April 19, 2014

Doubles Play Strong as No. 9 Tartans Defeat No. 11 Kenyon

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University Tartans received strong doubles play that continued on to singles as the ninth-ranked team in the nation defeated visiting 11th-ranked Kenyon College 7-2 on Saturday afternoon at home in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Tartans improve to 15-5 on the year as the Lords fall to 15-7.

Winning the first point of the match was the Tartans' number three doubles pair of sophomore Yuvraj Kumar (New Delhi, India/Millfield School) and freshman Kenny Zheng (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central), who won 8-5, and held the lead from 4-3 on.

The Tartans held a 2-1 lead after doubles when the number one pair of juniors Christian Heaney-Secord (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) and Will Duncan (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) came back to win 8-6. The pair was down 4-2 before breaking Kenyon's serve and holding their final four as Heaney-Secord served on the match point.

With the Tartans up a set on three singles courts, Zheng gave the team a 3-1 advantage with a 6-1, 6-0 win at number five singles.

Duncan fought his way to a 6-4 first set win at number two singles and then jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second set before winning 6-2 to put the Tartans in position for match point.

As freshman Kiril Kirkov (Tampa, Fla./C. Leon King) held serve and a one-point lead in his second set, sophomore Abhishek Alla (Hyderabad, India/IMG Pendleton School) won his first set 7-6(13-11) and Heaney-Secord and freshman Kunal Wadwani (Saratoga, Calif./Ballarmine College Prep) forced third sets with identical 6-4 second set wins.

Kirkov then fell behind 5-4 only to come back and win his set 7-5 for the point the Tartans needed to secure the win.

Following Kirkov's match deciding win, Heaney-Secord finished his third set at number two singles for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win and Alla won his second set at number one singles, 6-3, to push the score to 7-1.

Wadwani's third set went to a tiebreaker as his opponent Colin Haas pulled out the win 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7-5).

The Tartans will next travel to Orlando, Florida for the University Athletic Association Champioinship tournament which will begin Thursday, April 24. Seeding for the tournament will be released midweek.