The #6 University of Chicago women’s tennis team heads into the UAA tournament tonight. The third-seeded Maroons hope to take Orlando’s Sanlando Park, the host site of the tournament, by storm.
Fourth-year and co-captain Jennifer Kung made it clear that the team will aim to compete as hard as it can.
“Our toughest opponents will most likely be Carnegie and Emory. Doubles will be key to us being successful against those teams. Jumping out to an early lead after doubles could make the difference, since both of those teams have very strong singles lineups,” Kung said. “Since the tournament is in Orlando, fitness will also be very important. It will probably be very hot and humid, so we’ll need to be ready to play long matches under those conditions.”
“Our goal is to win the UAA Championships,” first-year Megan Tang said. “We all need to stay positive, win all three doubles lines, and work our points. We can’t afford to give away any freebies. It won’t be easy, but if we play hard against the other teams, we definitely have a chance to win the tournament.”
The South Siders have had a very strong season so far. The women have won their last six matches and have an overall record of 16–4. They have also won 11 of their last 13 matches, with their only two losses coming at the hands of D-I opponents. They are 12–1 in their region, undefeated at home and against nationally ranked opponents.
Tonight, the Maroons are slated to play sixth-seeded Rochester Yellow Jackets.
Considering the women’s recent performances, their unranked opponents should not pose a major threat. The winner of the match will go on to play the winner of the Carnegie–Case Western match. Similarly, the loser of the Chicago-Rochester matchup will play the loser of Carnegie-Case.
The Carnegie Mellon and Emory women should prove to be the biggest challenge for the Chicago women; The Maroons have already bested Case and Wash U. second-ranked Emory, last year’s conference champion, and #4 Carnegie should put up a strong fight.
The Eagles (13–4), the defending national champions, have lost only two of their 16 matches. Both of them have come at the hands of ranked opponents: #1 Williams (16–1) and #7 Middlebury (12–1).
Going into tonight’s play, the Maroons will be confident coming off a strong season. Not only have they beaten their opponents, they have beaten them convincingly. While the numbers are impressive, they won’t help the Maroons take home the conference championship this weekend. To be successful, they will need to maintain the intensity they showed through the regular season and, above all, not let their focus slip. If they can manage that, a UAA championship might be a realistic bet.