Women’s tennis swept by nationally ranked Washington, Chicago

Peter Cooke, Sports Editor

It took a pair of nationally ranked programs this weekend in Chicago to stop the Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team’s 10-match win streak. The Spartans traveled west to take on conference rivals No. 11 Washington University and No. 6 University of Chicago. The matches mark the start of the final phase of the Spartans’ season as they gear up for the University Athletic Association Championship next week, April 27-29.

The women began their weekend with a 5-2 loss against the Bears, their first loss in nearly two months since a loss at Division I Cleveland State University on Feb. 19. The Bears pulled through by virtue of their three ranked singles in the Central region. No. 4 Natalie Tingir defeated Case’s sole ranked player, junior Erika Lim. 6-3, 6-2. No. 18 Kate Klein and No. 24 Theresa Petraskova defeated Marianne Bonnano and Emily Pham in straight sets, respectively. Case’s lone singles win came at the number four spot, where freshman Alexandra Lim defeated the Maroons’ Paige Madara 6-2, 6-3. The match’s other two singles went unfinished. Bonnano and Pham won their doubles pro-set 8-4 against Petraskove and Tingir.

The Spartans then faced the top-ranked school in the Central region and the No. 6 team in the nation. The Maroon proved too much to handle and swept Case 9-0. Chicago, which boasts the top two players in the region – No. 1 Kendra Higgins and No. 2 Jennifer Kung – played to sweeps in all of the singles matches. Higgins and Kung defeated Erika Lim and Bonnano. Chicago’s other ranked player, No. 13 Carmen Vacaguzman, defeated Emily Pham 6-2, 6-3.

The bottom half of the singles lineup fared no better, as Chicago’s Linden Li beat Alexandra Lim 6-0, 6-0. In the final two singles, Kelsey McGillis defeated Bianca Patel 6-1, 6-0 and Megan Tang topped Kathleen Evers 6-3, 7-5.

The top doubles matchup was fiercely competitive for the women; the Central region’s No. 1 duo of Higgins and Vacaguzman took on the No. 4 sisters Alexandra and Erika Lim. The Maroons showed why they’re the region’s top seed, but not without a fight from the Spartans; Chicago won 8-4. Chicago’s other regionally ranked pair, No. 12 Kung and Li, also had a close match, outlasting Bonnanno and Pham 8-6. In the final doubles competition, McGillis and Tang beat Evers and Patel 8-2.

The Spartans will round out their final regular season match tomorrow, Saturday, April 21 against Wittenburg University. The match will be played in Canton on the Walsh University campus at 10 a.m. The Spartans will then migrate south for the UAA Championship, which is currently scheduled for April 27-29 in Altamonte Springs, Fl. Case finished seventh last year in the UAA, going 1-2 in the championship.