Dominant Freshmen Play Help No. 11 Tartans Upset No. 8 Case Western Reserve
(CLEVELAND, Ohio) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's tennis team, ranked 11th nationally, came from behind to upset University Athletic Association (UAA) foe Case Western Reserve University on the road, 5-4, on Saturday, April 5 in a non-UAA match. The Tartans are now 14-5 in dual play while the Spartans move to 11-5.
Carnegie Mellon had its work cutout for them, as Case took a 3-0 lead following doubles play. In singles play, the Tartans pulled in their first point from junior Christian Heaney-Secord (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) at the No. 2 spot. Heaney-Secord dropped his first set 6-4 before winning 6-2, 6-3 to grab the team point. Case went on to take a 4-1 lead with a three-set win at No. 1 singles, but junior Will Duncan (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) pulled out a three-set win of his own. The junior won 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 at No. 3 singles.
As matches five and six were in their first set, freshman Kiril Kirkov (Tampa, Fla./C. Leon King) pushed the score to 4-3 after winning at No. 4 singles. Kirkov dropped his first set 7-6 before winning 7-6, 7-5 in sets two and three, respectively. After trailing 5-4 in the third set, Kirkov won the next three games to claim the team point for the Tartans.
Freshman Kunal Wadwani (Saratoga, Calif./Ballarmine College Prep) knotted the score at 4-4 with a straight set victory at No. 6 singles winning 6-3, 6-2. Following Wadwani's victory, the Tartans needed freshman Kenny Zheng (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) to come up big in his match at No. 5 singles and he did just that. Zheng won the first set 6-3 before the second went to a tiebreaker where the freshman won 7-6 (9) to pullout the upset victory for the visitor's.
"This victory is one of the most gratifying wins of my career," said head coach Andy Girard. "We have been working hard and changing the way we do things to get back up where we belong and we are not done climbing."
The Tartans return to action on Saturday, April 19 when they host Kenyon College.