellon is currently 14th in the nation and has a season record of 16–6.

“Although it was disappointing [and] we couldn’t defend our title, we are determined to do better next week at UAAs,” said junior Ravi Raghavan. “It’s nice to see, though, our doubles have improved over the course of this season. It was one of our weak spots.”

In the first round of the tournament last Friday, the Tartans easily took care of the College of Wooster 5–0. At first doubles, the duo of junior Jon Spero and sophomore Bobby MacTaggart won 8–6, followed by the second doubles pair of juniors Nikola Ljuboja and James Muliawan, 8–5.

Senior Yiran Liu and first-year Jeremy King teamed up together for the first time in a dual match and won 8–1 to capture the last doubles point.

To clinch the last two points, King, who was first off with a 6–1, 6–1, won at fifth singles, and sophomore Alex Nemerov at first singles added a 6–2, 6–1 win to make the overall score 5–0.

Against Hope College, the Tartans did not let any momentum die and crushed their opponents with another 5–0 win.

Nemerov and Raghavan had a close match at second singles, nabbing a 9–8 (7–4) win in a close battle. Having repeated wins were the teams of Ljuboja and Muliawan and Spero and MacTaggart, who both won 8–4. Raghavan jumped in at fifth singles and finished first 6–4, 6–0 to bring the Tartans up to 4–0. King then grabbed the last win 6–3, 7–5 at sixth singles to clinch the match for the Tartans.

The match the next day against DePauw was a step up in difficulty for the Tartans. Nemerov and Raghavan added an 8–0 win, followed by Ljuboja and Muliawan, who demolished their opponents 8–3 at last doubles.However, the Tartans were unable to maintain their 2–1 lead and won only two more singles. MacTaggart won 6–1, 7–6, and Nemerov added an easy 6–2, 6–1 at second singles.

For the third-place spot, the Tartans faced Kalamazoo and came out with a 5–2 win. The teams of Nemerov and Raghavan and Ljuboja and Muliawan snatched up wins of 8–6 and 8–3, respectively, to put the Tartans ahead 2–1. For the final three points, Liu, MacTaggart, and Raghavan each won their singles for the victory.

“I was very impressed by our doubles dominance all weekend. That has been something we have been really stressing all year,” commented coach Andrew Girard. “Unfortunately, our singles play left us a little short. We will have to rebound and have a good weekend at UAAs to make the NCAA tournament.”

The Tartans will travel to the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. next week Friday for the UAA championships.