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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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Fifth-seeded women head to UAA Champsion with high hopes

courtesy case sports information
Sophomore Marianne Bonanno improved to 9–11 with a win on Saturday against Walsh University’s Kayla Shaheen 6–0, 6–0. Bonanno has competed all season across the Case lineup.

No. 22 Spartans to take on No. 7 Maroon in opening round matchup

Having worked its way through a rough non-conference schedule, the No. 22 nationally-ranked Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team has earned the No. 5 seed in the upcoming University Athletic Association Championship and will square off with No. 4-seeded University of Chicago at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 25 at Sanlando Park.

The tournament boasts six schools ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association top 30.

Top seeded Emory University, ranked No. 3 nationally, will take on eighth seed New York University with the winner taking on either Case or Chicago. On the bottom of the bracket, No. 2 seed Carnegie Mellon University takes on the No. 7 seed University of Rochester. The Tartans are currently ranked No. 13 by the ITA. No. 10 Washington University, the third seed, will take on No. 24 Brandeis University, the UAA’s sixth seed.

The Spartans finished the regular season at 11-7 overall with eight dual matches versus nationally-ranked foes. In the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s most recent rankings, the team sits fourth in the Central Region and No. 22 nationally – both bests in program history. Although the fifth seed, the Spartans look to have their work cut out for them against nationally ranked No. 7 Chicago, the second highest ranked team in the UAA. Chicago is the top ranked team in the Central Region, three spots ahead of Case.

The team will now try and better its UAA performance from a season ago, when it finished seventh.

Leading the Spartans into this year’s championship is freshman Sara Zargham with an overall singles record of 15-8. Ranked third in the ITA Central Region, Zargham is 5-7 in the No. 1 singles slot and 2-0 at No. 2. The rookie also advanced to the semifinal round of Flight A singles during the USTA/ITA Central Region Championship in St. Louis, MO this past fall.

Also seeing time in the top spot of the lineup after returning from studying abroad in the fall is senior Erika Lim. Lim, the team’s No. 1 player as a junior and currently ranked 16th in the region, is 3-2 at No. 1 and 3-5 in the second slot.

With plenty of depth on the roster, Head Coach Todd Wojtkowski has a lot options available following Zargham and Lim in the singles lineup. Freshman Taylor Sweeney, sophomore Marianne Bonanno, freshmen Surya Khadilkar and Michelle Djohan, and senior captain Kathleen Evers have all seen significant time in the lineup throughout the spring semester.

Sweeney is 12-10 this spring having played six matches at No. 2 (4-2) and 10 at No. 3 (5-5). Bonanno is 9-11 in the bottom four slots, while Khadilkar is 13-8 overall with time in the lineup from No. 2 to No. 6.

Djohan posted a 10-5 mark including a 3-1 record at No. 6, while Evers was 7-3 in the bottom three slots and will provide an experienced presence.

In doubles, the No. 1 tandem of Lim and Khadilkar are ranked sixth in the region with a 7-1 mark.

The bottom two doubles tandems could be mixed and matched with any number of combinations.

Final place matches are set for Saturday, April 27.

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