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April 21, 2014

Stacked conference sure to provide grueling tournament

This weekend, the Maroons head to Florida in hopes of making a splash at arguably the most competitive conference championships in the country.

The UAA has long been a dominant force in women’s tennis. This year is no exception. The UAA has six of its eight teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. Emory, Carnegie Mellon, and Wash U are all in the top 10, with No. 12 Chicago, No. 22 Brandeis, and No. 23 Case Western slightly behind them.

“The UAA is a diverse conference because it encompasses schools from all over the country, and we don’t have the opportunity to play a lot of the teams before conference,” said third-year Kelsey McGillis (No. 3 singles). “This will be a competitive weekend, and no matter what ranking, every team will be ready to play and bring [its] best.”

In preparation for conference, the Maroons have played a number of highly competitive ranked teams, competing against six of the top ten teams in the country, including No. 1 Williams. Out of the teams in the UAA, Chicago has faced Carnegie, Case, and Wash U this season but will start off UAAs with a new matchup.

The Maroons begin the tournament against Brandeis (10–8). Brandeis will be a force to be reckoned with, as the Judges have won their last six games and are coming into UAAs on a hot streak. The Judges, much like the Maroons, had a very strong schedule this year. The South Siders have capitalized more, though, as Brandeis has been unable to gain any wins over a top 25–ranked team to date, while the Maroons have picked up four wins against ranked opponents.

“Brandeis is a bit of an unknown for us, which is a good thing, I believe,” head coach Jay Tee said. “We don’t have any expectations of them except that we know they’re a very strong team. As always, our doubles will be key so that we can relax and play good singles.”

The postseason is nothing new for the Maroons. Having placed in the top three at this tournament since 2007, Chicago has the personnel to do well again this year.

Third-year Megan Tang (No. 1 singles) goes into the tournament ranked No. 1 in the Central Region in singles. Tang and her doubles partner first-year Tiffany Chen are also at the very top of the list for the doubles rankings.

No. 2 Emory is the favorite going into the tournament. Last year the Eagles swept the UAA championship game 9–0 against Carnegie Mellon and went on to finish in the NCAA tournament. They have also earned four national championships since 2003.

The Maroons hit the courts against Brandeis in Altamonte Springs, FL at 8 a.m. on Friday.

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