Squad Splits Pair of Matches Against UAA Foes

Despite executing an exciting upset of UAA rival, the No. 9 WashU Bears, on Saturday, the women’s tennis team was unable to sustain its momentum as it fell 5–4 to Case Western the following day.

By Michael Hinkley

Over the weekend, Chicago took on a pair of conference opponents and split the series 1–1. Following an upset victory over Wash U on Saturday, the team fell in a close match against Case Western Reserve the following morning. With these results, the Maroons now stand at 9–4 on the season heading into the UAA Championship just two weeks from now.

In the first match, the Maroons fought hard and earned a convincing win over the ninth-ranked Bears. The squad jumped out to an early 2–1 lead in the doubles round. At No. 1, the duo of first-year Rachel Kim and fourth-year Lucy Tang dominated their opponents 8–2. Then, following a loss at No. 2, Chicago’s second-year duo of Ariana Iranpour and Courtney Warren finished off doubles with an 8–5 victory.

Chicago proceeded to dominate in singles, putting up quick points and defeating Wash U 4–2 in that phase. First-year Kaela Bynoe posted an impressive shutout, as she defeated her opponent 6–0, 6–0 in straight sets. Kim, her fellow first-year, also earned a convincing win at No. 2 with a pair of 6–2 scores. In the end, the Maroons emerged victorious over the Bears by a margin of 6–3. As a result, Wash U fell to a record of 11–7 on the year. This match also marks Chicago’s first triumph over a top 10 team this season.

On Sunday, the squad faced off with the Spartans of Case Western. Due to rain, the match was moved to an indoor location at XS Tennis. The Maroons’ first team point came from a dominating doubles performance by Iranpour and Warren. But the Spartans won the two remaining matches, and took a 2–1 lead into singles.

In the singles round, Chicago was able to claw their way back into the match with big wins from Iranpour and Kim. Then, following consecutive Case victories, third-year Tiffany Chen secured a clutch three-set win at No. 5 to tie the overall score at 4–4. Unfortunately, the team’s valiant effort was not quite enough as the Spartans won the final match of the day, handing the Maroons a 5–4 loss.

In the future, the team is set to compete in the UAA Championship, beginning on Friday, April 22. As of now, the matchups for that tournament are still not set. That being said, Chicago is likely to receive a middle seed. At 18–3, Emory is the favorite to take the top seed, so the Maroons will likely have to go through the Eagles if they hope to hoist the UAA trophy. In any case, the team is poised to compete hard when it comes to tournament time.

Fourth-year Stephanie Lee reflected on the weekend. “We had a great win against Wash this past weekend and a tough match against Case. After a couple days of rest, we’re looking forward to hitting the courts and getting ready for UAAs next week in Orlando,” she said.

The UAA Championship will kick off next weekend in Altamonte Springs, FL. Last year, the Maroons finished fourth after being defeated in the second round of the eight-team tournament. Therefore, the squad will be looking to build off of that performance and achieve an even higher finishing position this time around.