With the trees finally shaking off the lasting remnants of winter, making way for the warmth of spring, the Maroons are switching into the gear as they enter the heart of their schedule.
This past Sunday, No. 30 Chicago improved its record to 7–6 as it visited and ultimately defeated the unranked Hornets of Kalamazoo College, whose own record dropped to 8–6.
Kalamazoo provided a formidable challenge to the Maroon team, which recently beat top 20-ranked Cal Lutheran. The Maroons dispatched Cal Lutheran over spring break in a 5–4 victory—Chicago’s first victory over a team ranked above itself in over three years. However, the Maroons were able to weather the Hornets and bring home a victory by a score of 7–2.
In doubles, the Maroons were able to establish an early lead by sweeping the three doubles matches to begin the day, as the tandems of third-year Deepak Sabada and first-year Brian Sun (No. 1 doubles), fourth-year Krishna Ravella and fourth-year Zsolt Szabo (No. 2), and third-year Ankur Bhargava and second-year Gordon Zhang (No. 3) claimed victories in their matches over the Hornets.
“On a personal note, I had a tough match today against Kalamazoo, but I feel that I’ve been getting better as the season has gone along, just like the rest of the team,” Sabada said. He also plays No. 1 singles.
In singles, the visiting Maroons were able to secure their victories as Bhargava, Sun, Zhang, and first-year Peter Muncey (No. 6) were all able to defeat their Kalamazoo foes. Notably, Sun and Muncey cruised to victories as the former won 6–2, 6–1 while the latter also won impressively, 6–1, 6–1.
While the Hornets certainly were a formidable opponent in their own right, the Maroons also had to deal with Mother Nature, as the winds proved to be a factor in a Sunday’s matches.
“I beat a solid player today [fourth-year Peter Rothstein] in some windy conditions,” Bhargava said.
The Maroons continue their season this Friday as they take on conference foe Case Western here in Hyde Park. From there, Chicago begins to finish off its regular season play, which includes an integral match against conference rival Wash U and then gearing up for the UAA Championships in Altamonte, Florida the week of April 20. NCAA Championships will be held on May 12 in Claremont, California.
For the Maroons, this is the most crucial and exciting part of the season.
“As a team, our goal is to make the NCAA tournament,” Sabada said.
Bhargava expressed similar sentiments.
“I am really looking forward to helping the team in the next couple of weeks heading into the UAAs,” Bhargava said.
Don’t miss catching the Maroons at home this weekend, as they hit the courts against Case on Friday at 2 p.m., Coe College on Saturday at 3 p.m., and chief rival Wash U on Sunday at 9 a.m.