SPORTS

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April 7, 2014

Aerial attack stuns Warhawks, Flying Dutch in 2–1 weekend

Third-year Megan Tang anchored the Maroons in their third place finish at the Midwest Invitational in Madison, WI this past weekend. Competing in the No. 1 slot for both singles and doubles, Tang finished the weekend impressively by losing only one of the six matches she competed in.

The Midwest Invitational was host to a plethora of talented and highly competitive teams. Strength of schedule has been a staple of Chicago’s season this year, and this past weekend was no exception. The No. 12 Maroons (7–7) went 2–1, with wins over Hope (8–4–1) and UW–Whitewater (16–5). Chicago’s only loss this weekend came against No. 11 DePauw (13–4).

Chicago entered the tournament with very specific goals in mind.

“This weekend especially, we focused on each point independently. By not focusing on the score and just each point, it allowed us to relax and play more freely,” Tang said.

This was evident early as the South Siders earned a hard-fought win over Hope, 5–4.

The Flying Dutch grabbed momentum early, winning two of the three doubles matches to begin the day. Chicago was able to fight back, however, winning four of the six singles matches. Second-year Helen Sdvizhkov, at No. 3 singles, went down a set early to third-year Carli Capestany but came back to win in three games.

Later that day the South Siders faced regional rival DePauw. Losing all three doubles matches proved to be too much for the Maroons to stage a comeback. The Tigers were able maintain dominance the entire day, beginning by sweeping doubles and finishing by winning four of the six singles matches. Fourth-year Meg Crowley and third-year Julie Wittwer were able to pull out wins for DePauw in both singles and doubles. Fourth-year Caroline Emhardt and third-year Maggie MacPhail’s defeat of Tang and first-year Tiffany Chen (8–4) marked Tang’s only loss of the weekend.

Chicago proved resilient, bouncing back the next day against UW–Whitewater to secure a third-place finish. A more promising showing of doubles play had No. 1 doubles duo Tang and Chen earning a close victory, while No. 3 doubles pair, second-year Sruthi Ramaswami and third-year Maggie Schumann, were also victorious. This was the first time the Maroons had won the majority of their doubles matches at the tournament.

“A turning point this weekend was when we got up 2–1 after doubles against Whitewater. That gave us a lot of confidence going into singles, which showed in our results,” Tang said.

The Warhawks were never able to come back from their slow start, losing four matches, all in two sets. Ramaswami and third-year Kelsey McGillis earned decisive wins over their opponents 6–0, 6–1, setting a precedent for the rest of the day.

The Maroons have played against the best teams in the nation and know what they need to improve on.

“For the rest of the season, we want to continue working on being aggressive at the net in doubles, getting more first serves in, and converting at crucial points in matches,” Tang said.

The Maroons are looking to finish strong at this Friday’s home match against Case at 2 p.m., which kicks off the last weekend of regular season play for the Maroons before they compete at UAAs.

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