After having dropped their first match of the season against DI UW–Milwaukee, the No. 12 Maroons (3–2) looked to right this ship in a big way this past weekend as they had four matches over the course of three days. After the dust settled from the daunting quartet of weekend challenges, the South Siders had a trio of wins in hand and momentum heading into the home stretch of the indoor tennis season.
The first match of the weekend for the Maroons was a showdown against No. 28 Denison in Westlake, OH. Knowing that the Big Red of Denison had an upperclassman-heavy lineup with loads of experience, the Maroons were aware it would take a considerable amount of effort to knock off their Midwestern foes.
“We want to remember that in order to win the match, we need the entire team to fight,” said fourth-year Megan Tang, “Whether it’s on the court or cheering from the sidelines.”
In the end, the Maroons were able to knock off the Big Red by a score of 7–2. In singles play, the Maroons topped Denison 5–1, a charge led by No. 1-seed Tang and No. 2-seed first-year Ariana Iranpour. Similarly, the Maroons were able to go 2–1 on the doubles side, which included a win by the pair of Iranpour and Tang, who defeated their Denison opponents 8–6.
After knocking off Denison (1–1) to improve their record to 1–1, the Maroons took on No. 23 conference foe Case Western. The Maroons and the Spartans have been heated, competitive adversaries for the past several years, and this match added another layer to the rivalry.
After falling behind 2–1 with doubles play completed, the Maroons knew that they would need four wins out of the six matches on the singles side in order to claim victory as a team. While the likes of Tang and Iranpour gobbled up a pair of wins to aid the Maroons, their efforts were not enough, as the Maroons fell just short against the Spartans, who improved their record to 2–1, Chicago lost the match 5–4 and dropped its record to 1–2.
Having split their opening two games of the weekend against Denison and Case Western, the Maroons were hungry for a pair of victories on Sunday against Kenyon and No. 32 Oberlin. As they hoped, at the end of the day on Sunday the Maroons had a pair of wins to notch onto their belts as they swept both Kenyon and Oberlin by a score of 9–0.
Against Kenyon (0–1), the South Siders were absolutely dominant across the board, as all players took home victories on the day. Standouts for the Maroons include singles players first-year Jasmine Lee and second-year Tiffany Chen, who both defeated their opponents, 6–2 and 6–0, respectively.
After having dispatched Kenyon, the now 2–2 Maroons set their sights on the last leg of their weekend marathon, a match against Oberlin. Asserting their dominance, the Maroons swept the Yeowomen (0–1), an effort led in part by the likes of first-year Courtney Warren who “bagled” her opponent in straight sets, winning both sets 6–0. Having defeated Denison, the Maroons improved to 3–2 on the season and had reason to look forward to the rest of the season.
“The matches we’ve had this season have definitely tested us both with our technical skills and how to deal with pressure on the court,” said Tang. “We have at times been in tight situations, and I think having all of these matches gives us a lot of opportunity to makes the right plays when the pressure is on.”
The Maroons’ next match will be this Saturday at Lewis University at 4 p.m.