The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team defeated Oberlin College 8-1 at the Heisman Field House in Oberlin, Ohio on Saturday, April 7. The No. 16 Spartans improved to 12-3 on the year with the win, while Oberlin fell to a record of 11-7.
CWRU was off the past few weeks, as Head Coach Kirsten Gambrell was looking to get her team healthy and fit heading into the remainder of the season. The Oberlin match served as a litmus test two weeks before the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament.
An emphasis Gambrell maintained this season was keeping an edge on opponents in doubles. The team took this to heart, as the Spartans swept all three doubles matches.
The team earned an 8-5 victory at first doubles, with fourth-year player Nithya Kanagasegar and first-year player Madeleine Paolucci defeating Oberlin’s fourth-year players Sarah Hughes and Mayada Audeh. The Spartans were also victorious at second doubles, with fourth-year player Nina Cepeda and third-year player Jessica Liu picking up a 8-3 win over second-year players Rainie Heck and Delaney Black. The final and closest doubles match ended in a 9-8 win for fourth-year player Peyton Young and first-year player Nicole Cardwell, as they bested fourth-year player Jackie McDermott and second-year player Lena Rich.
Oberlin jumped back into the match at first singles, as Kanagasegar fell to Hughes in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3. The Spartans responded and put the match away as they were able to win the rest of their singles matches. Paolucci picked up a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Heck at second singles, while Liu defeated Audeh at third singles in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Cepeda earned a 7-5, 6-4 victory over McDermott in the fourth singles match, and Young was victorious 6-2, 7-5 over Black in the fifth singles match. Cardwell won over Rich, 6-0, 6-0 at sixth singles.
The Spartans’ depth has been on full display recently, as they have been faring well lower in the lineup. Gambrell emphasized that in order to compete in the UAA Championships in two weeks, her entire team will have to be playing their best tennis.
The Spartans will play their last match on Thursday, April 12 before the UAA Championships, as the team faces Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. Walsh is a Division II program that currently has a 10-7 record on the season. They are currently on a six-game winning streak with a 5-3 home record. After this, the team will prepare for the conference tournament in Altamonte Springs, Florida on April 27-29.