Women’s tennis comes out swinging

The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team began their season with wins. The No. 18 Spartans hosted three opponents this past weekend and went 2-1 in those matches.

CWRU started their spring 2018 season with a 6-3 win against No. 16 Trinity University at the Cleveland Skating Club on Feb. 9.

Head Coach Kristen Gambrell remembers playing Trinity last season over spring break and was very pleased with her team’s improvement over the same opponent.

“What a big difference 10 months makes,” said Gambrell. “We started the match winning first and second doubles pretty easily, and we were ahead the whole way.”

With only four practices before the team’s first match, Gambrell was ecstatic about how her team played together in their first match

“I couldn’t have mapped out a better start,” said Gambrell. “Things went our way from the beginning, we couldn’t have come together as a team any quicker and any better.”

Next for the Spartans was University Athletic Association rival and No. 9 University of Chicago. The Maroons came in and defeated CWRU 6-3 at the Cleveland Racquet Club the following day.

Gambrell was pleased with how her team competed against a top 10 team but knows they could have done more and potentially taken the match.

“We lost first doubles 9-8 which was disappointing,” said Gambrell. “If we had one that match and went up 2-1 I think we would have had a good chance to win, I was not happy with the way we responded to that loss.”

In-state opponent Denison University then traveled up to the Cleveland Skating Club on Feb. 10. The Spartans easily dispatched the Big Red 8-1.

Despite the final score, there were some tense moments in the match which made Gambrell nervous.

“Doubles were very close, at one point we were losing all three doubles matches. I don’t know how we won 8-1; we somehow pulled it out,” said Gambrell.

CWRU hosts Centre College on Friday, Feb. 16 and Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Cleveland Skating Club.

Moving forward, Gambrell is emphasizing third doubles as she feels that is an area her team can greatly improve. Gambrell knows the team is talented and has lots of potential.

“They could be the best team I have had,” she said.