Men’s tennis tops Eagles 5–4

The Carnegie Mellon men’s tennis team proved once again why it is a top-10 team last Saturday, after the Tartans defeated number-23 University of Mary Washington 5–4. The ninth-ranked Tartans improved to 11–4.

Right from the start, the Tartans came out swinging against the Eagles’ aggressive doubles teams, but fell short of taking the lead heading into singles.

At the third doubles spot, juniors Bobby MacTaggart and Alex Nemerov served big and controlled the net the entire match, coming out on top, 8–4.

“We tried out a variety of doubles strategies that worked very well,” Nemerov said. “Bobby’s serve and my forehand were definitely our weapons of choice.”

Seniors Niko Ljuboja and James Muliawan almost clinched a win, but an unlucky break and a hold by the Eagles at 7–5 gave Mary Washington the win. The Tartans also dropped their second doubles match, 8–2, putting the Tartans at a 2–1 deficit heading into singles.

To take the win, the Tartans needed to win four of the six singles. Senior Jon Spero finished first, winning 6–4, 6–2 at the fifth spot to set the momentum. He was followed by Muliawan at third singles, who won 6–4, 6–1. Sophomore Jeremy King,

substituting for first-year Harsha Rao at sixth singles, overcame his opponent 6–4, 6–4 to give the Tartans a 4–2 lead. Rounding out the group was first-year Duke Miller, who dropped only four games to clinch the match for Carnegie Mellon.

“This is the third time this season we’ve been down 2–1 after doubles and come back to win against a ranked team,” Spero said.
“You can only survive so long playing bad doubles, and we know this will catch up with us eventually. I would expect us to make some adjustments in doubles before the next match, but a positive is that we have been very consistent in singles against good teams.”

The Tartans have a week of rest before they face eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins University at home next Sunday. The Tartans will be looking for redemption after dropping a 6–3 decision in their last meeting.