Women's tennis claims third at UAAs

Gritty play and determination weren?t enough for the women?s tennis team Saturday, as they lost in the semifinals to 16th-ranked Washington University 3?6. The team was overpowered in singles competition, which made the difference in the match. The loss put the team in the third-place match against Chicago, where they rolled to a 6?3 victory.
The duo of first-year Amy Staloch and sophomore Mona Iyer again powered the team in doubles competition. The two ran away with an 8?2 victory in first doubles. The second and third doubles teams did not have such an easy time. The pairing of junior Alison Liu and senior Grace Hwang lost a heartbreaker 6?8, and senior Kavita Shah and sophomore Mai Otsuka dropped another close decision 5?8.
In singles competition, Staloch led the team at first singles with an overpowering 6?2, 6?2 straight sets victory. Iyer appeared to be heading in the same direction, but after winning her first set
7?5, she fell behind opponent Kacie Cook and was unable to gain the point for her team.
Though Otsuka was able to win her match, the rest of the women?s squad fell short, leading to a
6?3 victory for Washington.
In Sunday?s third-place match, the Tartans outplayed a tough University of Chicago team. The team played strongly across the board, holding a considerable edge in doubles and singles play.
The women?s team played strongest at fifth and sixth singles, where Shah and Otsuka rolled to easy victories. Shah defeated Liz Sayeh of Chicago 6?0,
6?1 while Otsuka mowed down Katie Dulmage 6?1, 6?0.
Iyer and Staloch kept the form that made them Carnegie Mellon?s most dangerous players in winning their two matches against Chicago?s best players. Staloch rolled to a 6?2, 6?2 victory over Ade Omodele-Lucia at first doubles. Iyer had a bit more trouble, running into a challenge from Chicago?s Michele Parad. Parad kept the match exciting, but was unable to overcome Iyer?s strong all-around game. Iyer won in straight sets, 6?4, 6?4.
In doubles competition, Staloch and Iyer powered past Parad and Omedele-Lucia in an easy match, 8?1. The duo was responsible for three of the team?s six points.
Also successful in doubles was the team of Otsuka and Shah, who carried over their hot play from singles. They battled to an 8?6 victory that eventually gave the Tartans a 6?3 team victory over the University of Chicago.
Carnegie Mellon claimed third place in the competitive UAA, behind only top-ranked Emory and 16th-ranked Washington.
The team will return to action Sunday and Tuesday for a pair of home matches against Mercyhurst and West Liberty State. These matches will serve as final tune-ups for more serious competition. They will then have two weeks off before competing in the NCAA Regional Tournament, where, as the 15th-ranked team in the country, they?ll be one of the favorites to win.