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March 2, 2017

True Test for Maroons

Second-year Kat Stevanovich serves up the ball, aiming to slam it across the court.

Second-year Kat Stevanovich serves up the ball, aiming to slam it across the court.

University of Chicago Athletics / The Chicago Maroon

This weekend, the University of Chicago women’s tennis team will head to Murfreesboro, TN, for the ITA National Indoor Championship. 

The No. 10 Maroons are coming off of a dominant weekend at home. Last Saturday, they steamrolled Principia 9–0 and John Carroll 8–1, bringing their 2017 record to 7–0. Against Principia, the team won all six singles matches, and four were 6–0, 6–0 victories. Additionally, the team only dropped one game in three doubles matches.The Maroons were nearly equally dominant in their second matchup of the day against John Carroll, with victories in five singles matches and all three doubles matches. The South Siders will hope to use this momentum to generate success in their matches this weekend. Head coach Jay Tee was pleased with the team’s ability to stay focused this weekend, remarking, “These were some great matches as our final tune-ups before the ITA Indoor National Championships.” He expects that the team will be confident and ready to compete this weekend in Tennessee. 

First-year Marjorie Antohi only dropped two games in four matches last weekend. For a little perspective, she won 40 games total to claim two singles victories and take part in two doubles victories with her partner, second-year Rachel Kim. Antohi says that the team has been preparing for this weekend by “fixing small things to make sure that we stay dominant on the court.” The Maroons have been dominant in all of their matches so far this season, so they have had a lot of opportunities to work on polishing and taking care of the little things that will translate to victories in bigger matches against tougher competition. She says that the team is “excited for ITAs...and it’ll be a good experience regardless of the result as long as we keep competing and doing what we’ve been working on in practice.” 

On Friday the Maroons will face off against No. 13 Sewanee of the Southern Athletic Association. The Tigers are 4–0 in 2017 and have only dropped one match all season. However, they have not played against any ranked teams, and the Maroons should have no trouble finding and exploiting their opponents’ weaknesses. UChicago has the No. 3 seed in the tournament, behind Emory and Pomona-Pitzer, seeded No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Conference rival WashU is seeded No. 4. The Maroons will see the winner of Johns Hopkins vs. Pomona-Pitzer, should they advance to the semi-final match on Saturday. 

At last year's tournament, Pomona-Pitzer captured the title by knocking off the No. 1 Carnegie Mellon Tartans in the finals. Sewanee fell in the semifinals to Pomona-Pitzer. WashU lost in the first round but went on to win the consolation draw. UChicago’s last appearance at ITA Indoor Nationals was in 2015, where the squad finished third after beating WashU in the third-place match. 

The Maroons will look forward to competing against elite competition this weekend, and they will use this opportunity to improve and to prepare for the upcoming outdoor season.

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