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          Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's

          Joseph Kachovec

          Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: Sports
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          Freshman Alex Solove returns a volley sent at him during a match against Carnegie Mellon University.
          Media Credit: James Hale
          Freshman Alex Solove returns a volley sent at him during a match against Carnegie Mellon University.
          [Click to enlarge]
          Today marks the start of the University Athletic Assocation men's tennis tournament hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. The tournament lasts all weekend and hosts each of the eight UAA teams: Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, University of Chicago, Brandeis University, University of Rochester, New York University, and Washington University. Specific rankings, and as a result first round opponents, will not be known until right before the matches are played.

          The tournament will no doubt bring tough competition for the Spartans. The UAA has perennially been know as one of the top athletic conferences in Division III, and this year is no exception. The championship will feature four teams ranked in the top 15 including 7th ranked Carnegie Mellon, 2nd ranked Emory University, 3rd ranked Washington University, and 15th ranked University of Chicago. It will be a tough challenge for the Spartans to break into the top four by knocking off any one of these teams, as all four are currently competing at their midseason prime.

          The Spartans (11-14) know they are in for a tough tournament, but this young team is not looking to back down. At a minimum they are looking to maintain and improve on their 5th place finish last year, where they finished ahead of Brandeis, NYU, and Rochester. Freshman Nic Howe said, "I know the team finished 5th last year, so we hope to improve on that and we're confident we can, but it's going to be pretty hard considering four of the teams in our conference are nationally ranked."

          The underlying question for the Spartans again is the team's youth. The top four teams in the region - Emory, Wash. U., Carnegie Mellon, and Chicago - all have six or seven upperclassmen whereas the Spartans only have one. Players from other schools no doubt have an advantage over the young Spartan team having already gone through the process of this tournament multiple times throughout their college careers. Many of the younger players are looking forward to this opportunity to gain experience at the conference tournament level.
          Continued...
          Page 1 of 3 next >

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          In This Issue

          News

          • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
          • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
          • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
          • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
          • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
          • Student Leadership Award Winners
          • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
          • What Now?
          • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

          Sports

          • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
          • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
          • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
          • Spartans extend win streak to six
          • Spartans snap long losing streak
          • The next step
          • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

          Opinion

          • 2009-2010 Year in Review
          • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
          • Living - and dying - on your own terms
          • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
          • What are you doing this summer?

          Focus

          • A final fling for finals
          • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
          • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
          • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
          • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
          • The best bars in Cleveland
          • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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