The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team traveled to the Blue-Grey Invitational in Fredericksburg, Virginia this past weekend hoping to rebound from their losses over spring break. The girls got off to a great start by beating Bates College 8-1, and followed it up with another 8-1 victory against the 29th-ranked College of New Jersey.
Head Coach Kristen Gambrell was ecstatic with the way her team came out and played after their tough California trip.
“We could not have rebounded any better,” said Gambrell. “I was excited to see progress in singles and in doubles all the way through the lineup.”
The Spartans then found themselves in a dogfight against the 18th-ranked University of Mary Washington in the finale. Mary Washington was able to jump out to a 2-1 lead in doubles but CWRU won the first two singles matches to take a 3-2 lead. But Mary Washington was able to rally down the stretch, winning the rest of the matches to the 6-3 win.
Despite the loss, Gambrell was pleased with the way her team went out and competed.
“It was a great battle,” said Gambrell. “It is never fun losing but we showed a lot of fight and at the end of the day, just did not win.”
A bright note from the weekend was that first-year student Jessica Liu was awarded University Athletic Association player of the week for the first time in her career. Liu was undefeated this past weekend in her six matches (three singles and three doubles). The first-year student has been taking on a bigger role for the team lately and will try to continue her momentum.
Gambrell has been very pleased with all that Liu has been able to add to the team this year.
“Jessica stepped into number two singles which is not easy with all the upperclassmen on the team and has handled it super well,” said Gambrell. “[Liu] is very talented and it is a huge accomplishment especially as a freshman.”
CWRU will be back in action Saturday, March 26 when they play host to 23rd ranked Denison University at 4 p.m. on the Carlton courts. This will be the first home match of the year for the CWRU squad.
“Dennison is the second best team in Ohio and there is an in-state rivalry,” said Gambrell. “We get them at home and are looking forward to playing in front of friends and family. We are confident and ready to go.”