Sports

Women’s tennis advances to UAA finals, falls to rival Emory

First-year Laura Chen returns the ball at the UAA championship. She went on to win number one singles. (credit: Courtesy of David Sheppard-Brick of the Justice) First-year Laura Chen returns the ball at the UAA championship. She went on to win number one singles. (credit: Courtesy of David Sheppard-Brick of the Justice)

The women’s tennis team competed at the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships hosted by Brandeis University this past weekend. The Tartans, ranked third in Division III, blew out Case Western Reserve University 9–0 in the quarterfinals and Washington University in St. Louis 8–1 in the semifinals. However, the Tartans couldn’t keep their dominance going on the final day, as fourth-ranked Emory University pulled off the upset 5–4 to win their 22nd consecutive UAA title.

Against Case Western Reserve, the Tartans came out strong, overpowering the Spartans to a sweep of the doubles matches. The team of sophomore Kelly Hart and first-year Courtney Chin put on an especially strong showing, leading the way with an 8–0 shutout of Case Western Reserve’s Jennifer Clever and Emily Hoffman. In singles, the Tartans dropped only three games total among all six individuals, with Hart, Chin, sophomore Jennifer Chui, and first-year Cze-Ja Tam all shutting out their opponents 6–0, 6–0. The 9–0 victory was the Tartans’ eighth shutout victory of the season.

In the semifinals, the Tartans took on 14th-ranked Wash. U. Hart and Chin once more put up a strong showing, defeating the Bears’ Jaclyn Bild and Elise Sambol 8–2 to blaze the trail for a 2–1 advantage heading into the singles matches. Hart defeated her opponent 6–3, 6–3, before Tam’s 6–2, 6–2 victory and Chui’s 6–4, 7–5 win. First-years Laura Chen and Amanda Wu also posted good matches, with Chen emerging victorious and Wu playing to a tie. The victory put the team’s record at 19–1 and set the stage for Sunday’s matchup with Emory.

The Tartans had defeated Emory at the Indoor National Championships earlier this year, but could not pull off another win this time at finals. While the team of Chui and Wu won their doubles match 8–2, the Eagles’ Zahra Dawson and Lorne McManigle shut out Chin and Hart 8–0 to set up a 2–1 advantage for Emory going into the singles matches. The Tartans put up a good fight in singles, with victories in straight sets from Chen and Chin, but Emory won three singles matches and the championships 5–4.

“Even though we lost to Emory, it was a good experience for NCAAs,” Wu said. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to in singles, but I know we can get them at Nationals.”

The team will play in the NCAA Regionals May 8.