Feb. 23, 2009

Courtesy of Washington (St. Louis)

ST. PETER, Minn. – The top-ranked Washington University men’s tennis team dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 2 Emory University in the championship match of the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships on Sunday in St. Peter, Minn. The ITA Championship is Emory's third-straight.

The team’s met in the last year’s third-place match with Washington U. prevailing, 7-2. Emory bounced back by the capturing the programs 19th-consecutive University Athletic Association Championship, however the Bears would go on to win the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship, defeating Emory, 5-3.

Washington U. and Emory split the first two doubles matches that were completed. No. 14 ranked Mark Boren and David Caplan got the best of sophomores Isaac Stein and Max Woods, ranked No. 8 in Division III, with an 8-4 win at No. 2 doubles.

Junior John Watts and senior Nirmal Choradia followed with an 8-6 victory at No. 3 to even the match at 1-1. The victory for Watts and Choradia pushed their record to 3-0 at No. 3 doubles, and also gave Watts his 130th career win.

The tightest doubles match of the day came at No. 1 doubles between two teams ranked in the top-five in Division III. Seniors Charlie Cutler and Chris Hoeland, ranked No. 3, built an early 5-2 lead over No. 1 ranked Chris and Michael Goodwin. The Goodwin’s trimmed the advantage to 7-6, and then won three-straight games for the 9-7 victory giving Emory the 2-1 advantage heading into singles play.

Watts, ranked No. 3 in Division III, knotted the match at 2-2 with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 victory over Michael Goodwin at No. 1 singles. The singles victory for Watts was his 75th of his career, just 15 off the career mark of 90 set by Ari Rosenthal (2002-06).

Emory (5-1) vaulted to a 4-2 advantage as Colin Egan defeated Stein at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 6-3, and then Boren posted a 6-3, 7-6 win over Woods at No. 3. Chris Goodwin, the No. 2 ranked player in Division III, sealed the victory for Emory with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Cutler at No. 2. Cutler entered the match ranked No. 12.

Junior Danny Levy joined Watts as a victorious singles winner with a 3-6, 6-4, 10-3 over Oliver Lopp at No. 5 singles. The singles victory for Levy was his 52nd of his career, and 60th overall.

Washington University (3-2) opens its spring break trip in California on Wednesday, March 11, at 10 a.m. (PT), against No. 11 ranked Bowdoin College.