Men’s tennis shuts down Division II Mercyhurst

Last Sunday, in what seemed to be a slightly rushed dual match, the men’s tennis team managed to overcome Division II’s Mercyhurst College 7–2. This is the third straight match the Tartans have won, and it puts them at a current record of 5–1.

Right off the bat, the Tartans brought out their best games. Seniors James Muliawan and Niko Ljuboja and the team of senior Jon Spero and junior Bobby MacTaggart took out the Lakers’ first and third doubles teams 8–4. First-year Duke Miller and sophomore Jeremy King did not have the same luck, however, and fell 7–9 to put the Tartans at 2–1 heading into singles play.

A slight logistics problem left a very limited amount of court time for the match, forcing the Tartans to play out pro sets for the singles portion of play. MacTaggart played first singles and won 8–6. Miller played the next spot down in the lineup and impressively lost only a single game, taking the win 8–1. First-year Harsha Rao contributed another point for the Tartans at fourth singles, winning 8–5, while King redeemed himself from doubles with an 8–6 win over the Lakers’ fifth player, Juan Franco. Ljuboja, playing in the last singles spot, swept his opponent 8–0 to give the Tartans a decisive 7–2 win.

Spero felt this win was an excellent marker of the team’s progress this season, especially with the ITA Indoor National Championships starting this week. “National Indoors for the men has been going on for about 10 years now, and this is the first time CMU has qualified. For me personally, next Friday will be the biggest match of my college career.” He added, “Not only is it our first trip to Indoors, but we get to play the number-one team in the country and defending national champions. We know we have a great shot to win. It’s a great opportunity for us, and everyone knows they need to bring their A game in all three matches.”

The Tartans will travel to Minnesota this Friday for the ITA Indoor Championships.