Men’s tennis .500 over spring break

Junior Harsha Rao has won five matches at No. 3 singles this season. (credit: Courtesy of Rainy Miller) Junior Harsha Rao has won five matches at No. 3 singles this season. (credit: Courtesy of Rainy Miller)

The men’s tennis team spent its spring break in sunny southern California. The Tartans took on Chapman University, Bowdoin College, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, and University of the South, finishing with a 2–2 record.

The Tartans started strong by dominating Chapman University 8–1, even with the adjustments the men had to make to play outdoors. Next, the Tartans took on the Bowdoin Polar Bears. The No. 14 ranked Polar Bears defeated the Tartans 7–2.

The first win came from the Tartans’ No. 2 doubles team of senior Jeremy King and first-year Thomas Cooper, winning the pro set in a tiebreaker. The other win came from first-year Christian Heaney-Secord at No. 2 singles, in which he defeated his opponent 7–6 (3), 7–5. Junior Harsha Rao and first-year William Duncan had closely fought matches at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. They were the last two Tartans on the court as they battled in their third sets.

The men’s team took the court the next day against No. 12 ranked Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and the Tartans fell 6–3 to the Sagehens. The first win came from No. 3 doubles team of Heaney-Secord and first-year Bryce Beisswanger. Duncan and King won their singles matches at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, to round out the Tartans’ victories. Carnegie Mellon finished the California trip with a 9–0 sweep of University of the South.

The biggest win for the Tartans occurred this past Saturday, when they took on No. 5 ranked North Carolina Wesleyan. The men took a 3–0 lead after doubles; they had wins at No. 1 doubles from tandem of junior Duke Miller and Duncan, at No. 2 doubles from King and Cooper, and at No. 3 doubles from duo Beisswanger and Heaney-Secord.

“We were down double match point but were able to come back and pull the match out. It was a great win,” Heaney-Secord said.

The match came down to the wire in singles play, with only a win from Duncan at No. 4 singles. The match was tied at 4–4. After losing the first set at No. 2 singles, Heaney-Secord took the second set, which pushed the match to a third set. The third set was tightly contested, and Heaney-Secord prevailed 6–4, securing the win for the Tartans.

“I knew it was on me, and I embraced that opporunity. I just trusted my shots and went big. I was smiling and having fun the whole third set,” Heaney-Secord said.
The Tartans took on the No. 16 ranked University of Mary Washington Eagles on Sunday and won 5–4. The match was delayed, but the men took the lead 2–1 after doubles play with wins from the No. 1 team of Miller and Duncan (8–4) and the No. 3 tandem of Beisswanger and Heaney-Secord (8–5). In singles play, the Tartans had two quick wins from Miller at No. 1 singles and junior Jooho Yu at No. 5 singles. Duncan clinched the match for Carnegie Mellon with a win at No. 3 singles.

The men’s team will take on Washington and Lee University this Saturday at home.

Editor’s note: Jeremy King is a staffwriter for The Tartan.