Kanagasegar leads Spartans in regional tennis championship

Kevin Wang, Contributing Reporter

The women’s tennis team competed at the USTA/ITA Central Region Championship, a United States Tennis Association intercollegiate tournament at the Stowe Stadium of Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich. this past weekend. At this tournament that took place last weekend from Sept. 19-21, the Spartans faced off against teams around the region, including many top and rival teams.

Nithya Kanagasegar advanced to the semifinal round of the singles tournament in her first major regional tournament, defeating Megan Tang from the University of Chicago 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinal round before her defeat to eventual tournament winner Rebecca Ho from the Washington University in Saint Louis in a close semifinal match. Kanagasegar won the first set 7-5, but Ho came back and took the next two sets 6-4, 6-1. Kanagasegar’s run to the semifinals continued the precedent of the Spartans reaching the semifinals at this particular tournament, with 2013 graduate Erika Lim advancing to the final match of this particular tournament in 2011 and Sara Zargham advancing to the semifinals in 2012.

Sara Zargham, who advanced to the semifinals of this tournament in 2012, advanced to the round of 16 before her defeat to tournament winner Rebecca Ho 6-4, 6-3. Other members of the team who advanced to the round of 32 in the singles tournament were Marianne Bonanno, Michelle Djohan and Surya Khadilkar.

In the doubles tournament, Kanagasegar teamed up with Zargham and defeated Grace Deering and Hanna Newstadt from Washington University in Saint Louis 8-5 in the round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinal round. In the quarterfinal round, Nancy Benda and Carli Capestany from Hope College defeated them in a close match that ended in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-2).

Marianne Bonanno and Surya Khadilkar teamed up and also advanced to the quarterfinal round, but were defeated by Ariana Iranpour and Megan Tang from the University of Chicago in a close match, 9-7.

The Spartans play their next tournament on Oct. 4 in Middlebury, Vt. for the Middlebury Invite. They will then play their first home game of the fall season on Oct. 11 versus Oberlin College.