Taking on a pair of nationally ranked regional foes, women’s tennis earned a tough split and got a taste of the competition they’ll need to beat if they want to improve on last season’s success.
Travelling to Ohio for a pair of weekend matches, the 14th-ranked Maroons fell 6–3 to 16th-ranked Denison but recovered to take down 28th-ranked Kenyon Saturday to end the trip on a high note.
Facing her toughest test of the spring season to date, regionally eighth-ranked first-year Marissa Lin fell in straight sets to third-ranked second-year Meghan Damico, 6–0, 6–0 at first. In third, second-year Anujah Parikh fought back to tie the match up after dropping the opening set but came up short in the end, falling to 22nd-ranked Big Red second-year Kendra Murray 6–0, 4–6, 6–4. The Maroons dropped matches at fourth and sixth as well, with fourth-year Ade Omodele-Lucien and first-year Justine Kentla both taking losses.
While the team was unable to come up with the win Friday, second-year Vindya Dayananda, had a strong performance, beating first-year Marta Drane 6–3 in back-to-back sets for the easy win at second and teaming up with Lin to block the Big Red tandem of second-year Whitney Block and Drane 8–5 in doubles.
Managing the only other Chicago victory against Denison, third-year Michele Parad earned a thrilling decision over first Kara Zdanowski 10–8 in the tiebreak.
The regionally third-ranked Maroons came back the next day with more confidence, though, and narrowly shut down Kenyon in a tightly contested competition.
Falling for the first time all weekend, Dayananda was upset in first singles, with regionally 11th-ranked fourth-year Ashley Kriwinsky pulling out the win in two sets, 6–2, 6–3. Lin had more luck at second, besting second-year Natalie Larew in a 6–2, 6–2 domination. Parikh and Parad pulled out wins at fourth and fifth, offsetting losses at third and sixth from Omodele-Lucien and Kentla.
For the second straight match, Lin and Dayananda got the ball rolling at first doubles, taking down first-year Evan Ceja and Kriwinsky 8–3, and Parikh and Omodele-Lucien sealed the deal at second, 8–2.
The Maroons will hit the road again next weekend, traveling to Michigan to take on regionally 10th-ranked Albion Sunday. Last season Chicago edged the Britons 5–4 in Albion.