CLEVELAND – The No. 5-ranked University of Chicago men's tennis team rode a fast start past No. 9-ranked Pomona-Pitzer 7-2 in the opening round of the ITA Division III National Team Indoor Championship on Friday.
The Maroons, who are seeded No. 3 at the ITAs, maintained their perfect record at 8-0. The Sagehens, who are the No. 6 seed, dropped to 5-2 on the season.
UChicago captured the first seven results of the day to clinch the team victory early. Doubles came out strong with a sweep, including an 8-3 victory at the No. 1 position by freshmen Ninan Kumar and Erik Kerrigan. The other winning combos included senior Max Hawkins/freshman Tyler Raclin at No. 2 and junior Bobby Bethke/sophomore Charlie Pei at No. 3.
When singles got underway, the matches finished in numerical order. UChicago took four in-a-row in straight sets courtesy of junior David Liu, junior Nicolas Chua, Pei and junior Luke Tsai. Pomona-Pitzer nabbed the No. 5 and 6 singles spots in third-set super tiebreakers. The Maroons now advance on to Saturday's semifinal match.
"I was very happy with the way we started out in doubles today," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "It's not easy to sweep a top 10 team in doubles and it shows how far we've come. I thought our singles guys came ready to play and took care of business for the most part. We know we will need to raise our level for tomorrow's match, but we are very hungry for another shot at the Bears and we know it will be a tough fight."
UChicago 7, Pomona-Pitzer 2
1. David Liu (UC) def. Jake Yasgoor (PP) 6-2, 7-6
2. Nicolas Chua (UC) def. Graham Maassen (PP) 6-4, 6-2
3. Charlie Pei (UC) def. Anthony Bello (PPM) 6-3, 6-4
4. Luke Tsai (UC) def. Josh Kim (PPM) 6-3, 7-5
5. Marko Mandic (PP) def. Erik Kerrigan (UC) 6-2, 4-6, 11-9
6. Josh Gearou (PP) def. Jaird Meyer (UC) 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 10-5
1. Ninan Kumar/Erik Kerrigan (UC) def. Graham Maassen/Marko Mandic (PP) 8-3
2. Tyler Raclin/Max Hawkins (UC) def. Avery Bicks/Anthony Bello (PPM) 8-6
3. Bobby Bethke/Charlie Pei (UC) def. Spencer Simonides/Jake Yasgoor (PPM) 8-5
- Saturday, Feb. 25 @ 12:30 PM (ET) – UChicago vs. Washington University-St. Louis (ITA Indoor Nationals / Cleveland, Ohio)