This weekend the No. 6 Maroons traveled to Pepper Pike, OH to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Team Indoor Championship. At the end of the three-day-long tournament where the top-ranked South Siders competed against some of the best squads in the county, Chicago earned silver, dropping just one game: the final match to champion No. 5 Emory.
The Maroons entered the tournament undefeated and began their weekend by facing off against No. 8 Trinity (Texas). Chicago would go on to edge the Tigers 6–3. Doubles plays set the tone for the competitive matchup between the two teams. Second-year Nicolas Chua and second-year David Liu paired up at No. 1 doubles, defeating Trinity’s fourth-year Adam Krull and second-year Matt Tyer 8–3. First-year Charlie Pei and second-year Peter Leung also earned a win in doubles play. However, the Maroons were unable to sweep doubles play as third-year Sven Kranz and fourth-year Gordon Zhang dropped their No. 3 doubles match 8–3.
In singles play, the Tigers earned wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, while Chicago was able to win the four other singles matches. Pei, Leung, and Liu all earned wins in both the doubles and singles columns on the day.
The win over Trinity represented the first win a Chicago team has had at the ITA Indoor Tournament.
The talented young squad was not satisfied and they took the momentum from Friday’s win into Saturday’s match against UAA rival Case Western.
Doubles play set the tone again with the same No. 1 and No. 2 doubles duos securing wins with 8–6 and 8–4 scores, respectively. Kranz was able to bounce back with a singles win in a tie-breaker over Case Western third-year James Fojtasek, who had edged Kranz in doubles play. In total, five Maroons earned singles victories to defeat the No. 14 Spartans 7–2. The loss ended Case Western’s undefeated streak and kept the Maroons with a goose egg in the loss column. The win also marked the fifth ranked opponent Chicago edged this season.
On the last day of competition, the South Siders faced off against No. 5 Emory. Emory, who entered the tournament at the No. 3 seed, handedly beat the Maroons 7–2. Doubles play proved to be the downfall for the Maroons as they dropped all three matches. However, all three games were close with Chicago only scoring nine less points across all three matches. Chua lost a tight game to Emory fourth-year Rafe Mosetick 7–5, 6–7 (4–7), 10–6. Two of these games went into tiebreakers. First-year Max Liu and second-year David Liu earned the sole wins of the day at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
“We are happy with the way the weekend turned out, but we aren't quite satisfied. We will use the loss to Emory as motivation to keep on working hard during the season,” Kranz said.
“I am extremely proud of the team. We played against the best teams in the country and we made history in the process. On our way to the championship match, we defeated the defending champions as well as the home team on their own courts,” Kranz said.
The South Siders compete against No. 35 Denison in Indianapolis this Saturday. The match begins at 2:30 p.m. and represents the seventh ranked team the Maroons have faced this season.