With the UAA tournament quickly approaching on Thursday, April 26, the Maroons are using their final home and regular season match of the year against North Central to build on one aspect of their game: confidence.
“After our two losses last week, this match can help us a lot in reestablishing our confidence,” second-year Zsolt Szabo said. “The effort last week was rather lacking, and now we can show that we have learned from last week’s mistakes.”
In the two matches this past weekend, Saturday against Case and Sunday against Wash U, Chicago won a combined four matches to its opponents’ 14.
However, tt will be much easier for the Maroons to be confident going into Sunday. Second-year Alex Golovin is set to play after being inactive in last week’s matches. He will likely hold the No. 4 singles spot. Szabo will likely return to No. 5 singles from No. 4, and first-year Deepak Sabada will be at No. 6, after playing No. 5 last week.
Fourth-years Troy Brinker and Jan Stefanski and first-year Ankur Bhargava will look to get wins at the top three singles spots.
The doubles lineup will likely feature Brinker and Stefanski, Bhargava and Sabada, and Szabo and second-year Krishna Ravella at No. 1, 2, and 3 doubles.
Still, even if the Maroons are not able to bring their top lineup, they will still have a lot more confidence than last week, given that North Central has a 3–9 record.
That being said, the Maroons cannot, and will not, look past their opponents. They need to believe in themselves going into UAAs, but they cannot afford another loss on the season.
“A little team- and confidence- building is especially useful going into UAAs, as we will have to do very well in that tournament in order to be able to continue our season,” Szabo said. “Since there is not a great amount of pressure in this match, everyone should bring out their best self, and that should be enough for the team to build up its confidence going into UAAs.”
Szabo said that the Maroons are ready to showcase their efforts on Sunday.
“I am really looking forward to this weekend, as I believe last week was a true wake-up call, and everyone is eager to play with great effort and prove their abilities,” Szabo said.
Doubles play is scheduled to start at noon on Sunday at the Stagg Field tennis courts.