ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The University of Chicago men's tennis team relied on its singles prowess to take down Carnegie Mellon University 6-3 in the third-place match of the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Sunday.
The No. 5-ranked Maroons wrapped up the regular season with 17-4 record and are now an at-large candidate for the upcoming NCAA Division III Championships. The No. 7-ranked Tartans fell to 16-9.
UChicago found itself trailing 2-1 after doubles, with one win courtesy of senior Max Hawkins and freshman Tyler Raclin at No. 2. But the Maroons found their footing in singles play, seizing five out of six matches to earn the 6-3 team victory.
The individual matchups were battles throughout. Four of the contests went to decisive third sets, and UChicago went 3-1 in those scenarios. The Maroons had more gas in the tank for the third sets – freshman Erik Kerrigan took his 6-0 at No. 2, sophomore Charlie Pei grabbed his 6-1 at No. 3 and freshman Ninan Kumar captured No. 6 with a 6-3 final.
"This was a tale of two different days and two different teams," Head Coach Jay Tee said. "We challenged ourselves to compete at a much higher level today as a team and we did just that. In our losses this season, we have had a tendency to give away points, sets and matches without making our opponents earn everything they get. Today we did a great job of making one extra ball and playing with more of an edge. I'm really proud of the guys for their resiliency and grit after major disappointment yesterday and hope that we are finally understanding what it means to compete as a team for every point."
UChicago 6, Carnegie Mellon 3
1. Nicolas Chua (UC) def. Daniel Levine (CMU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Erik Kerrigan (UC) def. Michael Rozenvasser (CMU) 7-5, 3-6, 6-0
3. Charlie Pei (UC) def. Chaz Downing (CMU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. Kenny Zheng (CMU) def. Luke Tsai (UC) 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-4), 11-9
5. Peter Leung (UC) def. Vayum Arora (CMU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Ninan Kumar (UC) def. Kiril Kirkov (CMU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1. Daniel Levine/Mark Prettyman (CMU) def. Ninan Kumar/Erik Kerrigan (UC) 9-8 (9-7)
2. Tyler Raclin/Max Hawkins (UC) def. Jeffrey Chen/Chaz Downing (CMU) 8-4
3. Michael Rozenvasser/Kenny Zheng (CMU) def. Charlie Pei/Bobby Bethke (UC) 8-6