Sports

Men’s tennis team defeats Eagles in fierce competition

The Tartan men’s tennis team faced the University of Mary Washington Eagles last Saturday at home at the Lakevue Athletic Club. (credit: File photo by Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor) The Tartan men’s tennis team faced the University of Mary Washington Eagles last Saturday at home at the Lakevue Athletic Club. (credit: File photo by Jonathan Leung/Assistant Photo Editor)

The men’s tennis team captured a major win against the 24th-ranked University of Mary Washington, beating the Eagles 7–2 at the Lakevue Athletic Club and improving the Tartans’ record to 8–3.

Carnegie Mellon initially suffered losses in two of three doubles games, creating momentum for the Eagles, but the Tartans soon recovered with a sweep of the six singles games.

No. 1-seeded player Christian Heaney-Secord credited 6-seed player Harsha Rao with carrying the team forward, praising him for “winning a tough match when the team needed it.” Heaney-Secord praised the team’s overall performance in crucial tiebreak points and attributed them to the strong singles play.

In addition to Heaney-Secord and Rao, first-years Abhishek Alla, Yuvraj Kumar, and Kosuke Hasegawa, and senior Duke Miller experienced crucial singles victories. The lone win from doubles play came from the team of Hasegawa and Kumar, demonstrating the importance of the young players to the men’s tennis team.

Individually, the matches were very close. “I may not have played the best, but I got the job done,” Alla said via email. “It was important [that I won] the third set.”

Alla praised the Eagles, saying “Mary Washington is a solid team. They have strong doubles pairs and solid singles. It was a good win for us.”

Kumar credited the strong singles performances, saying “The fact that there was a lot of energy and they wanted to come back after spring break was important”, adding “individually we did very well and … had a good comeback after spring break.”

He continued, “It’s really going to help us with our ranking, and the momentum will help especially when we’re playing Johns Hopkins University and Kenyon College, a No. 2-ranked team, in the next couple weeks.”

Moving forward, the team is facing two back-to-back games against Washington and Lee University and Johns Hopkins, ranked 23rd and eighth, respectively.

“We need to start off early and get the lead after doubles … and we have to figure out a way to use our deep team to win every single match against top teams such as Hopkins or Kenyon, who have strong singles lineups,” Alla said. The win against Mary Washington followed a streak of three painful losses, including an 8–1 shellacking by Trinity University.

The team has high hopes to finish off the season. Heaney-Secord said, “I want us to make the NCAA tournament, since last year we missed it and it was very tough for the team.”