Women’s Tennis Dominates Midwest Invite

The women’s tennis team dominated the Midwest Invite, easily defeating all seven teams without being challenged for the title.

By Mike Beninati

The women’s tennis team started April right by sweeping their competition this past weekend at the annual Midwest Invite in Madison, Wisconsin.  

The No. 10 Maroons were certainly in mid-season form as they only dropped four matches total in their three bouts. After a difficult March where every single matchup was against an opponent ranked in the top 12 in the country, it was gratifying for the team to dominate in such a fashion.  

The invitational was an eight-team tournament in which the Maroons entered as the top seed. Their first matchup came against Augustana College, and the Maroons swept 9–0. The Maroons successfully shut out Augustana for the second time this season, headed by fantastic efforts from first-year Catherine Xu, who won in 6–1, 6–1 fashion, and second-year Alyssa Rudin, who was victorious (6–0, 6–0).  

After defeating Augustana, UChicago advanced to the semifinals where they matched up with No. 40 Gustavus Adolphus College. Again, the team was dominant—the doubles pairs once again went undefeated and the Maroons were victorious in all but one singles matchup. The most impressive of the wins was the stellar performance from second-year Marjorie Antohi, who added to her already impressive career with a 6–1, 6–0 victory. 

After a night’s rest, the team was ready to perform Saturday morning in the finals. The final was set for the two top-seeded teams in the tournament: No. 10 UChicago and No. 12 Wash U. The Maroons came out firing in the first three doubles matches, winning two out of their three, thus taking a one-point lead into the final six single matchups. The first-year duo of Catherine Xu and Daryn Ellison grabbed a compelling 8–4 victory and continued to prove they are a matchup for opponents to fear. UChicago was just as successful in their individual performances, capturing victories in four of six matchups. The strongest performance of the finals came from standout first-year Claire Handa who defeated Wash U fourth-year Grace Deering (6–1, 6–4). 

The Maroons have looked great since the start of April and head coach Jay Tee is very pleased with the team’s progress. “We continue to improve and to maximize our potential, which is always great to see as a coach. Claire and Marjorie continue to lead the way at the top and we are getting great contributions the rest of the way down from different people every match. We're doing a great job of picking each other up and earning great team wins. We don't have much time to enjoy this one because we have a rematch against Wash U next Saturday, but we will be ready,” he said in an interview with the UChicago athletic department. 

The Maroons are back in action this coming weekend—first with a rematch against the Wash U Bears, followed by a clash with UW–Whitewater.