ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – It all came down to a third set in the final singles match of the day. The stakes were high – the University of Chicago women's tennis team stood deadlocked 4-4 with Washington University-St. Louis in Friday's University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship semifinal. Freshman Marjorie Antohi proved up to the task as she clinched 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 to secure a thrilling 5-4 victory against Washington-St. Louis.
The No. 9-ranked Maroons (16-3 record) make a return trip to the UAA finals after a five-year absence. They also defeated the No. 10-ranked Bears (12-9) for the fourth time this season. UChicago will take on No. 1-ranked Emory University in Saturday morning's championship.
Needing to take four out of the six singles bouts, the Maroons surged ahead by winning three straight. Sophomore Rachel Kim was the first one done at No. 3 with scores of 6-1, 6-0. Rudin and freshman Estefania Navarro followed up with wins at No. 6 and No. 5, respectively, to put UChicago ahead 4-2.
However, WashU captured the next two matches to tie it up and set up the finale at No. 2 singles. Antohi took the first set 7-5 and her opponent grabbed the second set 7-6. In the decisive third set, the pair battled back and forth on serve. With a lead at 5-4, Antohi capitalized on a service break to end the match at 6-4.
"First off, I'm just so happy for our women and so proud of their fight and grit," said Head Coach Jay Tee. "It's not easy to go 4-0 against a top 10 team, and a conference rival, no less. Each time we've beaten them this year, we've found a different way to win and today was no different. We lost at a couple spots we've won every time. But luckily for us, there's always someone more than willing to step up. We are underdogs heading into the finals. But with this team, you can't count us out – we will come ready to play and fight for every point no matter what."
UChicago 5, Washington-St. Louis 4
1. Rebecca Ho (WUSTL) def. Ariana Iranpour (UC) 7-5, 7-5
2. Marjorie Antohi (UC) def. Grace Deering (WUSTL) 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4
3. Rachel Kim (UC) def. Brigitte Hodge (WUSTL) 6-1, 6-0
4. Kaylan Griffith (WUSTL) def. Tiffany Chen (UC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Estefania Navarro (UC) def. Sanjna Tripathy (WUSTL) 7-5, 6-2
6. Alyssa Rudin (UC) def. Lisa Chionis (WUSTL) 6-3, 6-0
1. Rebecca Ho/Kaylan Griffith (WUSTL) def. Marjorie Antohi/Rachel Kim (UC) 8-6
2. Tiffany Chen/Alyssa Rudin (UC) def. Grace Deering/Lisa Chionis (WUSTL) 8-2
3. Mindy Borovsky/Sanjna Tripathy (WUSTL) def. Ariana Iranpour/Courtney Warren (UC) 9-7
- Saturday, April 22 @ 9:00 AM (ET) – UChicago vs. Emory (at UAA Championship)