Chicago (1–0) defeated Kalamazoo (0–1) by a score of 9–0 at Markin Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan this past Sunday. The Maroons are ranked fourth in the nation and first in the region, while the Hornets are ranked 21st regionally. The Maroons also beat the Hornets last year by the same score.
“With four new [first-years] on the team, we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our team was still energetic and competitive,” third-year Linden Li said. “Doubles is something that we always try to focus on during practice, and it certainly showed today.”
In the doubles competition, fourth-years and co-captains Carmen VacaGuzman and Kendra Higgins defeated their Kalamazoo counterparts 8–2. Li and first-year Maggie Schumann won 8–0, and first-years Megan Tang and Kelsey McGillis won 8-5.
In the singles competition, McGillis won her matches by finals of 6–2 and 6–3, Li won 6–1, 6–1, VacaGuzman won 6–1, 6–1, Tang won 6–0, 6–0, Schumann won 6–1, 6–0, and Higgins won 6–2, 6–3. Higgins is currently the region’s top ranked player in #1 singles.
“After this match, I feel like we definitely have a strong team for the season,” Tang said. “It was a good way to start the season, because we won every single match of the lineup without much difficulty. I can tell that we will improve in the upcoming matches as our strategies and technical skills solidify.”
“The new girls did great—they were energetic, fought hard, and were really focused throughout the entire match,” VacaGuzman said.
Still, the women have their eyes on the prize.
“There is always room for improvement,” Li said, “but with this opening match, we are starting off strong. I think if we keep going at it, keep fighting and working hard every practice, we will be on our way to a national championship.”
They hope to build off their performance against Kalamazoo and, coming off such a high start to the season, remain grounded.
“We don’t want to expect every match to be this successful, so these results will only motivate us even more to compete to the best of our ability,” McGillis said. “But still, overall an awesome start to the season, and we hope to have lots of matches like this.”