February 24, 2014

Maroons sting Hornets in Kalamazoo

This past weekend Chicago (3–1) traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan and soundly defeated the Kalamazoo Hornets (2–1) with a final match score of 7–2.

Chicago has sustained its momentum since winning a doubleheader two weekends ago, when the Maroons defeated Denison University 7–2 and Kenyon College 9–0. En route to their victory over the Hornets, the Maroons lost one of three doubles matches and one of six singles matches.

Chicago entered the weekend 2–1. Against Kalamazoo, the No. 6 regionally ranked doubles pair of second-year Stephanie Lee and first-year Jordan Appel won a close match 8–6, while the tandem of second-year Sruthi Ramaswami and first-year Tiffany Chen soundly won their match 8–0. In their final doubles matchup, the Maroons lost against the Hornets 9–8.

In singles, Chicago won three straight matches until third-year Megan Tang, ranked No. 1 in the Central Region, lost in a three-set match to No. 16 Sarah Woods. However, the Maroons closed out the remaining two matches strongly, with each Chicago player defeating her opponent in two-set matches.

“While we rely heavily on Megan Tang to provide us with two points nearly every match, there will be times when we won’t always have that luxury and it is important for the team to understand that,” head coach Jay Tee said. “The girls did a wonderful job of focusing on their own court and taking care of business in order to get us the crucial fifth and decisive point. One of our strengths is our depth and I thought that was on display throughout singles and doubles. Even if we lose near the top, I feel like we continue to come at you in waves, a team might get a couple points on us, but they will always have to earn all five.”

Next weekend the Maroons will travel to Greencastle, Indiana, where they will participate in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Indoor Nationals. The Maroons will enter without being ranked as the No. 1 seed for the first time in recent memory.

“I’m looking forward to going into this tournament as an underdog for once. It’s the first time in a few years we haven’t come in seeded No. 1 and I’d like to see the team use that as some motivation,” Tee said.

Last year the Maroons finished third at the ITA Indoor Nationals, and the year before that, fifth. Their loss last year came against the Johns Hopkins Bluejays, who are the No. 1 seed this year.

With a new training regime and a new cast of players, the Maroons are looking to improve upon last year’s results.

“I’m looking forward to having our hard work from practice pay off, especially in doubles. We’re much stronger at the net now than during preseason, and it should also be a great weekend of team bonding as well,” Chen said.

The No. 2–seeded Maroons will open their match against No. 7 DePauw University (5–0), with the action starting at 3:30 p.m.