“Gut it out and find a way”

Women’s tennis fights for three wins over Spring Break

Ben Resnick, Staff Reporter

The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team traveled to Florida over spring break to play four matches in three days on March 13, 14 and 15. The Spartans entered the break ranked 18th in Division III after opening up the spring season with a 4-1 record.

Head Coach Kristen Gambrell said that almost everything that could’ve went wrong on the trip went wrong and even with all of the adversity her team still ended up with a 3-1 record. The trip included extremely long matches, cold weather, windy conditions, injuries to top players and missed opportunities, but Gambrell was very pleased with the way her young team responded.

“The theme of the trip was to gut it out and find a way,” she said.

The Spartans opened play with a 7-2 loss to 20th-ranked Trinity University. CWRU lost two out of the three doubles matches, although they were all very close. In the singles matches four of the matches went to a decisive third set, but the ball did not bounce the Spartans way and Trinity was victorious.

CWRU had a quick turnaround and had to play two matches the next day. The Spartans gutted out a win against 39th-ranked University of Texas at Tyler 6-3 before handily beating Colby-Sawyer College 9-0.

The second doubles pairing won their match against Texas at Tyler 9-8 and Gambrell called that the biggest moment of the weekend. The win gave CWRU a 2-1 lead going into singles play and they never looked back.

“The second doubles win was huge [for] momentum for us and could be one of the biggest moments for the team this season,” said Gambrell. “Before that match everything had been going wrong but after the win we could really feel some momentum in our favor.”

In the last match of the trip CWRU cruised to a victory, defeating Gettysburg College 9-0. Gambrell was very pleased with the way her squad finished the weekend and is hoping to use the momentum and lessons learned on the trip to propel her team to a successful rest of the season.

CWRU will return home for on Saturday, March 25 against John Carroll University. They will quickly turnaround and travel to face No. 27 Lewis & Clark College and No. 31 Kenyon College in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 26.
Gambrell believes with the leadership of third-year student Nithya Kanagasegar and fourth-year student Kennedy Mulholland the young Spartan team will be able to accomplish some impressive feats.