Tennis teams clean house deep in the heart of Texas

By Yuefan Weng

As their classmates took a break, both men’s and women’s tennis took care of business.

The Maroons squads put on an impressive show over the course of their spring break trip to Texas, with the men going 4-1 and the women posting a 3-1 mark.

Currently ranked 10th in the region, the men return home with a number of impressive wins under their belt, beating UW-Eau Claire 7-0, Texas Lutheran 6-1, Southwestern University 7-0, and Schrenier University 6-1. Their sole defeat was a 7-0 loss to Trinity College, currently ranked ninth in the nation. The team’s record now stands at 15-6.

Led by the stellar play of third-year Ward Bortz and first-year Sasha Deriy, the Maroons dominated their opponents, dropping only two singles matches in their four victories. The team’s doubles pairs only fell three times over all five matches. Bortz and Deriy went 5-0 at first doubles during the trip.

On their own, Bortz finished 4-1 at first singles, and Deriy went 3-2 at second. Second-year Vivek Venkataraman finished 3-2 from the third spot, and first-year Joseph Tchan, fourth-year Jacob Reckess, and first-year Bharath Sithian all finished 4-1.

The team travels to St. Louis Sunday for a match against Washington, and follows against Wheaton at home Tuesday. The squad is looking to build on their recent success as UAAs draws closer April 15 to 17 .

Things are looking up for the women’s team as well. The Maroons got things started with a 5-4 squeaker against Texas Lutheran March 21. While fifth-ranked Trinity took the team down 7-0 the next day, the women rebounded to rip Southwestern 7-2 and Schrenier 9-0 to return to Chicago with a 6-6 season mark. Wednesday’s 6-2 victory over St. Mary’s in Notre Dame lifted the women over .500 for the first time since October 9.

The Maroons have recovered from their early-season struggles behind a yeoman’s job from second-year Ade Omodele-Lucien at first singles. Omodele-Lucien, ranked 18th in the region, went 2-1 in Texas. Fourth-year Christine Kim was also critical to the team’s success over break, winning three of her four singles matches. First-year Cassie Kramer and third-year Annie Miller went 3-1 from second doubles.

The women travel to Whitewater for a double-header against Wisconsin-Whitewater and Winona State before beginning a five-match homestand with a showdown against Wheaton at the Stagg Field Courts Tuesday.