This weekend, the Maroons return to action, although the difference in competition level is notable. On Saturday, the women’s team will take on both Principia College and John Carroll University at home, while the men head to Cleveland, OH for the ITA Division III Indoor Championships.
The No. 10 Chicago women are hosting a three-team tournament on Saturday. The Maroons face off against Principia College at 1 p.m., followed by a quick turnaround and another matchup against John Carroll University at 4 p.m. Principia is 0–2 this season, and John Carroll is 1–1, although their athletics websites seem a little incomplete.
The Maroons are coming off dominant performances last weekend, in which they defeated both No. 22 Denison and No. 25 DePauw 8–1. They are now 4–0 in 2017, and looking to continue the win streak this weekend. First-year Marjorie Antohi is an important factor in the team’s success. “We are looking to improve on consistency and not give up any free points,” Antohi said.
Antohi said that the team has worked extensively in doubles this week in an effort to lock up three points early on against their opponents this weekend, as well as next weekend at ITA Championships. The team is already in good form, and has been playing a lot of points in practice for “polishing and fixing small things to make sure that we stay dominant on the court,” she said.
These two matches stand as preparation for the women’s ITA Championships, which will occur next weekend. “We are excited for this weekend and for ITA’s next week, and I think it’ll be a good experience regardless of the result as long as we keep competing and doing what we’ve been working on it practice,” Antohi said.
The No. 5 Maroon men are looking sharp going into this weekend’s ITA Championships, and look ready to improve on last year’s runner-up finish. On Friday they will face No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer in the first round of the eight-team tournament. The Sagehens are 5–1 this season, and are currently riding a 4-match win streak.
They are no match, however, for the Maroons, who are 6–0 in 2017 and coming off commanding 9–0 and 8–1 victories against No. 33 Denison and No. 34 DePauw, respectively. With momentum on their side, Chicago looks to come out strong and compete against elite competition.
“We are looking forward to finally have the opportunity to play the best teams in the country,” fourth-year Max Hawkins said. The tournament will not disappoint: Of the eight teams that will be competing, six are ranked in the top 10, and all are in the top 15. Last year’s ITA Indoor team champion, No. 2 Emory, will be competing. “It’ll be a lot of fun for us, and it’s cool because depending on how it plays out, we’ll have a chance to play teams we’ve struggled with over the years. We want to be the best team in the country, and we want to get there by beating the teams that have taken us before,” Hawkins said.