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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Youthful women look to hit an ace this spring

The Case Western Reserve University women’s tennis team will attempt to match the success of their counterparts as they embark on the 2012 spring season. After a successful season in the fall, the women are ranked No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Central Region.

The Spartan women have been on a steady track of improvement over the past few seasons. After finishing 10-13 in 2009-10, the team finished on the winning side of .500 with a 9-8 record in 2010-11. So far the women are 3-0 after the fall season and are regionally ranked for just the second time in school history, an Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 14 spot in the Central Region.

The 2011-12 team for Case is one filled with youthful exuberance: the team’s roster consists of three juniors, one sophomore, and seven freshmen.

The leader for the Spartans is the program’s highest-ranked player in team history, junior Erika Lim. As the top singles player for the Spartans, Lim went 8-3 in the fall and was second at United States Tennis Association/ITA Central Region Championship. Lim is currently ranked the No. 2 singles player in the region, is 41-21 overall in her career, and has a 4-3 record so far this spring. Her record doesn’t quite speak for the quality of play that Lim has produced in the first month of play this spring. Her three losses came against nationally ranked No. 12 Kenyon College, No. 19 Oberlin College, and Division I Cleveland State University. Lim has a pair of statement wins, beating No. 2 Denison University’s Sarah Short in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 and No. 20 Allegheny College’s Carolyn Shetter 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets.

Without any seniors in the lineup, Lim will help lead the team with junior captain Kathleen Evers. Evers, who matched up in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the fall, had an impressive 6-3 season.

Bianca Patel will play a crucial role in the middle of the lineup. Patel was 5-3 in the fall playing predominately at the third and fourth slots.

The Spartans will also rely on freshmen Marianne Bonnano and Alison Althans. Both have played consistently in the top lineup, where Bonnano went 7-3 in the fall, with impressive 2-0 and 1-0 marks at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions; Althans went 5-2.

Rounding out the Spartans’ squad are junior Emily Pham and freshmen Elisse Cho, Morgan Hertik, Sitara Koneru, Angie Korpusik, and Alexandra Lim. Each of these will be vying for the final singles slots.

Sisters Erika and Alexandra Lim hold the program’s highest doubles ranking in school history. They went 3-1 in the USTA/ITA Central Region Championship and were 11-6 in their first season playing together. The sisters, ranked No. 7 in the Central Region, will look to continue to climb the rankings as they mature and improve their skills together.

Evers and Patel are the team’s second doubles squad and had a remarkable fall season, going 9-4 with an impressive 4-1 record in tournament play.

The Spartans will travel south for their spring break trip, to face Agnes Scott College, Birmingham Southern University, Huntingdon College, Principia College, and Oglethorpe University over the course of the next week.

The women will compete in the UAA Championship Tournament on April 27-29 in Altamonte Springs.

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