WHITEWATER, Wis. – The University of Chicago women's tennis team clinched a spot in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals for the eighth time in program history with Sunday's convincing 5-0 victory over Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The No. 10 Maroons (19-4) opened the day with a 1-2-3 sweep in doubles and then relied on first-year Claire Handa and sophomore Alyssa Rudin to win in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 5 singles to give UChicago the regional crown.
The Maroons will advance to Elite Eight in Claremont, Calif., to take on No. 1 Emory (15-4), who defeated Sewanee 5-0 Sunday, in a rematch of the 2018 University Athletic Association Championship.
"Doubles were key for us, as they have been all season," Head Coach Jay Tee said. "We came out a little nervous in singles, but we battled through it for a couple of quick wins.
"It's exciting to go back to the Elite Eight and to be able to play Emory again – the team is up for the challenge."
Handa and No. 1 doubles teammate Marjorie Antohi and the No. 2 duo of Catherine Xu and Daryn Ellison each won their matches by identical scores of 8-4 and the No. 3 tandem of Estefania Navarro and Rudin was even more dominant with an 8-3 victory.
That set up a 3-0 lead in singles play, as Handa won, 6-3, 6-3, and Rudin 6-2, 6-2, with Handa clinching the fifth point needed for the result.
Xu (No. 3), Navarro (No. 5) and Laura Gutierrez (No. 6) all won their opening sets in singles play before the match was called at decision.
NCAA Division III Quarterfinals
- Monday, May 21: #10 UChicago vs. #1 Emory (at Claremont, Calif.)
NCAA Division III Regional Championships
At Whitewater, Wis.
1. Handa, Claire (UCW) def. Gabi Kitchell (UWW-W) 6-3, 6-3
2. Alexandra Talyansky (UWW-W) vs. Antohi, Marjorie (UCW) 7-6 (7-3), 1-4, unfinished
3. Bridgid McGuire (UWW-W) vs. Xu, Catherine (UCW) 4-6, 3-2, unfinished
4. Jillian Wallace (UWW-W) vs. Navarro, Estefania (UCW) 3-6, 2-4, unfinished
5. Rudin, Alyssa (UCW) def. Julie Martin (UWW-W) 6-2, 6-2
6. Paige Nierman (UWW-W) vs. Gutierrez, Laura (UCW) 1-6, 2-3, unfinished
1. Handa, Claire/Antohi, Marjorie (UCW) def. Bridgid McGuire/Jillian Wallace (UWW-W) 8-4
2. Xu, Catherine/Ellison, Daryn (UCW) def. Alexandra Talyansky/Gabi Kitchell (UWW-W) 8-4
3. Navarro, Estefania/Rudin, Alyssa (UCW) def. Sabrina Palavra/Paige Nierman (UWW-W) 8-3