Tennis Back in the Swing

The men’s and women’s tennis teams will begin their seasons against Lewis University this weekend in a highly anticipated season with many new faces.

By Miranda Burt

The University of Chicago men’s and women’s tennis teams open up 2019 with their first real match of the season against the Lewis Flyers this upcoming Saturday. So far this academic year, the women have competed in the Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational and the ITA Central Regional. On grass, the Maroons played multiple singles and doubles matches. Singles winners from UChicago included first-year Nicole Semenov, who easily took down UAA foe Courtney Ollis of Carnegie Mellon University 6–1, 6–1. Second-year Claire Handa also took down Vinaya Rao of CMU, and first-year Annika Pandey defeated Valerie Marshall from Washington and Lee University. On the doubles side, the pairs of Lauren Park/Eugenia Lee and Catherine Xu/Estefania Navarro picked up doubles wins. In the ITA Regional Championships, the Maroon women produced five of the quarterfinalists in singles play, and three of the quarterfinalists in doubles action. Third-year Marjorie Antohi took runner-up in singles play to Lauren O'Malley of John Carroll University.  

Third-year Laura Gutierrez—one of two upperclassmen remaining on the Maroons’ roster—spoke of the team’s progress so far this season. “We have had some really great freshman come in to the program to compliment the work that all of the older players have put in so far as well as over the summer. It’s great to have these freshmen come in and add to our program, and to push our upperclassmen to get better as well. The start of the season provided us a great early opportunity to see where we are at against some really good competition. We feel like we had a great showing with such a young team, and, with the work we have put in since then, can’t wait for the real season to take place.” 

The Maroon men are in a similar position, coming off of very strong showings in the fall. The men competed against Division I opponents at the WMU invitational, with many matches being very competitive, and first-year Alex Guzhva even defeating opponent Gabriel Carvajal of Valparaiso. In the ITA regionals, Jeremy Yuan was runner-up in the singles division, and Yuan along with partner Tyler Raclin repeated as doubles champions.  

Last year, the Maroons also opened up play with a match against Lewis. The men won 7–2, and Lewis ended up finishing 12–11 on the year. The Maroon women also picked up a victory, though a little narrower at 5–4. The Lewis women finished 11–9 in 2018. 

Gutierrez was excited for the opportunities for this weekend, saying, “Lewis is a very strong team that has a lot of experience playing Division I opponents. They will be a great first test for us and playing them will help us see how far we are from achieving our goals.” 

The Maroons will take on Lewis at their home facility, XS Tennis, this Saturday at 1 p.m.