Men's tennis wins the GLCA, women's loses to Denison
With their high levels of play this week, the Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s tennis teams showed that they could be major threats at the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships and the NCAA tournament, which are scheduled for the last few weeks of April.
On the campus tennis courts on Monday, the 17th-ranked men rebounded from Sunday’s painful loss to 22nd-ranked John Hopkins by crushing Grove City College 9–0. More importantly, the men won the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) tournament over the weekend, upsetting number-14 Depauw University and spoiling the perfect season of seventh-ranked Kenyon College.
The women, not to be outdone, beat Division II West Liberty College 9–0. Yesterday was a different story, however, as the seventh-ranked team got blown away 8–1 by ninth-ranked Denison University.
For the team, Carnegie Mellon’s victory over Grove City was never in doubt as the men raced to a 9–0 victory.
“Beating Grove City was nice,” said senior Andrew Clearfield, “especially since we’ve been on a losing streak. But we really need to beat the top 15 to 20 teams, so I wouldn’t say it was really a great win for us. Hopkins was the match we really needed.”
Clearfield and the rest of the players got their chance to take a crack at top teams at the GLCA tournament. On Friday, after steamrolling Wabash College 5–2, Clearfield and the men found themselves in a dogfight with Depauw. In the early stages of the Depauw match, the men had a 2–1 deficit after doubles; this signaled back to the Hopkins match where the men started with a 3–0 deficit after doubles that they were unable to surmount. However, against Depauw, the Tartans rallied in singles with sophomores James Muliawan, Jon Spero, Ravi Raghavan, and first-year Alex Nemerov winning. Spero and Nemerov had earlier claimed Carnegie Mellon’s only doubles victory.
“I don’t view our doubles as a liability,” said head coach Andrew Girard. “Even the matches where we are falling behind in doubles we are usually very close to winning — it’s just a matter of breaking through and winning that big point.”
After squeaking by Depauw Friday, the peasant men had the night to ponder facing the Lords of 15–0 Kenyon College, who had put down Carnegie Mellon 8–1 earlier this season. In the match, the doubles teams broke through to put Carnegie Mellon up 2–1. In singles, Muliawan, first-year Bobby MacTaggart, and Nemerov also contributed wins.
Before the GLCA tournament, Clearfield said, “We have some more matches against some top- 20 teams and we really need to win all of them.
“If we do, I think we are the most dangerous team that nobody would want to play, and I really think we could make the quarterfinals or semifinals [of the NCAAs].”
The men head to Atlanta two weeks from now for the UAA championships April 25–27. The men’s record is 16–6.
The women’s team, which heads to Washington (Mo.) University in St. Louis full of confidence for the UAA championships over Carnival weekend, followed up last Sunday’s victory over the previously undefeated Johns Hopkins with a 9–0 demolition of Division II West Liberty College.
First-years Ashley Herrick and Danielle Rosenfeld refused to throw their singles opponents a bone, defeating them both 6–0, 6–0.
Just a week after giving Johns Hopkins its first loss, the Carnegie Mellon women were given a lesson by Denison, which won 8–1.
Sophomore Alisa Liebowitz was at a loss to explain the lopsided loss. “It was a tough match today,” she said. “On a different day, we could have done a lot better. They were a good team, and they outplayed us.”
The loss moves the women’s record to 14–6.
“At this point of the season, most of the work is fine-tuning,” Girard said. “I think both teams are in good shape to make great showings at UAAs and NCAAs. It’s now just a matter of delivering when we get our opportunities.”