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          Strong Denison squads beat Spartans, inside and out

          Joseph Kachovec

          Issue date: 4/9/10 Section: Sports
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          The men's tennis team fell to Denison, 5-4, on Tuesday. Denison is ranked No. 9 in their region.
          The men's tennis team fell to Denison, 5-4, on Tuesday. Denison is ranked No. 9 in their region.
          [Click to enlarge]
          On Tuesday the men's and women's tennis teams traveled to Denison Univserity for a match against the Big Red. The men lost, 5-4. The women lost, 8-1.

          The Spartans got a surprise as soon as the teams arrived at Denison. They found out that the men would play indoors and the women would play outdoors. This was due to some of Denison's outdoor courts still being in bad shape from the winter. Unfortunately for the Spartans, this setup gave Denison a natural advantage in both matches because CWRU only has one coach, as opposed to three coaches for Denison. Since both matches were going on at the same time, CWRU coach Todd Wojtowski had to run back-and-forth, inside and outside, to coach two matches at the same time, calling plays and encouraging players.

          Going into the match, the men's team was looking for a win against a fairly even opponent. CWRU and Denison are in the same region; The Spartans are ranked No. 11 and Denison is ranked No. 9.

          Such matches are important for the Spartans, as this year they have beaten nearly every team they were expected to beat, but lost to almost every team they have been expected to lose to. Denison was right in the middle, and it would have given the team a big win over a skilled opponent. Unfortunately for the Spartans, they blew an early lead and ended up losing the match, 5-4.

          In singles play, the Spartans lost four out of six matches with a total score of 85-63. A key loss for the Spartans was Kyle Gerber's defeat at the hands of Denison's Matt McErlean, 7-6, (9-7), 6-4. A highlight for the Spartans in singles play was John Smetona's three-set victory over Tom Cawood of Denison, 6-4, 2-6, 11-9. Smetona continued to build on his success this season and has led the Spartans to a victory in most of his individual matches.

          Doubles play was also a highlight for the men's team - they won two out of three matches against Denison.

          The Spartans saw this match as a measuring stick of how good they are and what they need to improve on. It became evident throughout the match that, though the Spartans' skill level was equal to Denison's, Denison physically overpowered the Spartans.
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