On Saturday, Feb. 28 the men’s tennis team travelled to Case Western Reserve University for the first match of the spring season.
“Case is ranked number eight in the country and number two in our region, they have a lot of talent and know how to win,” Jared Luteran, head coach, said.
Alex Hurtuk, ’15 and doubles partner Sam Stephenson, ’15, fell 8-2 to Case.
“It was our first match of the year and it’s different going from playing teammates to playing another team in a match, where the match means more,” Hurtuk said.
Tyler Triolo, ’16, said the hardest part of the match against Case was knowing they are nationally ranked and every point counted.
“We won at number three doubles, with Dan and Jai winning,” Luteran said. “This is two years in a row Dan has had wins against them. We had a great day all around.”
The doubles team of Daniel Conroy, ’15, and Jai Redkar, ’18, won 8-4 over Case. The team ended the match with a 8-1 loss.
“Our mentality going into the match was good, if we all played our best they’d be worried,” Triolo said.
Triolo and doubles partner Thomas Manning, ’16, fell 8-2 to the 11th nationally ranked couples team. Triolo also fell 6-2, 6-1 in singles.
“This match shows us that we can compete with harder teams and shoot for that knowing we are not that far off,” Luteran said.
The men are using the Case match to focus on the details of their playing that want to improve in practice for their next match.
“We are working on stepping into the court and dictating points,” Triolo said. “Our defensive play is good and we are working to improve offense.”
Triolo added that looking at what Case did well and where the team had trouble can help them improve for future matches.
“In the past we have had inconsistent results,” Hurtuk said. “Sometimes we’d compete well against good teams but not as good with lower ranked teams.”
The team has goals for on the court and goals for the classroom.
“We are aiming to remain ranked in the conference and have fifteen wins, which is doable,” Luteran said. “We also want to earn the ITA [Intercollegiate Tennis Association] All Academic award.”
The men will travel to Hilton Head, South Carolina over spring break and play five matches.