The women’s tennis team went 2-1 at the Midwest Invitational in competition against three nationally ranked teams. No. 19 Case Western Reserve University fell to No. 8 University of Chicago while beating No. 30 Denison University and No. 31 DePauw University to round out the tournament.
All-in-all Head Coach Kristen Gambrell was very pleased with the way her team went out and competed this past weekend.
“Overall it was a very good trip,” said Gambrell. “We beat two very good teams.”
CWRU opened up competition by falling 8-1 to Chicago in the early match, just their third loss of the year, but defeated Denison University 7-2 later on the same day. The Spartans came back the second day of the tournament to top DePauw 6-3. CWRU finished the weekend with a strong 14-3 record for the season, one of the best marks in the country.
Gambrell felt the loss to Chicago was closer than the score looked and her team will be much more prepared if they see them again in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship tournament later this season.
“We had some chances early on in other doubles matches to take a lead which we missed,” said Gambrell. “It killed some confidence and momentum.”
Gambrell was very happy with the response from her team after a rare loss.
She stated that Denison is one of the team’s biggest rivals, as they are another top program from Ohio. Her team’s depth was a primary reason for the victory as Denison’s top talent could play with her squad but the lower matches broke the Spartans’ way.
Gambrell felt that the DePauw match was the match of the weekend. The DePauw team has very strong doubles players, but CWRU was able to take two of the three doubles matches, which secured them the overall match victory.
Notably the Spartans’ top doubles pair of third-year student Nithya Kanagasegar and second-year student Jessica Liu beat the Chicago duo ranked ahead of them regionally. Kanagasegar also defeated her opponent from Denison in singles play despite being lower ranked.
Kanagasegar is currently ranked No. 6 in singles, and the player from Denison is ranked fourth. The Spartans’ doubles pair is ranked sixth in the region and beat the third ranked team. Singles players ranked in the top eight and doubles pairs ranked in the top four qualify for the national tournament to be held from May 22-27.
CWRU will travel to Pittsburgh to face No. 12 Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, April 15. The Carnegie Mellon match will be the team’s last before the UAA tournament. The team soundly defeated Walsh University, a Division II opponent, on Wednesday, April 12 by a score of 7-2.