(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The fifth-ranked Carnegie Mellon University men's tennis team hosted ninth-ranked Case Western Reserve University in the 2014 NCAA Division III Regional Championship on Sunday, May 11. The Tartans dropped a hard-fought match to the Spartans, 5-4.
Case Western Reserve jumped on the board first with an 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles, but minutes after the Spartan victory, Carnegie Mellon's No.1 doubles tandem of juniors Will Duncan (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) and Christian Heaney-Secord (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) knotted the score at 1-1. The pair defeated Christopher Krimbill and Eric Klawitter, 8-6.
Carnegie Mellon's No. 3 doubles team of sophomore Yuvraj Kumar (New Delhi, India/Millfield School) and freshman Kenny Zheng (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) fought back from a 4-1 deficit to claim a 6-4 edge. Case's James Fojtasek and Louis Stuerke then won the last four games to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead heading into singles.
Freshman Kiril Kirkov (Tampa, Fla./C. Leon King) and Duncan gave the Tartans a 3-2 edge with straight-set victories at No. 4 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Kirkov won 6-2, 6-3 over Derek Reinbold while Duncan defeated Klawittewr 6-3, 6-4.
The Spartans took No. 2 singles, as Will Drougas battled Heaney-Secord for a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory to tie the score 3-3. Carnegie Mellon's No. 1 singles player, sophomore Abhishek Alla (Hyderabad, India / IMG Pendleton School), responded with a three-set victory over Krimbill, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, to put the Tartans back in front 4-3. Case Western Reserve knotted the score at 4-4 with a three-set win at No. 6 singles, setting the stage for the decisive point at fifth singles.
Zheng dropped the first set, 7-5, before forcing a third set after winning 7-5 in the second. In the third, Fojtasek won the first three games and went on for the 6-2 victory.
Carnegie Mellon closes its season with an 18-7 dual-match record while Case Western Reserve improves to 17-7 and will play Middlebury College in the national quarterfinals on May 19, which will be held in Claremont, California.