While most of the UChicago undergrads were relaxing during spring break, the women’s tennis team was hard at work. The Maroons traveled to Claremont, CA, to catch some rays and take on No. 12 Tufts and No. 2 Williams. The No. 6 Maroons fought hard and showed a lot of strength but ultimately lost both matchups 3–6.
Last Thursday the UChicago women played against Tufts. The undefeated Jumbos earned the edge in the beginning of the match, taking all three doubles points in close matches. In the singles matches, third-year Ariana Iranpour won at No. 1 and first-year Alyssa Rudin won at No. 6 in three-set battles. Iranpour went down the first set, won the second set easily, and pulled off the victory in an exciting third-set tiebreaker. Rudin easily won the first and third sets to secure the win at No. 6. Second-year Rachel Kim edged out her opponent at No. 3 in straight sets. Kim showed great composure in a close first-set tiebreaker and carried that momentum through to the second set. Although the Maroons won half of the singles matches, the doubles deficit was the deciding factor and the Jumbos came away with the 6–3 victory.
After a quick turnaround, UChicago played against Williams on Friday morning. Again, the Maroons found themselves behind after the doubles matches, but this time by only one point. The duo of Kim and first-year Marjorie Antohi snagged an 8–4 victory at No. 1 doubles to earn a point. The singles matches got off to a tough start, as the Ephs won all six first sets. Antohi and Kim battled back to claim victories at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, but the Williams players claimed the other four points resulting in a 6–3 loss for the Maroons. This result is an improvement over the 5–0 loss from the Maroons’ last matchup against Williams that shows the progress that the team has made since the NCAA tournament last spring.
Despite the results of the matches, the Maroons have many positive things to take away from their trip. They were able to play against tougher, more competitive teams that will make them stronger and more prepared for the rest of the season. Rudin notes that the Maroons “really learned about the importance of loud, positive energy when we are playing, as we played two teams that are both known for being very local and encouraging.” Although singles matches are individual efforts, “in bigger matches cheering for each other all the time and keeping it positive is key.”
The Maroons will undoubtedly bounce back at the Midwest Invitational on April 7–8 in Madison, WI. Although the weather is unlikely to be as nice as it was in California, UChicago is adapted to the harsh Midwest spring. They have been working hard on fitness and doubles since they returned from California, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions. They will be fully prepared for the competition they see next weekend!