After a close match against Ball State (4–1), Chicago (3–0) is still undefeated this season. The Maroons defeated the Cardinals 4–3 on Friday evening in Muncie, Indiana. Last year, the Maroons won 4–3 as well.
“This was our first real test in our schedule, so it was great to see the intensity that we brought right away in the doubles,” fourth-year Jen Kung said. “I think we really surprised them with how aggressive we were and how much pressure we were putting on them.”
In singles, fourth-year and co-captain Kendra Higgins lost her matches 6–3, 6–1; fourth-year and fellow co-captain Carmen VacaGuzman won 6–4, 6–3; Kung won 6–3, 6–1; Linden Li lost 4–6, 6–2, 6–1; first-year Kelsey McGillis lost 6–2, 6–1; and first-year Megan Tang won 6–0, 6–3.
“I think they were much better this year in singles though than they were last year,” Kung said. “I think they added a couple of new players who are very good.”
In doubles, Higgins and VacaGuzman defeated their opponents 8–2, Kung and Li won 8–3, and McGillis and Tang won 8–7.
“[Megan] really came out of her shell and brought a lot of energy to the court,” McGillis said. “As my doubles partner, she really pumped me up, and it helped us get that close win in our match. Winning all three doubles was huge for us, since we have been working really hard in practice to improve our doubles skills. It was good to see that the hard work is paying off.”
Considering their early success, the Maroons have a promising season ahead of them.
“Most of us played well,” VacaGuzman said. “The best thing that came out of that match is the energy; the freshmen are learning to compete and be part of a highly ambitious team, and it's nice to see the fight in them.”
Chicago cannot revel in their victory for long, though, as they still have tough matches ahead.
“I wouldn't get too excited over this win,” Kung said. “Of course it's great to beat a D-I team, but we realize that other top D-III teams like Williams and Emory are better than Ball State.”
“NCAAs are still far away. Our main focus right now is preparing for ITA National Indoors at the beginning of March.”