Coming off a 4–3 loss against DI opponent UW–Milwaukee at the end of January, the No. 12 Chicago team looks to get its 2015 campaign back on track this weekend. The Maroons will face off against No. 28 Denison on Friday, No. 23 Case Western Reserve on Saturday, and Kenyon and No. 32 Oberlin on Sunday.
Despite their previous loss, the South Siders are confident about the weekend. The team acknowledges that a narrow loss against DI competition shows great promise for the team moving into a weekend of DIII play.
“Morale going in is pretty high actually; we didn’t really treat University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee as a loss because it was so close and we played really well,” second-year Tiffany Chen said. “We are really excited for our first DIII matchup.”
The South Siders will also go into the weekend having much improved since their last match.
“We worked a lot on doubles strategy, including lobs,” Chen said. “For singles we worked on playing under pressure and making good decisions in those situations.”
Working well under pressure, as Chen mentioned, will be a key component all season for the young Chicago team.
The squad carries three first-years, who have already proven that they are ready to compete at the collegiate level.
First-year Courtney Warren, for example, secured a win against UW–Milwaukee in doubles play with Chen. First-years Jasmine Lee and Ariana Iranpour both picked up singles wins against UW–Milwaukee.
The autumn season was also an impressive showing for the first-years, with Iranpour earning second place in the singles competition at the ITA Central Region Championships.
While the squad as a whole is young, there is nothing inexperienced about its No. 1 singles player and team leader, fourth-year Megan Tang. Tang took her opponent to three sets against UW–Milwaukee. Tang and Iranpour will pair up to take the No. 1 doubles spot in what is a very promising pairing.
Fellow veteran Chen emphasized the importance of the hard work the team has been putting in at practice.
“I think we’re much closer now as a team,” Chen said. “We are much more confident after a couple weeks of practice, which will be an important factor this weekend.”
The first match against No. 28 Denison will serve up at 5 p.m. in Westlake, OH. The Maroons will then travel to Case Western, where play will begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Maroons will finish the weekend at Oberlin, where they will face off against Kenyon at 8 a.m. and against Oberlin at 11:30 a.m.