For mens tennis, it was just like the good old days. The Maroons conquered a familiar foe to pass their first true test of the season with flying colors.
After edging past Coe 43 last season in Cedar Rapids for a key victory in the teams run to the NCAA regionals, 25th-ranked Chicago (30) returned to the scene of the crime Saturday and left with a pair of victories. The Maroons handed the host Kohawks (31) another 43 defeat and trounced Cornell (IA) (02) 60 in Cedar Rapids. The sweep cemented the Maroons status as one of the premier teams in the Midwest.
Chicago benefited from solid play across the board in the sweep. In singles, the team received two wins apiece from second-years Bharath Sithian, Sasha Deriy, and Joseph Tchan. Fourth-year All-American Ward Bortz and first-year Alex Winney chipped in with two victories at second doubles.
The first matchup against fellow heavyweight Coe, ranked eighth in the Central Region, was a tale of two matches. The Maroons dominated the singles events, riding strong performances from Sithian, Deriy, Tchan, and Bortz to victory in four of the six matches to clinch the victory for the Maroons. The Kohawks put up more competition in doubles, taking two of three matches to win the point. The pairing of Bortz and Winney scored the lone Chicago triumph.
We knew it would be a tough task, head coach Marty Perry said. They gave us a tough battle last year. We wanted to jump on them early and it didnt really happen, but we played hard and it was a good win. We had to beat them to get into position for the regionals.
The second match of the day was dominated by the Maroons, who won every individual and doubles match against the Rams. In singles competition, Chicago received victories from Winney and fellow-first year Connor Farrell, along with Sithian, Deriy, and Tchan.
We just scheduled them because they were there [at Cedar Rapids], Perry said. We knew they werent going to be that strong, but it was good to get us playing two matches in one day.
The doubles results were no different, with Deriyi and Tchan teaming up for a win, along with Bortz and Winney.
With their first ranked foe vanquished, the Maroons will get in the vans again next weekend, as they serve off against 30th-ranked Kenyon, UAA rival 22nd-ranked Carnegie Mellon and Denison in Gambier, Ohio.