Women’s tennis crushes the Blue Gray Invite

Third-year Lily McCloskey went undefeated at this past Blue Gray Invite. McCloskey and fellow third-year Hannah Kassaie kicked off the invite by securing a win against Southwestern in first doubles 8-0.
Third-year Lily McCloskey went undefeated at this past Blue Gray Invite. McCloskey and fellow third-year Hannah Kassaie kicked off the invite by securing a win against Southwestern in first doubles 8-0.
Courtesy of Tim Phillis/CWRU Athletics

From March 23-25, the Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team competed in the Blue Gray Invite hosted by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Spartans came away with three dominant wins. CWRU then traveled to Gambier, Ohio on March 29 to play against Kenyon College, defeating their fellow Ohio rival narrowly 5-4. Now riding a four-match win streak, the Spartans currently stand at 10-3 for the season.

The Spartans kicked off the invite against Southwestern University on March 23. Third-years Hannah Kassaie/Lily McCloskey won first doubles 8-0, with their flawless play setting the tone for the rest of the match. Fourth-year Pallavi Goculdas/third-year Anna Kan took third doubles 8-5 while third-year Radha Patel/second-year Katalina Wang finished the doubles sweep with an 8-5 win in second doubles.

For the singles matches, Kassaie went on to earn yet another perfect win, going 6-0, 6-0 in first singles. Second-year Elsa Syed followed with a 6-1, 6-4 win in sixth singles. Wang took third singles 6-4, 6-4, McCloskey earned the second singles victory 6-1, 7-5 and Patel defeated her opponent in fifth singles 6-1, 6-3. Kan finished off the 9-0 sweep with a comeback win in fourth singles 3-6, 7-5, 10-7.

The following day, the Spartans were met with a little more resistance. The Spartans played against the host team, starting off the match with a sweep of the doubles. Patel/Wang kicked off the match with a victory in second doubles 8-1. Kassaie/McCloskey also notched a win in first doubles, going 8-4. Wang/Goculdas wrapped up the sweep with a close 8-6 match in third doubles.

Once again, Kassaie took over the first singles with her elite play, giving CWRU a 4-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-1 victory. This win was the 61st of Kassaie’s career, launching her into second place in program history in singles victories. She needs just four more wins to tie former Spartan Surya Khadilkar for first.

In sixth singles, second-year Asha Shukla clinched the match by winning 6-2, 6-2. Patel and McCloskey notched the final two wins for the Spartans, with Patel taking fifth singles 6-4, 6-1 and McCloskey earning the second singles victory in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. Mary Washington earned wins in third singles and fourth singles, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Spartans, who came away with the 7-2 win.

CWRU played in their final match of the invite against Gustavus Adolphus College, coming away with the 9-0 win to finish the Blue Gray Invite 3-0. Kassaie/McCloskey took first doubles in perfect fashion, defeating their opponents 8-0. Patel/Wang added an 8-1 victory in second doubles while Goculdas/Wang took third doubles 8-5. Kassaie earned yet another perfect win in first singles, going 6-0, 6-0 to increase the Spartans’ lead. Kan won fourth singles 6-0, 6-1, Shukla took fifth singles 6-2, 6-2, fourth-year Chloe Ku won sixth singles 6-3, 6-2 and Wang won a thrilling third singles to complete the sweep with a 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 victory.

The following Friday, the Spartans hit the road again to take on Kenyon. Though Kenyon at the time stood at 5-5 overall, they forced the Spartans to truly earn the win. This time, the Spartans did not sweep the doubles matches. CWRU lost second doubles 4-8, but Goculdas/Kan evened the score with an 8-4 win in third doubles. Kassaie/McCloskey put the Spartans on top with a tiebreaker in first doubles, taking the 8-7 (3) win. Kan finished her singles match first, taking the 6-4, 6-3 victory in fourth singles to give the Spartans a 3-1 lead. The Owls, however, responded with a win in third singles. Kassaie brought the Spartans one step closer to clinching the match with a 7-6 (1), 6-3 win in first singles. The Owls pulled off a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 win in second singles, but Patel clinched the match for the Spartans with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win in fifth singles. Kenyon finished the match with a win by retirement in sixth singles, giving the Spartans the 5-4 overall win.

The Spartans will get to play on home court for the next weekend as they host Division II opponent Walsh University on April 5 and conference rival the University of Rochester on April 6. Both matches will take place at the Mayfield Village Racquet Club.

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