Maroons End Season Strong

After a long and successful season, the women’s tennis team ends their season in the NCAA DIII Championship quarterfinals.

By Trent Carson

The 2018 University of Chicago women’s tennis season came to a close this past weekend with a tough loss to top-ranked Emory University in the NCAA DIII Championship quarterfinals. The Maroons finished out another fantastic season with a strong run, dominating their way to the program’s 10th straight NCAA DIII tournament appearance, and the program’s eighth quarterfinals appearance. 

After handling Grinnell College in the second round and UW–Whitewater in the third round, the Maroons faced off against Emory. It was a rematch of the UAA Championship match, where he Eagles were able to hold off the Maroons, who lost 7–2 in a hard-fought battle. 

This time around, the Maroons were unable to top the tournament favorites. Despite an impressive start by the No.1 doubles duo of second-year Marjorie Antohi and first-year Claire Handa with a huge 9–7 victory, the Maroons were unable to hold onto the early momentum. The Eagles took both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams, giving themselves a 2–1 lead heading into singles.  

Antohi, the Maroon’s No. 2 singles player, and first-year Catherine Xu, the Maroon’s No. 3 singles player, each took the first set of their respective singles matches. Handa was able to bounce back from losing her first set to take the lead 4–3 in her second set before the match was called at decision with an overall score of 5–1. 

Reflecting on the match against Emory, Xu said, “For our final match of the season against Emory I think during many moments in the match we were right there head to head with them, it definitely felt a lot closer than what the score says. Marj and Claire did an amazing job leading the team to get us a point with the doubles win. Although in the end we fell short in singles. I think we all competed really hard under our given circumstances. Emory came out strong and brought really high energy throughout the entire match from start to finish and I think in the end that's what made the difference.” 

As for the tournament and season as a whole, Xu is happy with the effort and hard work the team has put in. “Overall I think our team did a really good job this year in NCAAs, it’s not easy to be competing at the biggest tournament of the year while still having to maintain academics, especially being so close to finals week,” Xu said. “I’m really proud of all of the girls on the team and their efforts not just during NCAAs but throughout the entire season. We’ve grown and improved so much as a team since the beginning of season and I'm definitely looking forward to an even better one in the next year.” 

While the team’s season has ended, both Handa and Antohi have qualified for the NCAA DIII singles and doubles tournaments, which begin on Thursday.