On a rainy Sunday, the Maroons were forced a few blocks north to the indoor courts at XS Tennis. It was a special day not only in that it commemorated the hard work and effort put forth by the three graduating fourth-years on the squad, but the match was also against Chicago’s biggest rival, the Wash U Bears. At No. 5, Chicago was looking to bounce back after a tight 5–4 loss on Friday to Case Western, and the No. 13 Bears were on the docket.
The day started off well for the South Siders when they took an early advantage with victories in all three of the doubles matches. This meant that the Maroons would only need to take two of the remaining six matches to send the fourth-years off with a win over Wash U. It wasn’t close. The Maroons won five of the six singles matches and decisively snatched the victory 8–1. Second-years David Liu and Luke Tsai garnered wins for the Maroons during both singles matches for the weekend and won each of their matches in straight sets as well.
One of the three fourth-years honored Sunday, Gordon Zhang, was particularly impressed with his team’s performance and its growth throughout his tenure as a Maroon. “Senior Day was a special day. It was the first time we beat Wash U in five years, and we put together our most complete match this year. We took a tough loss against Case Western on Friday but the team did an unbelievable job to regroup for our match against Wash U,” Zhang said.
Zhang also expounded on the team’s improvement and development over his four years in the program. “Looking back to my first year, this team has come a long way. We ended my first year ranked 30th in the country and last year we finished in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Our goals are to win UAAs and to win NCAAs, and we will continue to work hard both on and off the court to achieve our aspirations,” the fourth-year said.
Fellow fourth-year Bobby Adusumilli echoed Zhang’s sentiments about the program’s growth. “The biggest thing that I thought about yesterday was simply how much the UChicago tennis program has improved in my four years here. The team works harder than ever before, everyone gets along great, the coaches have done a lot to put us in situations to be successful, and we all really enjoy playing tennis and competing,” he said. “We got the win yesterday against Wash U, but the biggest things I took away from the match is that for the most part everyone was smiling and having fun on the court, competing hard, and making the necessary tactical and mental adjustments to close out really close matches. Probably the most fun match that I have been a part of in my four years at Chicago.”
Adusumilli, Zhang, and the rest of the team’s post-season dreams begin after the final regular season match against Gustavus Adolphus, when they travel to Altamonte Springs, FL for the UAA Championship.