CHICAGO – University of Chicago teammates Claire Handa and Marjorie Antohi didn't disappoint with a highly competitive match in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region singles final, but it was Handa who came out on top to claim the championship Monday at the Stagg Courts.
Handa, a freshman, won a tough first set, 7-5, then battled from behind to take a 7-3 tiebreaker and claim a 7-6 victory in the second set to win her first ITA Regional title and earn All-American honors.
She'll advance to the national field, traveling to Rome, Ga., for the ITA Oracle Cup set for Oct. 11-12.
"The finals were exactly what I expected – a high-level match with incredible ball striking and grit from both players," UChicago Head Coach Jay Tee said. "It's a shame that one of them had to lose because they are both great players and great people.
"I'm excited for Claire but I also feel for Marjorie – no matter the result, Marjorie has proven over the course of this past year that she is heart of the soul of our team and this did nothing to change that. In the end, this was a great day for our program and hopefully a sign of things to come."
Handa defeated players from Hope College, Oberlin College, John Carroll and Washington-St. Louis before taking on Antohi in the title match. Antohi, a sophomore, took down opponents from Alleghany, Kenyon, Washington-St. Louis (two), and Case Western Reserve on her route to Monday's championship match.
Handa trailed Antohi, 6-5, in the second set, but tied it at 6-all to force the tiebreaker.
UChicago at ITA Oracle Cup, Rome, Ga., Oct. 11-15