CHICAGO – In a battle of two Maroons, it was University of Chicago sophomore Lauren Park who came out victorious in Monday morning's Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Singles Final, as Park defeated teammate Nicole Semenov in straight sets at UChicago's Stagg Courts.
Park became an ITA All-American for the first time in her career with the 6-1, 6-0 win over Semenov, who will join her in traveling to the ITA Cup held Oct. 17-20 in Rome, Ga.
Entering the singles tournament as a No. 9 seed, Park defeated Denison's Alexandra Cash in the opening round in straight sets, then beat Kenyon's Ilana Blackwood (6-3, 6-4) and the No. 3 seed from Hope Claire Hallock (2-6, 6-4, 6-2) in the Rounds of 32 and 16.
Park then took down the No. 6 seed, Kenyon's Daria Beshentseva (4-6, 6-3, 1-0, retired), in the quarterfinals before having to outlast another Maroon teammate, junior Catherine Xu, in Saturday's 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-4 marathon semifinal.
Semenov, seeded fifth, took down the No. 1 seed from Kenyon, Erika Oku (6-0, 1-0, retired) to earn her spot in Monday's final. Her path also included wins over Michaela Magee (6-0, 6-0) from Augustana, Makayla Sutter (6-0, 6-1) of Otterbein, Allyson Persky (7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2) of WashU, and fourth-seeded Amanda Bandrowski (7-5, 6-3) of Hope.
Monday's win for UChicago marked the first time since 2011 that the Maroon women swept both ITA Central Region Doubles and Singles titles, as Park's win followed the doubles championship win by UChicago's Claudia Ng and Perene Wang, the five-seeds. The duo also qualifies for the ITA Cup, as UChicago sends four women to the national field.
- Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 17-20: UChicago at ITA Cup (Rome, Ga.)