After stringing together a pair of overriding victories last week, defeating both Kenyon and Oberlin by a score of 9–0, the Maroons set out to continue this pattern of dominance into their match against DII Lewis.
This trend proved withstanding as Chicago put together one of its most polished performances of the season. The No. 12 Maroons emerged from Lewis with a victory as they moved to 4–2 on the season and handed the Flyers (0–1) an opening loss to their season by virtue of a 6–3 victory.
Going back a few steps and looking at the Maroons’ approach heading into Lewis, it was clear that the South Siders had a very specific mindset in place for their long-anticipated matchup against the Flyers.
“The matches we’ve had this season have definitely tested us both with our technical skills we’ve been working on during practice, as well as how we deal with pressure on the court,” said fourth-year Megan Tang. “We have been in tight situations, and I think having these matches gives us a lot of opportunity to make the right plays when the pressure is on.”
Certainly, the pressure was on for the Maroons as they were able to muster two victories out of the three doubles matches. After watching the pairs of first-year Jasmine Lee and third-year Stephanie Lee and second-year Tiffany Chen and first-year Courtney Warren dominate their doubles matches and cruise to victories, the Maroons were forced to watch their No. 1 doubles seeded pair of Tang and first-year Ariana Iranpour drop a tough fought match 8–6.
With the top-seeded doubles pair losing for the Maroons, it was clear that the South Siders would have to depend on an entire team effort for victory. It was going to take victories from players at the rear of the line-up to help topple the tough Lewis team.
“We want to remember that in order to win the match, we need the entire team to fight, whether on the court or cheering from the sidelines,” Tang said.
Fortunately for the Maroons, the entire team was prepared to fight, and they were eventually able to win four of the six singles matches and thus win the matchup as a whole by a score of 6–3. Winners for Maroons included the No. 3 through No. 6 seeded women Lee, Chen, Warren, and third-year Sruthi Ramaswami were able to cruise to victories in straight sets. At the top of the board, both Iranpour and Tang dropped tough matchups that each went the full distance of three sets.
With the Maroons demonstrating the prowess of their depth, as well as one of the top rankings in the country, they now set their sights on the ITA Indoor Nationals that will occur in two weeks in Greencastle, IN. With one of their strongest teams in years, and the expertise of head coach Jay Tee at the helm, the Maroons will look to capture a national championship to bring back home to Hyde Park.