This past weekend, while the majority of UChicago students were enjoying their last taste of freedom before reading period, the women’s tennis team was in the midst of the National Women’s Indoor Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although the weather might have been warmer in Chattanooga, this was no holiday for the tennis team. Instead, the team was stuck in competitive tournament play throughout the entire weekend.
On Friday, the Maroons faced a difficult start to the tournament against the No. 12 team in the country, Washington and Lee. In dual play between the two teams, the women’s tennis team remained perfect with a record of 9–0 for the season. They defeated the Washington Generals in dual play despite missing their usual number-one player, second-year Marjorie Antohi. Overall, it was a comprehensive display for the Maroons as they pulled off a 7–2 victory over the Generals. This allowed for the women’s tennis team to move onto the semifinals of the tournament against Pomona-Pitzer.
Once they reached the semifinals, the Maroons started to dream of a national championship win to bring back to Chicago. Pomona-Pitzer stood in the way between UChicago and the final. Ideally, the Maroons would depend on their perfect dual play throughout the season. However, the Sagehens were able to beat the prior unbeatable dual play of UChicago. First-year Claire Handa was the only singles winner for the Maroons, but a few of her teammates were locked in tight battles that sadly went the wrong way. The No. 6 Sagehens were able to defeat the Maroons with a score of 6–3, relegating UChicago to the third-place match against No. 10 Carnegie Mellon. Even though the result was not ideal, third-year Adrienne Travis said, “[the] match against Pomona was easily the best match all season. We played as a team, not as individuals, and carrying that into the rest of the season will be instrumental to our success.”
Even with the disappointing loss in the semis, UChicago still had a chance to come home with a third-place finish. However, the Maroons did not perform at their best as the Carnegie Mellon Tartans took charge of the match. The UChicago dual play lost their second match of the season and the team ended up being swept 5–0.
Although it was not an ideal finish to a promising tournament, the team grew throughout the season and was happy with making it to the semis. “I think this weekend showed us how much we have improved since the beginning of the season,” Travis said. “Obviously the outcome today was not ideal, but we have made so much progress and will only continue to improve as the season goes on.”