MADISON, Wis. – In one of its most dramatic matches of the season, the University of Chicago women's tennis team rallied from an early deficit and then held on late to down rival Washington University-St. Louis 5-4 in Saturday's Midwest Invite championship.
The No. 8-ranked Maroons (12-3 record) defended their Midwest Invite title from 2016, while the No. 10-ranked Bears (9-7) saw their four-match win streak come to an end. The two University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents previously met on March 5, with UChicago winning 5-2 at the ITA Division III National Team Indoor Championship.
In a repeat of the March contest, WashU took the early 2-1 lead in doubles. UChicago received an important doubles point from the newly-formed No. 3 duo of junior Courtney Warren and freshman Laura Gutierrez. They took their match 8-6.
UChicago proceeded to reel off three-straight singles wins to draw close to a team victory at 4-2. However, the Bears didn't let up and the Maroons eked out a 5-4 decision by the skin of their teeth. Freshmen Marjorie Antohi and Alyssa Rudin went to third-set super tiebreaks with the fate of the match in the balance. Antohi staved off a match point and triumphed 12-10 at second singles, while Rudin captured sixth singles 10-5. Sophomore Rachel Kim and senior Tiffany Chen both won handily in straight sets at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.
"This match was an absolute nail biter from start to finish and I'm still not quite sure how we pulled it off," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "Marjorie fought off a team match point in the third set, Alyssa went down a set quickly, and we had to take Ariana out of the doubles lineup at the last minute. Despite all of this, the team never quit battling and found a way to win. Our brand new No. 3 doubles team – who had never played together – played tough as nails down the stretch to secure a crucial point. We took WashU's best shot and always found a way to hit back. We don't have long to enjoy this win because we will be in St. Louis in eight days for a rematch and we know they will be ready for us."
UChicago 5, Washington-St. Louis 4
1. Rebecca Ho (WASHU) def. Ariana Iranpour (UC) 6-4, 7-5
2. Marjorie Antohi (UC) def. Grace Deering (WASHU) 6-4, 3-6, 12-10
3. Rachel Kim (UC) def. Brigitte Hodge (WASHU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Tiffany Chen (UC) def. Kaylan Griffith (WASHU) 6-3, 6-1
5. Sanjna Tripathy (WASHU) def. Estefania Navarro (UC) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Alyssa Rudin (UC) def. Kate Lee (WASHU) 1-6, 6-3, 10-5
1. Rebecca Ho/Kaylan Griffith (WASHU) def. Marjorie Antohi/Rachel Kim (UC) 8-6
2. Grace Deering/Lisa Chionis (WASHU) def. Alyssa Rudin/Tiffany Chen (UC) 8-4
3. Laura Gutierrez/Courtney Warren (UC) def. Mindy Borovsky/Sanjna Tripathy (WASHU) 8-6
- Saturday, April 15 @ 2:00 PM – UChicago vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater (at St. Louis, Mo.)