Women’s tennis can’t keep pace with Carnegie Mellon

The women’s tennis team traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past Saturday to take on the 11th-ranked Carnegie Mellon University Tartans (CMU). Case Western Reserve University’s women’s tennis team came out swinging and gave the Tartans all they could handle as they pushed several matches to three sets but ultimately proved not to be enough as CWRU fell 8-1.

Even after the loss the No. 19 Spartans stand at 15-4 on the season, while the Tartans improved to 15-6 overall with the victory.

Head Coach Kristen Gambrell was satisfied with the team’s performance and knows her team is close to a breakthrough before championship season gets underway.

“We had match points and set points at a couple positions and weren’t able to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Gambrell. “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t handle those big points better but I think everyone learned a lot from that experience.”

Carnegie Mellon was able to open up a 2-1 lead on the doubles courts. Third-year student Nithya Kanagasegar and second-year student Jessica Liu fell 8-4 at first doubles, while third-year student Peyton Young and first-year student Kendal Holladay lost in second doubles. At third doubles, third-year student Nina Cepeda and first-year student Katrin Gurvich were able to take the match over the Tartans pairing with an 8-5. The win at third doubles gave the Spartans a real chance to make things interesting going into the singles matches.

The Spartans battled hard in the singles matches but ultimately came up just short on all six courts. Three of the singles matches went to a third set, with Kanagasegar at first singles, Liu at third singles and Cepeda at fourth singles all just getting edged out by the CMU players.

The Spartans got another crack at CMU this week at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Thursday, April 20. Results were not available at press time. CWRU continues the tournament with two additional matches, one on April 21 and one on April 22.

“Knowing we were right there will give us some confidence for a rematch this Thursday at UAA’s,” said Gambrell.

Gambrell has big expectations for her team heading into UAA play but knows they have prepared to handle the caliber of competition they will see.
“At UAA’s this week, my expectation is for our team to trust their game in the big moments and trust the hard work we’ve put in all year on and off the court,” said Gambrell. “Our goal is to beat a top-15 team.”