Chicago tennis took no prisoners this weekend: Both the men’s and women’s teams went 2–0.
On Friday the 17th-ranked Chicago men took on Case Western Reserve. They won two of the three doubles matches and lost only two of the six singles matches, defeating Case 6—3. They followed up this win with a 5—3 defeat against 23rd-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday, the Maroons’ third straight victory.
First-years Krishna Ravella and Zsolt Szabo won their third victory in a row and raised their record to 7—2. The unstoppable duo were pleased with their outcome, but still saw room for improvement. “This was a good weekend for us, but we have to keep bringing our best every week no matter whom we play. . . every time we step out onto the court we should be ready to go,” said Ravella
Fourth-year Will Zhang, who won after eight straight singles matches this weekend, agreed with Ravella. “We did well this weekend, and won a couple big regional matches. Our performance was solid enough to get by, but it wasn’t up to our true potential,” he said. He went on to say that the team should “work on being mentally tougher throughout matches, and playing the bigger points better.”
The women’s team was also undefeated this weekend, decimating both Case and Ball State. The win against Case marked head coach Marty Perry’s 100th women’s dual match victory. After taking Case 9—0, the Maroons defeated Ball State 4—3 on Sunday. This makes their regular season winning streak over D-III opponents 12 matches long, dating back to last season.
It’s been almost six months since the lady Maroons have been on the court, and the women were both prepared and excited to be back. “The butterflies and excitement were definitely there, especially before the first point of the doubles match,” said second-year Linden Li. Concerning improvement, Li further noted that the women’s team should “work on being more confident with ourselves, as well as trusting in others,” though she also conceded that those problems may be because “this was our first match in almost half a year.”
There were a number of exciting moments during the matches this weekend. For Ravella it was “winning the tiebreaker at number 2 doubles. It was a big match, and although we didn’t play as well as we should have, we pulled out the win in the end and that’s what counts.”
For Li, the highlight of the weekend was the “supportive and exciting” atmosphere of the joint match against Case.
Looking to the future, Zhang would like to see the team “in a position to win UAAs, and maybe ultimately the NCAA championship. Those may be lofty goals, but I think we can do it.” Ravella agreed, saying, “We have a really talented team and a great group of guys and I think we can really turn some heads if we all perform well when it counts.”
Men’s tennis will be playing again on Friday, February 11 against Kenyon College. Women’s tennis will be on the court again Saturday, February 19, at Wash U.