(GAMBIER, Ohio) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's tennis team opened its 2017-18 season on Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10 at the annual Kenyon College Invitational. The Tartans faced opponents from Case Western Reserve University, Denison University, John Carroll University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University and Oberlin College.
Sophomore Robert Levin (Virginia Beach, Va. / Princess Anne) opened singles play with a 6-2, 6-0 win over John Carroll's David Sinense in flight No. 2. Levin then followed with a 7-5, 6-4 win over James McDonald of Denison before falling 6-4, 6-2 in the finals to Case Western Reserve's Matthew Chen.
Freshman Ray Boppana (Boxborough, Mass. / Acton Boxborough Regional) played in flight No. 1 and after dropping his first match won his next two over No.1 singles players from Case Western Reserves and Denison. He defeated James Fojtasek from University Athletic Association rival, 7-6, 3-6, 10-8 before winning 6-4, 6-4 over Kevin Brown.
In singles flight No. 6, sophomore Nicholas Calzolano (Hinsdale, Ill. / Hinsdale Central) placed third. He began play with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Henry Wessel of Kenyon. After dropping his second match, the sophomore won 7-5, 6-2 over Blake Burstein of Denison.
Levin teamed with freshman Ben Ash (Johns Creek, Ga.) in doubles flight No. 1 and opened with wins over Denison and Kenyon to reach the final. Then in the first-place match the tandem dropped an 8-5 match to Kenyon's top doubles team of Austin Diehl and Jacob Zalenski.
In flight No. 4 of doubles, the freshmen duo of Tom Bickel (Winnetka, Ill. / New Trier) and Joshua Pinckney (Atlanta, Ga. / The Westminster Schools) were runners-up. After turning in wins over Denison and Kenyon, the pair fell 8-6 in the finals to Max Smith and Caleb Couvertier of Kenyon.
The Tartans will be back in action on Friday, September 22 at their annual Carnegie Mellon Invitational.