Women’s tennis victorious on the road

The Case Western Reserve University women’s team was away for the first time this season and returned to Cleveland with a pair of victories in hand. The Spartans started the weekend with a match against No. 21 Hope College which they won 7-2, and followed up that performance with an 8-1 victory over Kalamazoo College.

In the opening match, the Spartans were able to win at first and third doubles while dropping the match on the second court. In singles action, CWRU was able to pull away as they won on five of the six courts. Hope came into the match only three spots behind the No. 18 Spartans at No. 21 in the national rankings.

The Spartans then traveled over to Kalamazoo, Michigan to face Kalamazoo College and were able to jump out to an early lead by sweeping all three doubles matches. They continued with a strong showing in singles, winning on five of the six courts.

Coach Kirsten Gambrell has been impressed about how her team has been improving week-to-week and highlighted two individuals who really stepped up this past weekend.

“[Fourth-year player] Nithya Kanagasegar won all four matches which is really big for her, she had a strong performance,” Gambrell said. “[Third-year player] Jessica Liu also won all of her matches and she has been getting better every week and will keep moving up our lineup. Both of these players stood out to me this weekend.”

In both matches, the first couple courts in both singles and doubles were highly competitive. However, CWRU showed its real strength in the last doubles court and the last half of the singles courts. The depth of the team was on full display this entire weekend.

“Our depth and talent at the bottom of the lineup really helped us pull both wins,” said Gambrell.“…The experienced older girls really help and lead us and the underclassmen are very talented. The combination really helps us.”

The team will return to Cleveland for their sixth home match of the season on Saturday, March 3 against No. 37 University of Rochester.

Even with the strong play, Gambrell knows her girls will need to keep improving if they are going to meet their goals.

“We will keep focusing on doubles,” she said. “We are only playing good doubles at times.”