Sports Shorts: Women’s tennis bests Kalamazoo

By Chika Okafor

Just over a week ago, women’s tennis took the court against D-I Northern Illinois and suffered the first loss of the season after coming up short in a 4–3 heartbreaker that could have gone either way. Saturday the Maroons found themselves in another highly contested match and this time managed to pull out the victory.

This weekend’s match kicked off the start of a string of nine-straight road contests, and hanging on for a 5–4 nail-biting victory over Kalamazoo (0–1) puts Chicago at 4–1 for the season and on the right path for the remainder of the road trip. Once again taking their cues from third-year Vindya Dayananda and second-year Marissa Lin, the Maroons won four out of the six singles matches to set up the win.

Competing in the second slot of the solo matches, Dayananda dominated her opponent in straight sets to the tune of a 6–2, 6–1 smashing. Lin, struggling a bit more at first singles, had to work out of an early jam to claim victory in her battle with second-year Beau Wangtrakuldee. She lost the first set by a close score of 5–7. Undaunted by being a set down, Lin did a quick turnaround on Wangtrakuldee and claimed the next two 6–2, 6–3 to preserve her perfect record in dual competitions. The reigning UAA Rookie of the Year boasts a 5–0 mark in her second year starting in the top spot.

Outside of the usual suspects, other key contributors to nailing one down in the win column Saturday were second-year Jennifer Walters and first-year Chrissy Hu. Walters opened her match losing 3–6 but rebounded in the final two sets with decisive scores of 6-3, 6–2 over fourth-year Ashley Cherniawski at sixth singles. Hu earned an easy W with a 6–2, 6–3 tally against fourth-year Mary Atallah at the third solos spot.

Capping off the victories on the day for the Maroons, Dayananda and Lin combined to post wins at first doubles, manhandling their opponents 8–0. To say that the pair has been good for the Maroons this season would be an understatement. They have followed up last year’s performance of 14–8 with an untarnished 5–0 streak for 2007–2008 and have bested the competition by at least four games in all their matches.

From here the Maroons look to keep up the momentum as they face Denison (0–1) Friday and Kenyon (1–0) Saturday. The full weekend will test Chicago’s endurance with the first and only back-to-back matches slated for this season.