Women’s tennis continues to overcome adversity


Daniel Brenner/Observer

Third-year co-captain Nithya Kanagasegar won all of her doubles matches as the women’s tennis team won three matches last weekend.

Ben Resnick, Staff Reporter

Coming into the season, Kristen Gambrell, the head coach of the women’s tennis team, did not know how her team would fare. Five of her 10 players were underclassmen with four of those five starting their first year at Case Western Reserve University. Injuries to some of the veterans put the underclassmen into even more important roles but as challenges have gotten tougher the team seems to just get stronger.

“I did not know what to expect with my team this year,” said Gambrell. “But we have continued to step up to the challenge every time there has been adversity—it has been a theme this year.”

The No. 19 Spartans were able to sweep their three matches this past weekend with victories over John Carroll University (JCU), No. 27 Lewis & Clark College and No. 31 Kenyon College.

CWRU opened up play on Saturday against JCU and were easily able to defeat the Blue Streaks 8-1. CWRU got off to a hot start in Saturday’s match with a sweep of all three doubles matches. The Spartans then went on to win second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth singles to seal the victory.

On Sunday, CWRU traveled down to Kenyon for a double header against two nationally ranked teams. The Spartans began play at 8 a.m. against Lewis & Clark. Part of the way through the match there was a weather delay in which the teams had to move inside to begin playing on the indoor courts.

Lewis & Clark took an early lead by winning two out of the three doubles matches. CWRU needed to rally against a tough opponent in order to win the match. The Spartans were able to win second, third, fourth and fifth singles in order to complete the comeback and win a nail-biter, 5-4.

The Spartans then got a brief break before facing Kenyon College. The match was Kenyon’s only match for the day so the Ladies were fresh coming into the match. CWRU was able to sweep the doubles matches before winning two out of the five singles matches to claim another tight 5-4 victory.

With the wins, the Spartans extended their win streak to a season-high six matches. Gambrell was very pleased with the way her team played all weekend and how they fought hard and did everything necessary to win.

“Doubles have been off and on for us this season but they were able to get big leads for us which was really helpful,” she said.

The Spartans have senior weekend coming up next as they face 40th-ranked Oberlin College on Friday, March 31 and State University of New York at Geneseo on Saturday, April 1. The weekend will include festivities to recognize this year’s fourth-year players, Jennifer Lowe and Kennedy Mulholland. Matches start at 5 p.m. and will be held at the Cleveland Skating Club.