From Carnegie Mellon University Athletics
Seniors Chaz Downing (Newport Beach, Calif. / Corona Del Mar) and Daniel Levine (Highland Park, Ill. / Boca Prep International School) played in both the doubles and singles finals of the ITA Southeast Regional tournament on Sunday, September 30 on the campus of the University of Mary Washington. The pair won the doubles crown while Downing topped Levine for the singles title.
In doubles play, Downing and Levine opened the day in the semifinals against junior Nicholas Calzolano (Hinsdale, Ill. / Hinsdale Central) and sophomore Ray Boppana (Boxborough, Mass. / Acton Boxborough Regional), winning 8-3. The pair then split to play their respective semifinal singles matches.
Levine defeated Austin Gu of Johns Hopkins University, 6-1, 6-1, while Downing eliminated Leonid Sorkin of Dickinson College, 6-3, 6-4.
Downing and Levine then came back together for the doubles final where the faced Colt Williamson and Ian Siew of Salisbury University. The Tartan pair won the first set 6-2 and the second by a 6-4 score.
Following the doubles final, Downing and Levine played for the singles title. Levine took the first set 6-0. Downing held a 3-2 lead in the second before Levine regained the lead 4-3 and then 5-4. Downing returned the favor and won the set 7-5. Levine held a 3-2 lead in the third set but Downing battled back and took a 5-3 lead before winning 6-4.
The win for Downing marks the first ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship of his career. The doubles title is the first for Downing and Levine, as they'll compete in the ITA Oracle Cup on October 11-14 in Rome, Georgia, for a national title.
The singles title marks the seventh earned by a Carnegie Mellon player and fourth straight, while the doubles win is the fourth and first since 2010.
Quoting head coach Mike Belmonte
On Chaz's and Dan's leadership:
I thought Chaz and Dan showed tremendous leadership today and throughout the entire tournament in terms of class and sportsmanship. I thought they set a great example for the rest of the team to strive towards and this event further cements their legacies as all-time greats in CMU tennis history.
On today's performance:
I was very proud of the way Chaz and Dan competed against their opponents from other teams and against each other in the singles final.
Quoting senior Chaz Downing
On feelings of winning both championships:
Winning both championships is without a doubt the highlight of my collegiate tennis career. It is very gratifying that the years of training and hard work have paid off with the results this weekend.
On thoughts of pairing with Dan for a win then having to compete against him:
It is always a pleasure having Dan as a partner because of our chemistry on the court. Dan and I played exceptionally well this whole weekend. Throughout my tennis career it has always been a challenge competing against a friend. As for playing against Dan specifically, it had to be one of the hardest matches I have ever played because of our friendship. It is unfortunate that there could be only one winner because Dan is equally deserving.