Sports Shorts: Underdog women’s tennis roll through early rounds at ITA Regional

By Isaac Hur

The element of surprise can be a useful tool for an underrated team, as many opponents of women’s tennis learned to their chagrin.

The Maroons executed to perfection over the weekend at the ITA Regionals in Springfield, Ohio, as four girls made the final 16 out of 128

total players. Leading the way in singles competition was first-year fourth-seed Vindya Dayananda, who reached the round of 16 before falling to Wash U first-year and eventual champion Carrie Preston in two sets. She and doubles partner third-year Ade Omodele-Lucien also fought their way into the quarterfinals in that bracket.

The pairing of fourth-years Katie Dulmage and Annie Miller did some damage of their own, blasting their way to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Allegheny third-year Amanda Bolger and first-year Kelly Salb 8–1.

It must have been quite a shock for the other competitors at the tournament, as the team had 15 of 21 winners in the first round. It was a tremendous jump over last year’s performance at the fall tourney, where the team had only two girls win their first match.

“It was definitely a great start. We played well as a team, considering we’ve only had a week and a half of practice and this was the first tournament of the year,” head coach Marty Perry said.

Unseeded first-year Jackie Colvin was just one of the girls who took advantage of being underestimated, as she got past the first three rounds in her first college tournament.

“Being in the position of the underdog helped me out a lot, as it took a lot of the pressure off,” Colvin said. “Even if it was a little intimidating in the beginning, it ended up being a great experience.”

Even if the rest of the Central Region learned their lesson about the Maroons, the team has enough talent to hold their own. They intend to demonstrate that talent at the Chicago State Invite October 14-6.