September 28, 2013

Three Tartans Advance to ITA Regional Singles Semifinal

(FREDERICKSBURG, Va.) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's tennis team advanced three players to the ITA Southeast Regional Men's Tennis Championship Semifinals following two days of play.  The three-day regional tournament is hosted by the University of Mary Washington.

The Tartans had eight players enter the singles championship draw with five of them advancing to the quarterfinals before three found a spot in the semifinals.

Sophomore Abhishek Alla (Hyderabad, India/IMG Pendleton School) breezed into the quarterfinals with three straight set victories before running into junior teammate Will Duncan (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park).  Alla dropped the first set 6-4 to Duncan before winning 6-2 and 7-5 in sets two and three to earn a spot in the semifinal match on Monday.  Duncan made the quarterfinals after winning his first two matches in straight sets and then won 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in the round of 16.

Freshman Kenny Zheng (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) won all four of his matches in straight sets to earn his way into the semifinals.  The freshman will meet Alla at 9:30 a.m. to see who will play for the regional championship.

Like Zheng, junior Christian Heaney-Secord (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) also won all four of his matches in straight sets.  The last win was over freshman teammate Jack Kasbeer (Lake Forest, Ill./Deerfield) in the quarterfinals, winning 6-2, 6-0.  Kasbeer won his first match of the regional in straight sets before going three sets in bith the round of 32 and 16. Heaney-Secord will now play Ben Hwang of Johns Hopkins University in the other semifinal match on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

In doubles play, Carnegie Mellon had two tandems reach the quarterfinals before bowing out of the tournament.  Duncan and Heaney-Secord teamed together to win their first two matches both by the score of 8-2 before losing to Mike Buxbaum and Emerson Walsh of Johns Hopkins, 8-4.

Kasbeer and sophomore Paul Okuda (Kaneohe, Hawaii/Punahou) partnered and were the other Tartan duo to make the quarterfinals.  They won 8-6 and 8-2 before losing 8-2 to the top seeded team of Michael Holt and Taylor Shamshiri of Washington and Lee University.