Women’s tennis trumps Oberlin, Muliawan wins ITA

Last weekend, the Carnegie Mellon tennis teams finished out fall play strongly. The men had a strong showing at the ITA Southeastern Regional Championship, while the women demolished Oberlin 9–0.

The men’s team traveled to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. for the ITA tournament. Although most of the singles and doubles competitors from Carnegie Mellon were knocked out early, junior James Muliawan and sophomore Bobby MacTaggart were successful in surviving until the final day, with Muliawan taking the singles championship in a 7–6 (3), 6–3 victory.

For Muliawan, winning an ITA regional tournament is nothing new since he won the ITA Regional Doubles title as a first-year in 2006. He added a second ITA title to his collection for singles competition after a long weekend of outstanding play, taking out the eighth and ninth seeds in the process.

“I would have to say that I won because of Yiran’s stringing, Cze-Ja’s strings, and Jennifer’s brownies,” Muliawan said of his win. “But I think also that lots of hard work and practice helped me in win in the end. That extra running that Coach Mike made us do really paid off, and I’m glad I had the support of my teammates and coaches. It was a team effort.”

Also giving a superb performance was MacTaggart, who won the consolation draw in after a three-day battle.
On Sunday, the Tartans played against top team Amherst College but conceded defeat after a five-hour battle, 6–3. “It was disappointing but encouraging that all of our matches were very close against a possibly top five team,” said senior Yiran Liu.

In the first round of doubles, the first team of Muliawan and MacTaggart lost 8–1, followed by sophomore Alex Nemerov and junior Ravi Raghavan who lost 9–7. Bringing in one of three wins was third doubles team of Liu and junior Jon Spero in a close tiebreak, 9–8 (3).

As for singles, first spot Nemerov lost in a close 6–2, 6–7 (4), 7–5, followed by third singles Raghavan 6–4, 6–3, MacTaggart 7–6 (6), 6–2, and fifth singles Spero 6–3, 4–6, 7–5. Second spot Muliawan pulled out another win for the Tartans, 6–3, 6–2, followed by sixth singles Jeremy King 6–3, 1–6, 7–5.

Earlier, the women’s team had an easier outing at home, winning 9–0 over Oberlin College. Oberlin was clearly outmatched by the Tartan women, with numerous players and doubles teams shutting out their opponents. The doubles teams of sophomores Kelly Hart and Ashley Herrick and first-years Courtney Chin and Cze-Ja Tam won 8–0. In singles, first-year Amanda Wu and Tam both prevailed 6–0, 6–0 over their opponents.

The Tartans’ next matches will be in the team’s regular season in the spring, though first-year Laura Chen and Muliawan will compete in the ITA National Championships held Thursday through Sunday.