Tennis teams defeat Case, fall to University of Chicago

| Senior Sports Editor

The Washington University men’s and women’s tennis teams each took a split this weekend, defeating Case Western Reserve University Saturday, April 13 before falling to the University of Chicago on Sunday, April 14.

The No. 6 men’s team beat No. 12 Case 6-3 and fell to No. 2 Chicago in a tight match 5-4 to move to 13-5 on the season. While the Bears lost their six-game winning streak, the fact that they held their own against the Maroons demonstrated that the Bears will be a team to be reckoned with at the University Athletic Association championships in two weeks. This result is also an improvement over last season, when the Bears lost to Chicago by a much wider margin, 7-2.

The No. 15 women’s team won against No. 33 Case, 6-3, before losing a blowout to Chicago, 8-1. The victory against Case was the team’s third win straight, an encouraging sign as the Bears had lost eight of their last ten matches going back to the end of February. Sunday’s loss brought the team to 8-10 on the season, leaving the Red and Green in seventh place in the UAA.

Sophomore Ethan Hillis hits an approach shot against UW-Eau Claire on Apr. 5. The men’s team lost to University of Chicago this weekend after beating Case Western Reserve University.Grace Bruton | Student Life

Sophomore Ethan Hillis hits an approach shot against UW-Eau Claire on Apr. 5. The men’s team lost to University of Chicago this weekend after beating Case Western Reserve University.

Strong singles play against Case helped the men’s team recover from two early doubles losses. Sophomore Ethan Hillis, Division III’s sixth-ranked singles player, fell behind quickly in the first singles match, losing the first set 6-4. Hillis came close to losing in the second set before prevailing, 7-5, and storming back in the third set, 6-1, to win an exciting match. At second singles, junior Bernardo Neves followed with a dominant straight sets victory, 6-4, 6-3, while sophomore Daniel Li won an exciting three-set match, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), putting the Bears in position to secure the victory in the last three singles matches. Senior Konrad Kozlowski and sophomore Koki Takabatake each won their singles matches, adding to Kozlowski and Neves’ doubles victory—their eighth straight this season—to seal the deal.

Two three-set victories in singles capped the women’s balanced victory against Case. After doubles wins from pairs sophomores Laurel Wanger and Ashley Lessen and freshmen Stephanie Ren and junior Sanjna Tripathy, Wash. U. dropped the first two singles matches, putting pressure on the second half of singles. Senior Brigitte Hodge won the third singles match, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 10-6, while Lessen won the fourth, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 10-8. Wanger and junior Zoe Park completed the victory with wins of their own.

Ally Persky hits a backhand against Principia College on Apr. 9. The No. 15 women’s tennis team beat Case Western Reserve University and lost to University of Chicago this weekend.Grace Bruton | Student Life

Ally Persky hits a backhand against Principia College on Apr. 9. The No. 15 women’s tennis team beat Case Western Reserve University and lost to University of Chicago this weekend.

Park had the lone victory in the women’s team’s loss on Sunday, defeating Chicago’s Annika Pandey, 6-4, 6-4, at the sixth doubles slot. The women take on DII University of Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon, as they look to finish strong in their last three matches before UAA championships at the end of April.

In the weekend’s most exciting match, the men’s loss to Chicago, Wash. U. kept things close till the very end. Though Neves and Kozlowski had their doubles winning streak snapped, losing to Chicago’s top doubles pair, 8-5, Hillis and doubles partner sophomore Benjamin van der Sman won the third doubles match, 8-5, saving the Bears from a doubles sweep. Hillis, van der Sman, and Kozlowski each won their singles matches, leaving the match tied 4-4 as Neves took on Jeremy Yuan, the 16th-ranked player in DIII. Neves came back from a first set loss to force a third set, but fell, 6-4, keeping the Bears from an upset victory over the Maroons.

After staying competitive against a tough opponent, the men’s team will look to build off of that momentum in their three matches this week, against Principia, UW-Whitewater and Northwest Missouri State.

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