Women’s tennis splits two matches


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Women’s tennis splits two matches this week. They faced stiff competition from a Division II school.

The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team, ranked 18th in Division III, split their pair of matches this past weekend. The Spartans opened up with a 9-0 win over Centre College before falling 6-3 to Division II program Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). The Spartans are 3-2 on the campaign after the split this weekend.

Against Centre, the doubles teams got CWRU off to a quick start. Fourth-year player Nithya Kanagasegar and first-year player Madeleine Paolucci won the first doubles match 8-2, while fourth-year player Peyton Young and first-year player Nicole Cardwell replicated the victory, claiming an 8-2 victory in the second doubles match. Third-year player Jessica Liu and first-year player Mira Amin were victorious 8-1 in third doubles. Using this momentum, the Spartans were able to come out and sweep all six singles matches.

Coach Kirsten Gambrell had high praise for her team’s opponents and gave credit to her team’s experience for producing the blowout.

“[Centre College is] young and talented, they probably should’ve been closer,” said Gambrell. “The talent gap wasn’t too big, our experience helped as we played the bigger points better.”

Against IUP, the Spartans fell in the first and second doubles before Liu and fourth-year player Nina Cepeda were able to win the third doubles 8-3, keeping the match tight going into singles. In singles, Amin earned a 6-3, 6-3 win in the third singles, and Young claimed a straight-set win, 6-1, 6-3 in fifth singles.

Gambrell knows that the experience of playing a top Division II team will pay off later in the year.

“Playing Indiana does not affect our D3 national rank but still allows us to see quality competition early in the season,” said Gambrell.

Gambrell mentioned that she has been particularly impressed with the way Young has started the season and how Liu has shored up the third doubles pairing. She expects them both to be big contributors for the team moving forward.

The Spartans will be on the road next weekend as the team travels to Holland, Michigan to face 21st-ranked Hope College on Saturday, Feb. 24, and they then move on to face Kalamazoo College on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Moving forward, Gambrell wants her team to be more offensive and take control of their matches.

“We have been a little too defensive which can give the other teams confidence,” said Gambrell. “We will work on being more offensive. [O]ur girls can hit big and have weapons. We can be better in this area.”