When you ask people to give a list of winter sports, their answers are typically going to include things like basketball, wrestling, swimming, and diving. However, those people would be forgetting one sport that is very much in season right now: tennis. Specifically, the No. 12 Maroons women’s tennis team kicked off the beginning of its 2015 campaign this past Sunday against the DI University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Despite their best efforts, the Maroons (0–1) were not able to pull off the upset as they dropped the match to the Panthers (1–3) by a score of 34.
While the South Siders may not have been able to take home the win on Sunday, this does not mean they came unprepared. Since the fall season wrapped up a few months ago, the Maroons have been consistently training for a season that they hope will end with a national championship.
“During the offseason, we focused a lot on fitness and did a lot of conditioning, lifting, and hitting in order to prepare,” said fourth-year Megan Tang. “We also focused a lot on improving our doubles positioning.”
As for the actual matches on Sunday, things began with a trio of doubles matches. Of the three pairs the Maroons sent to the courts, only one was able to win its match. That pair was the grouping of first-year Courtney Warren and second-year Tiffany Chen, who won the second-seeded doubles match by an impressive game score of 8–4.
Unfortunately, the other two Chicago pairs were not able to score victories in their matches. The pairing of Tang and first-year Ariana Iranpour dropped their set by a score of 5–8, while first-year Jasmine Lee and third-year Sruthi Ramaswami also fell, in their case by a score of 3–8. Since the Maroons were only able to win one of the three doubles matches, they had to cede the doubles point to the Panthers, leaving them with an early 0–1 deficit heading into singles play.
In order to top the Panthers, the Maroons would need to win four of the six singles matches. While things initially looked very hopeful for Chicago in singles play, with five of the six women winning the opening set, the Maroons ultimately faltered as they were only able to win three of the six singles matches, thus dropping the contest by a total score of 3–4.
Winners for the Maroons in single play included No. 2–seeded Iranpour, who won her match in consecutive sets by a score of 6–3, 6–4; No. 3–seeded Chen, who won in straight sets by a score of 6–1, 6–4; and the No. 4–seeded Lee, who also won in straight sets by a score of 7–5, 6–2. The other three Maroons (Tang, Ramaswami, and Warren) all went to three sets in their matches, but none were able to close the deal.
While it was a tough opening loss for the Maroons, they know that they faced a strong opening opponent, and their season still looks promising.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Tang said. “I know we have the potential to be one of the best teams in the country,;we just have to put in the work, take care of our bodies, and make the best plays during matches.”
With their heads held high, the Maroons will take to the courts again on February 6 at 5 p.m. as they trek to Dennison University for their second match of the season.