It is still very early in the highly vaunted Chicago squads’ season. However, the teams are not wasting anytime in battling it out with fellow nationally ranked opponents.
First, the men’s side will face No. 10-ranked Kenyon on Friday, followed by a matchup against No. 26 UW–Whitewater the next night. After a blowout win against Augustana (IL) this past Sunday with a final score of 9–0, the men’s team looks to continue its outstanding start to the season at 3–0.
Kenyon will be its toughest match up thus far, providing the Maroons with a true test against a worthy opponent. Kenyon wiped the board in singles matches, winning all six matches, and came close to winning the three doubles matches as well. The No. 3 doubles team of fell 9–8 and 9–7 to Indiana Tech.
This was certainly a commanding win for Kenyon, but the team has yet to face competition anywhere close to the ranks of the Chicago powerhouse led by second-year Nicolas Chua, second-year Luke Tsai, and UAA Athlete of the Week first-year Charles Pei.
Pei, a rookie, stepped in for Chua at the No. 1 singles spot to take the win 6–1 and 7–6 against second-year Samuel Totten of Augustana. Pei also contributed to a win alongside partner second-year Peter Leung with a final score of 8–4 versus the No. 2 doubles team for Augustana, first-year Jack Morkin and first-year Carl Christensen.
For the women’s team, this was just the second match of the season, but they are confident that they have the ability to beat UW–Milwaukee in their upcoming matchup on Saturday. In the last match, No. 15 Chicago defeated Chicago State 5–2 led by second-year Ariana Iranpour and first-year Rachel Kim. Both had singles wins, as well as a combined effort to overcome Chicago State’s No. 1 doubles team of third-year Hanna Pangestu and fourth-year Marnie Perez-Ochoa.
Iranpour defeated second-year Lorea Gamboa in the No.1 singles match 6–1 and 6–2, and Kim overcame Pangestu 6–3 and 6–4. Other notable performances included a win by first-year Kaela Bynoe and a powerful victory from fourth-year Stephanie Lee.
With a win against South Dakota this past Sunday, the Panthers have gained some momentum going into the match against the Maroons.
Despite their competitor’s performance, second-year Courtney Warren believes that “the team dynamic is so fun, and I think that everyone is excited and well-prepared for match number two,” proving that this Chicago women’s team is ready for this intense matchup.
Chicago is not only practicing hard to make each and every team member a little better on the court, but they are also coming together as a family unit. A team that truly bonds on and off the court is often tough to beat because of the continued determination and heart of the players.
The women will play UW–Milwaukee at River Glen Elite at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday, and the men will host both Kenyon and UW–Whitewater at 6 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday, respectively.