The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team returned home, off of several straight matches on the road this past weekend against in-state rival Denison University. The Spartans came in ranked 21st nationally and Dennison came in ranked 23rd. CWRU jumped out to an early lead and were able to hold off the fierce competition to improve to 8-3 on the season.
Although Coach Kirsten Gambrell wanted to win all three doubles matches, she was still pleased with the way her doubles pairs opened up the match.
“We had chances to win all three courts,” said Gambrell. “Winning two [out of three] is really important to start the match as it gave us momentum and confidence going into singles.”
The Spartans won four of the six singles matches to win the match 6-3. CWRU dropped one and two singles but their three, four, five and six singles were all victorious, as three of the four CWRU victories came in straight sets.
Gambrell was happy with the way the singles played and feels that her top singles players are on the brink of a breakthrough.
“With a little more experience I think our top singles players could have won their matches,” said Gambrell.
A notable accomplishment on the day was when fourth-year student Surya Khadilkar set the program record for career victories as she notched her 61st singles win. Khadilkar is also one win away from tying the program’s doubles win recorded. Before this season is over Khadilkar will likely go down as the winningest tennis player in CWRU history. Khadilkar will have three chances to tie the record and even break it this weekend.
Gambrell is thankful for all that Khadilkar has done for her program and is excited to see what she can do to close out the season. Gambrell said she felt the doubles record would go down this weekend.
“[Khadilkar] has been very consistent for us her whole career,” said Gambrell. “She is very easy to coach and a very good teammate. I am going to miss her next year.”
CWRU will be back in action when they face off against 38th-ranked Oberlin College on Friday, April 1 at 5 p.m. They have two matches at home Sunday, April 3 against New York University and the College of Wooster where all five of the fourth-year students on the roster (Michelle Djohan, Khadilkar, Kaitlin Mills, Taylor Sweeney and Sara Zargham) will be recognized.