he UChicago men’s and women’s tennis teams continued to dominate the court at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region finals, sweeping both spots in the men’s and women’s singles finals. Champions of both finals will advance to the ITA Oracle Cup in Rome, GA.
Monday at the Stagg Tennis Courts saw first-year Claire Handa play against second-year Marjorie Antohi. Leading up to the finals, Handa had already defeated opponents from Hope College, John Carroll University, Oberlin College, and Wash U, while Antohi had overcome players from Allegheny College, Kenyon College, and Case Western, as well as two Wash U players.
Playing very evenly, Handa and Antohi ended the first set with a 7–5 win for Handa. She fell behind in the second set, trailing 6–5 to Antohi, but managed to come back and win the set 7–6. She claimed her first ITA Central Region trophy and became an All-American for her skills on the court.
On the men’s side, first-year Jeremy Yuan and second-year Erik Kerrigan faced off for the title at the Stagg Courts on a windy Tuesday. The match, which lasted almost three hours, began with Yuan immediately snatching the first set with a score of 6–1. Kerrigan struck back in the second set to win 6–3, creating a tie, with the regional title depending on the third set.
The third set began with a 3–0 lead from Yuan, but Kerrigan battled his way to a score of 5–3, needing one more win to take it all. Not giving up, Yuan managed to score four points in a row, finishing the set 7–5 and claiming the ITA Central Region title. “At this meet, I thought I kept my emotions in check very well,” Yuan said. “It was very windy, and it seemed like it was about to storm. Both of us were having trouble getting good rhythm with our shots, but I thought I focused on myself and made him play very well.”
Handa and Yuan will both advance to the ITA Oracle Cup in Rome, GA, where they will play in the singles tournament from October 12–15. They will also be joined by second-year Tyler Raclin, who will partner with Yuan in the doubles tournament. “The team is working on attacking more and trying to get to the net more,” Yuan said. “We are working on playing aggressively and taking the game to our opponents.”